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Teaching Notes I CORINTHIANS 14 - 16
Hugh Wood, Atlanta, Georgia
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The first Quarantine in the USA since 1918 continues. It is Day 31 or something. Yesterday was Easter. That was the first time in my life when I could not go to a church for Easter. The virtual church failed.
Given that the Grocery Stores were open on Easter and many more than 10 were in the Grocery I went to, how does one square the 1791 language of this Amendment with the current closure of all houses of worship?
April 8 - 16, 2020 is Passover. I pray that the Angel of Death that is out there "passover" me and my house. Amen.
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"The grass withers and the flower [fades], but the word of [the Lord] endures forever.” Isaiah 40:8."
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This Book, the First Letter to the Church at Corinth, was almost certainly written by Paul. It is addressed to the church in Corinth, in Greece. It is in every early accepted copy of the Bible. It is likely written by the end of AD 53 or the spring of 54.
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Chapter l4. Tongues and Prophesying
This chapter is a discussion of the Relative Value of Tongues
and Prophesying, which seem to have been the two gifts most
sought after. Prophesying, which ordinarily meant Predicting
Future Events, here seems to mean Teaching by special aid of.
the Spirit. Ordinarily it was far more valuable than Speaking
in Tongues, because everybody understood it.
Power of a Well-Conducted Religious Service, 24-25. To make
Unbelieving Visitors fall down on their faces and Worship God.
Woman’s Part in Church, 33-40, continued from 11:2-16. Paul
here forbids, 34,35, what he seems to allow in 11:5. There must
have been some local circumstance, unknown to us, that gave
point to these instructions, possib1y some bold women unbe-
comingly putting themselves forward.
Chapter 15. The Resurrection
The fact that some of the Corinthian Church Leaders were
already Denying the Resurrection, 12, is an indication of the
extent to which False Teaching, of the very Worst Kind, had
crept into the Church.
Paul insists, in the strongest language of which he is capable,
that Except for the Hope of Resurrection there is no excuse for
the Existence of Christianity, 13-19.
The Resurrection of Jesus from the Dead was the one unvary-
ing refrain of the Apostles, see page 460; This 15th chapter of I
Corinthians is the fullest discussion of it in the New Testament.
In the meaning it gives to Human Life it is the most signiﬁcant
and grandest single chapter in the Bible.
The Resurrection of Jesus from the Dead was а Fact attested
by Actual Witnesses who had Seen Jesus Alive after His Resur-
rection, see pages 453, 455.Pau1 himself personally had seen Him.
There is no other explanation to the phenomenon of Paul's life.
The occurrence on the road to Damascus was no hallucination.
Jesus Himself was actually there.
Besides a number of Appearances to the Apostles, singly, or in
groups, Jesus had Appeared to a Crowd of 500 People at one
time. It had been 27 years, and more than half of these 500 were
still living, 6. It must have been a Reality. A crowd of People
would not just Imagine the same thing.
The disciples at ﬁrst were Slow to Believe that Jesus had Risen
from the Dead, see page 453. But when they were ﬁnally con-
vinced that it was a Fact that Jesus had Actually Burst the Bonds
of Death, and had Come Out of the Grave Alive, it put Such а
New Meaning into Life that nothing else seemed worthwhile.
They Knew the Resurrection of Jesus to be a Fact. Believed it
even Unto Death. And they went up and down the highways of
the Roman Empire telling the Story of it with such Earnestness
and Sincerity that Unnumbered Thousands Believed It even Unto
The Resurrection of Jesus from the Dead is the OneMost Im-
portant and Best Established Fact in All History.
And the story of it has come down tó us through the centuries
Beautifying Human Life with the Halo of Immortality: making
us to Feel Sure that because He Lived Again We Too Shall Live:
making our hearts to thrill with the thought that we are Im-
mortal: that we have begun an Existence that Shall Never End:
that nothing can harm us: that Death is merely an incident in
passing from one phase of existence to another: that whether
Here or There we are His, doing the thing He has for us to do:
that millions of ages after the sun has grown cold we ourselves
shall still be Young in the Eternities of God.
The one most exhilarating thing in the whole range; Human
Experience is the Thought that we are Immortal. that we Cannot
Die, that whatever may happen to the body, We Ourselves shall
Live on and on and on and on. And we have this feeling made
Sure in our Hearts because Jesus Rose from the Dead.
If this story of Jesus is True, life is Beautiful, life is Glorious,
looking down a vista that Shall Never End.
If this story of Jesus should turn out to be 3 Myth, then the
mystery of existence is an unsolved riddle, and for humanity
there is nothing left but the 'blankness and blackness of. Eternal
But by all the laws of Historic Evidence it is a True Story.
Christ Was. Christ Is. A Living Person. With His People, in Guide
ing and Protecting Power, leading them on to the day of their
Own Glorious Resurrection.
Christ’s Mediatorial Reign, 23-28. Here is a glimpse through
successive Future Ages into the Endless. End of things, when
Christ’s Mediatorial work shall have 'been ﬁnished, and God’s
Created Universe shall have entered its ﬁnal stage.
Baptized for the Dead, 29. This seems to mean Vicarious Bap-
tism, that is, Baptism for a dead friend. But there is no other
Bible'reference to such a practice, and no evidence that it existed
in the Apostolic Church. Perhaps a better translation would be
"Baptized in Hope of Resurrection.”
Resurrection of the Body, 35-58. Our hope is not merely Im
mortality of the Spirit, but actual Resurrection of the Body.
New Testament teaching is very plain on this, Rom 8:23; I Thes
5:23; II Cor 5:4. It will not be the same corrupt earthy Body,
but a Spiritual Body partaking of the nature of God’s own
Chapter 16. Personal Matters.
The Collection, 1-4. This was for poor saints in Jerusalem, II
Cor 8:10. Order to Galatia, 1, is not mentioned in the book to
The Galatians. He must have written them another Letter, not pre-
served. First Day of the Week, 2, was the established Day for
Christian Worship, Acts 20:7.
Paul’s Plans, 5-9. This was Spring, 57 AD, before Pentecost, 8.
He spent Summer in 'Macedonia, from whence he "wrote II Cor
inthians. Got to Corinth in the Fall. Wintered there. Wrote
Romans. Following Spring set out for Jerusalem.
Apollos, 12. Probably they had asked him to come to Corinth,
but he refused to go at the time, no doubt, because certain Corin
thians were determined to make him a Party Leader.
My Own Hand, 21. Sosthenes, a Corinthian, who had gone to
Ephesus, probably wrote this Epistle, at Paul’s dictation, 1:1;
Acts 18:17. Then Paul signed it with his own hand, 21, and added
"Maranatha", 22, which means, “О Lord, Come."
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From The Bible Project (c)
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1 Corinthians 14 New International Version (NIV)
Intelligibility in Worship
14 Follow the way of love and eagerly desire gifts of the Spirit, especially prophecy. 2 For anyone who speaks in a tongue[a] does not speak to people but to God. Indeed, no one understands them; they utter mysteries by the Spirit. 3 But the one who prophesies speaks to people for their strengthening, encouraging and comfort.
4 Anyone who speaks in a tongue edifies themselves, but the one who prophesies edifies the church. 5 I would like every one of you to speak in tongues,[b] but I would rather have you prophesy. The one who prophesies is greater than the one who speaks in tongues,[c] unless someone interprets, so that the church may be edified.
6 Now, brothers and sisters, if I come to you and speak in tongues, what good will I be to you, unless I bring you some revelation or knowledge or prophecy or word of instruction? 7 Even in the case of lifeless things that make sounds, such as the pipe or harp, how will anyone know what tune is being played unless there is a distinction in the notes? 8 Again, if the trumpet does not sound a clear call, who will get ready for battle? 9 So it is with you. Unless you speak intelligible words with your tongue, how will anyone know what you are saying? You will just be speaking into the air. 10 Undoubtedly there are all sorts of languages in the world, yet none of them is without meaning. 11 If then I do not grasp the meaning of what someone is saying, I am a foreigner to the speaker, and the speaker is a foreigner to me. 12 So it is with you. Since you are eager for gifts of the Spirit, try to excel in those that build up the church.
13 For this reason the one who speaks in a tongue should pray that they may interpret what they say. 14 For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my mind is unfruitful. 15 So what shall I do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will also pray with my understanding; I will sing with my spirit, but I will also sing with my understanding. 16 Otherwise when you are praising God in the Spirit, how can someone else, who is now put in the position of an inquirer,[d] say “Amen” to your thanksgiving, since they do not know what you are saying? 17 You are giving thanks well enough, but no one else is edified.
18 I thank God that I speak in tongues more than all of you. 19 But in the church I would rather speak five intelligible words to instruct others than ten thousand words in a tongue.
20 Brothers and sisters, stop thinking like children. In regard to evil be infants, but in your thinking be adults. 21 In the Law it is written:
“With other tongues
and through the lips of foreigners
I will speak to this people,
but even then they will not listen to me,
says the Lord.”[e]
22 Tongues, then, are a sign, not for believers but for unbelievers; prophecy, however, is not for unbelievers but for believers. 23 So if the whole church comes together and everyone speaks in tongues, and inquirers or unbelievers come in, will they not say that you are out of your mind? 24 But if an unbeliever or an inquirer comes in while everyone is prophesying, they are convicted of sin and are brought under judgment by all, 25 as the secrets of their hearts are laid bare. So they will fall down and worship God, exclaiming, “God is really among you!”
Good Order in Worship
26 What then shall we say, brothers and sisters? When you come together, each of you has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. Everything must be done so that the church may be built up. 27 If anyone speaks in a tongue, two—or at the most three—should speak, one at a time, and someone must interpret. 28 If there is no interpreter, the speaker should keep quiet in the church and speak to himself and to God.
29 Two or three prophets should speak, and the others should weigh carefully what is said. 30 And if a revelation comes to someone who is sitting down, the first speaker should stop. 31 For you can all prophesy in turn so that everyone may be instructed and encouraged. 32 The spirits of prophets are subject to the control of prophets.
33 For God is not a God of disorder but of peace—as in all the congregations of the Lord’s people.
34 Women[f] should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the law says. 35 If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church.[g]
36 Or did the word of God originate with you? Or are you the only people it has reached? 37 If anyone thinks they are a prophet or otherwise gifted by the Spirit, let them acknowledge that what I am writing to you is the Lord’s command. 38 But if anyone ignores this, they will themselves be ignored.[h]
39 Therefore, my brothers and sisters, be eager to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues. 40 But everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way.
1 Corinthians 14:2 Or in another language; also in verses 4, 13, 14, 19, 26 and 27
1 Corinthians 14:5 Or in other languages; also in verses 6, 18, 22, 23 and 39
1 Corinthians 14:5 Or in other languages; also in verses 6, 18, 22, 23 and 39
1 Corinthians 14:16 The Greek word for inquirer is a technical term for someone not fully initiated into a religion; also in verses 23 and 24.
1 Corinthians 14:21 Isaiah 28:11,12
1 Corinthians 14:34 Or peace. As in all the congregations of the Lord’s people, 34 women
1 Corinthians 14:35 In a few manuscripts these verses come after verse 40.
1 Corinthians 14:38 Some manuscripts But anyone who is ignorant of this will be ignorant
1 Corinthians 15 New International Version (NIV)
The Resurrection of Christ
15 Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. 2 By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.
3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance[a]: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,
4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas,[b] and then to the Twelve. 6 After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, 8 and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.
9 For I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them—yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me. 11 Whether, then, it is I or they, this is what we preach, and this is what you believed.
The Resurrection of the Dead
12 But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. 15 More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. 19 If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.
20 But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. 22 For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. 23 But each in turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him. 24 Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. 25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death. 27 For he “has put everything under his feet.”[c] Now when it says that “everything” has been put under him, it is clear that this does not include God himself, who put everything under Christ. 28 When he has done this, then the Son himself will be made subject to him who put everything under him, so that God may be all in all.
29 Now if there is no resurrection, what will those do who are baptized for the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, why are people baptized for them? 30 And as for us, why do we endanger ourselves every hour? 31 I face death every day—yes, just as surely as I boast about you in Christ Jesus our Lord. 32 If I fought wild beasts in Ephesus with no more than human hopes, what have I gained? If the dead are not raised,
“Let us eat and drink,
for tomorrow we die.”[d]
33 Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.”[e] 34 Come back to your senses as you ought, and stop sinning; for there are some who are ignorant of God—I say this to your shame.
The Resurrection Body
35 But someone will ask, “How are the dead raised? With what kind of body will they come?” 36 How foolish! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. 37 When you sow, you do not plant the body that will be, but just a seed, perhaps of wheat or of something else. 38 But God gives it a body as he has determined, and to each kind of seed he gives its own body. 39 Not all flesh is the same: People have one kind of flesh, animals have another, birds another and fish another. 40 There are also heavenly bodies and there are earthly bodies; but the splendor of the heavenly bodies is one kind, and the splendor of the earthly bodies is another. 41 The sun has one kind of splendor, the moon another and the stars another; and star differs from star in splendor.
42 So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; 43 it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; 44 it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.
If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. 45 So it is written: “The first man Adam became a living being”[f]; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit. 46 The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual. 47 The first man was of the dust of the earth; the second man is of heaven. 48 As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth; and as is the heavenly man, so also are those who are of heaven. 49 And just as we have borne the image of the earthly man, so shall we[g] bear the image of the heavenly man.
50 I declare to you, brothers and sisters, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51 Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— 52 in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 53 For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. 54 When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”[h]
55 “Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?”[i]
56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
58 Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.
1 Corinthians 15:3 Or you at the first
1 Corinthians 15:5 That is, Peter
1 Corinthians 15:27 Psalm 8:6
1 Corinthians 15:32 Isaiah 22:13
1 Corinthians 15:33 From the Greek poet Menander
1 Corinthians 15:45 Gen. 2:7
1 Corinthians 15:49 Some early manuscripts so let us
1 Corinthians 15:54 Isaiah 25:8
1 Corinthians 15:55 Hosea 13:14
1 Corinthians 16 New International Version (NIV)
The Collection for the Lord’s People
16 Now about the collection for the Lord’s people: Do what I told the Galatian churches to do. 2 On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with your income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made. 3 Then, when I arrive, I will give letters of introduction to the men you approve and send them with your gift to Jerusalem. 4 If it seems advisable for me to go also, they will accompany me.
5 After I go through Macedonia, I will come to you—for I will be going through Macedonia. 6 Perhaps I will stay with you for a while, or even spend the winter, so that you can help me on my journey, wherever I go. 7 For I do not want to see you now and make only a passing visit; I hope to spend some time with you, if the Lord permits. 8 But I will stay on at Ephesus until Pentecost, 9 because a great door for effective work has opened to me, and there are many who oppose me.
10 When Timothy comes, see to it that he has nothing to fear while he is with you, for he is carrying on the work of the Lord, just as I am. 11 No one, then, should treat him with contempt. Send him on his way in peace so that he may return to me. I am expecting him along with the brothers.
12 Now about our brother Apollos: I strongly urged him to go to you with the brothers. He was quite unwilling to go now, but he will go when he has the opportunity.
13 Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. 14 Do everything in love.
15 You know that the household of Stephanas were the first converts in Achaia, and they have devoted themselves to the service of the Lord’s people. I urge you, brothers and sisters, 16 to submit to such people and to everyone who joins in the work and labors at it. 17 I was glad when Stephanas, Fortunatus and Achaicus arrived, because they have supplied what was lacking from you. 18 For they refreshed my spirit and yours also. Such men deserve recognition.
19 The churches in the province of Asia send you greetings. Aquila and Priscilla[a] greet you warmly in the Lord, and so does the church that meets at their house. 20 All the brothers and sisters here send you greetings. Greet one another with a holy kiss.
21 I, Paul, write this greeting in my own hand.
22 If anyone does not love the Lord, let that person be cursed! Come, Lord[b]!
23 The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you.
24 My love to all of you in Christ Jesus. Amen.[c]
1 Corinthians 16:19 Greek Prisca, a variant of Priscilla
1 Corinthians 16:22 The Greek for Come, Lord reproduces an Aramaic expression (Marana tha) used by early Christians.
1 Corinthians 16:24 Some manuscripts do not have Amen.
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New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Some content adapted from Halley, Henry H., Bible Handbook, Grayson Publishing, Minneapolis, MN. © 1927 - 1959, 1964
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Hugh C. Wood, Atlanta, Georgia
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