1 Corinthians; The fellowship and the common Spirit

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posted on Nov, 7 2013 @ 05:07 PM
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If the Christian community is “God’s temple”, that throws light on the passage in which Paul foresees the “man of lawlessness” taking his seat “in the temple of God”- 2 Thessalonians ch2 v4.
The implication is that the man takes control of at least the outward structure of the church.
It would also explain the statement in Revelation ch11, that “the temple of God and those who worship there” are not given over to be “trampled by the nations” like the rest of the holy city.
Whereas if we take both passages as referring to a physical temple, they flatly contradict one another.
Therefore there is no need to understand the New Testament as predicting the building of a new physical temple, and such a building would make no contribution to the fulfilment of end-times prophecies.




posted on Nov, 7 2013 @ 06:24 PM
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This thread, though part of a longer series, is the immediate sequel to;

The saints and the idols



posted on Nov, 8 2013 @ 05:04 PM
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We find a better path to unity by paying more attention to the common Spirit, and defining unity in terms of mutual acceptance and co-operation.


I have played my part in this process.
There was a time in my life when I was chairman of Penge Council of Churches (I’m not going to explain to the Americans why the British contingent suddenly burst out laughing).
I was the Council’s first lay chairman, and their last chairman; I was elected in the first place only because none of the ministers wanted the job.
I was the obvious candidate, in fact, because I had accepted the post of vice-chairman in a similar crisis the previous year.

During my first year in office, I visited one of the services of each of the member bodies.
When ministerial obstruction prevented the arrangement of the annual “pulpit exchange”, I had a “congregation exchange” placed on the calendar instead, so that individual members of congregations might do the same thing.
I had an interview with each of the member ministers, trying to discuss the way forward.
Part of the problem, it seems, was that some of the ministers did not fully trust some of the others.
They were also suspicious of the national Council of churches, and reluctant to take part in the forthcoming transition to “Churches Together”.
I tried to get round this objection by floating the idea of detaching ourselves from affiliation altogether and standing alone as a local autonomous body.

Admittedly, all this diplomacy was in vain, at least in the short term.
Twelve months after my election, at the next General Meeting, a bunch of ministers came and offered a motion to abolish the Council on the spot.
Fortunately my own minister was one of them, and his boastful streak had given me advance warning of what was happening.
When I held them off by pointing out that abolishing the Council was undeniably a constitutional amendment, and a constitutional amendment would need six months’ notice, their frustration and annoyance was almost palpable.
They did get their way in the end, ten months and two meetings later.
Yet in the long-term, I now discover from the internet, local ministers seem to have been successful in reviving a “Churches Together in Penge”, with a membership of five churches.
(There is also a sixth church which claims still to belong to “Penge Council of churches”. I don’t quite understand what is going on there)
The apparent moral is that the path of “mutual acceptance and co-operation” requires patience and persistence.



posted on Nov, 8 2013 @ 06:24 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 Nov, 9 2013 @ 03:56 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
The saint and his holiness
The saints and the sinner
The saints and the idols
The fellowship and the common Spirit (current thread)
The fellowship and the gifts of the Spirit
The fellowship and the Supper
The fellowship and its love
The waiting and the resurrection



posted on Nov, 20 2013 @ 02:08 PM
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The most recent thread in this series is
The fellowship and the Supper
This deals with the Lord's Supper as an expression of the unity discussed in this thread.



posted on Nov, 27 2013 @ 02:25 PM
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The most recent thread in this series is;

The fellowship and its love



posted on Dec, 10 2013 @ 12:47 PM
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This series is now indexed in;

The blueprints of the church





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