Exploring Christ's Spiritual Laws

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Webers.Home

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#61
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1Cor 7:8-9 . . Now to the unmarried and the widows I say : It is good for
them to stay unmarried, as I am. But if they cannot control themselves, they
should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn.

The koiné Greek word for "burn" is puroo (poo-ro'-o) which means: to
kindle, to ignite, to glow, and/or to be inflamed. I seriously doubt Paul
meant to convey the thought that the believers who lacked self control at
Corinth were in grave danger of the flames of hell since he had already
assured them in 1Cor 6:9-11 that they were washed, sanctified, and justified
in the name of The Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

Paul was one of those kinds of men with a very low-powered libido. But not
everyone is like him; nor is everyone cut out to live alone.

Webster's defines "celibacy" as (1) the state of not being married, (2)
abstention from sexual intercourse, and (3) abstention by vow from
marriage. Celibacy then, isn't limited to zero sex, but also includes zero
marriage; even platonic unions.

Not long ago, a Catholic priest here in Oregon quit the priesthood after
serving more than 30 years in order to get married because he couldn't
stand being alone anymore. He wasn't especially looking to get naked with
somebody, he just wanted a companion; which is exactly how normal guys
are designed.

"Yhvh God said: It's not good for Adam to be solitary" (Gen 2:18)

The problem with a vow of celibacy is that although it may hinder a priest
from getting married, it does nothing to prevent him from pining for a
female companion. 1Cor 7:9 should suffice to silence the mouths of ascetics
who preach it's holy to abstain from every form of earthly pleasure; and also
the mouths of those who preach it's a sin to marry solely for sex.

NOTE: Typical wedding vows are unconditional, i.e. couples, as a rule, don't
promise to love each other in proportion to the amount of love they get from
the other. It would be educational for couples to review their vows now and
again to see just how conscientious they've been in complying with the
unconditional portions of their vows.
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Webers.Home

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#62
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1Cor 7:10-11a . . Unto the married I command-- yet not I, but
The Lord --let not the wife depart from her husband: but and if she
depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband.

Walking out on a husband when there is no scriptural cause to do so is
wrong per se, but that doesn't preclude walking out on an abusive husband
for safety's sake. According to Christ's sabbath teachings, the safety and
welfare of human life takes priority over strict observance of religious laws
and customs. However; abuse isn't scriptural cause for divorce.

1Cor 7:11b . . and let not the husband put away his wife.

A man doesn't have sufficient scriptural grounds for divorce just by his wife
walking out on him. Now should his estranged wife take up with a lover
during their separation; that would definitely be sufficient. (Matt 5:32)
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Webers.Home

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#63
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1Cor 7:12 . . If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be
pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away.

1Cor 7:13 . . And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not,
and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him.

It's very common for marriages to start off on common ground, and then
later on to become religiously divided; like for instance when one of the
spouses gets converted at a Luis Palau crusade. As long as the situation
doesn't cause intolerable friction in the home, the couple should stay
together.

"For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving
wife is sanctified by the husband; otherwise your children would be unclean,
but now they are holy." (1Cor 7:14-15)

According to Matt 5:32 and Matt 19:9, divorce and remarriage are holy only
if one of the spouses has been unfaithful. So; if a believing spouse divorces
their unbelieving spouse for any other reason than infidelity, and remarries;
then as far as God is concerned, any children produced in the believing
spouse's second marriage will be illegitimate.
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Webers.Home

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#64
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1Cor 7:15 . . But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a
sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace.

In this situation, Christians are neither required, nor encouraged, nor under
even the slightest obligation to attempt reconciliation; rather, "let him
depart" strictly forbids getting back together with the unbeliever.
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Webers.Home

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#65
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1Cor 7:17 . . But as God hath distributed to every man, as The Lord hath
called every one, so let him walk.

"distribution" is likely talking about spiritual gifts. All of Christ's believing
followers are supposed to have at least one.

"Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are
differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities
of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. But the
manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. For to one
is given by the Spirit, yada, yada, yada. (1Cor 12:5-8)

The "call" is likely the venue where each individual's gift is put to good use
for the Lord. I don't think we need to worry about how to find that venue;
it'll find us. Thing is, stay in your own zone; don't crash somebody else's
party and/or stick your nose into something that's none of your spiritual
business.
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Webers.Home

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#66
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1Cor 7:18a . . Is any man called being circumcised? let him not become
uncircumcised.

It was of course impossible to literally reverse circumcision in Paul's day.
However, there did exist a procedure to ceremoniously reverse it. (cf.
1Maccabees 1:15)

1Cor 7:18b . . Is any called in uncircumcision? let him not be circumcised.

The circumcision in question is ritual circumcision; specifically the initiation
rite into Judaism. Paul's advice is very practical because if a believer
undergoes Judaism's circumcision rite, they will obligate God to come down
on themselves with the curses listed at Lev 26:3-38, Deut 27:15-26, and
Deut 28:1-69 for noncompliance with the covenant that Moses' people
agreed upon with God as per Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy.
All one has to do is research the last 3,500 years of the Jews' history, up to
and including the Holocaust, to see for themselves that God is serious about
those curses.

A fair question one might ask is: If 1Cor 7:18b is a hard and fast rule, then
why did Paul circumcise Timothy at Acts 16:1-3? Answer: that wasn't done
to initiate Timothy into Judaism, but rather, so that the Jews wouldn't make
an issue of Paul associating with an uncircumcised Gentile which, in their
minds, would effectively invalidate his message.

A similar problem exists today among Christians fixated on the King James
translation of the Bible. They will not listen to a teacher, not even a Spirit
empowered teacher, unless he quotes from the KJV. In their minds; all who
use any other version are heretics right from the get-go.
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Webers.Home

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#67
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1Cor 7:20 . . Each one should remain in the situation which he was in when
God called him.

I once knew a really good Catholic man who felt guilty never going out as a
missionary to a foreign land to help people less fortunate than himself. Well,
I assured him that somebody has to stay back here in the States and hold
down a job in order to earn the money needed to finance missions already in
place.

The ratio of soldiers in the rear compared to the ones at the front is
something like six to one. It takes a massive support base to keep our guys
on the line out there facing off with the other guys; all the way from workers
in state-side factories manufacturing war materiel, to the sailors, soldiers,
and airmen moving men and materiel over land and seas, to the doctors and
nurses staffing MASH facilities, to the guys and girls driving supply trucks to
the front. We can't all be in the doo-doo. Somebody has to be in the rear
with the gear.

So take comfort in knowing that if you're involved in the effort, then you're a
part of the effort; and will be rewarded accordingly. (cf. 1Sam 30:1-25 and
Matt 20:1-16)
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Webers.Home

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#68
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1Cor 7:21-22 . . Were you called while a slave? Do not be concerned about
it; but if you can be made free, rather use it. For he who is called in The
Lord while a slave is The Lord's freedman. Likewise he who is called while
free is Christ's slave.

The Greek word for "slave" includes both voluntary and involuntary service.

In Paul's day, not all slaves were lifelong slaves. Some were what's called
indentured slaves; which Webster's defines as a person who signs and is
bound by a contract to work for another for a specified time especially in
return for payment of travel expenses and maintenance. Indentured slaves
were also in-service in lieu of settling their debts with money, or some other
considerations; e.g. property and/or goods and possessions. In "civilized"
countries like the USA, people in hopeless debt are protected by bankruptcy
laws.
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Webers.Home

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#69
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1Cor 7:23 . .You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of men.

In other words; selling your body is one thing, while selling your soul is quite
another; Christ has first dibs on that so don't even think about it. The point
is; whether bonded or free, every believer is indentured to The Lord.

But it is his wish that believers remain free rather than make a habit of
indenturing themselves to humans primarily because a free man's labor
earns him wages: a portion of which can be donated towards The Lord's
work; while a slave earns no wages to donate towards The Lord's work.
Also; a free man is at liberty to move about and make himself useful here
and there, while a slave's movements are pretty much limited to their
human master's jurisdiction.
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Webers.Home

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#70
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1Cor 7:24 . . Brethren, let each one remain with God in the situation in
which he was called.

If you're a slave; don't become a runaway slave. If you're a secretary, don't
quit your job and/or abandon your husband to run off and become another
Joan of Arc. Stay put; always keeping in mind that whether slave, free, or
crusader; will make no difference in your association with God.
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Webers.Home

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#71
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1Cor 7:25 . . Now about virgins: I have no command from The Lord, but I
give a judgment as one who by The Lord's mercy is trustworthy.

The koiné Greek word for "virgins" is parthenos (par-then'-os) which
basically refers to maidens and/or unmarried daughters.

There's an ancient temple in Greece called the Parthenon; which was at one
time a sort of shrine to the goddess Athena (a.k.a. Minerva). Apparently it
was common for Athena's followers to donate their young girls to her
service.

I'm guessing that the Christians in ancient Corinth, influenced by Greek and
Roman culture, were curious whether they were supposed to donate their
young girls to Christ's service; viz: make nuns of them; which of course
would seal them into celibacy and thus preclude the possibility of ever
having a man and a family of their own.

Paul's claim to be "trustworthy" is saying that he could be relied upon to
speak as Christ and for Christ on certain issues without having to first
inquire his mind about them.

That's a pretty advanced degree of inspiration when somebody is 110%
confident that their thoughts on a matter are God's thoughts.

Too many Christians are wishy-washy. They have an annoying habit of
pontificating their opinions as the God's truth; when in reality they have
neither the confidence nor the integrity to stand up and announce
themselves trustworthy, i.e. infallible; the meanwhile quick to call others
heretics for disagreeing with them.

NOTE: Be circumspect with your choice of words lest the hapless day arrives
when you are forced to eat them. Never call someone a heretic because it
just may be that your own beliefs are heretical without your knowing. It's
okay to be positive, but for God's sake don't be conceited: leave yourself
some room for error.
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Webers.Home

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#72
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1Cor 7:26-28 . . Because of the present crisis, I think that it is good for you
to remain as you are. Are you married? Do not seek a divorce. Are you
unmarried? Do not look for a wife. But if you do marry, you have not sinned;
and if a virgin marries, she has not sinned.

The "present crisis" probably relates to circumstances that make it difficult
and/or inadvisable to settle down and raise a family, e.g. Jer 16:1-4 and
Matt 24:19-22.

However, marriage, overall, doesn't displease God; and best of all, the
Corinthian Christians didn't have to donate their maidens to Christ as nuns;
rather, the girls were perfectly at liberty to settle down with a man.
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Webers.Home

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#73
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1Cor 7:36 . . If anyone thinks he is acting improperly toward the virgin he
is engaged to, and if she is getting along in years and he feels he ought to
marry, he should do as he wants. He is not sinning. They should get
married.

We have a saying in America that goes like this: So and so married what's
her name and made an honest woman out of her. Well, most grown-ups
know what that means without me having to say so. The point is: if a
Christian man finds himself on the brink of exceeding the limits of propriety
with his best girl; it's time to tie the knot.

And then too there's the so-called biological clock that stalks women during
their productive years. It's cruel, unthinkable, and utterly selfish and
psychopathic of a man to keep a girl on hold during those years if and when
he's fully aware that she's longing to settle down and have a family of her
own. A man who does that has no clue what the word "honor" means.
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Webers.Home

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#74
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1Cor 7:39 . . A woman is bound to her husband as long as he lives. But if
her husband dies, she is free to marry anyone she wishes, but he must be in
The Lord.

When people sound-bite a verse like that one out of context, they run the
risk of coming to some very false conclusions; and one of those is that
Christians can never, under any circumstances, divorce and remarry while
their spouses are alive. Well, obviously they can, under certain
circumstances (e.g. Matt 5:32).

However, a Christian ex-wife has to be careful not to re-marry outside her
faith as that would be like jumping from the frying pan into the fire. (cf.
2Cor 6:14-18)
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Webers.Home

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#75
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1Cor 8:4-13 . .We know that an idol is nothing at all in the world and that
there is no God but one. For even if there are so-called gods, whether in
heaven or on earth (as indeed there are many "gods" and many "lords"), yet
for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for
whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all
things came and through whom we live.

. . . But not everyone knows this. Some people are still so accustomed to
idols that when they eat such food they think of it as having been sacrificed
to an idol, and since their conscience is weak, it is defiled. But food does not
bring us near to God; we are no worse if we do not eat, and no better if we
do.

. . . Be careful, however, that the exercise of your freedom does not become
a stumbling block to the weak. For if anyone with a weak conscience sees
you who have this knowledge eating in an idol's temple, won't he be
emboldened to eat what has been sacrificed to idols? So this weak brother,
for whom Christ died, is destroyed by your knowledge. When you sin against
your brothers in this way and wound their weak conscience, you sin against
Christ. Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother to fall into sin, I will never
eat meat again, so that I will not cause him to fall.

That passage can be said to be a codicil to the 14th chapter of Romans.

Putting this into a modern context is pretty simple; e.g. here in Oregon we
have tavern-style restaurants; viz: a section of the tavern is a bar, and
another section is dedicated to dining. The bar sections usually host State
sanctioned gambling machines too and typically off-limits to minors.

Suppose you have Christian friends who sincerely feel it's wrong to dine in a
tavern-style restaurant because of the alcohol and the gambling. Though
you yourself might be comfortable in your own mind that there is no sin in
dining at taverns, your friends are not so sure. So if you were to take them
to a tavern, they would be committing sin in compromising their conscience;
and you would be committing sin by knowingly leading them in a situation
that causes them to make that compromise.

"We may know that these things make no difference, but we cannot just go
ahead and do them to please ourselves. We must be considerate of the
doubts and fears of those who think these things are wrong. We should
please others. If we do what helps them, we will build them up in The Lord."
(Rom 15:1-2)

A pertinent example is Hooters; where the waitresses are cute buxom girls
filled out in all the right places clothed in short shorts, and clingy tops; so
that the situation is a double whammy of babes and alcohol. Supposing your
Christian buddy sincerely feels it's wrong for Christians to dine at Hooters?
Then you would be wrong in taking him there for a burger even if you were
convinced in your own mind there is nothing wrong with Hooters because
you would be leading your Christian buddy into a situation that's below him
and causes him to feel guilty and/or less of himself.

The Bible says that Christians should accommodate others to their
edification (edification means to build someone up as opposed to tearing
them down), Well, when we please ourselves to their detriment; that's being
selfish. Some guys feel that cute buxom girls and yummy gams are a God
send, while other guys regard them as the Devil in disguise. The correct
route here is to accommodate the more sensitive conscience.

This is one of those situations that requires that each individual to be
convinced in their own mind whether Hooters is wrong for themselves or
okay for themselves (Rom 14:5) and God forbid that Christians should
criticize a fellow Christian who frequents Hooters because this is indeed one
of those gray areas; and just who are you to legislate the rules for others in
gray areas (Rom 14:3-4). It's unfortunate that there are some very
imperious, domineering Christians out and about who see nothing wrong
with bullying others to compromise their convictions just so long as they get
their own way and everybody conforms to their way of thinking.

For example: it is my own personal feelings that Luke 22:35-36 makes it
okay for Christ's followers to own guns for self defense. Well; a rather
opinionated Christian in one of my Sunday school classes sneered at me for
feeling that way and proceeded to pontificate that Jesus' instructions were
only "preparatory" for the upcoming confrontation with Judas and the crowd
that came with him that night to arrest Jesus. Okay; that's fine with me if
that's the way he feels about it; but sneering at me for feeling my way about
it was not only thoughtless, but improper too.
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Webers.Home

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#76
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This is a bounce from post #3, July 07, 2018

Rom 6:11 . . Count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.

"dead to sin" in this case doesn't mean Christ's sheep can't, won't, and/or
don't sin (cf. 1John 1:8-10). It means that sin can no longer give God cause
to slam them with the sum of all fears.

Rom 5:12-21 explains, in so many words; that Christ's believing followers
are accounted as having gone to the cross with him similar to accounting
them as having tasted the forbidden fruit with Adam. This principle is at the
very core of Christianity's plan of salvation so it's important to get it.

In a nutshell: When Jesus went to the cross; he died for the sins of the
world from first to last. That being the case, then when his believing
followers went to the cross with him, they died for their sins from first to
last. As a result: when the books are opened as per Rev 20:11-15, there will
be nothing on record with which to charge them.

FYI: Rom 6:11 is an order, and Christ's believing followers are expected to
obey it.
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Webers.Home

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#77
.
This is a bounce from post #4, July 08, 2018

Rom 6:13 . . Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of
wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been
brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to Him as
instruments of righteousness.

If I'm understanding John 5:24-25 correctly; Jesus spoke of a non-physical
resurrection that his believing followers undergo in this life-- now --before
they pass on.

It's a pretty good resurrection too because it doesn't rejuvenate ordinary
life, rather; it's a step up to eternal life-- a superior kind of life that brings
with it not only immortality, but also a change from human nature to divine
nature. (2Pet 1:4)

Anyway, the point is: Christ's non-physically resurrected followers really
should make an effort to walk as insiders who live in heaven rather than
outsiders on their way to the other place. Political theorists like Niccolò
Machiavelli would not recommend Christ's way of life of course because in
this world, situation ethics are better; viz: the end justifies the means so
long as the end, no matter how obtained, benefits the so-called greater
good.

Well; to my knowledge, Machiavellian thinking doesn't fly in heaven so it's
best for those "brought from death to life" to avoid it.
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Webers.Home

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#78
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1Cor 9:13-14 . . Don't you know that those who work in the Temple get
their food from the temple, and those who serve at the altar share in what is
offered on the altar? In the same way, The Lord has commanded that those
who preach the gospel should receive their living from the gospel.

The covenant that Moses' people agreed upon with God in the Old Testament
doesn't allow Levitical priests to own land where they can provide
themselves sustenance by working their own farms. It's God's decree that a
number of the sacrifices and offerings that the priesthood's constituents
bring are dedicated to not just sustaining a friendly association with God, but
also to nourishing the priests. (e.g. Ex 29:31-32, Lev 2:1-10, Lev 7:11-15)

Obviously then, 1Cor 9:13-14 is saying that Christian congregations ought to
pitch in and help provide their churches' full-time pastors with a decent
standard of living. This is not optional; no, it's something that "The Lord has
commanded."

NOTE: I would say that Christians whose pastors rarely, if ever, preach the
gospel are exempt.
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Webers.Home

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#79
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1Cor 9:24-25 . . Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but
only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who
competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown
that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.

The prize that Olympians won back in those days wasn't much. No medals:
just a simple garland for the head consisting of a wreath made with wild
olive leaves from a sacred tree near the temple of Zeus at Olympia. In time
the leaves dried out and crumbled.

The important thing to note in 1Cor 9:24-25 is that the prize isn't a pass into
the kingdom of God. No; the prize is an award rather than a wage; and
there is more than one kind; e.g. Phil 4:1, 1Tim 4:8, Jas 1:12, 1Pet 5:4, Rev
14:14.
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Webers.Home

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#80
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1Cor 10:6-7 . . Do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written:
The people sat down to eat and drink and got up to play.

The Bible doesn't provide much detail at Ex 32:1-6 as to what went on in
camp while Moses was up on the mountain. But one thing we know for sure
is that there was a golden calf; and the "eat and drink" to which the apostle
refers was a ritual where people sacrificed to the calf and afterwards
consumed the sacrifice as an act of communion with it; sort of like an old
fashioned Passover.

"to play" in Ex 32:6 is from the Hebrew word tsachaq (tsaw-khak') which
means: merriment; viz: pagan songs and dances dedicated to the calf; a
kind of worship revelry; the likes of which in the ancient city of Corinth no
doubt culminated in a drunken orgy.

Apparently some of the religions in the Roman world were pretty wild and
sensual, and as a result; very popular. In comparison; Christianity was dull
and boring. Those pagan religions really gave you your money's worth, while
Christianity has very little to offer in the way of entertainment, except
maybe for Catholicism. The late-night television comedian David Letterman
once remarked they put on a pretty good show.
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