Reading with M’Cheyne
At the start of this letter to a church torn apart by divisions and sexual immorality, it is striking that Paul begins by giving thanks for the grace of God shown in the salvation of those in the congregation at Corinth. This is hardly surprising: Corinth, as a port city, was, to use the old...
Building on the first two chapters, in chapter 3 Paul addresses the issue of church division. Corinth was the host city of the so-called Isthmian Games, where rhetoric, the art of public speaking, was one of the most highly respected competitive events. It would seem that the Christians in Corinth...
In this chapter Paul addresses the arrogance of the Corinthians and what should be the priorities of the church. The Corinthians are apparently incredibly smug. We learn later of the spectacular phenomena which characterize their church life; and we have already noted their focus on outward...
Now Paul introduces the second problem: not only is the church torn by cults of personality, but it also tolerates serious sexual immorality. It would appear that a blind eye was being turned to the particular instance to which Paul refers, apparently on the grounds that everything else - the signs...
In this chapter, Paul addresses issues of lawsuits among believers and (again) sexual immorality. At the heart of both lies the notion that Christians are meant to walk to the beat of a different drum. As they are to reject worldly criteria for judging their leaders, so they are also to reject...
Phil Ryken
Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh with a simple demand: "This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: 'Let my people go, so that they may hold a festival to me in the desert' " (Exod. 5:1). These two brothers approached Pharaoh with the strong confidence of a courageous faith. In the words of...
Phil Ryken
What is the meaning of the miracle in Luke 9:10-17, when Jesus fed more than five thousand people? The most obvious meaning of this miracle is that God will provide. As he provided for his people in the wilderness, so he will provide for us--not in the same miraculous way, perhaps, but by the same...
Phil Ryken
The plenty of the harvest is inversely proportional to the number of harvesters. "The laborers are few," Jesus said (Luke 10:2). Not many people are willing to do the hard labor of the gospel: sowing seeds of salvation by sharing the good news, or gathering people in by leading them to Christ. We...
Phil Ryken
The plagues that God brought upon Egypt were designed to defeat the gods and goddesses of the Egyptian pantheon. For example, by turning the dust into bugs (Exod. 8:16-19), God was claiming his authority over the very soil of Egypt, and thus over Geb, the god of the ground. In displaying his power...
Phil Ryken
When Paul wrote about love in 1 Corinthians 13, he was not trying to give people something nice to read at weddings (although it is nice to read at weddings). Instead, he was trying desperately to show a church full of self-centered Christians that there is a better way to live-not just on your...