This comes at the end of a chapter affirming the resurrection of Christ. His way of thinking, believing, doing and relating to everything and everybody was more enduring than death. That is a fact that bears advantageously upon all other human life. There is a way of being, referred to here as 'the work of the Lord,’ which is saturated with eternal consequence. There are causes and values which I can commit to and spend myself on, which cannot fail.
Some of the Corinthians were professing unbelief in the prospect of a general resurrection. Paul runs the argument backwards. He says the repudiation of the resurrection at the last day necessarily involves the repudiation of God's resurrection of Jesus. This would have the further implication of denying the atonement. Forgiveness is like a dud check which cannot be cashed - if there is no Easter. Justification by faith is empty if there is no dimension of hope beyond the g
Once in history, a person who convinced his contemporaries that he was as human--or more so--than they were, died a horrible, public death, was buried in a known grave, and within three days walked, talked, ate and spoke with, hundreds of his friends and adherents. Because this happened in the experience of Jesus of Nazareth, the stranglehold that life's brevity imposes has been loosed. Eternity has been opened to us. A future beyond death's pains and griefs beckons. Chris
Despite it being the "good, glad, and merry tidings that causeth the hard to sing and the feet to dance," the gospel of Christ is not the default mindset of human nature. It needs to be preached to the world, and to believers--repeatedly. For this reason, Christians ought to meet together regularly for mutual encouragement and 'reminding.'
When grandma came to visit, she would often raise her index finger and solemnly warn me that 'little children should be seen but not heard.' Hers was a wisdom widely acknowledged, then. Today the same vintage sagacity survives in different guises. In its most extreme form it can be seen in the murder and maiming of innocent women and children in places like Syria. In the so-called imperatives of war, they, being powerless are expendable. In the government of God, these value
Many a betrayed lover might well question that assertion. But the writer would not contest the myriad instances of love's demise within human relationships. Rather, he seeks to highlight the provisional nature of things other than love, to which some religious folk attach too much importance--powerful preaching, ecstatic manifestations, theological acuity. These will have their day and pass into oblivion. But love is eternal.
Altruism is not necessarily honorable. Humans are known to behave in ostensibly noble ways for base reasons. This helps explain why there are people who are dedicated and idealistic, who are nevertheless calculating, cold and mean. Much religion is like this, and religion without love is worse than useless.
Paul is using the human body as a metaphor for the church. The local church that realizes the ideal here envisaged, is a great church family to belong to. Every person is important; every one valuable. It hardly needs to be said, that the same principle applied to the various nationalities, tribes, peoples and subgroups, would transform human life at large. It is simply not true, that some people are a waste of space. Everyone is necessary.
A secular, or an apostate society, does have its standards, but they are seldom true or good. Without God the supreme moral arbiter, humanity is reduced to superstition. Fearing not God, it fears all else--disease, death, natural catastrophe, economic hardship, material loss. Its inhabitants live in a state of mutual suspicion. Believers are all prophets. They do not subscribe to civilization's sacred canons and benchmarks. They march to a different drumbeat. They look beyond
The propensity to reverence one's own beliefs and customs more than the values of God is a universal human propensity. We are all natural-born Pharisees. Far easier to try to get God to sign off on our tradition than to submit to the searing moral challenge inherent in his person.