Friday, September 11, 2020

70. 1 Corinthians (Thru the Bible #44

Thru the Bible #44: 1 Corinthians. J. Vernon McGee. 1997 (1977) 204 pages. [Source: Bought]

First sentence: The First Epistle to the Corinthians Introduction Paul addressed this epistle to the church which was in the city of Corinth. He wrote it from Ephesus around A.D. 55–57 (more likely 57).

I am reading the Bible in 2020 using the daily M'Cheyne (Robert Murray M'Cheyne) plan. I thought it would add a layer of substance to in addition to the four chapters a day, to also read commentaries for those chapters. For that I am using Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible. But the plan goes through the New Testament (and Psalms, I believe) twice. So now that I've finished Henry's commentary for the New Testament, I am tackling the New Testament commentary section of J. Vernon McGee's series.

This is not my first time reading J. Vernon McGee. I've read twelve or so of his commentaries. (Most recently his volume on Romans 9-16.) 

Overall, I like his laidback, casual, straightforward, tell it like it is approach to teaching Scripture. There is something so grounded and down to earth about him. Each reader is "his" friend. It's hard not to feel like he is a friend too.

One of the things that I love about McGee's commentaries is that he just speaks timeless truths. He almost always leaves me thinking!!!

It is wonderful today to be able to say, “I am where I am and I am doing what I am doing because of the will of God.” Is that your situation? If you can say that, then I do not need to add that you are a very happy, joyful Christian.
You see, friend, you are not going to heaven until you are perfect—I am not either. And I am not perfect, not even near it. The fact of the matter is that if you knew me like I know myself, you wouldn’t listen to me. But wait a minute! Don’t tune me out because, if I knew you like you know yourself, I wouldn’t speak to you. So let’s just stay connected here, if you don’t mind.
We do not become saints by what we do; we become saints because of our position in Christ. The word saint actually means “set aside to God.” Every Christian should be set aside to God.
The important thing is to have the Word of Christ in our hearts. That does not necessarily mean to memorize it. It means to obey it. If Christ is in your heart, you are obeying Him, and you are thinking upon Him. He occupies your mind and your heart.
My friend, when there is sin in the church, it is like a cancer. It needs to be dealt with. When I had cancer, I went to my doctor for help. Imagine him saying, “Now we don’t want to get excited; we don’t want to get disturbed; we don’t want to become emotional; we don’t want to cause any trouble. We want you to have a nice, peaceful mind; so I will sprinkle a little talcum powder on this place and everything will be all right.” Well, friend, I would have smelled good, but I would have died of the cancer. You’ve got to deal with a cancer, and you’ve got to deal with trouble in the church.
Today the wisdom of the world is to have an antipoverty program or some other kind of program. Or the wisdom of the world is to save man from his problems by education. May I say that what man needs today is the gospel. The wisdom of the world has never considered that.
There are certain things that we can understand only if the Spirit of God reveals them to us, and He does this freely. He wants to be our Teacher!
We cannot tell God anything, but God can reveal a great deal to us. However, the Spirit of God cannot reveal spiritual things to us until we have the mind of Christ.
Well, we are all preachers. As I told him, “We preach some message by our lives. You are saying something to the world and to those around you by your life. You can’t help it. I live my life unto you and you live our life unto me. It’s just that way. We have that kind of influence.” My friend, if you are a believer, you are a minister of Christ. What kind of message are you giving?
Abraham Lincoln said, “Public opinion in this country is everything.” Unfortunately, it is true. There is a danger to defer to the opinion of others, to yield to the criticism of our enemies and surrender to them. Many of our courts favor the popularity of the crowd instead of justice—certainly the politicians favor the crowd. Some will surrender principles and honor and reputation.
Does the church today think it can drop down to the immorality of the world and get away with it?
In a secular society, secularism always takes the place of God. That is modern idolatry today. A great many people are putting secularism in the place of God.
There is a limitation on our Christian liberty. This can be stated in a graphic way. You have a perfect right to swing your fist any way you want to, but where my nose begins your liberty ends.
One of the reasons we yield to temptation is that we are like the little boy in the pantry. His mother heard a noise because he had taken down the cookie jar. She said, “Willie, where are you?” He answered that he was in the pantry. “What are you doing there?” He said, “I’m fighting temptation.” My friend, that is not the place to fight temptation! That is the place to start running.
The Christian faith always looks beyond the sunset to the sunrise. It looks out yonder into eternity—and what a hope it offers! This is another factor which gives meaning and purpose to life.

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

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