No, Your Body Is Not a Temple of the Holy Spirit

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I recently wrote a post about how one of the most quoted Bible verses, Jeremiah 29:11, is regularly misapplied by Christians. The main point of my article is that we misapply this passage – and many passages of Scripture – because we approach it with an individualistic lens rather than an ancient, collective lens. The former is more in tune with a modern, western perspective; the latter is more in line with the Bible.

One detail that helped me to see this more collective perspective within Scripture is by realizing that, 9 out 10 times, the word you in the Bible is plural, not singular. We just don’t easily catch this in our English translations.

And this is why I would make the case found in the title of this post: “No, Your Body Is Not a Temple of the Holy Spirit.” Continue reading

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Wait, Paul! Do You Want Us to Speak in Tongues or Not?

Acts 2:1-4. When the day of Pentecost came. Pastel & pen. 26 May 2012.

The tongue – Scripture tells us it can be a great blessing and a grave problem (James 3:1-12). And don’t we, especially I, know this truth.

But still, the tongue can be used for blessing. And I believe one way it can be used is not just through kind words of encouragement and comfort, but also through the oft-misunderstood gift of tongues.

We don’t really have much detailed instruction by way of Scripture of how this gift works. We have some directives in 1 Cor 14, as well as examples throughout the book of Acts. But there definitely isn’t a guide that says: this is exactly how you do it!

And, again, I wouldn’t expect Scripture to give exhaustive commands about this gift, since it is not some kind of guidebook listing detailed instructions on the how to’s for everything it touches upon.

But here is where things get a bit sticky with the gift of tongues: In reading 1 Cor 14, it seems Paul tells us this gift is a beneficial gift to be utilised amongst God’s people. But on the other hand, it seems we’re told almost the opposite. It’s going to cause problems for non-Christians, so don’t use it.

Which is it? Continue reading

Paul & the Gifts of the Spirit in 1 Corinthians 12-14

imagesWhen we think of the charismata gifts of the Spirit, we normally think of 2 places to look in Scripture – the book of Acts and 1 Corinthians 12-14. And those are 2 good places to start.

However, these 2 passages are not the say all, end all on these gifts of the Spirit. They are a good start, but they don’t stand as detailed instructions like how to change the hard drive on your computer.

And, let us not discount from learning about the gift (singular) of the Spirit and the gifts (plural) of the Spirit in Acts. We learn just as much from reading of God’s acting amongst humanity as we do in specifically instructive words. Not to mention that Luke has shaped Acts in such a way as to teach us.

Nevertheless, we might say that it’s Paul’s instructive words to the Corinthians that give us more particular guidelines as to what these gifts might look like in the gathering of God’s people. And it’s 1 Cor 12:1-11 that provide a little introduction to these gifts.

So I’d like to highlight 5 main points that I see in these introductory words of Paul. Continue reading

The Cross as the Power & Wisdom of God

rouault-crucifixionIt’s holy week in the Christian calendar. Today is Good Friday, remembering the crucifixion of Christ. Tomorrow is Holy Saturday, or what I think is better identified as Silent Saturday. Then we have Easter Sunday, given to celebrate the reality that Jesus walked out of the grave alive.

What I want to do today, which I’ve shared on before, is not consider the words of the gospels in regards to Christ’s death (though they are amazing!). Rather I want to consider Paul’s words found in 1 Cor 1:10 – 2:5. Continue reading

If Only For This Life We Have Hope…

I wanted to share a few thoughts around a particular passage, mainly 1 Cor 15:19. This specific verse is found within a context where Paul gives the Corinthians a summary of the gospel – which is based in the story of Jesus, Israel’s Messiah, and his death and resurrection. Paul then proceeds to lay out some teaching about the resurrection – first of Christ as prototype, then that of all believers.

I’ll post a smidgen of verses here: Continue reading