1 Corinthians 5:12 – 6:20, Countdown #69: 1 Corinthians 6:19 (5/1/12)
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Countdown Verses #69 - #63
1 Corinthians 5:12 – 6:20, Countdown #69: 1 Corinthians 6:19
John 1:1-14, Countdown #68, 77: John 1:1, 1:12
Acts 17:1-15, Countdown #66: Acts 17:11
James 5:13-20, Countdown #65: James 5:16
Colossians 3:12 – 4:1, Countdown #63, 94: Colossians 3:12, 3:23
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Paul spent a year and a half in Corinth, evangelizing and building up a little church. Later, while he was in Ephesus, the Corinthians wrote him a letter asking for some practical and doctrinal guidance, which he provided in the last half of his return letter (see verse 7:1). Before he answered their questions, however, he commented on several other things that the folks who brought him the letter told him about.
Now, the first thing you need to know about Corinth is that it was a seaport and a center for the worship of Aphrodite, a Greek sex goddess. There were thousands of sailors, and thousands of temple prostitutes, if you get my drift. The Corinthians were apparently having a little trouble keeping themselves apart from that culture. Another activity that Greeks enjoyed greatly was suing each other.
Paul couldn’t believe that Christians were suing each other in Gentile courts! He couldn’t believe that they were engaging in sexual immorality! Well, he believed it all right, and he told the Corinthians in no uncertain terms to knock it off. It is in this context that we must read our countdown verse Countdown #69, “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, [20 for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.]”
John 1:1-14, Countdown #68, 77: John 1:1, 1:12 (5/2/12)
Our countdown verse Countdown #77, “But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God,” is downright amazing, when you stop to think about it. Believe in his name and become a child of God? Surely it can’t be that easy! But John says over and over in his gospel, “Believe and be saved,” no strings attached. Unlike the other three gospels, John stresses the importance of belief – or faith, which is the same word in Greek – almost to the exclusion of repentance or standards for behavior. In fact, John says that’s why he wrote his gospel: “Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name” (John 20:30-31).
So what is it that John wants us to believe? He tells us in countdown verse Countdown #68 that “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” This Jesus whom John presents was right there with God at the time of creation. Wait! This Jesus, or at least that non-human aspect of Jesus that John calls “the Word” was
God at the time of creation. That’s also amazing. All in all, a passage I would have ranked much higher than 68 and 77!
Acts 17:1-15, Countdown #66: Acts 17:11 (5/3/12)
Honestly, I don’t see why our countdown verse Countdown #66, “Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so,” is even on the list. So let’s talk about the church in Thessalonica.
Paul was only in Thessalonica for about three weeks. Naturally he was worried about the little church he founded there, as we see in 1 Thessalonians 3:5, “For this reason, when I could bear it no longer, I sent to learn about your faith, for fear that somehow the tempter had tempted you and our labor would be in vain.” Paul was glad to hear that the church was still there and that their faith had grown. Even so, because they had had so little time with him, they had developed some strange beliefs, especially about the end times and about work. Much of Paul’s two letters to them is devoted to correcting these beliefs. No doubt this is one reason the Bereans get high marks for studying the scriptures daily and the accolade that they were “more noble” than the Thessalonians.
Reader Comment: Silly girl. That verse is on the list because a bajillion protestant churches are either named "Berean Baptist/Methodist/Presbyterian" or have a Berean Sunday School class. Every one of the members want to know where the name came from. ☺
James 5:13-20, Countdown #65: James 5:16 (5/4/12)
Our countdown verse Countdown #65, “Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working,” is the centerpiece of a brief section on prayer
James says to pray no matter what is going on – in bad times, in good times, in sickness and sin, pray. Confess your own sins first, and pray for the sins of others. Make sure that what you are praying for is something that is in line with the will of God – and then pray with confidence. Now, we’ve seen before in this study that you aren’t always going to get what you pray for
, for a variety of reasons. But the people we call “prayer warriors” pray fervently, continuously, and … effectively.
Colossians 3:12 – 4:1, Countdown #63, 94: Colossians 3:12, 3:23 (5/7/12)
The two countdown verses in our passage from Colossians, Countdown #63, “God loves you and has chosen you as his own special people. So be gentle, kind, humble, meek, and patient,” and Countdown #94, “Do your work willingly, as though you were serving the Lord himself, and not just your earthly master,” hit the nail squarely on the head of what the passage is about. All
Christians are God’s special people, chosen to be God’s servants. Does this mean that we are so cool that others should admire us and take care of us? No. It means that every one of us should serve all the rest with humility, meekness, and enthusiasm, exactly the way we would serve God.
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