Week 49

The gospel of Jesus Christ is spreading into the whole world! The Church is taking root, but no one ever said building the Church would be easy! As we saw last week, people tend to disagree about stuff! Throughout Paul’s first letter to the church at Corinth, we saw arguments about every conceivable thing! There were disagreements about sin.
There were problems in the worship services. They even fought over who had the best spiritual gifts! This is all part of the give and take of people living together, but as we read on, some more ominous divisions begin to grow within the early Church.
Paul is now dealing with hecklers. Christian believers from Jerusalem are following behind Paul trying to “correct” what Paul is teaching. The big debate is about being Jewish. Every Jew enters the covenant with God through circumcision (remember Abraham?) as well as adherence to the Law and the lifestyle it demands. Through
His death and resurrection, Jesus opens this covenant up to all the other people on earth. In effect, the entire world becomes more Jewish. Does that not mean then that the entire world must follow the Law and the lifestyle that it demands? Should newly baptized gentile men be circumcised according to the Torah too? Or is baptism enough? Should the gentile believers in Jesus also follow the food restrictions from Leviticus and celebrate the required festivals, too? The hecklers who are following Paul around say “YES!” Gentiles must be Jewish in every respect. For Paul, the answer is an emphatic NO! The same question is being raised among the churches in Galatia, too. We look around at all the different kinds of churches and denominations. We see that these differences among the Body of Christ are not a modern invention. Paul’s point is clear though. What we teach matters. What we believe matters. We are not free to play with the gospel and shape it to suit our tastes. I know it may be hard to read every day with all the holiday business. There’s a lot to do to get ready for
Christmas, but I encourage to continue to carve out your time in the Bible to get ready for Christ. Daily study of God’s Word is one of the ways we strive to “keep Christ in Christmas!” Press on to reach the finish line!
Keep reading and I’ll see you in the Bible!
WEEK 49 Reading Schedule:
Dec 3 1 Corinthians 15-16 Resurrection, Final Remarks
Dec 4 2 Corinthians 1-4 Paul’s Attackers, Living By Faith
Dec 5 2 Corinthians 5-9 Reconciliation, Collection for Jerusalem
Dec 6 2 Corinthians 10-13 Paul’s Defense, Warnings Against False Prophets
Dec 7 Galatians 1-3 Galatians Are Abandoning Faith
Dec 8 Galatians 4-6 Freedom, Fruits of Spirit
Dec 9 Ephesians 1-3 One in Christ, Ministry to Gentiles