Living Free in the Spirit of Christ

Free The Church



What does 1 Corinthians 11 Really Mean? 0

Posted on July 27, 2017 by Alexander
headcovering.jpg

A metaphorical look at praying with your head covered.

Understanding what is written in the Bible comes through context. Why is the writer writing in the first place? What is his point for writing the epistle? The latter half of 1 Corinthians is instruction on body ministry using spiritual gifts. Your verse comes from chapter 11 which is the beginning of the discussion on how the body comes together. Notice the latter part of chapter 11 is on the agape love feasts and communion with the Lord. Chapter 12 goes into the spiritual gifts, and the latter half is on how the body should use the spiritual gifts. Chapter 13 on love is sandwiched between 12 and 14 because Paul is showing that love should be your motivation for using any spiritual gift in the body. Fourteen is specifically on tongues and prophecy as a means to edify the body.

During the time of Paul’s writing Corinthians, the believers met in homes.  The Greeks did not copy the practice of the Jews, who met in synagogues, until the Greek orators who made their living talking became Christians and saw this as a way to generate personal revenue preaching the Gospel to the saints on a weekly basis. This meant that the hosts of the house churches were the natural authorities since it was their home people met in.  Naturally the husband should be the host, but, apparently some did not take the mantel, which fell upon the wives.

So getting back to chapter 11 he shows that the body first begins in marriage. He speaks of the divine order of authority in verse 3: God, Christ, man, then woman. In verses 8 and 9 he alludes to the order of creation: Adam, then Eve from the side of Adam, and that Eve was created for Adam, not Adam for Eve. Verse 4 gives the context of what the hair covering refers to: prayer and prophecy. Prayer, of course, is us speaking to God, whereas prophecy is God speaking to us through someone. In the creation of Adam and Eve, God had already spoken to Adam and it was Adam’s responsibility to say what God said to Adam then to Eve.

I usually take most of the Bible literally, but not all of it. In this case, I do not take the hair covering literally. The Jews have taken the statement in Leviticus not to seethe the kid in the mother’s milk literally. Personally I believe God was speaking metaphorically there in the same way we say, don’t bite the hand that feeds you. It is a common interpretation of 1 Corinthians 11 to say that the hair covering refers to the authority of the man over the woman, and I partly agree with this, but not in a blanket fashion. In this passage I think it refers only to who prays and who prophesies. If we may, let’s walk through verse by verse.

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Is the Bible Your Idol? 0

Posted on June 22, 2017 by Alexander
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Do you substitute the Bible for God?

I first proposed this thought in a forum. I should not have been surprised at the out cry of some responses but I was also delighted by those who understood my intention: that is, not to diminish the wonder of the Bible but to point out how it can become an idol that replaces God.

That the Bible can become an idol should not surprise anyone who walks with Christ. Consider the Jews. They prance the scroll of the Torah around their synagogue service no different than Hindus carrying carved idols of Krishna. Even some of the Messianic Jews, who know the truth of Jesus, prance the scroll of the Torah around their congregation in like fashion. This is also true of some Protestants. One of the forum readers made this comment:

“Some of us are old enough to remember when the expectation was that the Bible be treated as sacred and holy. You washed your hands before you handled it. It was to be on the top of any stack of books. It was to be displayed and not hidden away in a drawer or cabinet. The pages were not to be soiled or smudged.”

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The Rapture is for Leftovers 6

Posted on April 01, 2016 by Alexander
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The Rapture is not God’s Best

Recently I have come to change my mind on the topic of the Rapture. Historically it has been referred to as the “blessed hope” so one does not have to die but be caught up in the air to meet Jesus. In the pre-tribulation time-line the Raptured go to Heaven for a 3 and a half year marriage supper of the Lamb celebration then return with Jesus to stop the Anti-Christ. In the post-tribulation time-line the Raptured meet Jesus in the air then immediately return to stop the Anti-Christ.

My change of mine is not on the time-line, I believe in Post-Tribulation Rapture. Instead, my thinking is on the idea of the “blessed hope”. The Church has put an emphasis on how good it will be to be in the generation that gets to be Raptured. My thinking now is that this is motivated from a fear of death. Read the rest of this entry →

Sovereign Maturity 2

Posted on May 17, 2012 by Alexander

The sovereignty of the people

If you read or listen to any of the many  websites, podcasts and radio broadcasts from the patriot community, you will hear the expression, “sovereigns” used frequently.  The expression tends to be confusing both because governments and kings claim the term in reference to their authority over their subjects and because organized religion uses the expression as meaning the total control of God over His creation as the Sovereign Lord.   The term needs clarification for the Church (i.e., the people that are born again) and the people towards their governments.

First, the patriot community rightly understands that governments are not sovereign but the people who create their governments.  The American government was created “by the people,  for the people” (from Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address).  It is a logical conclusion that the creator is greater than the created.  Thus the people who create the government are greater than the government that was created, and the people have the sovereign rights while the government has privileges granted by the people.

The Creator, Yahweh who became Y’shua, is also the Sovereign Lord who grants us our rights.  Unlike humans, God can not take back that which He gives because all that He says and does is eternal.  Eternal means from his unchanging nature which has no beginning nor end. Therefore His Word is immutable.  So our human rights are not privileges given us from God because what He gives He can not take back (Romans 11:29). Read the rest of this entry →

King of Kings Online 0

Posted on May 21, 2011 by Alexander

Christian game programmers could create a discipleship online game

I first heard the Lord of the Rings read to me in 1965 by my 6th grade teacher, Mr. Lum, who read the entire trilogy every day for the school year. Since my attention span was not good back then, I decided in 1967 to read the trilogy for myself as a 7th grader. Since that time I have re-read the entire series about 20 times.

Indeed, God used the Lord of the Rings as stepping stone to Christ in my life. In 1973 He gave me a dream with the Silmarillion in it. At that time the book was yet to be published. He gave me the dream because I was reading the Bible for myself just to see what was in it. I was reading many Christian fantasy books at that time: George MacDonald’s “Curdie” books; C.S. Lewis’s “Perelandra” trilogy; and the many Frank L Baum “Oz” books. I had bought those from a Christian bookstore, although I was not aware of the religious significance. The store had all these great fantasies that Tolkien had enamored my heart towards. So when I told the book store owner of the dream, he told me that it was written by Tolkien and was going to be published in a few more years. That convinced me that my dream was from God. Read the rest of this entry →

Believing Faith of the Heart 0

Posted on April 25, 2011 by Alexander

Miracles occur when faith in the heart is a reality.

Getting my athletes to believe in their ability to perform a gymnastics skill is most of my job.   The technical mechanics of how the skill is performed is usually taught in just a few lessons.  But it can take months and years for some skills to be repeated through drills, spotting and other training practices before they become convinced that they can do it on their own.

Confidence means “with faith”.   There are two  roads to faith, and both are necessary.

Head Faith

Our thought life is the core of discipleship. What we think determines what we feel. Emotions are the expression of our thoughts. The film industry knows this well. They deliberately craft stories to create an emotional viewing ride for the audience. They know what they need to put in a scene to bring us to tears, or to burst out with laughter. Fear in an athlete is an emotion resulting from the of thoughts about the possibility of accidental injury. Fear is important because it creates caution and carefulness. No athlete will survive long with reckless abandon. However, panic is an extreme fear that causes loss of control of the body and is more deadly than the reckless abandon.

Getting an athlete to control fear begins with the path of discipleship: controlling their thoughts. We are told in 2 Corinthians 10:

We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. (2 Cor 10:5 NIV)

While many believers tend to see this passage in context of spiritual warfare, they may misunderstand what “spiritual warfare,” truly is. They may imagine that they are physically wrestling with demons. Thoughts are not demons, and demons may plant those thoughts, but as thoughts, they belong to us. Our natural view of life will bring in thoughts that should be rejected that are contrary to the way of Christ. Read the rest of this entry →

Salt of the Earth 0

Posted on March 04, 2011 by Alexander

Creating Thirst

Jesus said,

Matt 5:13
13 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men. (NIV)

For years I have heard that salt is a preservative and that we are the preservative, I assume, of righteousness.  To interpret this meaning into what Jesus said, however, fails as a metaphor.  As a preservative, salt prevents spoiling of meat.  To say that the Church prevents spoiling of society, by extension,  lacks any fundamental change in society.  Is the gospel so weak that all it can do is retard decay?  Of course not!  The gospel transforms a person into a new creature.  Therefore, to assume that Jesus is using salt as a metaphor for preserving society is error.

It has also been said that salt adds flavor, therefore, by implication, the Church adds flavor to society.  Once again, this falls short of the Lord’s intention.  Adding flavor does not change, only modifies,  the other ingredients of society.  The other ingredients of a meal remain the other ingredients and are not changed.

Salvation has only one way of reception: voluntarily.  A person receives the new birth because that person asked for it.  There is only one interpretation of salt that fits the gospel message:   thirst.     Eating salt creates thirst.  Thirst motivates a person to drink water.  No one can be forced to drink water.  They have to want to drink.  No one can be forced to accept salvation.  They have to want to be saved.

Everyone knows that taverns and bars provide salted peanuts free of charge for a simple reason.  They know that the salted peanuts will create thirst in their patrons, who will then spend money voluntarily for more beer.  Of course, the more they eat the salted peanuts the more beer they will buy in an never ending cycle.

This is the saltiness that Christians in America are losing.  The living water of Christ should flow freely from our bellies.  Our lives should be such that people around us want to have what we have.  A thirst for Christ should be stimulated in those around us because of the saltiness of Christ in us.

The problem is works.  If we try to be like Christ through human effort, we lose our saltiness, because we can not be like Christ.  The only way the saltiness of Christ is experienced by the lost is when we die to self and let Christ live through us instead.   We don’t try, we let Christ have His way in us by accepting His will.

Paul said,

2 Cor 2:15-16
15    For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing.
16    To the one we are the smell of death; to the other, the fragrance of life. And who is equal to such a task? (NIV)

When we die to self we are a  fragrance of life to the lost.  We can not be a fragrance of life through our own efforts.  Only when we die to self.   There is our saltiness.  To continue in works trying to be like Christ is to lose saltiness, thus to be rejected by the world and to be trampled underneath.   Organized religion has encouraged saints to live by the arm of the flesh,  thus they are losing their saltiness.

The good news is that we can stop trying right where we are.  We can let Christ have His way in whatever circumstance we are in.   If God can transform the prostitutes and drug addicts, don’t you think He is still capable of transforming a saltless believer? Of course He can.  He can restore our saltiness immediately.  All we have to do is let go  and let God. Be the salt of the Earth.  Jesus Christ alone is the salt.  Let Him live through you instead of imitating Him.

The Body of Christ is NOT Divided 4

Posted on January 22, 2011 by Alexander

There is a difference between the children of God and the body of Christ

Is God incapable of taking care of Himself? Obviously not.   Yet the claim that the body of Christ is divided is universal.    The body of Christ is not only not divided, it can not be divided.   One would think that Paul was saying that the body of Christ could be divided.

Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul? (1 Cor 1:13 KJV)

Paul, however, is not saying that Christ is divided.  Rather he is being rhetorical.  Christ can not be divided.  So,  what is meant by the claim?  The confusion is created by not understanding the difference between the body of Christ and the children of God.  This confusion exists because we are both the body of Christ and the children of God. Read the rest of this entry →

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