317 - Les Feldick Bible Study Lesson 2 - Part 1 - Book 27 - Solutions to Problems in Marriage

317: Solutions to Problems Concerning Marriage – Lesson 2 Part 1 Book 27

Through the Bible with Les Feldick



As we get ready to resume our study let me share with you a comment we received yesterday from one of our television viewers. She said in a letter that she even feels like she loves all the people in our studio audience, as it seems like she is part of us, and that’s the way we want you to feel. We want you to be part of this ministry. Now let’s get back into what this program is all about, and that is pretty much a verse by verse study of The Word. In our last lesson we got down to verse 11, but we will go back a couple of verses and start with verse 9.

We must always remember the background for Corinth. I can’t emphasize it too much or too often. This was a unique situation. This was a unique congregation of believers unlike anything else that Paul experienced, because you see Corinth was such a bustling commercial city located between two sea ports. So you had people coming in from all over the then-known world, tremendous exchange of money, wealth, and culture, and all the rest of it. But the main thing you have to understand as you read Corinthians is that the city of Corinth was steeped in paganism, in pagan idolaters, and the worship of the Greek gods and goddesses. So with that kind of background, and such gross immorality, and we think it’s getting bad in America, but listen we haven’t quite reached yet the level of Corinth. Our country will probably get there before long at the rate we’re sliding, (II Timothy 3:1-5) but as yet we are not as far down the tube as Corinth was, and so here is where Paul is now as he writes to these Corinthians believers, just recently converted out of that kind of a lifestyle, now look what he says in verse 9:

I Corinthians 6:9,10

“Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: (in other words don’t think for a minute that just because God is a God of love, and God is gracious, and merciful, that He is going to let these kind of people into His Heaven short of their Salvation.) neither fornicators, (the grossly immoral people) nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind. Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.”

None of those will inherit the kingdom of God They are in the hands of Satan, and they are going to be where Satan will be for all eternity, but they don’t have to be – look at the next verse.

I Corinthians 6:11

“And such (what’s the next word?) were (past tense) some of you: but ye are washed, (in other words they had been cleansed of all their wickedness) but ye are sanctified, (they were now set apart for God’s purposes) but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.”

And to comment on being justified, you remember when we studied in the Book of Romans it’s that judicial act of God whereby He declares the sinner, “Just as if they had never sinned.” In other words God cleanses, and justifies the idolater as though he had never fallen down before an idol. He justifies the drunkard just as though he had never taken a drink. He justifies the adulterer just as though they’d never committed adultery. Now this is the beauty of Salvation by Grace. So in verse 11 he tells us that we are washed. You know I’m always emphasizing so much of what Paul writes, but on this one just turn back to the Gospel of John, and here we find The Lord Jesus Himself uses the term with regard to the twelve disciples, or to the eleven, because Judas never was washed. So in John Chapter 13 we have Jesus washing the feet of the disciples, and we’ll begin at verse 6, and this was just shortly before His crucifixion.

John 13:5-9

“After that he poureth water into a basin, and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded. Then cometh he to Simon Peter: and Peter saith unto him, `Lord, doest thou wash my feet?’ Jesus answered and said unto him, `What I do thou knowest not now; (remember scripture, and God dealing with men is a progressive thing. Peter didn’t understand what Jesus was doing right then, but he would somewhere down the road.) but thou shalt know hereafter.’ Peter saith unto him, `Thou shalt never wash my feet.’ Jesus answered him, `If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me.’ Simon Peter saith unto him, `Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head.'”

In other words what’s Peter saying? “Well if washing my feet can do this much then give me a bath. My what greater experience than to have The Lord of glory give you a total bath, and Peter wasn’t the least bit shy about the matter. Now verse 10:

John 13:10,11

“Jesus saith to him, `He that is washed (past tense) needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all. (Now here the Lord is talking about the twelfth disciple which was Judas, which you pick up in the next verse.) For he knew who should betray him; therefore said he, Ye are not all clean.'”

So it wasn’t indicating in verse 10 that Peter’s Salvation wasn’t complete, that it was, but why then need the foot washing? Well as I have explained before, the main place of bathing were the public baths. And after they had left the public bath with their sandals on they had to go down those dusty trails and roads, and by the time they got home, what condition were their feet in? They were again filthy. So did he have to go back and get another bath? No he’d had his bodily bath, but he had to wash his feet. Well the indication is then that’s it’s the same thing in our Christian experience. Once we’ve been saved we’re washed. See? Now let’s come back to I Corinthians, and this is what He’s even telling these horrible Corinthians who had been in the most gross of sins.

And even to today we’re living in a society where a good percentage of America has had at least some exposure to the Scriptures. They have probably been to Sunday School when they were kids. A lot of denominations put their children through catechism and so forth, and this at least is exposing them to some of the things of The Bible. But these Corinthians had none. They knew absolutely nothing of the things of God. They knew nothing of Adam or Abraham, or Moses and the Law, they were pagan, they were idol worshipers. When we were in Corinth we came to this out-cropping that must have been at least 200 feet high, it was almost a sheer cliff, and right at the top of this out-cropping is this temple to the goddess. And I asked the guide how in the world did they get the building material from down here to up there? Slave labor, many, many hours of hard work, not to build some beautiful library, campus, or place of education, but rather a temple to a female goddess. Imagine, but you see that’s all they lived for. Whatever they could work, and sweat, and do to somehow appease their gods and goddesses. Now this wasn’t just Corinth, it was the whole ancient world. Now then along with the worship of these goddesses (and that was even worse than the worship of the male gods), was gross immorality, and I’ve pointed this out ever since we’ve been in the Book of Corinthians. This gross immorality was just part and parcel of their everyday experience, they didn’t know any different. And it wasn’t just the common people, it was all the way to the top. Now coming back to Chapter 6 we find Paul telling the Corinthians:

I Corinthians 6:11

“And such were some of you: but (now) ye are washed,…”

Now just like the eleven disciples, they had their Salvation, they were washed of their sins, and iniquities, and so were these Corinthians. So what does it all boil down to? Just like Paul said in Romans, “That where sin abounds, what is always greater?” God Grace! That is if the individual wants to partake of it. Now then Paul says at the end of that verse:

I Corinthians 6:11b

“…but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.”

Now here again is the working of the Three Persons of the Godhead. God the Father in Heaven looks down on sinful men. And the Holy Spirit in turn convicts sinful men of the finished work of God the Son, and so the whole Triune God comes in and washes these kinds of people of which you and I are no different. We might not have been steeped in idolatry, or practicing gross immorality, but the potential was there. My heart was born just as wicked as these Corinthians, and so was yours, but as a result of the Grace of God, and the finished Work of the Cross, and our faith in it, we too have been washed, sanctified, and justified. Verse 12, and this may throw a curve at people.

I Corinthians 6:12

“All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.”

Now what is Paul saying? Is Paul saying, I can go ahead and steal? Is Paul saying I can go ahead and commit adultery? Or covet? No. What Paul is really saying is that he is no longer under that demanding burden of the Law, but is now under Grace. Now let’s go back and compare some Scripture, and the first one we will go to is Romans 6:14, and this is where we get it the most clear.

Romans 6:14

“For sin (or that old adamic nature) shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.”

Now if you’re not under the Law then it doesn’t have any effect on you. And that’s what he means back in verse 12 when Paul says: “All things are lawful unto me,…” because I’m not under the Law. Now a thought just comes to mind of another Scripture in Romans Chapter 7, and let’s look at verses 5 & 6:

Romans 7:5,6

“For when we were in the flesh, (we were like those Corinthians) the motions of sins, which were by the law, (all the things that the Law was revealing) did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death. But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; (by the Law) that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.” (of the Law)

Now what’s Paul saying? That we’re no longer under those demands of the Ten Commandments of Moses, but rather we are now under the control of the Holy Spirit. Now let’s be logical. Will the Holy Spirit ever lead a believer to do something contrary to the Law? No, of course not. The Holy Spirit will never lead someone into adultery, or idolatry, or stealing, now that’s just logical isn’t it? But without that burden of the Law, and the fear of breaking it, we now have Grace, and the Holy Spirit is the One Who leads us, and guides us, and directs us so that we keep the Law, but it’s under a whole set of different circumstances. And that’s exactly what Paul is talking about here in I Corinthians when he says:

I Corinthians 6:12a

“All things are lawful unto me…”

Paul is not under that burden of Law per se, he is free from that, but he’s not going to take advantage of it, and make license of it, because the Holy Spirit is now controlling every part of his life, and so it should be with us believers. Now in verse 13 we’re going to come into something that we’re going to cover a little more in detail, I think, when we get over to Chapter 8, but here in this verse Paul brings out one of the physical aspects of everyday life, and that is:

I Corinthians 6:13a

“Meats for the belly, (or food for the stomach) and the belly for meats; but God shall destroy both it and them….”

In other words, those are part of our temporal existence. We can’t go a day hardly without food, we get hungry, and that’s the way God intended it, but the day is coming when that won’t be true. When we get our new resurrected body we’re not going to have to eat three meals a day. I think for those of us who love to eat The Lord is going to have the pleasure of eating, otherwise He wouldn’t have eaten in His resurrected body there on the shores of Galilee. And you know that He ate fish that morning, and I imagine like me He had some bread. But anyway the resurrected body is not going to need food, and demand it day after day. So this is part of our temporal existence. Now in the rest of verse 13 Paul goes on into another area of everyday life, and that’s sexuality.

I Corinthians 6:13b,14

“Now the body is not for fornication, (The body was not created for man to live in immorality) but for the Lord: and the Lord for the body.” The body was created for The Lord, and The Lord for the body, it’s a two way street. Now verse 14:

“And God hath both raised up the Lord, and will also raise up us by his own power.”

Now here’s just one little introduction to resurrection which is going to come full-blast when we get to Chapter 15. When we get to that chapter we will see more on resurrection than any other place in The Bible. But you see here Paul is just sort of whetting our appetite, he’s giving us just an inkling of that which is yet to come.

I Corinthians 6:15a

“Know ye not…”

You know what he’s saying? Well how did these believers know? Well Paul was with these people long enough to lay out all these Biblical principals of morality, and spiritual things. Now granted he wasn’t with them long. If it hadn’t been for the miraculous working power of God, Christianity would have never gotten off the ground. It was just an impossible set of odds, because these Corinthians were all so steeped in idolatry, and the Jews were just as steeped in their Judaism that, had it not been a miracle, Christianity would have never survived. Paul was never in any one place very long. Now I can see the Jewish Church at Jerusalem prospering to a certain degree because the disciples continued on with that ministry teaching the Jews only, and they stayed there for many years. But every place that Paul established a church it was only for a short time. I think Antioch was the longest and that was only about 1 1/2 years. At Thessalonica it was just for about 2 or 3 weeks, and then he moved on, so how in the world did those new believers fresh out of paganism make it? Well I can’t understand it, except that it was the miraculous power of God that Christianity was now to take off and start permeating the whole Roman empire.

I Corinthians 6:15

“Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? (remember Paul is talking to believers) shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the member an harlot? God forbid.”

Now you see we think this is horrible language. Why has The Bible got this in here for? Hey this was their whole lifestyle. Remember when those 1000 prostitute goddesses of Corinth would leave their temple at night they would in turn go out into the street, and the men of that city were confronted with that every night of the week, and so this is why The Bible is so explicit. It was so rampant, and it didn’t stop there. Their immorality went to the very depths, and we’re seeing it happen in our own country today. Our society is getting closer and closer to that of Corinth, so this letter is becoming more appropriate for our society with each passing day. Now verse 16:

I Corinthians 6:16

“What? know ye not that he which is joined (that is sexually) to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh.”

Well where does Paul get this? Let’s go back to the Book of Genesis, Chapter 2 for a moment and I’ll show you.

Genesis 2:21-24

“And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept; and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man, And Adam said, `This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.'”

Now in our present day weddings the kids like to have two candles burning, and at the end of the service they snuff the two, and light the one. Well that’s the whole concept, but you see they take it so lightly. In a recent poll over 50% of young married couples expected their marriage to end up in divorce within the first year or two. Now this is shocking, and I know it is, but these marriages don’t last. They go into the marriage with absolutely no commitment, and do you know why they do it? The Church has failed to teach our young people, as they no longer understand these Biblical principals of marriages, sex, kids, and all the rest. It’s completely unknown to them so consequently they can enter into this marriage relationship with no commitment, or no moral foundation, no anchor. No wonder we’re in trouble.

But you see the Biblical concept has never changed from the Garden of Eden to this day, and that is “God intended for one man married for life to one woman,” and if death interrupted it, as we’ll be seeing over in Chapter 7, then yes they were free to remarry. Now remember even the taunters of Jesus’ day brought up the subject of divorce. They said,“Well Moses granted a writing of divorcement. How about that?” Well what was Jesus’ answer? “Granted because of your sin, Moses granted writing of divorce, but in the beginning it was not so.” In the beginning when God laid out the format for marriage and family it was one man for one woman until death do them part. Now come back to I Corinthians Chapter 6.

I Corinthians 6:16

“What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot (prostitute) is one body?…”

So you become one with that prostitute. That’s some sobering thinking isn’t it? So consequently Paul says:

I Corinthians 6:18

“Flee fornication.” (Immorality)

316 - Les Feldick Bible Study Lesson 1 - Part 4 - Book 27 - 1 Corinthians 4:3 - 6:11 - Part 2

316: 1 Corinthians 4:3 – 6:11 – Part 2 – Lesson 1 Part 4 Book 27

Through the Bible with Les Feldick


I CORINTHIANS 4:3 – 6:11 – PART 2

Now back to where we left off in the last lesson, and we’re still dealing with the problems that were besieging the Corinthian Church. They were believers, they were saved, and we’re going to meet them in glory some day, but they had problems. As I mentioned a couple of lessons ago, Paul is addressing them in response to a letter they had written to him asking how they were supposed to deal with these things, and so consequently by Holy Spirit inspiration Paul is just unloading on them. And of course, the reason is the things that were a problem in Corinth in A.D. 60 are the same problems we have today. The human race doesn’t change, and so we still have some of the same problems in our Churches and personal lives as the Corinthians did. Now we’ll start with verse 9 and in these next few verses are some rather shocking statements.

I Corinthians 5:9,10

“I wrote unto you in an epistle (and evidently Paul wrote more than just these two letters to the Corinthians) not to company with fornicators:” (or immoral people.) Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world.”

Do you know what that’s saying? If you were to go through a whole week of life, and never rub elbows with someone who is immoral, or is in sort of a gross sin, you’d have to leave this world. Because it’s impossible, and here we are in Oklahoma, and we like to think that we’re in The Bible belt, but really we’re no different than any place else. And those of you who work in large office complexes, or in a large production facilities, and you’re rubbing elbows with the cross-section of our society then you are rubbing elbows with every one of these classes of people. There are the immoral, the covetous, the wicked, I mean they are the norm no matter where we live. So when Paul says not to have fellowship with immoral people, he said I’m not talking about the immoral people out there in the work place, but rather I’m talking about those who are immoral and members of your church. Just look at verse 10 again.

I Corinthians 5:10,11

“Yet not altogether with the fornicators (or immoral) of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; (for if you’re not going to rub elbows with them then you must leave this world.) for then must ye needs go out of the world. (But now the flip side) But now I have written unto you not to keep company, (don’t have fellowship) if any man that is called a brother (claims to be a believer) be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.”

So with a fellow believer such as this you are not even to sit down and eat. Now I know this is strong language, but what was the purpose? To make that person feel that he is being set aside and left out. That he is no longer part of the Christian company. And what’s the purpose? To bring him to his senses. Because after all, if a person has been genuinely saved even though he goes out into sin, and if The Lord hasn’t yet taken him out, as we saw in the last lesson, way down deep this person is miserable. He can’t be happy. Don’t tell me that a sinning believer can be happy, they can’t be because they know that they are doing wrong, and The Lord is dealing with them. And then if fellow believers began to shun them it’s really going to come home. So this is the purpose of it all. It isn’t to purposely be nasty or anything like that, but God has got a reason, that if you have a person that is an acquaintance believer and is acting like this, then ostracize him or her for a while, but let them know why. Because the Scripture has admonished us not to have fellowship with those kind of people who claim to be believers, and we’re talking only about believers here. Now verse 12:

I Corinthians 5:12

“For what have I to do to judge them also that are without?…”

In other words, what’s Paul saying? I have no authority to judge the lost world. Here we need to go back to Romans 8:6. We have to understand that this isn’t just one little quirk of Scripture. This is a continuing doctrine throughout Paul letters on how to behave as a believer. I mean this is what it all boils down to, this is practical everyday living for you and I as believers.

Romans 8:6

“For to be carnally (or fleshly minded outside of Christ, outside of a Salvation experience) minded is death; (spiritual death. They will someday be eternally separated from God if they never step into Salvation) but to be spiritually minded (that is to have Salvation) is life and peace.”

As we saw back in Romans 5 that to be justified by faith is to have the peace of God. Now verse 7.

Romans 8:7

“Because the carnal mind (the old sinful nature of lost people) is enmity (an enemy) against God: for it (the carnal mind) is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.”

And in that light you’ve heard me say it more than once, and you’ll hear me say it again if The Lord tarries, “You cannot legislate Christian morality.” You just can’t do it. You can’t force the unbelieving world to to live a Christian life. Forget it, because they’re going to go their own way, they’re going to do their own thing, and there’s nothing we can do about it except pray for them I guess. Remember the lost are enemies of God, and are not subject to the Law of God, neither indeed can they be. Now verse 8:

Romans 8:8

“So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.”

Even if a person is good, if they have not experienced Salvation they cannot please God. Now coming back to I Corinthians we find Paul saying that he can’t have anything to do with the unsaved world. Those immoral Corinthians I have nothing to do with them except preach them The Gospel of Salvation, that Jesus died for their sins, was buried, and rose again. And that’s all we can do. All we can do is sow the seed, and we can’t force anything, we can’t push it down their throat, because it’s something that only God can do. Now looking at verse 12 again.

I Corinthians 5:12

“For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? (Now Paul comes back to the believing community) do not ye judge them that are within?”

Now remember we stressed back in Romans that we’re not to judge, and for the most part that’s true. But when it comes to discipline within the believing community, and we are totally aware as the Corinthians were in Chapter 5 of a gross immoral sin, are we just to turn the other way, and say, “I can’t judge!” No way. We are to take the bull by the horns, and we are to point out to that person that they are living in sin. Let me show you a verse in Galatians in Chapter 6, and as I said when I started teaching these letters of Paul, that it was a lot harder to keep people interested in practical Christian living, and doctrine than it is when I teach the Book of Genesis or Revelation. But this is so practical, this is what we need today regardless what happens down the road prophetically.

Galatians 6:1

“Brethren, (Paul is speaking to believers) if a man (or woman) be overtaken in a fault, (in other words a rather gross sin) ye which are spiritual, (in the Church leadership) restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.”

But you see the average attitude of the Church today when someone falls into a gross sin is they make light of it, they joke about it. Hey have you heard – But that should never be the mindset of the believer. If we hear of a Christian who has fallen into sin, it should just break our heart. We should be burdened and pray for that person, and as he instructs here if you’re in a place of Church authority or leadership you should go to that person and do all that you can to restore them into fellowship. You don’t condemn them, and say so be it. Then Paul says to do it in the spirit of meekness, and not with pride – like, this could never happen to me. Oh yes it could. Because he says next “lest thou also be tempted.” and fall into the same trap. None of us are totally immune, and never forget that. And then verse 2:

Galatians 6:2

“Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.”

Even these people who are having a time of living a good upright Christian life, bear their burdens, help them to overcome their weakness. Be an encouragement to them, because there’s no need to be a Christian failure, there’s no need to constantly live in sin, these people can overcome it. Now back to I Corinthians once again.

I Corinthians 5:13

“But them that are without (The unsaved) God judgeth. (That’s His prerogative, and never ours. But coming back to the Church environment Paul says) Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.”

Now that is having dealt with them, after trying to get them to recognize their sin, and confess it, and get victory over it, and if they still refuse, and will not, then Paul says to put them aside until they come to their senses. Now we come into Chapter 6, and yet another problem. I mean it’s almost discouraging in a way that this little church in Corinth of born again people brought out of paganism, had turned their backs on idols, and yet they were plagued with problems. But do you know why they’re in this Book? Because we have some of the same problems today. And so this becomes tremendous lesson material for everyone of us, for every local congregation.

I Corinthians 6:1

“Dare any of you, having a matter against another, (a fellow believer) go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints?”

In other words what’s happening? Hey these Corinthians have gotten into a real wrangle with one of their fellow Church members. And instead of taking this matter before the local church body, or maybe to the pastor, and church leaders, the elders, deacons, or what ever you want to call them, where were they going? To the lawyers – to the courts. I was reading a quote I believe in one of Charles Stanley’s book last night, that someone had come to him with a statement, “That whenever divorce comes into the picture, who are the only ones that really profit?” The lawyers. Everyone else gets hurt, everyone else comes into a place of devastation, but the lawyers walk away smiling. And Paul is saying here not to go to the world’s lawyers and to the courts with your problems. Keep them if possible in the confines of the believers. Now of course there comes a point when you may have to go to the world’s judicial system, and I dealt with that back in the Book of Romans. But when it came to mundane things among believers, Paul says, “Settle it within the confines of the local church.” Now verse 2:

I Corinthians 6:2a

“Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world?…”

What do you suppose that’s talking about? The Millennium! This is where I get the idea that yes we’re going to have places of responsibility when The Lord sets up His Kingdom. And we’re going to have responsibility according to the faithfulness you’ve been in this sojourn here on the earth. And yes we’re going to reign and rule with Christ just like it says in the Book of Romans. But here Paul sort of puts the frosting on the cake, and says, “Now look, get practiced up.” That’s what he’s saying. Learn how to deal with problems with people because the day is coming when you will be doing it constantly. You’re going to be ruling over the world, under Christ of course. And so we’re going to have these places of responsibility, and here Paul says, “My land, why can’t you deal with some of these problems within the local Church if one day you’re going to rule the world?” Pretty practical isn’t it? Now continuing on with verse 2:

I Corinthians 6:2b

“…and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?”

Now do you know what Paul is saying? The world out there has none of the wisdom that God has imparted to every believer. You and I are unique in that regard, God has imparted wisdom to the believer just by virtue of your being a saved person. You have more common horse sense than the greatest educated philosopher out there in the world, and Paul is driving that home. “Listen you have a wisdom that the world doesn’t have. Now use it.” Now verse 3:

I Corinthians 6:3

“Know ye not that we shall judge (judge here refers back to government or ruling) angels? (Angels are even going to be beneath us. What a position we have waiting for us someday when we reign and rule with Christ, and we’re even going to be above the host of the angels as we reign and rule with Christ on that earthly Kingdom for that 1000 year millennium rule. Then if you have that kind of future) how much more things that pertain to this life?” It’s really something isn’t it? Hey believers we’re somebody when God is in it, absolutely we are. Now verse 4:

I Corinthians 6:4

“If then ye have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church.”

That flies in the face, doesn’t it? Ordinarily who do we depend on to be the leaders of the church? Well the ones who are most looked up to, and maybe those who have a little more of the world’s goods than the rest of us. But what does the Scripture say? “Hey use the person at the bottom of the totem pole, those that aren’t esteemed as much as the rest, and verse 5:

I Corinthians 6:5

“I speak to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you? (Now we know that they didn’t have a huge church, but listen they had a pretty good cross section of the society of Corinth who had become believers. But it appears no one was willing to use the wisdom that God had given them.) no, not one that shall be able to judge between his brethren?”

Paul says, “They’re there if you will just give them the opportunity.” But Paul says, “You don’t do that.” Where are they going with their matters? They’re going out into the city judges into the courts.

I Corinthians 6:6

“But brother goeth to law with brother, and that before the unbelievers.”

How many times do we read accounts of this kind of doing in our daily paper? And it just becomes a shame to Christianity in general. So you see things haven’t changed. It was no different in Corinth as it is in America today. Now verse 7:

I Corinthians 6:7,8

“Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you, (Paul is condemning them for their short coming) because ye go to law one with another. Why do ye not rather take wrong? why do ye not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded? Nay, ye do wrong, and defraud, and that your brethren.”

Now in the next verse Paul is going to pick up a new theme, and we’ll finish it today or we’ll pick it up again in our next lesson. And Paul will be dealing with the whole concept of Christian marriage. And it’s important to remember that Corinth was a city of pagans, and most generally in the pagan world there is no real sanctity in marriage. The marriage was just simply a place to have children, but so far as any fidelity, any integrity of the marriage relationship, there was none. There was a story in one of the major news magazines within the past year about the nation of Thailand, I believe it was. And of the rampant prostitution in that country. It was so rampant that the average Thai husband thought nothing of going to a house of prostitution, and this reporter was interviewing one of these young wives. And the question was, “Doesn’t it bother you when your husband goes to one of these places?” And the wife said, “No, because it’s a custom. Mama put up with it, Grandma put up with it, and so on.

Well the city of Corinth was no different, and these people had been saved from that kind of background. But just because they were saved from it didn’t mean that it still didn’t have that pull. Do you see that? So now then beginning with verse 9, Paul is going all the way through Chapter 7, and this is a Chapter I wish I could just leap over because I’m not a marriage counselor by any stretch of the imagination, but again it’s such plain language that we’re going to go ahead and deal with it. So beginning with verse 9 we find:

I Corinthians 6:9a

“Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God?…”

Now you know we have groups that more or less in their doctrines maintain that somehow or other everybody is going to go to Heaven. That there is no such things as an eternal doom for the lost. Well that’s not what The Book says. The Book says even from the pen of this Apostle, “That the unrighteous are not going to go to Heaven.” They will go to the other place, hell. All right now continuing on with verse 9:

I Corinthians 6:9b,10

“…Be not deceived: (and here Paul lists them again. This old Book is right up front, it doesn’t pull any punches, It tells it like it is, and what does it say?) neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.” Now that’s what The Book says, it’s plain as day, and now verse 11.

I Corinthians 6:11a

“And such were (past tense) some of you: (now that tells you exactly what some of the Corinthians believers had been. It tells you exactly where they had come from. They had been in that whole category of wickedness, at least some of them had.) but ye are washed,…”

From here I wanted to go to John’s Gospel, and pick up this same theme about being washed in John Chapter 13, but we’ll pick it up next time. Paul says that you are washed, what does that mean? You’re clean even these Corinthians who had come out of an abject immoral life style, and I wouldn’t be surprised if some of them had some of the sexually transmitted diseases that we have even today. But they’re saved, they’re washed, they’re Heaven-bound. So looking at verse 11 again:

I Corinthians 6:11

“And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of God.”

Now it’s the same way for people today. It doesn’t matter how vile the background, when we’ve been justified, then we’re “washed.”

315 - Les Feldick Bible Study Lesson 1 - Part 3 - Book 27 - 1 Corinthians 4:3 - 6:11

315: 1 Corinthians 4:3 – 6:11 – Lesson 1 Part 3 Book 27

Through the Bible with Les Feldick


I CORINTHIANS 4:3 – 6:11

Now let’s come right back to our study, and begin I Corinthians Chapter 5. We love to hear when you write and say that you study right along with us. That just thrills our hearts. As you know we never try to promote any particular group or ourselves, but we just want to help people to understand The Bible, because it’s the greatest Book on earth. But you know there are so many that won’t even attempt to read it because they say, “Well I can’t understand it.” But, oh yes you can, and the whole secret to understanding The Bible and having it come to life for you is this; pay attention to whom a particular Scripture is written to, and don’t confuse Israel with the Church. God was careful in separating the two, and we should be also. And for the most part when God is speaking to the Church Age believer (that’s you and I) He does this through the Apostle Paul’s writings. A lot of the things that were applicable to Israel are not to the Church today.

But I always have to remind you that the things that God hated in the land of Israel He still hates today. God does not change. The God of Israel in Genesis is the still the same God that we deal with today, but He deals with us, the Church, under far different circumstances. We are now on resurrection ground, we are now being dealt with as people who are to believe for their Salvation that Christ died for our sins, was buried, and rose again, as recorded in I Corinthians 15:1-4, and not merely a Shekinah glory back there in the Temple in Jerusalem. We’re not under a mandate to keep the Law and so forth. But nevertheless always remember that God has not changed in His attitude toward sin, and righteousness.

Now I think that we are ready for I Corinthians Chapter 5, and I might remind you that this is not a very pretty chapter. It’s another one of those chapters that I’d just as soon skip over, and not have to comment on. But if we’re taking this more or less chapter by chapter we have to deal with it. And here Paul writes to this same carnal congregation that we’ve been dealing with for a long time:

I Corinthians 5:1

“It is reported commonly (in other words this wasn’t something that was being done in a corner, but rather this was something that was open, and the whole Corinthian congregation knew about it.) that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father’s wife.”

In other words those pagan Gentiles wouldn’t do what this couple is doing, and what is it? Probably a step-son and his step-mother are more or less living together as husband and wife, and it was a gross immoral situation even for Corinth, as immoral as that city was. And then here is the real point of condemnation from Paul.

I Corinthians 5:2

“And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you.”

That is from the Church congregation, not to put him to death, but to remove him from fellowship. Now let’s analyze these two verses. Here we have this instance of gross immorality within the confines of the local Corinthian Church, they all knew about it, and yet did it bother any of them? Evidently not, so Paul tells them that they’re puffed up. I think the Scofield Bible has a very good footnote at the bottom of this page. Remember there are three segments to this congregation. They were those who liked the teaching of Peter, Apollos, and Paul, but we find none of them bothered by this act. You would think that one of these segments would be up in arms, and say, “We’ve got to do something about this. This is bringing reproach upon the name of Christ throughout the city of Corinth, because even the pagans know what is going on.” It was something that wasn’t being hidden. Now verse 3: We’re going to find Paul is going to do something about, he’s not going to let it slide.

I Corinthians 5:3

“For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, (Paul says that although I’m not with you in body, but I am in the spirit, I) have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed,”

Paul is telling them there is no room for argument, you have to deal with it. This is what we have to realize that even in our own society we are fast becoming not much better than Corinth. Isn’t that right? Our whole moral fiber is just simply falling away. It is just simply rotting away from under, and these very same acts can take place in local churches, and no one thinks anything of it. I’ve had people call from various states that ask the question, “Well what are we supposed to do? This couple is living in sin, they are open about it, they walk in church as though nothing is amiss.” Hey that’s not the way it is supposed to be, and this is what Paul is having to deal with. If there is gross immorality, or a gross act of covetousness, and so forth, then the Church has to make a point of it. And you can’t just turn your eyes, and say, “Oh well let them live, because it’s a free country.” Not in the realm of the Church it isn’t supposed to be. So Paul is telling us the remedy. You have to take this couple, confront them with it as a Body of Believers. And then in verse 4 we find.

I Corinthians 5:4,5a

“In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, (you see this is a corporate thing now, it’s the Church, The Body Of Christ, located in Corinth) and my spirit, (and naturally the Holy Spirit would be) with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh,…”

Now remember the flesh, soul, and spirit are not the same. So Paul is not demanding the destruction of this man’s soul and spirit as a believer. Now this person is a believer, or they wouldn’t be addressing him as such in the Corinthian letter. But they could turn such a person as this over to the power of Satan to destroy his physical life or flesh. And we know according to Job that this is in the power of Satan when God grants it to him. In the dealing with Job, we find Satan could go no further with Job than God permitted, and it’s the same way here. Paul is saying in so many words: That if this couple will not clean up their act, and come away from their open sin, then turn them over to the power of Satan to destroy the flesh, to take their lives physically from them lest they keep on bringing reproach to the name of Christ. That does not mean that they’re going to be annihilated spiritually. Let’s look at that aspect as we continue:

I Corinthians 5:5b

“…that the spirit (of this individual) may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.”

Now I know this is hard for a lot of people to comprehend, that people living in this kind of a sinful condition are still saved? Yes. That’s what The Book says. But these kind of people if they’re believers, aren’t going to get away with it. It has to be dealt with by the Church, and God’s going to deal with it. Now the Scripture says that even though God is going to take these kind of believers out of their physical existence, they won’t lose their Salvation, and then he admonishes the believing community that we are never even to pray for the death of someone like this. We can find this in the little letter of I John. I hadn’t intended to do this until we get to Chapter 11, but since we’ve gone this far with it we might as well go ahead. In I John Chapter 5 let’s drop in at verse 16, and here he’s dealing with pretty much the same kind of a situation. It may not have been as gross, but it was sin in the Church.

I John 5:16

“If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. (In other words, their sin isn’t as gross as the sin we saw in the Book of Corinthians) There is a sin unto death:…”

In other words, in the life of a believer who goes into deep sin, open sin, God has mandated first and foremost a discipline action on the part of the Church to restore such a one to fellowship, and you find that in Galatians Chapter 6:1

Galatians 6:1

“Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.”

You see we’re all human. Every human being is just as prone to fall into sin as the next one, but hopefully if we’re spiritually taught, and have kept these things, this won’t happen. But it can happen to anybody. John is delineating that there were some sins that would not cause God to take them out of their physical life. But some sins He will, and I’ve seen it happen, and I’m sure you have where a believer will refuse to come away from his sinful lifestyle. You can deal with them, and deal with them, and all of a sudden, “Bingo.” Just a sudden heart attack, or sudden car accident, and they’re gone. Well God takes them home lest they keep on bringing reproach to His Name. And that’s exactly what John is dealing with, and so he says:

I John 5:b

“…There is a sin unto death: (a believer can come to that place where God will take his life. Now then look at the very last part of that verse) I do not say that he shall pray for it.”

In other words no believer or Church Body ever has the right to pray for the death of an erring believer, because that is never permissible, that’s in God’s hand. Now let’s look at verse 17.

I John 5:17

“All unrighteousness is sin: (whether that sin be a little one or a great one) and there is a sin not unto death.”

Now what’s implied here in verse 17? That some sins are gross enough that it will cause God to take that believer out ahead of time. Now let’s come back to I Corinthians Chapter 5, and here’s where we have it. This man is evidently committing a sin unto death if he does not repent of it, and turn around. If he’s going to continue on living with his step-mother in a marital relationship, then God’s going to take him out, and that’s all there is to it. Now verse 5.

I Corinthians 5:5,6

“To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit (soul) may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.” Now Paul comes back to the Corinthians as a congregation.

“Your glorying (remember the words `puffed up?’) is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?”

What has happened to the Church of today? Just exactly that. I remember years and years ago, we were visiting in a church and I heard a Sunday School teacher or preacher, say, “You know the Church has gotten into dire straits because as these various social sins came along, we would just say, `Well we can accommodate that,’ and then here would come something a little more drastic, and we would say, `We’re not going to cause a ruckus, we can accommodate, we can live with that.'” So over the years what has happened? All the gross sins of the world have now come into the Church, and the Church thinks nothing of it. Well I’m not going to stand here, and say that we can reverse that. I can understand that Church discipline today is almost an impossible thing. But I have to say what The Book says, and The Book says, “We have to deal with born again church members who are bringing reproach to the Name of Christ.” We have to do whatever has to be done to bring them back, or bring them to the place where The Lord will take them home. And the lesson here in verse 6 is if you’re going to leave a little leaven it isn’t very long until it takes over the whole lump. You people who bake bread know that. You put in a little bit of yeast, and you can’t keep part of the dough unleavened, it’s all going to come under the effect of the yeast. Well Paul is using that analogy for the Church. If we allow open gross sin then it won’t be long until the whole congregation will lose their testimony, and do you know what the world will say as they drive by? I don’t live any worse than they do, I don’t need Christianity. And then we wonder why we’ve lost our testimony, well that’s the reason. Now verse 7. How were they to deal with it?

I Corinthians 5:7a

“Purge out therefore the old leaven,…”

Or that which is causing the whole lump to be leavened, purge it out. In fact, what do our Orthodox Jewish people do before Passover? Well, they go through the whole house from the basement to the attic, looking for leaven or yeast. What was the picture? Well it went all the way back to, of course, the Passover in Egypt. The very next day after Passover were the seven days of unleavened bread. They were now to be pictured as a nation whose sins had been atoned for or cleansed, and they were to picture that with the unleavened bread. Paul is bringing that same analogy into our teaching today. We have to look at sin in our individual lives. We have to look at sin in the life of the Church just like leaven in the bread of Egypt. Now reading on.

I Corinthians 5:7a

“Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened, (now what does it mean that we’re unleavened? Well we’ve been forgiven, we’ve been cleansed, and so far as God is concerned we are without sin. But if we leave a little bit of leaven in our life, then it isn’t too long until it begins to expand and expand, and then it will consume us.)For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us:”

I don’t have to take you into the Scriptures because you know what happened; but what happened on the night of Passover in Egypt? The Israelites put the blood on the two side posts and the one at the top, and in your mind’s eye you can picture the outline of the Cross, and I’m sure that’s what God had on His mind. Alright, here is the beauty of it. These Jews who had been slaves now in Egypt had been told that if they would kill that sacrificial lamb, and then place the blood on the two door posts and lintel, and at the stroke of midnight as they would be in those little huts there in Egypt, the death angel was going to go over all the houses in Egypt and kill every first born male.

Now as the Israelites huddled together in those huts, were they in fear of the death angel? No, not if they were people of faith, because they had put the blood on the door, and they had absolutely nothing to fear. They didn’t stand in those little huts quivering in their boots, they were secure knowing that the blood was on the door, and they were covered. Now Paul is bringing that all the way up to the Church age. That even as our Passover, when Christ died on that Roman Cross, and shed His blood for you and I, and when we come under that blood we are passed over from any judgment. Let me take you back to the little letter of I John again for a moment, and this time we will look at Chapter 2, and we’ll begin with verse 1:

I John 2:1a

“My little children, (who’s John writing to? Believers) these things write I unto you, that ye sin not….”

Now God never encourages the believer to sin, but God being Omnipotent, God being the Creator, God knows that we are going to sin, and some a little quicker than others, but we’re going to sin. That old Adam is so powerful that even though we reckon him as being dead according to the Book of Romans, yet he pops up and gets his licks in, and we sin. Okay, but now read on in that verse.

I John 2:1b

“…And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, (Who?) Jesus Christ the righteous:”

Now can you imagine what happens up there in Heaven when a believer sins? Oh immediately our Advocate comes right to the Father, and says, “But Father, he’s under the blood, and he’s a believer; or she’s under the blood.” So Christ picks it up on our behalf. Now that’s a glorious, glorious assurance that even when we sin we’re still under the blood just like the nation of Israel was back there in Egypt. And nothing could touch those Israelites, the death angel couldn’t touch them because they were under the blood. And you see this is where believers have to find themselves, and that’s not license to sin. God’s Grace is not license for us to do whatever we want to do. Just because we know that we have this promise and assurance that if we sin, we are still forgiven, we are still washed, but we now have to have that cleansing, and maybe in the next lesson we will come to the words, “you are washed,” and then of course I’m going to take you to John’s Gospel. But for now in this little letter let’s look at verse 2, and we find that not only is Christ our Advocate, He is also our:

I John 2:2

“And he is the propitiation for our sins:…”

Now it’s been a long time since we’ve dealt with that word in Romans Chapter 8, but for you who have been with us ever since we started, do you remember how I explained the word `propitiation?’ Everything that you can possibly put together back there in the tabernacle, back there in the wilderness including the Holy of Holies and the Ark of the Covenant, the veil, the Ark of the shew-bread, the candlestick holder, the altar of incense. the brazen laver, the brazen altar, the sacrificial lamb, the fence around the tabernacle. Do you remember when I went through all that? Every single aspect of that tabernacle in it’s composition, the gold, silver, and stone, and all the rest. Every one of them were a picture of the work Salvation that Christ accomplished at the Cross. And I call that whole work, “propitiation.” Everything that you see in the tabernacle is the work of propitiation. And that included His work as High Priest, it included the shed blood of the sacrifice. it included His interceding for us back there in the Holy of Holies, and it’s still appropriate even today. Oh, this tremendous work of propitiation.

I John 2:2b

“…and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.”

Now I read again the other day where a guy was promoting that Christ only died for the believer. Well he’s probably got his scripture for it, but I can’t go along with that, because my Bible says, “That Christ died for everyone!” But not every one will be saved because not every one will appropriate it. But the potential is there. Now let’s come back to I Corinthians Chapter 5.

I Corinthians 5:8

“Therefore let us keep the feast, (even as Israel did in a symbolic way back there in the wilderness) not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.”

Now what do you suppose Paul is alluding to here? Remember we’re still dealing with the sins of believers in that local congregation, but they weren’t the only people who were falling far short, because evidently there was also malice, and other forms of wickedness in the congregation. And it was leaven that was permeating that little congregation. It’s a wonder that it ever survived isn’t it? Here was that little group of believers that was plagued with almost every sin that you could think of, and yet God didn’t give up on them. God just kept them in a place of growing, and we know that Paul came to the place that one day I’m sure he was proud of the Corinthians.

314 - Les Feldick Bible Study Lesson 1 - Part 2 - Book 27 - Consequences of Carnal Believers

314: Problems and Consequences of Carnal Believers – Part 2 – Lesson 1 Part 2 Book 27

Through the Bible with Les Feldick



Now let’s just get right back to I Corinthians 4 verse 10.

I Corinthians 4:10

“We are fools for Christ’s sake, (and remember that’s what the world thinks of us as believers. The foolishness of the preaching of the Cross.) but ye are wise (because they were believers) in Christ; we are weak, but ye are strong; ye are honourable, but we are despised.”

They hadn’t gone through the trials and tribulations, and persecutions that Paul had endured, although when we get to Chapter 7, I think he’s telling these people they would soon come under the intense persecution the Roman Empire brought upon Christianity. And so even here I think the Apostle Paul is trying to prepare them for the time when they would literally have to die for their faith, and as Paul also would have to do in a few years after he wrote this letter.

I Corinthians 4:11-13

“Even unto this present hour we both hunger, and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no certain dwelling place; (Paul didn’t have a nice big beautiful mansion to go home to after one of his missionary journeys.) And labour, working with our own hands: (we know from the Book of Acts that he worked as a tent maker with his hands.) being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it: (or go along with it.) Being defamed, we intreat: we are made as the filth of the world, and are the offscouring of all things unto this day.”

Well that was one view, but as I pointed out so often, as Paul confronted the philosophers up there on Mars Hill at Athens with all their philosophizing, and they call Paul nothing but a babbler, but do you remember what I said about it? In reality it was the other way around. Paul was the one who really had the Words of Life, and Wisdom, and the philosophers had nothing but babble. Now it’s the same way here. He was defamed because of what he was doing to promote The Gospel.

I Corinthians 4:14

“I write not these things to shame you, (in other words Paul is not saying, `Unless you suffer like I’ve suffered you’re not really believers.’ There are some that have taken that approach, but we don’t have to suffer indignation just to prove that we are a Christian. I know a preacher who was like that and it was like he intentionally did things to bring persecution on himself. But Paul is telling these believers that he’s not telling them about these hardships to give them the idea that if they haven’t suffered like he has then they’re not a believer.) but as my beloved sons I warn you.”

How does Paul use the word “sons” here of these pagan Corinthians? The same way he spoke of Timothy. What did he call Timothy? My son in the faith. Not physically; Timothy was clear up in a different part of the world from Paul, but yet he refers to him as his son in the faith, and that is what he is doing here. They were just like children of his because he was the one that brought them The Gospel, and Salvation power that was able to bring them out of paganism and idolatry. Now verse 15:

I Corinthians 4:15a

“For though ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers:…”

Well I’ve struggled with this verse some. It’s kind of a tough one to see through, but I think what Paul is really saying by inspiration is that you can have all kinds of instructors, you can have Sunday School teacher after Sunday School teacher, and pastor after pastor, and television evangelist after television evangelist, but how many of those have had any real impact in bringing you to the place of Salvation? Probably only one or two people who really influence your life to the place where you became a child of God, and I think that’s what Paul is driving at here.

I Corinthians 4:15b

“for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you (how?) through the gospel.”

We haven’t explained The Gospel in quite some time so let’s look at The Gospel. We find The Gospel in I Corinthians 15:1-4. We’ll get to this chapter in a few more months, and I always lay these out as the clearest definition of The Gospel of Salvation that you can find between these two covers. And if whatever you believe for your Salvation doesn’t line up with these verses here then you had better take another look. Because here is the Gospel of Grace in all of it’s simplicity and all of it’s power.

I Corinthians 15:1,2b

“Moreover, brethren, (Paul is writing to these same Corinthian believers) I declare unto you the gospel (The one and only Gospel) which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand: By which also ye are saved,…”

I also like to use the words `made righteous’ in the place of saved. Not only are we saved from hell’s fire, but we have been declared righteous (made right with God) by imputation of God Himself. He has imputed to us His righteousness as a result of our believing The Gospel. We don’t work for it or deserve it; it’s all of God’s Grace, and of course we appropriate it by faith.

I Corinthians 15:2,3a

“By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.” And all I say to that is, you have to know what you believe. You don’t just believe some empty gobbledy-gook, but rather know what you believe for Salvation. And here it comes. And remember Paul was the first one to enter that city of Corinth with this message of Salvation to deliver these pagans from idolatry.

“For (Paul says) I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received,…”

He’s defending his apostleship again here. Remember he didn’t pick this up from the Twelve in Jerusalem, because they didn’t have this Gospel, but rather he had received this Gospel from the ascended Lord in glory. That’s why you can’t find this Gospel in the Four Gospels. It’s not back there, and couldn’t be, because Christ hadn’t died yet. Now here’s The Gospel!

I Corinthians 15:3,4

“For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; (Old Testament) And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:”

Now back to Chapter 4 again. Whenever Paul makes reference to his bringing the Corinthians The Gospel that we just read, that’s also what we must believe for our Salvation even today, and nothing else. How that Christ died for our sins, how that He was buried, and how He arose again for our justification. That’s The Gospel, and notice there’s nothing in there concerning a mandated baptism, there’s no mandated joining something, there no mandated doing something, it is just simply believing it. And that is so hard for a lot of people to comprehend. Although I’ll have to admit that our television response has become unbelievable of people who are beginning to see that it is this simple. In fact our next newsletter that we put out will have a couple of testimonies from people that have come out of spiritual darkness, and into a Salvation experience because of this television program. And so we know that The Gospel still has that tremendous power to bring people out of the darkness. Now since Paul was the one that brought The Gospel to the Corinthians, and remember this is Holy Spirit inspired, I’ve had people become angry, and say, “Les where do you get that we should be followers of Paul.” Look at verse 16.

I Corinthians 4:16

“Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of (Jesus Christ. Is that what it says? No, but that’s what most think it should say. But rather Paul says be ye followers of) me.”

Now let me show you another one, and there are many throughout his Epistles, but the one I can remember the best is in Philippians Chapter 3. And this is a precious little letter just full of this believer’s experience, and how in spite of adversities this man could write “rejoice evermore, I say rejoice,” and that’s the whole theme of Philippians. Let’s look at verse 17: And remember here Paul is writing to the Church at Philippi.

Philippians 3:17

“Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample.”

Most people think we’re supposed to be following Jesus. Who is Paul following? Jesus Christ, and we’re right at his heels. And so as we follow the teachings of Paul, Who are we following? Jesus Christ, but again not the Jesus of Nazareth, and the dusty roads of Palestine, but rather the “Crucified, Risen, Lord of glory is the One we follow.” Secondly, if I were to follow Jesus as some people think we should, then I say, “Now wait a minute, when I get to the shore of Galilee, and He takes off on foot, what am I supposed to do? I can’t walk on that water, Peter proved that. But Jesus did, and over and over He went through circumstances as the God-Man that I as a human can’t comprehend, so how am I going to follow in those footsteps?” But listen, The Lord Jesus that Paul follows, I can follow in Paul’s steps, because Paul was just as human as you and I. Paul hurt just as much when that whip fell on his bare back as it would hurt you and I. Paul got just as cold on those wind swept plains of Turkey as you and I would get, and if he could take it, then by God’s Grace you and I can take it. Do you see what I’m driving at? While we’re in Philippians look at verse 10, and this should be the prayer of every believer as we follow this Apostle.

Philippians 3:10

“That I may know him, (intimately on a person to person basis) and the power of his resurrection, (if you can’t believe the resurrection then you have no Salvation, you have no power, you’re destitute, because the very heart of The Gospel is, `That He Rose From The Dead.’ They can claim reincarnation, but they know nothing of resurrection.) and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;” Now back to I Corinthians:

I Corinthians 4:16,17

“Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me.” Paul is the example, he was willing to suffer and die for the sake of the Cross.

“For this cause (because Paul is the leader of this whole concept of Christianity, the Body of Christ) have I sent unto you Timotheus, who is my beloved son, (spiritually) and faithful in the Lord, who shall bring you into remembrance of my ways which be in Christ, as I teach everywhere in every church.”

Now even Timothy, when he comes, would remind the Corinthians of what Paul had done on their behalf in bringing them the knowledge of the crucified, and risen Christ. Do you see that? Now in verse 18 he’s having to deal with some problems again. But Paul says in spite of all the things that they had going for them – they had the apostle himself as their spiritual father, they had his spiritual son Timothy, who’s going to come and enhance the work. So they had all these things going for them. It was much like Israel back in the Old Testament. Do you realize how much Israel had going for them? And yet what did they do with it? They failed miserably over and over. Well the Corinthians are doing the same thing. They’ve had the strong preaching and teaching of the greatest Apostle that ever lived. They even had dear old Timothy come along and yet:

I Corinthians 4:18a

“Now some are puffed up,…”

Now when Paul speaks of being puffed up, what do you suppose is their main problem? Pride. I’ve heard sermon after sermon, and I imagine you have also. Pride is the one thing more than anything else that keeps people from Salvation. Because most people don’t want to admit that they’re a sinner. Pride stands in the way, they say, “I’m not that bad, in fact I’m pretty good.” And they refuse to see what God says. God says:

Romans 3:23

“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;”

And that’s what we have to go by whether we feel like it or not, and it’s that way in all the realms of faith. It doesn’t matter how you and I feel about something, but rather what the Book says. And if the Book says it, then whether I feel like it or not that’s what I have to go by. So Paul tells the believers at Corinth:

I Corinthians 4:18

“Now some of you are puffed up, as though I would not come to you.”

Now don’t forget Paul is across the Aegean Sea from Greece, over there in Western Turkey at Ephesus. He’s probably about 150 – 200 miles from Corinth, and these believers are saying, “Oh Paul will never show up here again. He’s not going to put forth the effort to take a ship and come across the Aegean and come and dress us down.” So in so many words Paul is telling them that they’re getting kind of cocky, you’re getting puffed up, and you think I won’t come to you, but I will, and when I get there I’m going to do some straightening out.

I Corinthians 4:19

“But I will come to you shortly, if the Lord will, and will know, not the speech of them which are puffed up, but the power.”

See even the Corinthians were not that far from Athens, – only about 50 miles. So they were in easy communicating distance even in the ancient days. And all the philosophy, and the paganism of Athens was also indicative in Corinth. So these believers were used to hearing the philosophers with all their smooth talk and big words, and that still impresses people even today doesn’t it. Oh they like to hear people who can use all this big “high falutin” language and what have you. That’s what they call, “You have arrived.” But Paul says that he’s not going to come to them with a bunch of smooth talk. I’m not going to come to you with the big long words of the philosophers. But rather I’m going to come to you with, “Power.” And that’s the word that Paul uses over and over, “The wisdom and the power of God.” That’s what brought these people out of paganism. It’s wasn’t Paul’s fast talking, or language, but the power of God when he preached the simple Gospel of Christ. And the Holy Spirit helped those people to understand that, yes, they were sinners for whom Christ died, and rose from the dead. Now verse 20.

I Corinthians 4:20

“For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power.”

Now let me take you back to the first Chapter, as it’s been a while since we were in I Corinthians Chapter 1, and then we’ll go to Romans Chapter 1. These are verses that I like to use over and over because they are so simplistic, and yet they say everything that needs to be said.

I Corinthians 1:18

“For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish (lost people) foolishness; but unto us which are saved (or made righteous) it is the power of God.”

I’ve had people ask me, “What does Someone that died 2000 years ago have to do with me today.” And the answer is: Everything! And remember good works will never save anybody, good works do not have the power of God. Good works are something that we can do in the energy of the flesh. Now let’s drop down to verses 21 through 25.

I Corinthians 1:21-25

“For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. (Plus nothing, and people can’t understand that. We’re saved by believing The Gospel + nothing. Otherwise it becomes legalism, a works religion.) For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; (then the word I really wanted you to see is in the next verse) But unto them which are called, (into the Body) both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.” But people don’t like to admit that. Romans Chapter 1, verse 16. And remember we’re still speaking of the power of God.

Romans 1:16

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ; (that same Gospel we looked at in I Corinthians 15:1- 4) for it (The Gospel) is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth;…” God is always looking for someone who has the faith to believe The Gospel that Christ died for our sins, was buried, and rose again. Now come back to the last verse in I Corinthians Chapter 4.

I Corinthians 4:21

“What will ye? shall I come unto you with a rod, (with wrath and anger) or in love, and in the spirit of meekness?”

Which one do you think Paul will come to them in? Well he will go in the spirit of love and meekness, because it just wasn’t Paul’s nature to go in there, and start taking harsh measures if he doesn’t absolutely have to. So this letter is going to be, I think, preparatory to his coming to the congregation in Corinth so that he can appeal to them in love and meekness.

313 - Les Feldick Bible Study Lesson 1 - Part 1 - Book 27 - Problems of Carnal Believers

313: Problems and Consequences of Carnal Believers – Lesson 1 Part 1 Book 27

Through the Bible with Les Feldick



As we pick up again in I Corinthians Chapter 4, we also begin book 27. You know all of this ministry started with a home Bible study in Iowa many years ago, and from that The Lord has just helped us to branch out where we can reach more and more folks with The Word. I never try to make argument with people, but I just teach The Word as I feel The Lord has revealed it to me. I’m just a layman; I do not attempt to talk in theological levels, but rather I try to teach The Word in a way that common people can comprehend it, and I believe we’re accomplishing that given the response we’re getting. Now let’s review verse 1:

I Corinthians 4:1

“Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards (or managers) of the mysteries of God.” We went through the mysteries in our last lesson and how these Pauline revelations are never referred to anywhere else in Scripture – not in the Old Testament, or the Four Gospels, and for the most part, not even in the Book of Acts. You find the mysteries only in the letters of Paul. Paul says in verse 2:

I Corinthians 4:2-4

“Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.” So whatever we are in charge of, it can be business, or church activities, or whatever – if we’re in charge we are responsible, and God expects us to be faithful.

“But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man’s judgment: yea, I judge not mine own self. For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified; but he that judgeth me is the Lord.”

Never lose sight of the fact that Corinth was a city that was saturated in paganism and all the gross immorality that went with it. They were so steeped in the things of the world. Even as Paul has garnered this little group of believers, remember they had just come out of this kind of background. So it stands to reason that they didn’t all of a sudden become spiritual giants. They had a lot of problems, and in Chapter 7, verse 1 it’s indicated that this congregation actually sent Paul (who is across the Aegean Sea at Ephesus when he writes this letter) a whole series of questions, and so Paul is answering these questions they have asked one by one. And when you get that concept then this little letter of Corinthians just sort of opens up again. Remember back in Chapter 1, Paul had to deal with so many of them lifting him up as the only man to listen to. Others had separated themselves saying that they only listen to Peter, and others said they listen to Apollos. Those were things that divided this little congregation, but that wasn’t their only problem. They also had a moral problem and problems with relationships within the church family. In fact the whole letter of Corinthians is dealing with a series of problems, and they had come to the Apostle Paul in the form of a letter asking, “How do we do this, how do we handle that?” So here he’s defending his apostleship.

Remember back in Chapter 1 we stressed that some said, “No, we listen to Peter, you’re just a fake, you’re an impostor. Peter is the one that has the authority, he walked with Jesus for three years, you didn’t.” So Paul has to constantly defend his apostleship, and here’s another little instance. See?

I Corinthians 4:3a,4b,5a

“But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man’s judgment…” ….but he that judgeth me is the Lord.” So Jesus Christ is the One that judgeth Paul, the One who sent him out to be the Apostle of the Gentiles in the first place. Verse 5a:

“Therefore (since no one can judge Paul except The Lord Who sent him) judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come,”

Believers will never receive their rewards until the end of time. The lost are not going to receive their just recompense until the end of their time. Why? You see, as you and I go through this life as believers, we are making impacts on people all around us. And what the final impact will really be, we won’t know until The Lord, the Righteous Judge, will reveal at the last time. In other words, for you and I living today, if The Lord should tarry, and we go on through the valley of death, every person that we have touched in this life is going to still carry on in some way or another, and we don’t know what they’re going to accomplish.

I have to think of my own experience. I’m sure the people that were instrumental in my early Christian experience are long gone, but you see, the result of what they did in my life is still carrying on. It’s the same way with a lost person, as he makes an impact on the world from his lostness, he too is going to be reaping rewards of people who are following in his or her footsteps. So this is what the apostle is trying to show here, and that is, we are responsible only to The Lord, and until He comes this is where our responsibility lies. Now reading verse 5 again:

I Corinthians 4:5

“Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.”

Over and over I have defined this word “manifest’ as you see it so often in Scripture – things being manifested, and here it is again in this verse. At the end of time when The Lord comes, then He will make manifest the counsels of the heart which is an area that only God can see. And again that word `manifest’ is being put under the spotlight. And the microscope is a perfect example. When you turn on that bright light of the microscope that manifests everything clearly that is on that slide, and all of a sudden everything that was invisible is now visible. And that is what the word `manifest’ almost every time depicts in Scripture. There is coming a time when that sharp light of God’s knowledge is going to penetrate even into the very hearts of our being, and then every believer shall have praise of God.

This is what we are to live for. You know we’re living in a time of materialism, and I suppose 90% of motivation among most of us is material advancement. We want it better than the last generation, we want our kids to have it better than we had it. But listen, we have our priorities wrong, the things that count the most as The Lord Jesus Himself put it in His earthly ministry.

Matthew 6:33

“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”

There’s nothing wrong with things in themselves; it’s what people do with things in their schedule of priorities. We are to live and breathe so that we might have the praise of God. That’s why He’s left us here, to bring honor and glory to His name.

I Corinthians 4:6

“And these things, brethren, I have in a figure (in a picture or type) transferred to myself and to Apollos for your sakes; that ye might learn in us not to think of men above that which is written, that no one of you be puffed up for one against another.”

Paul is having to deal with the problem, that within the congregation of Corinth some were getting all puffed up, and saying, “I’m the one who is most important in this congregation because I go by what Peter taught.” And over here would be another that would say, ” Oh, no I’m the one that is the leader of this congregation because I’m imitating the Apostle Paul.” So you see how infantile they really were? They were still so carnal, and so he was dealing with the problem that you can’t get puffed up and give someone the impression that you’re better than they are, that you’re more spiritually blessed, and all these things. Now verse 7, and here we come down to the whole practicality of our very existence.

I Corinthians 4:7a

“For who maketh thee to differ from another?…” (“from another” is in italic)

Actually it says who maketh you different, that’s what it amounts to. I’ll never forget that years ago (I was probably a teenager in our Church congregation up there in Northern Iowa) we had an old German immigrant who had become quite wealthy. I’ll never take anything away from him because he was a tremendously hard worker. He had accumulated hundreds of acres, and he was known as one of the more wealthy people in the community. This gentleman always sat on the second row in our Sunday morning service, and the pastor evidently was preaching a sermon on this same order, “that we are nothing except what God let’s us be.” I’ll never forget when he asked the old gentlemen, “Who gave you the ability to make all your money?” And the gentlemen said, “Nobody, I did it myself.” But he was wrong. He couldn’t have made a nickel, he could have never bought a quarter section without God ordaining it. And see this is where we all are. We are what we are by the Sovereign Grace of God, and this is what Paul is emphasizing to these Corinthians. “Don’t you get puffed up that you’re better than somebody else, because you’re nothing except what God made you.”

I Corinthians 4:7

“For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? (From Whom? From God. Everyone of us as believers are what we are, we have what we have, only by the Grace of God, and we can never get puffed up, and say, “Hey look what I’ve accomplished.” We can’t do that because we have accomplished nothing of ourselves.)now if thou didst receive it, why doest thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?”

In other words the apostle is saying, “Why are you glorying over something that you didn’t even have anything to do with.” Do you see that? And every time we get an inkling that maybe I’m somebody special, knock that thought right down because we are nothing except what God has let us become. And again all of that is based on His Grace. I don’t deserve three meals a day, I don’t deserve any of the good things of life, but I have them, Why? Because God’s Grace has seen fit to permit it. Now verse 8:

I Corinthians 4:8a

“Now ye are full, now ye are rich,…”

Hey, I thought these believers were carnal. They are, they are not spiritually rich like the Ephesians. They still have a long way to go, but again this brings right back home this whole concept of Salvation, that the moment we’re saved we have all of God as He can put Himself into us. We have everything so far as the fullness of the Holy Spirit from the very moment we believe. You don’t have to work, and look for it, because that was all part of Salvation. Now, granted, God does leave within our realm of control how much of the fullness we’re going to maintain (or are we going to let it empty out some). A cup of water is a good example. If I want to fill that cup of water with air, what do I do with my water? Pour it out. Now if I pour out a 1/2 of cup of water, how much of the cup is full of air? Half, and if I pour out 3/4 of a cup then 3/4 is air and 1/4 is water.

Now in an analogy this is a good way to explain the fullness of the Holy Spirit. The moment we’re saved we’re filled to the brim with the Holy Spirit. You just talk to someone who has been recently saved, and they are bubbling over, they are excited, they know what a tremendous thing has happened in their life. But we’re still in this old world with all of it’s allurements and all of it’s temptations and desires of the flesh, so what happens? Pretty soon we start filling that cup up with air or the Pneuma, the Holy Spirit, or we start filling it with material things. Then the first thing you know our cup is full of the material isn’t it? And what have we done with the Holy Spirit? We’ve almost cancelled Him out. Now He’ll never leave, so don’t get that idea, but we love His fullness. Now we come to a point then in our Christian experience, and here is where you have to get into The Word, and you have to be in fellowship with other believers. So then we finally come to the conclusion that the Holy Spirit is not having the control in our lives that we want Him to have. We’ve got to do something about it, and remember all these things we saw in the Book of Romans do become a personal decision, because you’re free.

Now if we want more of that fullness of the Holy Spirit back in our lives, what are we going to have to do with material that’s in the cup? Pour it out, get rid of it, and if you want to be completely filled again get right down to the basics, get priority wise, and get to where the spiritual things means more than the material. Looking at verse 8 again Paul tells these carnal Christians:

I Corinthians 4:8,9

“Now ye are full, now ye are rich, ye have reigned as kings without us: and I would to God ye did reign, that we also might reign with you.” The Apostle is bringing them to the place where they could experience a greater joy of their Salvation, and the Apostle wants to be part of that. Because after all he was the one responsible for bringing them out of their paganistic lifestyle.

“For I think that God hath set forth us the apostles last (I think Paul is including the Twelve back there in Jerusalem, himself, and probably Barnabas), as it were appointed to death: for we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men.”

Now I’m sure everyone of us have considered death at sometime in our Christian experience. And I know it’s not for us to question God’s Sovereignty, but we’re human, and so we do, we ask why. Do you realize that all twelve of the apostles except maybe John who may have died a natural death, as he was in exile on the isle of Patmos, but all the others died a martyred death, everyone of them, a horrible death, and the Apostle Paul the same way. Beheaded at the hands of Nero. Let’s go for a moment to II Corinthians, Chapter 11 and look at how Paul had to suffer. And as you read this passage inspired by the Holy Spirit (so this isn’t Paul just simply expressing his own feelings of his own vision, this is Holy Spirit inspired) it’s here for a purpose. And look what this man went through for the sole purpose of getting the Gospel out to the Gentile world. He was getting no compensation, he wasn’t gaining any material wealth whatsoever. If Paul had wealth as a Jew and Pharisee he evidently just left it all behind, and that’s what I think happened. I think at one time Saul of Tarsus was a wealthy religious Jew, but he chucked it all for the sake of being the apostle to the Gentiles.

II Corinthians 11:22,23a

“Are they Hebrews? so am I, Are they Israelites? so am I, Are they the seed of Abraham? so am I. Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool)…”

Do you remember what Paul said about the Gospel back there in Chapter 1 of I Corinthians?

I Corinthians 1:18a

“For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.”

Here in II Corinthians Paul is saying that from the world he was a fool to have chucked all the power, prestige, and wealth that he had as a Jewish religious leader.

II Corinthians 11:23-28

“Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labours more abundant, in stripes (from the whip) above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft. (Near death, and now here it comes in the next verse.) Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. Thrice (three) was I beaten with rods, (none of us know what that was like, it was inhuman.) once was I stoned, (that’s when they dragged him out of the city of Lystra, and he was supposedly dead.) thrice (three) I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; (do you see that? And it was for the sake of the Gospel.) In journeyings often, (in his three missionary journeys the man must of been on foot day after day after day) in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, (the Jews were out to kill him constantly) in perils by the heathen, (the Romans are finally going to end up putting him to death.) in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; In weariness and painfulness, (he was human, he wasn’t a superstar) in watchings often, in hunger (he couldn’t stop and get a Big Mac along the way) and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.” (Not sufficient clothing to keep him warm, and on top of the physical sufferings) Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches.”

The man was constantly under pressure; as an example, the letters from the Corinthians with all their problems, and the Galatians he finds out they’re trying to go back under the Law, and legalism. And he has to hurriedly sit down and write the six Chapters to the Galatians. So over and over the man is just constantly besieged with the care of Christianity, which is now just beginning to make itself known throughout the Roman Empire. I have to look at a situation like that. Would I keep going? Would you keep going? If you were just constantly suffering everyday of your life for the simple reason of getting the Gospel out to these pagan heathen who were so content to worship their gods of wood and stone. I mean I just can’t help but wonder. I have to ask why did a man like Paul have to suffer to such extreme that we might get the Gospel? What kept him from giving up and going back home to Tarsus, and saying, “What’s the use?” But he didn’t, he kept on, and kept on until finally Rome itself put him to death.