“We proclaim Christ” (1 Corinthians 1:23) and “the doctrine of the cross” which “is sheer folly to those on their way to ruin, but to us who are on the way to salvation it is the power of God.” “What room then is left for human pride? It is excluded. And on what principle? The keeping of the law would not exclude it, but faith does. For our argument is that a man is justified by faith quite apart from success in keeping the law.” (Romans 3:27-28) “For if those who hold by the law, and they alone, are heirs, then faith is empty and the promise goes for nothing, because law can bring only retribution.” (Romans 4:14-15) “[God] is Himself just and also justifies any man who puts his faith in Jesus.” (Romans 3:26) Therefore,”all are justified by God’s free grace alone.” (Romans 3:24)
“Now, quite independently of law, God’s justice has been brought to light.” (Romans 3:21) And this is simultaneously the folly and the power of God. “Divine folly is wiser than the wisdom of man, and divine weakness stronger than man’s strength.” (1 Corinthians 1:25) And Jesus, “nailed to the cross” “is the power of God and the wisdom of God.” (1 Corinthians 1:23, 24)
Put your faith in His power and wisdom though it may appear to be folly.
Do you not know that your body is a shrine of the indwelling Holy Spirit, and the Spirit is God’s gift to you? You do not belong to yourselves; you are bought at a price. Then honour God in your body.”
Paul wishes persons to control themselves and remain unmarried; but he recognizes that self-control is difficult and that it is “better [to] be married than burn with vain desire.” (1 Corinthians 7: 9)
Some say sex outside a committed relationship is fornication; others say any sex outside marriage is fornication. Jesus says that if a man looks at a woman with lust in his heart, this is fornication; i.e. adultery. Since Jesus always speaks the truth, fornication is rampant — for men and women certainly look at one another in lust.
Paul contrasts a man’s payment to own a harlot for a night with Christ’s payment to own us for eternity. What a contrast! A fleeting moment of pleasure contrasted with Christ’s agonizing shedding of blood so that His Father might call us His own, and give us His Holy Spirit. A man links himself to a harlot; Jesus links Himself to us through His own sacrifice. Since we belong to Christ, we are called to “shun fornication. Every other sin that a man can commit is outside the body; but the fornicator sins against his own body.” (1 Corinthians 6: 18 – 19)
Jesus calls us to purity; and this must start in our minds. Peter calls us to “be mentally stripped for action, perfectly self-controlled.” Peter writes, “Do not let your characters be shaped any longer by the desires you cherished in your days of ignorance. The One who calls you is holy; like Him, be holy in all your behaviour, because Scripture says, ‘You shall be holy, for I Am holy.’ ” (1 Peter 1: 13, 14 – 1
With those who are happy, be happy alongside them. With those who are sad, be sad alongside them. With those who are rejoicing, rejoice alongside them. With those who are praying, pray alongside them.
With those who persecute you, bless them — “bless and do not curse.” (Romans 12: 14) “Do not be conquered by evil, but conquer evil with good.” (Romans 12: 21)
With those who have little, share what you have. Open your home; showing hospitality. “Love must be without hypocrisy.” (Romans 12: 9)
“Be fervent in spirit; serve the Lord.” (Romans 12: 11) With those who are lost, reach out to them. “For God has imprisoned all in disobedience, so that He may have mercy on all.” (Romans 11: 32)
“Try to do what is honorable in everyone’s eyes.” (Romans 12: 17)
Paul sets the example, saying: “Although I am a free man and not anyone’s slave, I make myself a slave to everyone, in order to win more people… I become all things to all people, so that I may by every means possible save some.” (1 Corinthians 9: 19, 22)