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Monday, July 15th, 2024
the Week of Proper 10 / Ordinary 15
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Bible Commentaries
1 Corinthians 10

Concordant Commentary of the New TestamentConcordant NT Commentary

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Verses 1-31

25 Contestants in the Grecian games had to take an oath that they had been ten months in training, and that they would violate none of the regulations. They lived on a prescribed diet and exercised severe self-restraint. The wreath or "crown" was made of the leaves of the pine. Groves of these trees surrounded the stadium near Corinth. Other leaves were used in other cities. For some time parsley was substituted for pine, but it seems that, in the time of the apostle, they used the pine wreaths. To avoid confusing these chaplets with the symbol of regal authority they are never called a "crown" in this version.

26 The subject before the apostle is not salvation, but service and reward. The apostle is not concerned lest he should be a "castaway", but whether he should win the prize. Two things are necessary, self-control and obedience to the rules of the game. Both are essential in order to win a wreath. In these days, when "success" is measured by human standards, it is of the utmost importance to press the fact that a violation of the rules absolutely bars the contestant from all hope of a prize. Service at the expense of truth or of conscience, to gain a livelihood or win popularity, no matter how strenuous, wins no prize. God looks on the motive and method, not on the apparent results. May we all so strive that He will be able to bestow the amaranthine wreath upon us!

1 The redemption of Israel out of Egypt was typical of the spiritual deliverance which is ours in Christ. All, indeed, were redeemed by the blood of the paschal lamb, but not all by any means pleased God in the wilderness journey. They all went through the Red Sea dry shod, all were identified with Moses, all ate the manna, and all drank the water brought forth by Moses' rod in the desert. Yet, notwithstanding these privileges, they failed in self-control, they went back in heart to the flesh pots of Egypt, reverted to idolatry, sinned and murmured. These are the very sins into which some of the Corinthians were ensnared. And these things still have their appeal to us unless we, like the apostle, reduce our bodies to bondage.

11 The eons are divided into two classes, the first three, which are preparatory, and the last two, called the "eons of the eons", which turn the evil of the first class into good. The last two eons, including the thousand years' reign and the reign of the saints in the new heavens and new earth, are the fruit and consummation of the evil eons. In spirit , Paul brought those under his ministry into the new creation, which is the spiritual counterpart of the eon inaugurated by the new heavens and new earth. It is only thus that the consummations of the eons had already reached the Corinthians.

12 Here again, the apostle is not considering salvation but the endurance of trial on the part of those who are saved. Salvation is entirely of God, through Christ. No one need be concerned about its efficacy or power. But beyond salvation there is the possibility of earning a reward, of winning a prize. This requires us to take due heed to our conduct.

13 God does not try us to break us down but to build us up. Hence He sends nothing insupportable. He does not however, make "a way of escape ", as many of His saints have found by experience. If He did, why or how could that enable them to undergo it? They would not need to endure it if He took them out of it. He makes a sequel. This word occurs again in Heb_13:7 : "contemplating the sequel (A.V. end ) of their behavior." All the great examples of trial were sustained by a contemplation of its sequel. Joseph held the sceptre in the prison.

David wore the crown in Adullam. Even Job knew that he would see his Redeemer. We should not try to escape trial, but seek grace to endure it. We should not occupy ourselves with it, but contemplate the blessed outcome which it is designed to produce.

20 There seems little doubt but that the heathen divinities were not mere myths, but actual demons. These are rampant today in Spiritism and often deceive the saints into believing that they are the holy Spirit of God by mimicking the gifts which were bestowed during the proclamation of the kingdom.

Verses 32-33

32 It has been customary, in the study of "dispensational" truth, to divide the human race into "the Jew, the Gentile, and the church of God", and base the division on this passage. It is well, however, to note that the classification here is not Israel and the nations, but the Jew and the Greek . The Jew stands for the religious man, the Greek for the rationalist. One required signs, the other sought for wisdom. These, especially the Jew, would have a sensitive conscience on matters of small moment, and would be easily offended. Their modern representatives observe days, and abstain from foods, and have things sacred and profane. A tender solicitude for their conscience will keep us from becoming a stumbling block to them.

1 Is it presumption on the part of Paul to set himself up for our imitation? Not at all, for he adds, as I also am of Christ . He knew how to follow Christ. He did not make the mistake of following "Jesus" in His earthly walk, before His death and resurrection, for he never knew

Him then. He followed the Christ Who was in the glory, Whom He had met on the Damascus road. It is noteworthy that the Christ Whom Paul knew never appeared to the Circumcision after His ascension as He did to Paul. They were associated with His earthly career and its resumption when He reappears on the mount of Olives at His advent. Paul imitates Him in His gracious dealings with himself and the nations from His heavenly throne. This calls for conduct in many respects radically different from the example He left the twelve apostles. A single point will suffice to show this. The Lord Jesus never preached to any but Jews and proselytes. He warned His disciples not to go to the other nations. How could we imitate Him in this?

5 The man should honor his head because it represents Christ. The woman should cover her head because it represents the man. It is a notable fact that, as men fail to subordinate themselves to Christ, women, in turn, refuse to be subordinate to them. And this is reflected,

unconsciously, no doubt, in the matter of head dress. The lifting of the hat is a sign of man's headship over the woman.

7 The modern disregard and ridicule of these wise customs is but a symptom of the prevalent apostasy and insubordination to the truth of God, as well as of the ignorance which does not appreciate the profound wisdom which underlies them. It would seem that the messengers, or angels, realize these various headships and the signs which should acknowledge them. Hence, though men have lost all appreciation of their significance, it is still due to these unseen observers to comply with a custom which is in accord with both nature and revelation. The covering of a woman's head is no disrespect to her. It signifies that her head-the man-should be covered when in God's presence. The uncovering of a man's head is no boast of his. It represents his Head-Christ-Who is the Image and Glory of God.

18 The schisms of that early day did not begin to reach the open rupture we see everywhere about us today. The sects in the Corinthian ecclesia doubtless all came together in one place. No such thing was known as believers in Christ actually divided into independent ecclesias, though living in the same locality. The sin of schism and sectarianism seems to be the most incurable affliction of the church. The later history of the Corinthians shows that, though they were purged of the various heresies and immoralities into which they had fallen, after Paul's death they once more broke up into rival factions, each of which followed some distinguished leader. In recent times, various efforts have been made to restore this outward unity, but, in each case, it has led to another division. The true course for those who wish to please God seems to be indicated by the apostle's charge to keep the unity of the spirit in the tie of peace ( Eph_4:3 ), and to have fellowship with all who invoke the name of the Lord out of a clean heart ( 2Ti_2:22 ). The visible, outward unity of believers no longer remains. Let us cultivate fellowship with all, irrespective of the man-made walls which divide us. Soon we shall all be caught up into the presence of Christ and then every barrier will be banished. Let us do our share to realize this unity now.

Bibliographical Information
"Commentary on 1 Corinthians 10". Concordant Commentary of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/aek/1-corinthians-10.html. 1968.
 
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