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DOUBTERS IN THE BIBLE

Christianity Oasis Ministry has provided you with this Doubters in the Bible Daily Bread Bible Study. We'll be looking into that and all aspects of the Christian Walk. This SON-derful study reveals truth as to bring forth understanding and peace within.

THE FIRST EPISTLE OF PAUL THE APOSTLE TO THE CORINTHIANS

CHAPTER 9


DOUBTERS IN THE BIBLE

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CHECK OUT THE FIRST EPISTLE OF PAUL THE APOSTLE TO THE CORINTHIANS STUDY FROM THE BEGINNING

1 CORINTHIANS BIBLE STUDY


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DOUBTERS


THE FIRST EPISTLE OF PAUL THE APOSTLE TO THE CORINTHIANS

CHAPTER 9

DOUBTERS IN THE BIBLE

Welcome back to Daily Bread! Ready to share more of Paul's letter? Great! Remember when we left off, Paul was answering some questions that the Corinthians had asked him in a letter or letters of their own.

Just as in every society, there are those who will question the authority of the leaders and it seems that it's been brought to Paul's attention that some people were in doubt of some of his methods or teachings.

Unfortunately, we only get to know Paul's character through his writings, but as captivating as they are, you can only imagine what Paul's personality was like when he was sharing the Word in person. Paul's first letter to the Corinthians is only the second of fourteen letters that are included in the Bible with Paul's own testimony and you've already experienced many different emotions of his. You've seen that his tactics are effective and most importantly, you can't escape the TRUTH in what he says.

Paul certainly didn't care how he brought lost sheep to the Lord, as long as he brought them. If your own child was kidnapped and returned, you wouldn't ask of he who brought the child home what the rescue plan was, you'd just be grateful that your precious child was home safe and out of harms way. It appears that the Lord didn't question Paul's manner because He continued providing His Holy Spirit to Paul which was visible not only in his words but in the miracles that were performed through Him by God..

But, as I said before, there are doubters in every crowd, and there were bound to be those who would raise their eyebrows at Paul's ways. You read in the Gospels how the Pharisees persistently and relentlessly questioned Jesus' motives, so you must know that Paul expected the same treatment. In fact, if you're a Christian, spreading the Word of God, you know first hand that people will examine whatever you say and question the authenticity of your every word. Our credibility is tested not only in our words, but by our actions as well. This is to be expected as all are to check the fruits ... Matthew 12:33 and to prove all things 1 Thessalonians 5:21.

Paul, you'll find was a tremendously patient man. Imagine, doing all you could for your flock, loving them, devoting your life to them. After all, Paul was a tent-maker, he could have been pretty well off one would think, if he hadn't surrendered all to follow Jesus. At that time, tents were peoples' homes. In today's world, he might be the equivalent of a home-builder. It's probably a safe bet that he didn't answer to anyone in his profession, and he might have achieved an "upper class" income level financially speaking, if he were to pursue his career.

Now, imagine, you give all that up for the love of Jesus, you forfeit having a wife and children so you can devote all of your time effort and energy to serving the Lord, you go on journeys that take years to complete, you're persecuted verbally, stoned, whipped, mobbed, etc., etc., etc., by unbelieving Jews (your own people) and Greeks that had a separate god for every aspect of life, but now, to top that off, people of your own congregation are questioning whether or not you're a fraud because of rumors. These were false brethren within the church!

DOUBTERS IN THE BIBLE WARNINGS OF DOUBTERS IN THE BIBLE DANGERS AND DOUBTERS IN THE BIBLE CONCERNS

I must point out that though there were problems in Corinth, the church there was considered a huge success. To take a people from the blatant heathenism that they practiced there, introduce Christianity and start a church was not an easy task by any means whatsoever.

Not only did Paul surrender what most wouldn't, but to avoid feeling obligated to anyone, he practiced tent-making while he was sojourning. But really, what rights did the other apostles have that Paul shouldn't? Their faith alone ... Their conversion was a sign of his true apostleship.

It's nothing new for a minister of the Lord to be treated with ungratefulness in return for good works and compassionate service among his own congregation. Oft times they will deny themselves for the good of others, stretching themselves far beyond the edge of the cliff to save a soul in danger, yet what respect do they get in return? It's nothing new for faithful followers of the Lord to meet with the worst treatment where they might expect the best. Paul probably spent more time helping the people of Corinth than anywhere else. Paul had the right to claim what was needful for himself and his family if he had any, from the church, without setting aside his ministry to get it. But Paul gave up that right, rather than jeopardize his success by requesting it.

He always provided for himself to avoid any kind of misunderstandings, accusations or questions of his worthiness or credibility, or anything that would take attention away from his mission of delivering the Word. It is the congregation's obligation to support their shepherd. He may graciously decline it, as Paul, but those who neglect to give due support that he is entitled, ignore the teaching of Jesus Christ.

Deuteronomy 25:4
Thou shalt not muzzle the ox when he treadeth out the corn.

DOUBTERS IN THE BIBLE PROPHETS AND DOUBTERS IN THE BIBLE TRUTH

I ask you now to read 1 Corinthians 9:1-17 straight from the Bible, reflecting on Paul's position and putting yourself in the same position. If you were a preacher or a minister, how would you feel, after you pour your heart and soul into your shepherding, if people within your flock called you a fraud, and you felt like you had to support yourself and your family with a side job so that you wouldn't feel weird about anything?

So, where does Paul get his peace of mind? With such opposition, where does a shepherd find gratification in ministry? He denies himself. He goes above and beyond the call of duty because his love for the author of the book he sells ... The Gospel of Jesus Christ ... Is so strong that he can't fathom not doing everything humanly possible for the cause and he hopes that by denying himself, he can win all the more souls for the Lord.

1 Corinthians 9:19
For though I be free from (any obligation to) all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more.

To the Jews I became as a Jew,
that I might gain the Jews;
to those that are under the law,
I became as under the law,
that I might gain them that are under the law;
To them that are without law,
I became as without law,
(being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,)
that I might gain them that are without law.
To the weak became I as weak,
that I might gain the weak:
I am made all things to all men,
that I might by all means save some.

That isn't to say he became Jewish ... Paul was in fact Jewish ... But he became AS a Jew, AS under the law, AS without law, AS weak ... In other words chameleon lizarding himself to all without compromising his own innocence and belief in order to present the Gospel to them and reach them without offending them.

Paul then likens Christianity to a race ... Which the Corinthians could certainly relate to since Olympic games originated in Greece in the ancient times. But in a worldly race, only one can win, whereas the prize that we run for in Christianity is to master our own self control in all things. Paul continues to say that he's not fighting for a cause without knowing what he's aiming for and makes it a point in his lifestyle ... Uses every skill he has to assure that he wins.

So, some people may have thought that Paul was a fraud, but he had his reasons for acting as he did. He didn't run without a goal, but he had purpose and did what he had to do when he preached to others, to guarantee the win.

It is God's Children that are kidnapped by the worldly ... It is the task of the Shepherd to return these children to their Father. Will the Father ask HOW the shepherd returned His child when the child is safe at home? Paul became as the chameleon lizard to reach the lost. They are now HOME.

I hope you're enjoying this letter from Paul as much as I am. Can't wait for you to hurry back and study through another chapter, right here at Daily Bread.




NEW TESTAMENT DAILY BREAD


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