11.27 2 Corinthians 1-5

Chiedu Okonmah

11.27.2020

2 Corinthians 1-5

Summary:

In 2 Corinthians 1-5, Paul continues with another letter to the people of Corinth. In these first 5 chapters, Paul talks about the New Testament Church and the importance of Jesus in all of it. A lot of what Paul discusses has to do with forgiveness, reconciliation and the grace of God. Paul really makes It evident that, through the grace of God, Jesus was sent to die for us in order to recreate or reconcile the relationship between us and God.

Key Verse: 2 Corinthians 5: 14-15

For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.

How does what you read change your vision of God?

It can be so easy to detach from having a personal relationship with God, but scriptures like these remind me of the amount of love God has for me. He wanted me to be connected to Him so much, that He sent down His one and only Son to die for me. This really puts into perspective the unconditional love that God has for me, and all of us.

How will you Go With God because of this reading?

I will Go With God by trusting His will in my life over my own. My pride can get in the way of me seeing that His will and plan is better than anything that I can come up with. By doing this, I will no longer live for myself, but for Him.

Where did you see Jesus in these chapters?

I saw Jesus in every part where Paul was talking about Jesus’ Church. I especially saw Jesus in the key verse. Without Jesus, we would not have the faith that we profess today. It’s Christ’s love that provided the lives we live now.

11.26 1 Corinthians 15-16

Anna Kainulainen

11.26.2020

1 Corinthians 15-16

In 1 Corinthians 15, Paul reminds the church of the gospel. He stresses the importance of believing in the gospel and the resurrection if you truly believe in Jesus. This is the foundational belief of Christianity: that Jesus died for our sins, he was buried, and he rose on the third day. Paul explains that Christ has been raised from the dead, yet if Christ has not been raised from the dead that we are still lost in our sins. In addition, Paul emphasizes that we are made alive in Christ. Christ brings hope, forgiveness, eternal life if we believe in him and follow him. Chapter 15 continues with people being ignorant and living lives away from God. Paul writes about our bodies being perishable, for one day we will be raised into heaven and live an eternal life with Jesus Christ. We are of the earth now, but we need to remember that one day we will be of heaven. Because of this, Paul stresses that we need to give ourselves fully to the work of the Lord and live like there is a reason and a purpose for our lives here on earth. Chapter 16 discusses the collection of money and saving of money. Then it concludes by reminding the church to be strong in their faith and devoted to the Lord.  

A key verse from these chapters is 1 Corinthians 15:58, which says:

“Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”

This verse changes my vision of God because it reminds me to stay strong in my faith and be devoted to God constantly. When I am overwhelmed with the struggles of life, I need to remember that my God is stronger. When I am feeling weak, I need to stand firm in my faith. When I am feeling stressed, I need to devote myself to God. In every circumstance, we need to stay firm in our faith and we need to be devoted to God. 

I see Jesus in this verse because Jesus was the ultimate example of someone who stood firm in his faith. When people mocked him, betrayed him, or denied him, Jesus was still devoted to God. In the hardest moments of his life, he leaned on God for us…because he loved us that much. How can you live like Jesus? How can you make your faith unshakeable? How can you devote yourself to God?

1 Corinthians 11-14

Brandon Kainulainen 

11.25.2020

1 Corinthians 11-14 

Summary: 

Chapter 11: Paul writes to the Corithians about the coverings worn at worship. He then reminds the Corithians that they should examine themselves before taking communion, for those who partake of the Lord’s supper are judged by the Lord.

 Chapter 12: This chapter talks about spiritual gifts and unity in the body of Christ. He describes that each of us has a gift to share and that we are all a part of one body. Each body part needs the other to function fully.

Chapter 13: This chapter is often called the love chapter. It is often recited at weddings because it defines all different aspects of love. Love is described in detail in this chapter and it talks about how all things are nothing without love.

Chapter 14: In this chapter Paul speaks about tongues and the interpretation of tongues in the church.

What is one key verse?  

1 Corinthians 12:12-14 “Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body – whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free – and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many”

How does what you read change your vision of God? These chapters change my vision of God in that they reflect on how much God loves us and values us. We are made in his image and are his body. This reminds me of how much God loves us. We are his people and his children and we are fully loved and valued.

How does what you read change your vision of yourself or others? I think that we can try to be more unified. The world is always trying to get the body to be like one part but we are made up of many different parts. Each part is unique, beautiful, and necessary. We need every unique gift and talent to be full and strong.

How will you Go With God because of this reading? I will Go With God by continuing to try to use my spiritual gifts for God’s kingdom. I would like to continue to help with the worship team and in leading ministries at the church.

Where did you see Jesus in these chapters? I saw Jesus in these chapters in the description of love. In every spot that Paul describes love in Chapter 13 there is only one person who can fit that description and that is Jesus. We can all strive to fit the description of love but only Jesus who gave his life for us can ever achieve perfect love.

11.24 1 Corinthians 7-10

Katie Humphrey

11.24.2020

1 Corinthians 7-10

Summary:

After Paul spends time as a missionary in Corinth he hears reports of sinful behavior and writes these letters to the church in Corinth. This portion covers sexual sin and the eating of food sacrificed to idols. 

What is the key verse? Why?

1 Corinthians 8:7-13

However, not all possess this knowledge. But some, through former association with idols, eat food as really offered to an idol, and their conscience, being weak, is defiled. Food will not commend us to God. We are no worse off if we do not eat, and no better off if we do. But take care that this right of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak. For if anyone sees you who have knowledge eating in an idol’s temple, will he not be encouraged, if his conscience is weak, to eat food offered to idols? And so by your knowledge this weak person is destroyed, the brother for whom Christ died. Thus, sinning against your brothers and wounding their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ. Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble.

How does what you read change your vision of yourself or others?

This reminds me that I am my sister’s/brother’s keeper. It is so important that our actions not lead others to sin, and that everything we do is fueled by love.

How will you Go With God because of this reading? (What is an action step?)

I frequently think about how my example/actions will influence others. For me personally, it’s easiest to have a heart of selfishness in regards to my social media posts. I think in the current climate it’s easy to say what I think and not care about how it affects the people in my life that may think differently than I do. This verse reminds me that I must always think about how my posts will affect my brothers and sisters in Christ, and whether or not I am truly acting out of love.

Where did you see Jesus in these chapters? (What made you think about Jesus?)

I saw Jesus shine through the sacrificial heart of this key verse. To put the needs of others above his own is exactly what Christ did for us throughout his ministry here and with his death on the cross. He calls us to do the same.

I hope this helps you see the bible with new vision!

11.23 1 Corinthians 1-6

Jeff Wenta

11.23.2020

1 Corinthians 1 – 6

Summarize what you read in one paragraph:

Our brother and Apostle of Jesus, Paul of Tarsus writes a very sharp letter to the fellowship in Corinth, a Greek city in a Roman empire with many thousand disciples bringing lots of baggage with them into the Kingdom.  Paul says in a subsequent letter that he wrote this letter “out of great distress and anguish of heart and with many tears” and we see why when he lays out on the table one issue after another – the behavior – the choices – of the disciples in their fellowship and the failure of the leadership to act in step with the Spirit.

What is one key verse?

1 Corinthians 2:2 “For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.”

How does what you read change your vision of God?

These chapters really help root me in deeper to the cross.  It’s my savior on that cross!  That is my God and Lord there.  Why am I anywhere else?   

How does what you read change your vision of yourself or others?

I see now how we humans tend to – and how I tend to – slip my eyes off of the cross and on to the leaders serving us. I get myopic and begin feeling neglected if a leader does not notice the work we did for the fellowship. Or I feel proud to be led by this leader but feel unled by that leader. My eyes are no longer fixed on Jesus on my cross so I am much more easily distracted by temptations to give in to a little impurity here, a little pride there, a little jab here, a little neglect there. So these chapters are helping me to see more clearly myself in the Corinthians.

How will you Go With God because of this reading? (What is an action step?)

I will resolve to know nothing while serving in this church except Jesus Christ and him crucified.  In practicality – I will go to the scriptures everyday to “remain in Christ” and make sure to serve side by side with anyone brave enough to be a full-time ministry leader..

Where did you see Jesus in these chapters? (What made you think about Jesus?)

Twice in these chapters Paul reminded them their bodies are God’s temple which reminded me when Jesus told his hecklers, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.” “Therefore honor God with your bodies.” Jesus did.

11.21 Romans 12-16

Tom Humphrey

11.21.2020

Romans 12-16

Chapters 12 through 14 are full of a lot of good practical teachings. Some of the ones that stood out to me are:

  1. Do not be conformed to the world, but be transformed through the renewal of your mind. To me, this means I need to read my Bible and remember that this world is temporary and does not lead to the truth.
  2. Members of the body of Christ are given different gifts. Use what has been given to you. I need to Glorify God with my gifts and not judge or be jealous of other peoples’ gifts.
  3. Live peaceably with everyone as much as possible.
  4. Submit to the government and show your authorities respect.
  5. Love your neighbor as yourself. Love is the fulfilling of the law.
  6. Do not cause someone to do something they think is wrong even if you don’t think it is wrong yourself. Do not be a stumbling block for someone else.
  7. Jesus is our hope. Abound in hope. I can easily forget how special salvation really is.

Chapter 15 mostly talks about Paul preaching to the gentiles and his plans to visit the Romans. Chapter 16 is the final chapter of Romans. It is primarily a number of greetings to members of the church in Rome. It also contains a warning to watch out for people who try to trick you with false teachings. 

A key verse is Romans 14:8-9

For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s.

I think this is a great reminder that my purpose in life is to glorify God and to be used by Him. It is very easy to get distracted by all the stresses and material things in life and forget what is really important. This was also demonstrated in Jesus’s life and death. He lived and died to glorify God and to fulfill the Father’s purposes. 

11.20 Romans 9-11

Trina Hofstetter

11.20.2020

Romans 9-11

Summary:  In these three chapters in Romans, Paul outlined God’s plans for the Jews.  In chapter 9, Paul began with a brief history lesson about God’s covenant with Abraham and his children.  Paul then explained how God bestows His mercy on His children, but also hardens the hearts of those of His children who refuse to listen.  God is extra patient with the children He is angry with for following a path of destruction.  In looking at how the Gentiles were made right with God as compared to the people of Israel, Paul told the Romans that the key was that they just had to trust in Him.

In Chapter 10, Paul then explained to the Romans why the people of Israel failed in following God: they tried to continue following the law, even after Jesus Christ.  Paul gave the Romans very simple instructions for salvation, which many of us have verbalized during our baptisms: believe in your heart that Jesus is the Son of God, that God raised Him from the dead, and then declare that Jesus is Lord.  

In Chapter 11, Paul discussed God’s grace.  His grace has kept the faithful.  His grace is free and undeserved.  Paul even told the Romans that no child of God could ever stumble and fall beyond recovery.  God made salvation available to all.  Paul went on to explain to the Romans that God appointed him to spread His Word in order to make the Israelites jealous and long to make things right with Him. 

What is one key verse?  I couldn’t pick just one!  Romans 9:11 reiterates 8:28 by reminding us that “God chooses people according to his own purpose.”  Romans 9:16 states that “…it is God who decides to show mercy. We can neither choose it nor work for it.”  Romans 10:9 says “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”  Romans 10:13 states that “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”  Romans 11:16 ends with “For if the roots of the tree are holy, the branches will be, too.”  Romans 11:36 ends the chapter with “For everything comes from him and exists by his power and is intended for his glory.”

How does what you read change your vision of God?  I don’t know that my vision of God has changed, but I definitely saw more of a fatherly side to Him in these chapters.  He wants all of His children to be faithful and believe.  He wants what is best for us.  Even when we have sinned and angered Him.  He will try anything to save us, even harden our hearts until we are ready for Him.

How does what you read change your vision of yourself or others?   My vision of myself has changed in the sense that I see how I need to be more faithful and have a stronger relationship with God so that my children will be too (Romans 11:16).

How will you Go With God because of this reading?  I will go with God by trying each day to remember that God has a purpose for me and my life.  I may not see that now, but I need to trust in Him to lead me on His intended path.

Where did you see Jesus in these chapters?  I saw Jesus in chapter 9, verse 22, where Paul explained that God is extra patient with those that He is the most angry with.  I can’t imagine how angry Jesus might have been through every trial that he faced, every horrible person who did him wrong.  But he was always patient and kind.  He really emulated his Father.

11.19 Romans 6-8

Ryan Hofstetter

11.19.2020

Romans 6-8

Summarize what you read in one paragraph:

Romans 6 talks about becoming dead to sin and alive in Christ. That we need to put as much energy into living in Christ as we did to live in sin before we died to it. When we were baptized, we died to sin and were resurrected in Christ as a new being. So we are free of the slavery of sin. It is time to serve our new master Christ Jesus.

Romans 7 talks about our sinful nature, God’s Law, and how Christ fulfilled God’s law. How God’s law is still of value because it teaches us about God’s holiness, about sin, and about God’s plan. How we needed to be set free from the slavery of our sinful nature and in that freedom practice life through the ministry of the Holy Spirit, which is talked about in Romans 8.

Romans 8 talks about how we live in the Holy Spirit by focusing on the things of the Spirit. This is possible because the Holy Spirit lives in all believers. So we no longer follow what the flesh or (sin) wants, but act as and live as adopted Heirs of God.

What is one key verse?

Romans 8:18

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing  with the glory that is to be revealed to us.

How does what you read change your vision of God?

It helps me understand how I should be living as a believer and more of what Christ’s death and resurrection play in my battle with sin and how I am saved.

How does what you read change your vision of yourself or others?

It gives me a diagram for how I should be living. A way to continue to refine myself as a Christian.

How will you Go With God because of this reading? (What is an action step?)

I will be more diligent and intentional with my actions to focus what I am doing towards Christ.

Where did you see Jesus in these chapters? (What made you think about Jesus?)

Jesus’ sacrifice and resurrection. What it was for and how it changed everything.

11.18 Romans 4-5

Dana Haynes

11.18.2020

Romans 4-5

Let’s take a look at Romans Chapter 4 and 5.

It’s hard to dive into chapter 4 without considering all that has come before because Paul begins chapter 4 with a question based on everything he has just been saying.

“What shall we say Abraham, our forefather discovered in this matter?”

What Paul is about to do is to answer his own question by making an argument for justification by faith in Jesus Christ for everyone, not just the Jews. He does this in a very clever way. He explains that God gave Abraham his credit of righteousness before he had ever been circumcised! So, as a Jew, if you had never thought about that before, it would have been a real eye opener. Paul’s assertion is: since Abraham was credited righteousness before his obedience, he is actually the father of everyone, not just the Jews!

In Chapter 5, Paul explains why we need a savior and how sin entered the world through the action of one man, Adam, but because of the action of another man, Jesus, anyone who obeys him can be made righteous.

Probably the most important verse from these two chapters is Romans 5:8:

“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

This really moves me because it reminds me that I brought nothing to the table in order for Christ to save me. I am a sinner in need of a savior. Even while we were still an enemy of God, He reached down and allowed us to be a part of his Kingdom. We do not deserve this so we are humbled and filled with gratitude.

11.17 Romans 1-3

Kim Jones

11.17.2020

Romans 1-3

Summarize what you read in one paragraph: 

Paul wrote a letter to the Romans telling them that God sent him as a servant to tell the good news of the gospel that was preached long ago. This good news is about Jesus Christ our Lord. Paul goes on to tell of Jesus’ death and how the Holy Spirit raised Jesus from the dead. Paul then stated that God loves them and he has chosen them to be His people. However, in order to live as God’s people, they are given instructions: live by faith and be righteous. He goes on to talk about the sinful nature of man and that God will show wrath on those who do not follow his instructions. 

What is one key verse?

Romans 2:1 – “Therefore you have no excuse, o man, every one of you who judges. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things.” 

How does what you read change your vision of God?

My vision of God remains intact: He is just. It is fair for Christians to be called to sacrifice and to be judged by God if we do not do as we are called. 

How does what you read change your vision of yourself or others?

What is most important about this reading is to be consistent in self-reflection. We must always remember that we are no different from those outside of God’s family – I mean we are not better or more special. We are frail and prone to sin. We must consistently work to be all that God has called us to be whether we feel like it or not. 

How will you Go With God because of this reading? (What is an action step?)

Continuously working to be a better example of Christ’s sacrifice and love will be the focus of each day.

Where did you see Jesus in these chapters? (What made you think about Jesus?)

This passage reminds me of the example of Jesus when he meets the woman at the well who was living with a man who wasn’t her husband. He didn’t make her feel bad about her life choices; he offered her love and a way out.