Let all that you do be done with love.
You shall not hate your brother in your heart. You shall surely rebuke your neighbor, and not bear sin because of him. You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am HaShem… The stranger [ger] who dwells among you shall be to you as one born among you, and you shall love him as yourself; for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am HaShem your G-d.
Leviticus 19:17-18, 34
- Romans set the stage for the epistles which we will look at. It laid out the continuing theme of redemption in an organized way. It also expounded on the 2 major conflicts addressed in the Apostolic Scriptures:
- The Kingdom of Light vs the Kingdom of Darkness
- Gentile inclusion into Israel without ritual conversion vs Gentiles included only by ritual conversion.
1Corinthians, Rebuke – 2Corinthians, Instruction and Encouragement
- Serious problems existed in the congregation in Corinth. Paul’s first letter to them was a somewhat harsh rebuke. They had gotten some very important things completely wrong – and their actions proved their immaturity.
- The second letter was written to respond to their obedient response to his first letter. His second letter is meant as an encouragement.
- The biggest issues addressed can be understood by understanding the redemption message. They were acting like they did not know this about redemption:
- The Problem (sin in the Garden and following)
- The Solution (a Redeemer leading us back in righteousness)
- The Purpose (to be restored to the Presence of G-d, for praise, fellowship, and glory)
1Corinthians – What Are You Doing !!!?
- The congregation in Corinth were quite confused about redemption. Some acted like they had joined a club, instead of becoming followers of the Righteous Messiah.
- Confused About Identity.
- Did not understand the Solution (a Righteous Redeemer to lead us back) (1Cor 1:11-13)
- Our identity is not in a “club membership” (1Cor 7:17-24)
- Passover is not a pagan party – it is about our identity as the Redeemed (1Cor 11:20-31)
- Confused About the Problem.
- Immorality promoted (1Cor 5:1-2; 6:9-10, 15-18)
- Love obscured by false love. Love is the summation of the righteous life-style of the Torah. Love considers a brother (meat, wine in the market) (1Cor 8, 10).
- Confused About the Purpose.
- The supernatural – instead of love and service to G-d. (1Cor 12, 13, 14)
- As mere “club members” they were content with “supernatural” gifts, false love, unrighteous living, and did not consider the goal – to return to the “Garden” – what is the point if there is no resurrection of the Dead? (1Cor 15:12-17). This lack of trusting G-d had led them to immorality, false identity, and lack of true love.
2Corinthians – Keep On Doing
- Following the instructions of Lev 19:17, and 1Cor 5, the assembly in Corinth showed true love and rebuked the immoral among them (2Cor 2:3-8).
- You are a letter written on our hearts (2Cor 3:1-2)
- We are being transformed into Messiah’s likeness (2Cor 3:6-18) Note: not pejorative of the Torah or Moses, instead using it as an encouragement – use of Hebrew kal v’chomer (light to heavy).
- Fellowship with believers… but not with unbelievers (2Cor 6:11-18)
- The correct response to rebuke – godly sorrow and repentance (2Cor 7:1-13)
- Be generous (2Cor 9)
- The congregation in Corinth had begun to separate themselves from the root. Their practices revealed that they had not understood completely what they were redeemed from, and for what purpose. Their lack of righteous living was the result of their assimilation and lack of trusting G-d regarding the resurrection… from that came all manner of weird teaching and practice.
- Stay attached to the root – avoid pagan assimilation. Remember Who redeemed you, and for what purpose!