1 Corinthians 6-12- Keep Jesus the Reason You Do the Things You Do.

Paul really stuck to a theme in these chapters!  I sum it up as, "Keep Jesus as the reason you do the things you do!"  Unfortunately, we have a sneaky little "self" that always wants to get into the position as to why we do the things we do, wouldn't you agree?  I guess that can be called our "sin nature", always putting ourselves first. So, Paul uses many examples to remind us to do things with Jesus being the reason for our actions.

Starting with Paul's talk on lawsuits, he asks, "Why not rather be wronged?  Why not rather be cheated?" (6:7)  Because I want to defend my honor, my pride, my rights, that's why!!  Those reasons all describe putting oneself as the reason for what you do.  Paul is reminding us that God wants to be the reason.  He can fight battles for us, we don't need to do it. (Exodus 14:14, 2 Chron 20:17, Rom. 8:31, Isaiah 13:5)

Then Paul talks about our position in life, i.e. married, single. Paul says to operate in a way that Jesus is the driving force in all we do,..because..." this world in its present form is passing away (7:31) ...then we will be with Jesus!!  "Live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord." (7:35)

Paul goes on to use food to push his point.  Food is tasty, good and we are free to eat whatever we want, but even the way we use food can be a "sin against Christ"(8:12).  What a great litmus test Paul gave for us to use in testing if we are keeping Jesus as the reason we eat what we eat! We don't need to worry about other people as much as we just need to ask ourselves, "Am I sinning against Jesus?" We need to remember the words of Jesus, "Whatever you did for one of the least of these, you did for me." (Matt. 25:40)

I love how Paul ended chapter 10, "So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God." (vs. 31) When one's standard is "Keep Jesus the reason you do the things you do", it's easy to figure out how to operate in our freedom.  It's easy to figure out what proper worship and communion entail (ch. 12).  We do what we do, for Jesus!

I so enjoy the daily reading and getting the continuity of Paul's thoughts by reading straight through the letter!! Have you picked up on any theme? Have you gotten any new insight by reading straight through this letter or what we have read in the New Testament so far? I would love to hear!!


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