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Tuesday, April 18, 2017

I Corinthians 10:31

Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.

For further study - I Corinthians 10:23-33

Paul, in his letter to the Corinthian Church, lays out the guidelines for the use of the liberty that the Lord has given to us for our Christian life. The apostle writes to a very "carnal church," the church in Corinth, that everything is lawful for him, verse 23, but He gives them then four guidelines for living by the "law of love" in the liberty that God gives.

Paul says that though everything is lawful, everything is not expedient. In other words, everything is permissible but it is not always beneficial. Then Paul sets another standard for what he does. It must edify - it must build up those around him, verse 23.

Paul's lifestyle is not to promote himself or to do those things that bring attention, glory, or advancement for him, verse 24. Paul's goal is to promote the good of others. This type of lifestyle, serving others, is chosen by Paul so that he might bring many people to Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, verse 33. Paul's standard sets the bar high for each of us to set as our goal for the life we lead daily in front of others.

These principles in our passage from Paul's writings are worth our reading for today. But before we leave, let me share another principle, a "prophetic principle" as well as a "personal principle". Paul says in verse 32, in light of his chosen lifestyle, that he will not be an offense to the Jews, the Gentiles, or the Christians. This verse goes along with the theme of our reading for today but it also is a key component as you start to study prophecy.

Paul divided humankind into three members of the "human family", Gentiles, Jews, and Christians. Every person on earth is one of these family members. For the first 2,000 years of human history, from Genesis 1-12, there were only Gentiles on the earth.

When God brought Abraham to the Promised Land, He made this Gentile, Abraham, the first Hebrew, Genesis 14:13, and started another people, the Jewish people.

Then, for the next 2,000 years from Genesis 12 to Acts 1, there were Gentiles and Jews on earth, but no Christians. A Jew or a Gentile that believed God for righteousness was a believing Jew or Gentile.

On the Day of Pentecost, Acts 2, the Lord started the Church and there then was a third member of the human family, Christians. All these members of the human family are in play from Acts 2 to Revelation 22.

This information is key to understanding Bible prophecy. As we read the Word, the prophetic Word, we must keep this "prophetic principle" in mind. It will help us to know who the Lord is addressing in His prophetic plan and for what time in history.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Dear Lord, help me to approach my study of Your word with the principles that will give me understanding of Your prophetic plan.