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1 Corinthians; The calling and the teachers

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posted on Oct, 7 2013 @ 05:27 PM
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Among the writings of Paul, 1 Corinthians is the letter which teaches the church what it means to be a Christian community.
The opening verses (ch1 vv1-9) have the effect of defining where the church comes from and what it’s based on, and I will want to show how the rest of the teaching follows on from that.
I was drawing out a definition of the church in the attached thread;
Defining the church
One of the key points was that the church had been called into a “gathered assembly” (EKKLESIA), and the next concern is the way the leading teachers of the church fit into that process (ch3 vv5-15).

v5 Paul’s complaint at the beginning of the letter had been about the appearance of slogans like “I belong to Apollos” and “I belong to Cephas”.
The Corinthians were beginning to treat their teachers as their masters, perhaps because these were the people who brought them into the faith and baptised them.
But who was Apollos, anyway? And who, for that matter, was Paul himself?
They were not masters, but servants, acting as God’s agents.
People had been called to the faith by means of one teacher or another, as God had assigned in each case, but the calling had not come from the teachers themselves.

vv6-8 The church can be compared with a field, in which case Paul and Apollos are the farm-workers.
Paul planted the seeds (which gives him a certain priority), while Apollos came along later and watered the plants.
But neither of them were working for themselves.
They are “one”- they are on the same level- because they are fellow-labourers, employed and “paid” by the same farmer.
God owns the field (and must have provided the seeds in the first place).
Even as they were working, it was God who provided the increase.
So the workers themselves are “nothing” in this business, and God is everything

vv9-11 Or the church can be compared with a building-project, in which case Paul and Apollos are the building-labourers.
Once again, Paul had the first task.
It was his privilege to “lay the foundation” in this locality.
The work of Apollos is “building upon” that foundation.
What really matters is that the building-work cannot be based on anything but Jesus Christ.
As long as they’re using the same foundation, they’re doing the same work.

My commentators find a slight paradox here, because Paul says he laid the foundation, and the next verse says the foundation was laid already.
But I don’t think there’s any real conflict.
v11 is clearly about the “once-for-all” establishment of Christ as the foundation of the church at large, whereas Paul’s task was to place the foundation locally.

vv12-15 This passage, which talks of a man’s work going through the fire, and the man himself surviving, has long been one of the classic supports of the doctrine of Purgatory.
Mistakenly so, because Paul has not changed the subject.
This is still a discussion about the teachers of the church, who are “building on” the foundation which Paul established.

He says that their work will be “tested”, as if by fire, on “the Day”, the day of judgement.
Obviously the image can’t be pressed too closely, because gold and silver and precious stones would not necessarily survive a fire in much better condition than wood and hay and straw.
The difference between them is in terms of value, not in terms of durability.

In what sense are they going to be be tested?
Their labouring is in their teaching.
The result of their work is that they build or develop or affect Christian communities.
So when Paul says their work is going to be “tested”, that implies that the influence of their teaching is going to come under close scrutiny.

In what way would the teacher “suffer” or be “rewarded” as a result of the scrutiny?
Paul does not specify.
But he writes elsewhere of hoping to “rejoice” or “boast” about the Thessalonians in the presence of the Lord Jesus at his coming (1Thessalonians ch2 v19).
He seems to envisage being able to offer his congregations to God like a proud mother or father presenting their children.
If everyone who has ever taught in the church, or laid claim to leadership in the church, were to stand in front of God in company with the results of their labours, then many of them would have good reason to feel proud and approved (“Well done, thou good and faithful servant”), while others would surely be plunged into intense embarrassment, at the very least.
We may want to link this with the occasional hints in the gospels about grades of honour in the kingdom of heaven.
As for those who drive “the children” away from the faith altogether, Jesus says about them that they would be better off buried in the deepest ocean (Matthew ch18 v6).
Perhaps this is part of the difference between “reward” and “suffering”.
However, the lack of solid information prevents us from pursuing this question any further.

The moral of all this comes at the end of the chapter.
The Corinthians had been claiming to “belong to” various leaders.
The truth is exactly the other way round.
It is Paul and Apollos and Cephas who “belong” to them .
Along with everything these people have been teaching them, relating to life and death and this world and the life to come.
Nothing in this world, under God, can “own” them.
They belong only to Christ, who belongs to God (vv21-23).

This chapter has been about putting the leadership in their place.
They might be “charismatic” individuals, dominating a small band of people.
They might be hierarchies, convincing themselves that their human representative is capable of making “infallible” pronouncements on the teaching of the gospel.
Nevertheless, they are nothing more than aspiring servants of God, acting as his agents, and believers must not be overawed by their prestige.
The time will come when these leaders and teachers will have to stand before God and have their work “tested”, as if by fire.
And some of them, when that time comes, might be receiving a lesser “reward” than they had been expecting.

The key to understanding the true place of human leadership is that our calling into the church does not come from those human leaders.
Our calling comes only from God.






edit on 7-10-2013 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)




posted on Oct, 7 2013 @ 06:04 PM
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Our calling comes only from God.


That I kinda liked.

I belong to Apollos.
I belong to Cephas.
I belong to the Paulite view of what Jesus taught.
are from my point of view the same garments as I am a Christian, Buddhist or Muslim.

Those who are called by god needs no garment and are reborn without a mask.

I think a little MUMFORD & SONS would be appropriate.

"Babel"

'Cause I know that time has numbered my days
And I'll go along with everything you say
But I'll ride home laughing, look at me now
The walls of my town, they come crumbling down

And my ears hear the call of my unborn sons
And I know their choices color all I've done
But I'll explain it all to the watchman's son,
I ain't ever lived a year better spent in love

'Cause I'll know my weakness, know my voice
And I'll believe in grace and choice
And I know perhaps my heart is farce,
But I'll be born without a mask

Like the city that nurtured my greed and my pride,
I stretched my arms into the sky
I cry Babel! Babel! Look at me now
Then the walls of my town, they come crumbling down

You ask where will we stand in the winds that will howl,
As all we see will slip into the cloud
So come down from your mountain and stand where we've been,
You know our breath is weak and our body thin

Press my nose up, to the glass around your heart
I should've known I was weaker from the start,
You'll build your walls and I will play my bloody part
To tear, tear them down,
Well I'm gonna tear, tear them down

'Cause I know my weakness, know my voice,
And I'll believe in grace and choice
And I know perhaps my heart is farce,
But I'll be born without a mask



posted on Oct, 7 2013 @ 06:07 PM
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reply to post by LittleByLittle
 

I should point out that "calling", in the context of this epistle, is being called "into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord"- ch1 v9
My discussion is about that kind of calling.



posted on Oct, 7 2013 @ 06:19 PM
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Good post D ..While reading this post it echoed what Paul said Galatians 1
New International Version (NIV)
1 Paul, an apostle—sent not from men nor by a man, but by Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead— 2 and all the brothers and sisters[a] with me,

To the churches in Galatia:

3 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, 4 who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, 5 to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen



posted on Oct, 7 2013 @ 06:22 PM
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reply to post by the2ofusr1
 

Yes, indeed. Paul always conscious of being a servant under authority and under God's direction.
Thank you for that comment.



posted on Oct, 7 2013 @ 07:54 PM
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LittleByLittle


Our calling comes only from God.


That I kinda liked.

I belong to Apollos.
I belong to Cephas.
I belong to the Paulite view of what Jesus taught.
are from my point of view the same garments as I am a Christian, Buddhist or Muslim.

Those who are called by god needs no garment and are reborn without a mask.

I think a little MUMFORD & SONS would be appropriate.

"Babel"

'Cause I know that time has numbered my days
And I'll go along with everything you say
But I'll ride home laughing, look at me now
The walls of my town, they come crumbling down

And my ears hear the call of my unborn sons
And I know their choices color all I've done
But I'll explain it all to the watchman's son,
I ain't ever lived a year better spent in love

'Cause I'll know my weakness, know my voice
And I'll believe in grace and choice
And I know perhaps my heart is farce,
But I'll be born without a mask

Like the city that nurtured my greed and my pride,
I stretched my arms into the sky
I cry Babel! Babel! Look at me now
Then the walls of my town, they come crumbling down

You ask where will we stand in the winds that will howl,
As all we see will slip into the cloud
So come down from your mountain and stand where we've been,
You know our breath is weak and our body thin

Press my nose up, to the glass around your heart
I should've known I was weaker from the start,
You'll build your walls and I will play my bloody part
To tear, tear them down,
Well I'm gonna tear, tear them down

'Cause I know my weakness, know my voice,
And I'll believe in grace and choice
And I know perhaps my heart is farce,
But I'll be born without a mask


Did you know Marcus' parents are preachers? A lot of spiritual mixed in the lyrics. My children love Mumford and Sons. The group has many hits but one I am sure, Marcus' parents do not approve of, I don't care if everyone in Europe uses the expletive. One child has been to five Mumford concerts.


God bless you,


colbe



posted on Oct, 8 2013 @ 05:14 PM
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This thread is the sequel to;

The calling and the Spirit



posted on Oct, 8 2013 @ 06:30 PM
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I do not intend to go through the whole of 1 Corinthians systematically.
It will only be a selection of passages.
This series has been inspired, indirectly, by the commentary written by Hans Conzellman.
In his comments on the first verse in ch6 (a passage which I do not intend to cover) he remarks that “The criterion of conduct is accordingly found in the nature of the community”.
In effect, I have taken this dictum and made it a guideline for a major part of the epistle.
The premise is that Paul’s teaching here is largely about getting the church to live up to the description of itself which he supplies in the opening verses.
The way this works will become evident in the different stages.

(It has to be said, though, that I increasingly find Robertson and Plummer more reliable on points of detail).



posted on Oct, 9 2013 @ 08:30 AM
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Did you know Marcus' parents are preachers? A lot of spiritual mixed in the lyrics. My children love Mumford and Sons. The group has many hits but one I am sure, Marcus' parents do not approve of, I don't care if everyone in Europe uses the expletive. One child has been to five Mumford concerts.


God bless you,


colbe


Thank you
. Did not know that Marcus parents are preachers. I seem to find more spiritual knowledge from lyrics now days than from other sources, since from my point of view the lyrics speak from own spiritual experience and can say it on a level that is more in tune with current understanding of "what is" and my own experience.

See you around brother (if you do not mind me calling you brother).
edit on 9-10-2013 by LittleByLittle because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 10 2013 @ 05:04 PM
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The sequence of threads in this series is expected to be as follows;

Defining the church
The calling and the cross
The calling and the Spirit
The calling and the teachers (current thread)
The saint and his holiness
The saints and the sinner
The saints and the idols
The fellowship and the common Spirit
The fellowship and the gifts
The fellowship and the Supper
The fellowship and its love
The waiting and the resurrection



posted on Oct, 16 2013 @ 04:38 PM
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The most recent thread in this series is;

The saint and his holiness



posted on Oct, 24 2013 @ 04:24 PM
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The most recent thread in this series is;

The saints and the sinner



posted on Nov, 6 2013 @ 01:16 AM
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LittleByLittle



Did you know Marcus' parents are preachers? A lot of spiritual mixed in the lyrics. My children love Mumford and Sons. The group has many hits but one I am sure, Marcus' parents do not approve of, I don't care if everyone in Europe uses the expletive. One child has been to five Mumford concerts.


God bless you,


colbe


Thank you
. Did not know that Marcus parents are preachers. I seem to find more spiritual knowledge from lyrics now days than from other sources, since from my point of view the lyrics speak from own spiritual experience and can say it on a level that is more in tune with current understanding of "what is" and my own experience.

See you around brother (if you do not mind me calling you brother).
edit on 9-10-2013 by LittleByLittle because: (no reason given)


You are welcome lbl,

I just saw your post. Mumford and Sons are still tops for my kids but they like a new girl band, three
sisters. I forgot, will have ask my children their name, I think it is Haim. I do know the girl's parents believe in Judaism. They sure sound wonderful together.

Lately, I am drawn to traditional hymns from childhood. On the Feast of All Saints, this was one sung at Mass. Here's a Youtube of the hymn, sung by the Anglican Choir in Belfast. The "saints" were called and are the best teachers.

DISRAELI, I have a soft spot in my heart for him. He loves Our Lord.


God bless you,

colbe

+ + +

Ye Watchers and Ye Holy Ones

www.youtube.com...





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