Sunday, July 20, 2014

On 7-27-14, 1 Corinthians 14:13-26 will be our Adult Sunday School/Uniform Series/International Sunday School Lesson herein is my commentary. This lesson is known by some as Seek the Good of Others

Seek the Good of Others
 1 Corinthians 14:13-26
International Sunday School Lesson
July 27, 2014
                                                                                 


Commentary
By
Jed Greenough

“For God is not a God of disorder but of peace.” 1 Corinthians 14:33
Peace meaning order is how Paul was describing how God was and not disorder and not chaos and how we are to worship Him similarly.
This should have been apparent to any Jews who came to convert but for Gentiles who did not have this history it is clear even today that yes, God wants regulated worship!
I think for many today that statement might come as a shock but it is clear in our Bibles that we are to have this order so that the message is understood.  In our scripture for today and those not included elsewhere in this chapter, we see this with regard to the speaking in a language that others do not understand.
Verse 22 says that, “Tongues, then are a sign…”for unbelievers.  An unbeliever who hears their tongue (language), such as the best example in Acts 2:4-12, 41, comes to believe.  But this is in the context of an orderly delivery.  In today’s scripture Paul uses one of disorder, “So if the whole church comes together and everyone speaks in tongues and some who do not understand or some unbelievers come in, will they not say that you are out of your mind?” verse 23. 
Clearly the gift exists as we know (1 Corinthians 12:28) but not all are given the gift just as not all are given the gift to teach (1 Corinthians 12:28, 30).  But Paul is instructing us in, as today’s title says, to seek the good of others and worship in a beneficial an orderly fashion, “When you come together, everyone has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation.  All of these must be done for the strengthening of the church.  If anyone speaks in a tongue, two—or at the most three—should speak, one at a time, and someone must interpret.  If there is no interpreter, the speaker should keep quiet in the church and speak to himself and God.”  1 Corinthians 14:26a-28
These words are not included in today’s scripture but neither are the ones that follow but they all deal with the way we are to help one another, some to come to God, others to worship Him.
Some things show the nature of who God is in the Bible by an indirect route.  For example, we are not to lose ourselves in wine to the point of debauchery (Ephesians 5:18) but though we are not told it we know that this would extend by this inference to not doing the same with today’s illicit drugs.
But other things show the nature of God in a very direct manner such as we read in 1 Corinthians 14 today.  And like some may want to do just the opposite of the direction in Ephesians 5 and not like to hear otherwise some may not want to hear these instructions for how God wants  His worship.  If you ignore this, be prepared to be ignored!  1 Corinthians 14:38

For Discussion:
1.      If your church does not speak in tongues discuss how you treat those who do.
2.      If your church has no one who does discuss if this is a neglected gift of the Spirit no different than any other neglected gift of the Spirit.
3.      Discuss verse 15.
4.      Discuss the change in worship in today’s church worship service compared to that described in 1 Corinthians 14.
5.      Is the Sunday School class the closest thing today we have to that being described?
6.      If so, what can we do about coming even closer to that being described?
7.      Again, if so, what does that mean about our worship services?

Upcoming Lessons

August 3  Consolation Granted Through Prayer or Comfort in Times of Trouble, 2 Corinthians 1:3-11
August 10 A Community Forgives or Forgiveness and Restoration, 2 Corinthians 1:23-2:11
August 17 Treasure in Clay Pots or Treasure in Earthen Vessels, 2 Corinthians 4:2-15 or 2 Corinthians 4:1-15
August 24 An Appeal for Reconciliation, 2 Corinthians 6:1-13; 7:2-4 or 2 Corinthians 6:1-13; 7:1-4





Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 Biblica. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved

Sunday, July 13, 2014

On 7-20-14, 1 Corinthians 10:12-22 or 1 Corinthians 10:6-22 will be our Adult Sunday School/Uniform Series/International Sunday School Lesson herein is my commentary. This lesson is known by some as Overcoming Temptation

Overcoming Temptation
 1 Corinthians 10:12-22 or 1 Corinthians 10:6-22
International Sunday School Lesson
July 20, 2014
                                                                                 


Commentary
By
Jed Greenough

Worship, adoration, admiration, veneration, adulation, idolization and reverence, these are all words that are synonyms for idolatry.  If you look at them it might be easier to apply today’s scripture to our own lives.  You see idolatry wasn’t just one of the examples that Paul was talking about to the Corinthians and that the issue is just the past for us.  No, idolatry, as you can see from the synonyms above still exists today and so does the need to resist it as Paul encouraged.
I can say with complete honesty that I have been guilty of admiration to excess.  From the time I was a teen and into my 20’s I thought that the basketball player Dr. J could just about walk on water.  I went to great lengths to see anything or read anything about him.
To his credit as far as sports stars go he did a great job as a role model and he even had a Christian show on cable.  But you know I learned a lesson when some things later came to light about his personal life and even though I was older it hurt but it was a great example to me about idolization’s error.
This is a minor illustration but there are many more serious things that tempt us.  Sometimes all we have to do is look around our house and see where we have given something or things too much adoration or been to fanatical about.  Perhaps the evidence is in the driveway or the bank accounts or other examples might be found in our social media or elsewhere electronically.
The point for us is, just as Paul said to the Corinthians, “If you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!”  Temptation is everywhere, idolatry takes many forms.  We must examine our lives and once we identify it ask God to remove it and help us to overcome more of the same in the future.

For Discussion:
1.      Discuss examples from the Bible that can serve to help us from being tempted or to overcome temptation.
2.      Discuss how we test the Lord.
3.      Discuss the seriousness that God holds grumbling.
4.      Discuss the blessing that verse 11 is for us.
5.      Discuss verse 13.
6.      Discuss ways that people get caught up in idolatry.
7.      Discuss examples of idolatry that can exist with things like the internet, sports, hobbies…
8.      Discuss how our example as Christians is viewed if we should participate in non-Christian activity.
Upcoming Lessons

July 27    Seek the Good of Others, 1 Corinthians 14:13-26
August 3  Consolation Granted Through Prayer or Comfort in Times of Trouble, 2 Corinthians 1:3-11
August 10 A Community Forgives or Forgiveness and Restoration, 2 Corinthians 1:23-2:11
August 17 Treasure in Clay Pots or Treasure in Earthen Vessels, 2 Corinthians 4:2-15 or 2 Corinthians 4:1-15




Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 Biblica. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved