Paul had a unique style of writing. I often hear people say they have a hard time understanding exactly what Paul is saying. To understand you have to look at how Paul was converted. Not only on the road to Damascus, you have to look at the journey Paul experienced after he regained his sight. He had access to the best, what we would refer to today as theologians. But Paul makes it a point to tell us where he received the message given to preach. “I received my message from no human source, and no one taught me. Instead, I received it by direct revelation from Jesus Christ.” (Galatians 1:12 NLTse). Paul also tells us exactly how to understand the message he was given. “Dear brothers and sisters, I have used Apollos and myself to illustrate what I’ve been saying. If you pay attention to what I have quoted from the Scriptures, you won’t be proud of one of your leaders at the expense of another.” (1 Corinthians 4:6 NLTse).
Even in Paul’s day, religious leaders took one or two parts of what Paul said and wrote, twisted it, added a ton of their own concepts to it to made it say what they wanted it to mean. We see the same thing today. If I had a dime for every sermon I heard and every study I read, using a single verse, or part of a verse from one of Paul’s letters, and the preacher or writer wasting a half hour or more explaining in their own words what it means …. I would have no problem retiring. The fact of the matter is, Paul was more than a disciple. Remember when Paul emphasized the gift of prophecy? What kind of prophecies do you think he was referring to? How often did Paul refer to future prophecies in his letters? Zero! But Paul referred to the prophecies Jesus fulfilled about 200 times. But time after time, preachers take a verse from Paul about prophecies and apply it to their obsession on future prophecies.
I guess the easiest way to answer the question once and for all is to look at the evidence in the Bible. Following is a collection of texts from 1 Corinthians along with the Old Testament texts Paul quoted. When we go through it we can see two lessons. Paul was much more than a disciple, which is a student. Paul was a teacher of sorts, but he knew his limits. Paul was a prophet. When God moved Samuel from the role of seer to prophet, Samuel’s role changed from providing answers to leading people back to God. A vital role God introduced at the right time. That was when Israel demanded a king. The king needed someone to make sure he was always right with God. No wander kings relied on prophets. Not for answers, but to make sure the king was always listening to God.
When we look at Paul’s letters we can see how Paul leads people back to God, through HIS WORD. Paul also teaches another vital lesson when he quotes scripture. When we read the texts Paul quoted, we receive the full message through God’s Word and Spirit. In essence, we are given the key to leading others to Christ. To lead them into a personal relationship with Jesus, His Word, and Spirit. Otherwise we are like the world Paul warns about, taking one little part of text and making our own, limited, worthless message out of it.
Now you tell me. Which method makes Paul’s letters easier to understand? You want someone to explain them to you using their limited understanding? Or is it better to rely on God’s infinite Word, knowledge, love and concern?
1 Corinthians 1:19-21 NLTse (19) As the Scriptures say, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise and discard the intelligence of the intelligent.” (20) So where does this leave the philosophers, the scholars, and the world’s brilliant debaters? God has made the wisdom of this world look foolish. (21) Since God in his wisdom saw to it that the world would never know him through human wisdom, he has used our foolish preaching to save those who believe.
Isaiah 29:13-16 NLTse And so the Lord says, “These people say they are mine. They honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. And their worship of me is nothing but man-made rules learned by rote. (14) Because of this, I will once again astound these hypocrites with amazing wonders. The wisdom of the wise will pass away, and the intelligence of the intelligent will disappear.” (15) What sorrow awaits those who try to hide their plans from the LORD, who do their evil deeds in the dark! “The LORD can’t see us,” they say. “He doesn’t know what’s going on!” (16) How foolish can you be? He is the Potter, and he is certainly greater than you, the clay! Should the created thing say of the one who made it, “He didn’t make me”? Does a jar ever say, “The potter who made me is stupid”?
1 Corinthians 2:9-12 NLTse (9) That is what the Scriptures mean when they say, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.” (10) But it was to us that God revealed these things by his Spirit. For his Spirit searches out everything and shows us God’s deep secrets. (11) No one can know a person’s thoughts except that person’s own spirit, and no one can know God’s thoughts except God’s own Spirit. (12) And we have received God’s Spirit (not the world’s spirit), so we can know the wonderful things God has freely given us.
Isaiah 64:1-9 NLTse Oh, that you would burst from the heavens and come down! How the mountains would quake in your presence! (2) As fire causes wood to burn and water to boil, your coming would make the nations tremble. Then your enemies would learn the reason for your fame! (3) When you came down long ago, you did awesome deeds beyond our highest expectations. And oh, how the mountains quaked! (4) For since the world began, no ear has heard, and no eye has seen a God like you, who works for those who wait for him! (5) You welcome those who gladly do good, who follow godly ways. But you have been very angry with us, for we are not godly. We are constant sinners; how can people like us be saved? (6) We are all infected and impure with sin. When we display our righteous deeds, they are nothing but filthy rags. Like autumn leaves, we wither and fall, and our sins sweep us away like the wind. (7) Yet no one calls on your name or pleads with you for mercy. Therefore, you have turned away from us and turned us over to our sins. (8) And yet, O LORD, you are our Father. We are the clay, and you are the potter. We all are formed by your hand. (9) Don’t be so angry with us, LORD. Please don’t remember our sins forever. Look at us, we pray, and see that we are all your people.
1 Corinthians 2:13-16 NLTse (13) When we tell you these things, we do not use words that come from human wisdom. Instead, we speak words given to us by the Spirit, using the Spirit’s words to explain spiritual truths. (14) But people who aren’t spiritual can’t receive these truths from God’s Spirit. It all sounds foolish to them and they can’t understand it, for only those who are spiritual can understand what the Spirit means. (15) Those who are spiritual can evaluate all things, but they themselves cannot be evaluated by others. (16) For, “Who can know the LORD’s thoughts? Who knows enough to teach him?” But we understand these things, for we have the mind of Christ.
Isaiah 40:1-14 NLTse “Comfort, comfort my people,” says your God. (2) “Speak tenderly to Jerusalem. Tell her that her sad days are gone and her sins are pardoned. Yes, the LORD has punished her twice over for all her sins.” (3) Listen! It’s the voice of someone shouting, “Clear the way through the wilderness for the LORD! Make a straight highway through the wasteland for our God! (4) Fill in the valleys, and level the mountains and hills. Straighten the curves, and smooth out the rough places. (5) Then the glory of the LORD will be revealed, and all people will see it together. The LORD has spoken!” (6) A voice said, “Shout!” I asked, “What should I shout?” “Shout that people are like the grass. Their beauty fades as quickly as the flowers in a field. (7) The grass withers and the flowers fade beneath the breath of the LORD. And so it is with people. (8) The grass withers and the flowers fade, but the word of our God stands forever.” (9) O Zion, messenger of good news, shout from the mountaintops! Shout it louder, O Jerusalem. Shout, and do not be afraid. Tell the towns of Judah, “Your God is coming!” (10) Yes, the Sovereign LORD is coming in power. He will rule with a powerful arm. See, he brings his reward with him as he comes. (11) He will feed his flock like a shepherd. He will carry the lambs in his arms, holding them close to his heart. He will gently lead the mother sheep with their young. (12) Who else has held the oceans in his hand? Who has measured off the heavens with his fingers? Who else knows the weight of the earth or has weighed the mountains and hills on a scale? (13) Who is able to advise the Spirit of the LORD? Who knows enough to give him advice or teach him? (14) Has the LORD ever needed anyone’s advice? Does he need instruction about what is good? Did someone teach him what is right or show him the path of justice?
Isaiah 40:21 NLTse Haven’t you heard? Don’t you understand? Are you deaf to the words of God– the words he gave before the world began? Are you so ignorant?
1 Corinthians 3:16-19 NLTse (16) Don’t you realize that all of you together are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God lives in you? (17) God will destroy anyone who destroys this temple. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple. (18) Stop deceiving yourselves. If you think you are wise by this world’s standards, you need to become a fool to be truly wise. (19) For the wisdom of this world is foolishness to God. As the Scriptures say, “He traps the wise in the snare of their own cleverness.”
Job 5:9-17 NLTse He does great things too marvelous to understand. He performs countless miracles. (10) He gives rain for the earth and water for the fields. (11) He gives prosperity to the poor and protects those who suffer. (12) He frustrates the plans of schemers so the work of their hands will not succeed. (13) He traps the wise in their own cleverness so their cunning schemes are thwarted. (14) They find it is dark in the daytime, and they grope at noon as if it were night. (15) He rescues the poor from the cutting words of the strong, and rescues them from the clutches of the powerful. (16) And so at last the poor have hope, and the snapping jaws of the wicked are shut. (17) “But consider the joy of those corrected by God! Do not despise the discipline of the Almighty when you sin.
1 Corinthians 3:20-23 NLTse (20) And again, “The LORD knows the thoughts of the wise; he knows they are worthless.” (21) So don’t boast about following a particular human leader. For everything belongs to you– (22) whether Paul or Apollos or Peter, or the world, or life and death, or the present and the future. Everything belongs to you, (23) and you belong to Christ, and Christ belongs to God.
Psalms 94:11-23 NLTse The LORD knows people’s thoughts; he knows they are worthless! (12) Joyful are those you discipline, LORD, those you teach with your instructions. (13) You give them relief from troubled times until a pit is dug to capture the wicked. (14) The LORD will not reject his people; he will not abandon his special possession. (15) Judgment will again be founded on justice, and those with virtuous hearts will pursue it. (16) Who will protect me from the wicked? Who will stand up for me against evildoers? (17) Unless the LORD had helped me, I would soon have settled in the silence of the grave. (18) I cried out, “I am slipping!” but your unfailing love, O LORD, supported me. (19) When doubts filled my mind, your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer. (20) Can unjust leaders claim that God is on their side– leaders whose decrees permit injustice? (21) They gang up against the righteous and condemn the innocent to death. (22) But the LORD is my fortress; my God is the mighty rock where I hide. (23) God will turn the sins of evil people back on them. He will destroy them for their sins. The LORD our God will destroy them.
1 Corinthians 5:12-13 NLTse (12) It isn’t my responsibility to judge outsiders, but it certainly is your responsibility to judge those inside the church who are sinning. (13) God will judge those on the outside; but as the Scriptures say, “You must remove the evil person from among you.”
Deuteronomy 13:1-5 NLTse (1) “Suppose there are prophets among you or those who dream dreams about the future, and they promise you signs or miracles, (2) and the predicted signs or miracles occur. If they then say, ‘Come, let us worship other gods’–gods you have not known before– (3) do not listen to them. The LORD your God is testing you to see if you truly love him with all your heart and soul. (4) Serve only the LORD your God and fear him alone. Obey his commands, listen to his voice, and cling to him. (5) The false prophets or visionaries who try to lead you astray must be put to death, for they encourage rebellion against the LORD your God, who redeemed you from slavery and brought you out of the land of Egypt. Since they try to lead you astray from the way the LORD your God commanded you to live, you must put them to death. In this way you will purge the evil from among you.
1 Corinthians 6:16 NLTse (16) And don’t you realize that if a man joins himself to a prostitute, he becomes one body with her? For the Scriptures say, “The two are united into one.”
Genesis 2:22-25 NLTse Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib, and he brought her to the man. (23) “At last!” the man exclaimed. “This one is bone from my bone, and flesh from my flesh! She will be called ‘woman,’ because she was taken from ‘man.'” (24) This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one. (25) Now the man and his wife were both naked, but they felt no shame.
1 Corinthians 9:13-14 NLTse (13) Don’t you realize that those who work in the temple get their meals from the offerings brought to the temple? And those who serve at the altar get a share of the sacrificial offerings. (14) In the same way, the Lord ordered that those who preach the Good News should be supported by those who benefit from it.
Leviticus 6:15-18 NLTse (15) The priest on duty will take from the grain offering a handful of the choice flour moistened with olive oil, together with all the frankincense. He will burn this representative portion on the altar as a pleasing aroma to the LORD. (16) Aaron and his sons may eat the rest of the flour, but it must be baked without yeast and eaten in a sacred place within the courtyard of the Tabernacle. (17) Remember, it must never be prepared with yeast. I have given it to the priests as their share of the special gifts presented to me. Like the sin offering and the guilt offering, it is most holy. (18) Any of Aaron’s male descendants may eat from the special gifts presented to the LORD. This is their permanent right from generation to generation. Anyone or anything that touches these offerings will become holy.”
1 Corinthians 10:1-2 NLTse (1) I don’t want you to forget, dear brothers and sisters, about our ancestors in the wilderness long ago. All of them were guided by a cloud that moved ahead of them, and all of them walked through the sea on dry ground. (2) In the cloud and in the sea, all of them were baptized as followers of Moses.
Exodus 14:12-31 NLTse Didn’t we tell you this would happen while we were still in Egypt? We said, ‘Leave us alone! Let us be slaves to the Egyptians. It’s better to be a slave in Egypt than a corpse in the wilderness!'” (13) But Moses told the people, “Don’t be afraid. Just stand still and watch the LORD rescue you today. The Egyptians you see today will never be seen again. (14) The LORD himself will fight for you. Just stay calm.” (15) Then the LORD said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the people to get moving! (16) Pick up your staff and raise your hand over the sea. Divide the water so the Israelites can walk through the middle of the sea on dry ground. (17) And I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians, and they will charge in after the Israelites. My great glory will be displayed through Pharaoh and his troops, his chariots, and his charioteers. (18) When my glory is displayed through them, all Egypt will see my glory and know that I am the LORD!” (19) Then the angel of God, who had been leading the people of Israel, moved to the rear of the camp. The pillar of cloud also moved from the front and stood behind them. (20) The cloud settled between the Egyptian and Israelite camps. As darkness fell, the cloud turned to fire, lighting up the night. But the Egyptians and Israelites did not approach each other all night. (21) Then Moses raised his hand over the sea, and the LORD opened up a path through the water with a strong east wind. The wind blew all that night, turning the seabed into dry land. (22) So the people of Israel walked through the middle of the sea on dry ground, with walls of water on each side! (23) Then the Egyptians–all of Pharaoh’s horses, chariots, and charioteers–chased them into the middle of the sea. (24) But just before dawn the LORD looked down on the Egyptian army from the pillar of fire and cloud, and he threw their forces into total confusion. (25) He twisted their chariot wheels, making their chariots difficult to drive. “Let’s get out of here–away from these Israelites!” the Egyptians shouted. “The LORD is fighting for them against Egypt!” (26) When all the Israelites had reached the other side, the LORD said to Moses, “Raise your hand over the sea again. Then the waters will rush back and cover the Egyptians and their chariots and charioteers.” (27) So as the sun began to rise, Moses raised his hand over the sea, and the water rushed back into its usual place. The Egyptians tried to escape, but the LORD swept them into the sea. (28) Then the waters returned and covered all the chariots and charioteers–the entire army of Pharaoh. Of all the Egyptians who had chased the Israelites into the sea, not a single one survived. (29) But the people of Israel had walked through the middle of the sea on dry ground, as the water stood up like a wall on both sides. (30) That is how the LORD rescued Israel from the hand of the Egyptians that day. And the Israelites saw the bodies of the Egyptians washed up on the seashore. (31) When the people of Israel saw the mighty power that the LORD had unleashed against the Egyptians, they were filled with awe before him. They put their faith in the LORD and in his servant Moses.
1 Corinthians 10:3 NLTse (3) All of them ate the same spiritual food,
Exodus 16:2-5 NLTse There, too, the whole community of Israel complained about Moses and Aaron. (3) “If only the LORD had killed us back in Egypt,” they moaned. “There we sat around pots filled with meat and ate all the bread we wanted. But now you have brought us into this wilderness to starve us all to death.” (4) Then the LORD said to Moses, “Look, I’m going to rain down food from heaven for you. Each day the people can go out and pick up as much food as they need for that day. I will test them in this to see whether or not they will follow my instructions. (5) On the sixth day they will gather food, and when they prepare it, there will be twice as much as usual.”
1 Corinthians 10:4 NLTse (4) and all of them drank the same spiritual water. For they drank from the spiritual rock that traveled with them, and that rock was Christ.
Exodus 17:1-7 NLTse At the LORD’s command, the whole community of Israel left the wilderness of Sin and moved from place to place. Eventually they camped at Rephidim, but there was no water there for the people to drink. (2) So once more the people complained against Moses. “Give us water to drink!” they demanded. “Quiet!” Moses replied. “Why are you complaining against me? And why are you testing the LORD?” (3) But tormented by thirst, they continued to argue with Moses. “Why did you bring us out of Egypt? Are you trying to kill us, our children, and our livestock with thirst?” (4) Then Moses cried out to the LORD, “What should I do with these people? They are ready to stone me!” (5) The LORD said to Moses, “Walk out in front of the people. Take your staff, the one you used when you struck the water of the Nile, and call some of the elders of Israel to join you. (6) I will stand before you on the rock at Mount Sinai. Strike the rock, and water will come gushing out. Then the people will be able to drink.” So Moses struck the rock as he was told, and water gushed out as the elders looked on. (7) Moses named the place Massah (which means “test”) and Meribah (which means “arguing”) because the people of Israel argued with Moses and tested the LORD by saying, “Is the LORD here with us or not?”
1 Corinthians 10:5 NLTse (5) Yet God was not pleased with most of them, and their bodies were scattered in the wilderness.
Numbers 14:26-39 NLTse Then the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, (27) “How long must I put up with this wicked community and its complaints about me? Yes, I have heard the complaints the Israelites are making against me. (28) Now tell them this: ‘As surely as I live, declares the LORD, I will do to you the very things I heard you say. (29) You will all drop dead in this wilderness! Because you complained against me, every one of you who is twenty years old or older and was included in the registration will die. (30) You will not enter and occupy the land I swore to give you. The only exceptions will be Caleb son of Jephunneh and Joshua son of Nun. (31) “‘You said your children would be carried off as plunder. Well, I will bring them safely into the land, and they will enjoy what you have despised. (32) But as for you, you will drop dead in this wilderness. (33) And your children will be like shepherds, wandering in the wilderness for forty years. In this way, they will pay for your faithlessness, until the last of you lies dead in the wilderness. (34) “‘Because your men explored the land for forty days, you must wander in the wilderness for forty years–a year for each day, suffering the consequences of your sins. Then you will discover what it is like to have me for an enemy.’ (35) I, the LORD, have spoken! I will certainly do these things to every member of the community who has conspired against me. They will be destroyed here in this wilderness, and here they will die!” (36) The ten men Moses had sent to explore the land–the ones who incited rebellion against the LORD with their bad report– (37) were struck dead with a plague before the LORD. (38) Of the twelve who had explored the land, only Joshua and Caleb remained alive. (39) When Moses reported the LORD’s words to all the Israelites, the people were filled with grief.
1 Corinthians 10:6-7 NLTse (6) These things happened as a warning to us, so that we would not crave evil things as they did, (7) or worship idols as some of them did. As the Scriptures say, “The people celebrated with feasting and drinking, and they indulged in pagan revelry.”
Psalms 106:19-25 NLTse The people made a calf at Mount Sinai; they bowed before an image made of gold. (20) They traded their glorious God for a statue of a grass-eating bull. (21) They forgot God, their savior, who had done such great things in Egypt– (22) such wonderful things in the land of Ham, such awesome deeds at the Red Sea. (23) So he declared he would destroy them. But Moses, his chosen one, stepped between the LORD and the people. He begged him to turn from his anger and not destroy them. (24) The people refused to enter the pleasant land, for they wouldn’t believe his promise to care for them. (25) Instead, they grumbled in their tents and refused to obey the LORD.
Exodus 32:1-8 NLTse When the people saw how long it was taking Moses to come back down the mountain, they gathered around Aaron. “Come on,” they said, “make us some gods who can lead us. We don’t know what happened to this fellow Moses, who brought us here from the land of Egypt.” (2) So Aaron said, “Take the gold rings from the ears of your wives and sons and daughters, and bring them to me.” (3) All the people took the gold rings from their ears and brought them to Aaron. (4) Then Aaron took the gold, melted it down, and molded it into the shape of a calf. When the people saw it, they exclaimed, “O Israel, these are the gods who brought you out of the land of Egypt!” (5) Aaron saw how excited the people were, so he built an altar in front of the calf. Then he announced, “Tomorrow will be a festival to the LORD!” (6) The people got up early the next morning to sacrifice burnt offerings and peace offerings. After this, they celebrated with feasting and drinking, and they indulged in pagan revelry. (7) The LORD told Moses, “Quick! Go down the mountain! Your people whom you brought from the land of Egypt have corrupted themselves. (8) How quickly they have turned away from the way I commanded them to live! They have melted down gold and made a calf, and they have bowed down and sacrificed to it. They are saying, ‘These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you out of the land of Egypt.'”
1 Corinthians 10:8 NLTse (8) And we must not engage in sexual immorality as some of them did, causing 23,000 of them to die in one day.
Numbers 25:1-9 NLTse While the Israelites were camped at Acacia Grove, some of the men defiled themselves by having sexual relations with local Moabite women. (2) These women invited them to attend sacrifices to their gods, so the Israelites feasted with them and worshiped the gods of Moab. (3) In this way, Israel joined in the worship of Baal of Peor, causing the LORD’s anger to blaze against his people. (4) The LORD issued the following command to Moses: “Seize all the ringleaders and execute them before the LORD in broad daylight, so his fierce anger will turn away from the people of Israel.” (5) So Moses ordered Israel’s judges, “Each of you must put to death the men under your authority who have joined in worshiping Baal of Peor.” (6) Just then one of the Israelite men brought a Midianite woman into his tent, right before the eyes of Moses and all the people, as everyone was weeping at the entrance of the Tabernacle. (7) When Phinehas son of Eleazar and grandson of Aaron the priest saw this, he jumped up and left the assembly. He took a spear (8) and rushed after the man into his tent. Phinehas thrust the spear all the way through the man’s body and into the woman’s stomach. So the plague against the Israelites was stopped, (9) but not before 24,000 people had died.
1 Corinthians 10:9 NLTse (9) Nor should we put Christ to the test, as some of them did and then died from snakebites.
Numbers 21:4-9 NLTse Then the people of Israel set out from Mount Hor, taking the road to the Red Sea to go around the land of Edom. But the people grew impatient with the long journey, (5) and they began to speak against God and Moses. “Why have you brought us out of Egypt to die here in the wilderness?” they complained. “There is nothing to eat here and nothing to drink. And we hate this horrible manna!” (6) So the LORD sent poisonous snakes among the people, and many were bitten and died. (7) Then the people came to Moses and cried out, “We have sinned by speaking against the LORD and against you. Pray that the LORD will take away the snakes.” So Moses prayed for the people. (8) Then the LORD told him, “Make a replica of a poisonous snake and attach it to a pole. All who are bitten will live if they simply look at it!” (9) So Moses made a snake out of bronze and attached it to a pole. Then anyone who was bitten by a snake could look at the bronze snake and be healed!
1 Corinthians 10:10 NLTse (10) And don’t grumble as some of them did, and then were destroyed by the angel of death.
2 Samuel 24:10-17 NLTse (10) But after he had taken the census, David’s conscience began to bother him. And he said to the LORD, “I have sinned greatly by taking this census. Please forgive my guilt, LORD, for doing this foolish thing.” (11) The next morning the word of the LORD came to the prophet Gad, who was David’s seer. This was the message: (12) “Go and say to David, ‘This is what the LORD says: I will give you three choices. Choose one of these punishments, and I will inflict it on you.'” (13) So Gad came to David and asked him, “Will you choose three years of famine throughout your land, three months of fleeing from your enemies, or three days of severe plague throughout your land? Think this over and decide what answer I should give the LORD who sent me.” (14) “I’m in a desperate situation!” David replied to Gad. “But let us fall into the hands of the LORD, for his mercy is great. Do not let me fall into human hands.” (15) So the LORD sent a plague upon Israel that morning, and it lasted for three days. A total of 70,000 people died throughout the nation, from Dan in the north to Beersheba in the south. (16) But as the angel was preparing to destroy Jerusalem, the LORD relented and said to the death angel, “Stop! That is enough!” At that moment the angel of the LORD was by the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite. (17) When David saw the angel, he said to the LORD, “I am the one who has sinned and done wrong! But these people are as innocent as sheep–what have they done? Let your anger fall against me and my family.”
1 Corinthians 10:16 NLTse (16) When we bless the cup at the Lord’s Table, aren’t we sharing in the blood of Christ? And when we break the bread, aren’t we sharing in the body of Christ?
Matthew 26:26-29 NLTse As they were eating, Jesus took some bread and blessed it. Then he broke it in pieces and gave it to the disciples, saying, “Take this and eat it, for this is my body.” (27) And he took a cup of wine and gave thanks to God for it. He gave it to them and said, “Each of you drink from it, (28) for this is my blood, which confirms the covenant between God and his people. It is poured out as a sacrifice to forgive the sins of many. (29) Mark my words–I will not drink wine again until the day I drink it new with you in my Father’s Kingdom.”
1 Corinthians 10:18 NLTse (18) Think about the people of Israel. Weren’t they united by eating the sacrifices at the altar?
Leviticus 7:9-16 NLTse Any grain offering that has been baked in an oven, prepared in a pan, or cooked on a griddle belongs to the priest who presents it. (10) All other grain offerings, whether made of dry flour or flour moistened with olive oil, are to be shared equally among all the priests, the descendants of Aaron. (11) “These are the instructions regarding the different kinds of peace offerings that may be presented to the LORD. (12) If you present your peace offering as an expression of thanksgiving, the usual animal sacrifice must be accompanied by various kinds of bread made without yeast–thin cakes mixed with olive oil, wafers spread with oil, and cakes made of choice flour mixed with olive oil. (13) This peace offering of thanksgiving must also be accompanied by loaves of bread made with yeast. (14) One of each kind of bread must be presented as a gift to the LORD. It will then belong to the priest who splatters the blood of the peace offering against the altar. (15) The meat of the peace offering of thanksgiving must be eaten on the same day it is offered. None of it may be saved for the next morning. (16) “If you bring an offering to fulfill a vow or as a voluntary offering, the meat must be eaten on the same day the sacrifice is offered, but whatever is left over may be eaten on the second day.
1 Corinthians 10:26 NLTse (26) For “the earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it.”
Exodus 19:5-6 NLTse Now if you will obey me and keep my covenant, you will be my own special treasure from among all the peoples on earth; for all the earth belongs to me. (6) And you will be my kingdom of priests, my holy nation.’ This is the message you must give to the people of Israel.”
Deuteronomy 10:12-14 NLTse (12) “And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you? He requires only that you fear the LORD your God, and live in a way that pleases him, and love him and serve him with all your heart and soul. (13) And you must always obey the LORD’s commands and decrees that I am giving you today for your own good. (14) “Look, the highest heavens and the earth and everything in it all belong to the LORD your God.
Psalms 24:1-5 NLTse The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it. The world and all its people belong to him. (2) For he laid the earth’s foundation on the seas and built it on the ocean depths. (3) Who may climb the mountain of the LORD? Who may stand in his holy place? (4) Only those whose hands and hearts are pure, who do not worship idols and never tell lies. (5) They will receive the LORD’s blessing and have a right relationship with God their savior.
Psalms 50:7-15 NLTse “O my people, listen as I speak. Here are my charges against you, O Israel: I am God, your God! (8) I have no complaint about your sacrifices or the burnt offerings you constantly offer. (9) But I do not need the bulls from your barns or the goats from your pens. (10) For all the animals of the forest are mine, and I own the cattle on a thousand hills. (11) I know every bird on the mountains, and all the animals of the field are mine. (12) If I were hungry, I would not tell you, for all the world is mine and everything in it. (13) Do I eat the meat of bulls? Do I drink the blood of goats? (14) Make thankfulness your sacrifice to God, and keep the vows you made to the Most High. (15) Then call on me when you are in trouble, and I will rescue you, and you will give me glory.”
1 Corinthians 11:7 NLTse (7) A man should not wear anything on his head when worshiping, for man is made in God’s image and reflects God’s glory. And woman reflects man’s glory.
Genesis 1:26-28 NLTse Then God said, “Let us make human beings in our image, to be like ourselves. They will reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, the livestock, all the wild animals on the earth, and the small animals that scurry along the ground.” (27) So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. (28) Then God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth and govern it. Reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, and all the animals that scurry along the ground.”
Genesis 2:20-25 NLTse He gave names to all the livestock, all the birds of the sky, and all the wild animals. But still there was no helper just right for him. (21) So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep. While the man slept, the LORD God took out one of the man’s ribs and closed up the opening. (22) Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib, and he brought her to the man. (23) “At last!” the man exclaimed. “This one is bone from my bone, and flesh from my flesh! She will be called ‘woman,’ because she was taken from ‘man.'” (24) This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one. (25) Now the man and his wife were both naked, but they felt no shame.
1 Corinthians 11:23-26 NLTse (23) For I pass on to you what I received from the Lord himself. On the night when he was betrayed, the Lord Jesus took some bread (24) and gave thanks to God for it. Then he broke it in pieces and said, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this to remember me.” (25) In the same way, he took the cup of wine after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant between God and his people–an agreement confirmed with my blood. Do this to remember me as often as you drink it.” (26) For every time you eat this bread and drink this cup, you are announcing the Lord’s death until he comes again.
Isaiah 55:1-3 NLTse “Is anyone thirsty? Come and drink– even if you have no money! Come, take your choice of wine or milk– it’s all free! (2) Why spend your money on food that does not give you strength? Why pay for food that does you no good? Listen to me, and you will eat what is good. You will enjoy the finest food. (3) “Come to me with your ears wide open. Listen, and you will find life. I will make an everlasting covenant with you. I will give you all the unfailing love I promised to David.
Luke 22:14-24 NLTse When the time came, Jesus and the apostles sat down together at the table. (15) Jesus said, “I have been very eager to eat this Passover meal with you before my suffering begins. (16) For I tell you now that I won’t eat this meal again until its meaning is fulfilled in the Kingdom of God.” (17) Then he took a cup of wine and gave thanks to God for it. Then he said, “Take this and share it among yourselves. (18) For I will not drink wine again until the Kingdom of God has come.” (19) He took some bread and gave thanks to God for it. Then he broke it in pieces and gave it to the disciples, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this to remember me.” (20) After supper he took another cup of wine and said, “This cup is the new covenant between God and his people–an agreement confirmed with my blood, which is poured out as a sacrifice for you. (21) “But here at this table, sitting among us as a friend, is the man who will betray me. (22) For it has been determined that the Son of Man must die. But what sorrow awaits the one who betrays him.” (23) The disciples began to ask each other which of them would ever do such a thing. (24) Then they began to argue among themselves about who would be the greatest among them.
1 Corinthians 14:21 NLTse (21) It is written in the Scriptures: “I will speak to my own people through strange languages and through the lips of foreigners. But even then, they will not listen to me,” says the LORD.
Isaiah 28:6-15 NLTse He will give a longing for justice to their judges. He will give great courage to their warriors who stand at the gates. (7) Now, however, Israel is led by drunks who reel with wine and stagger with alcohol. The priests and prophets stagger with alcohol and lose themselves in wine. They reel when they see visions and stagger as they render decisions. (8) Their tables are covered with vomit; filth is everywhere. (9) “Who does the LORD think we are?” they ask. “Why does he speak to us like this? Are we little children, just recently weaned? (10) He tells us everything over and over– one line at a time, one line at a time, a little here, and a little there!” (11) So now God will have to speak to his people through foreign oppressors who speak a strange language! (12) God has told his people, “Here is a place of rest; let the weary rest here. This is a place of quiet rest.” But they would not listen. (13) So the LORD will spell out his message for them again, one line at a time, one line at a time, a little here, and a little there, so that they will stumble and fall. They will be injured, trapped, and captured. (14) Therefore, listen to this message from the LORD, you scoffing rulers in Jerusalem. (15) You boast, “We have struck a bargain to cheat death and have made a deal to dodge the grave. The coming destruction can never touch us, for we have built a strong refuge made of lies and deception.”
1 Corinthians 15:3 NLTse (3) I passed on to you what was most important and what had also been passed on to me. Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said.
Psalms 22:1-8 NLTse My God, my God, why have you abandoned me? Why are you so far away when I groan for help? (2) Every day I call to you, my God, but you do not answer. Every night you hear my voice, but I find no relief. (3) Yet you are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel. (4) Our ancestors trusted in you, and you rescued them. (5) They cried out to you and were saved. They trusted in you and were never disgraced. (6) But I am a worm and not a man. I am scorned and despised by all! (7) Everyone who sees me mocks me. They sneer and shake their heads, saying, (8) “Is this the one who relies on the LORD? Then let the LORD save him! If the LORD loves him so much, let the LORD rescue him!”
Psalms 69:1-4 NLTse Save me, O God, for the floodwaters are up to my neck. (2) Deeper and deeper I sink into the mire; I can’t find a foothold. I am in deep water, and the floods overwhelm me. (3) I am exhausted from crying for help; my throat is parched. My eyes are swollen with weeping, waiting for my God to help me. (4) Those who hate me without cause outnumber the hairs on my head. Many enemies try to destroy me with lies, demanding that I give back what I didn’t steal.
Isaiah 53:1-12 NLTse Who has believed our message? To whom has the LORD revealed his powerful arm? (2) My servant grew up in the LORD’s presence like a tender green shoot, like a root in dry ground. There was nothing beautiful or majestic about his appearance, nothing to attract us to him. (3) He was despised and rejected– a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief. We turned our backs on him and looked the other way. He was despised, and we did not care. (4) Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighed him down. And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God, a punishment for his own sins! (5) But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed. (6) All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the LORD laid on him the sins of us all. (7) He was oppressed and treated harshly, yet he never said a word. He was led like a lamb to the slaughter. And as a sheep is silent before the shearers, he did not open his mouth. (8) Unjustly condemned, he was led away.No one cared that he died without descendants, that his life was cut short in midstream. But he was struck down for the rebellion of my people. (9) He had done no wrong and had never deceived anyone. But he was buried like a criminal; he was put in a rich man’s grave. (10) But it was the LORD’s good plan to crush him and cause him grief. Yet when his life is made an offering for sin, he will have many descendants. He will enjoy a long life, and the LORD’s good plan will prosper in his hands. (11) When he sees all that is accomplished by his anguish, he will be satisfied. And because of his experience, my righteous servant will make it possible for many to be counted righteous, for he will bear all their sins. (12) I will give him the honors of a victorious soldier, because he exposed himself to death. He was counted among the rebels. He bore the sins of many and interceded for rebels.
1 Corinthians 15:4 NLTse (4) He was buried, and he was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures said.
Psalms 16:5-11 NLTse LORD, you alone are my inheritance, my cup of blessing. You guard all that is mine. (6) The land you have given me is a pleasant land. What a wonderful inheritance! (7) I will bless the LORD who guides me; even at night my heart instructs me. (8) I know the LORD is always with me. I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me. (9) No wonder my heart is glad, and I rejoice. My body rests in safety. (10) For you will not leave my soul among the dead or allow your holy one to rot in the grave. (11) You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever.
Isaiah 53:9-10 NLTse He had done no wrong and had never deceived anyone. But he was buried like a criminal; he was put in a rich man’s grave. (10) But it was the LORD’s good plan to crush him and cause him grief. Yet when his life is made an offering for sin, he will have many descendants. He will enjoy a long life, and the LORD’s good plan will prosper in his hands.
1 Corinthians 15:24 NLTse (24) After that the end will come, when he will turn the Kingdom over to God the Father, having destroyed every ruler and authority and power.
Isaiah 9:6-7 NLTse For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (7) His government and its peace will never end. He will rule with fairness and justice from the throne of his ancestor David for all eternity. The passionate commitment of the LORD of Heaven’s Armies will make this happen!
Daniel 7:13-14 NLTse As my vision continued that night, I saw someone like a son of man coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient One and was led into his presence. (14) He was given authority, honor, and sovereignty over all the nations of the world, so that people of every race and nation and language would obey him. His rule is eternal–it will never end. His kingdom will never be destroyed.
1 Corinthians 15:25 NLTse (25) For Christ must reign until he humbles all his enemies beneath his feet.
Psalms 2:6-12 NLTse For the Lord declares, “I have placed my chosen king on the throne in Jerusalem, on my holy mountain.” (7) The king proclaims the LORD’s decree: “The LORD said to me, ‘You are my son. Today I have become your Father. (8) Only ask, and I will give you the nations as your inheritance, the whole earth as your possession. (9) You will break them with an iron rod and smash them like clay pots.'” (10) Now then, you kings, act wisely! Be warned, you rulers of the earth! (11) Serve the LORD with reverent fear, and rejoice with trembling. (12) Submit to God’s royal son, or he will become angry, and you will be destroyed in the midst of all your activities– for his anger flares up in an instant. But what joy for all who take refuge in him!
1 Corinthians 15:26 NLTse (26) And the last enemy to be destroyed is death.
Isaiah 25:7-9 NLTse There he will remove the cloud of gloom, the shadow of death that hangs over the earth. (8) He will swallow up death forever! The Sovereign LORD will wipe away all tears. He will remove forever all insults and mockery against his land and people. The LORD has spoken! (9) In that day the people will proclaim, “This is our God! We trusted in him, and he saved us! This is the LORD, in whom we trusted. Let us rejoice in the salvation he brings!”
1 Corinthians 15:27-28 NLTse (27) For the Scriptures say, “God has put all things under his authority.” (Of course, when it says “all things are under his authority,” that does not include God himself, who gave Christ his authority.) (28) Then, when all things are under his authority, the Son will put himself under God’s authority, so that God, who gave his Son authority over all things, will be utterly supreme over everything everywhere.
Psalms 8:1-9 NLTse O LORD, our Lord, your majestic name fills the earth! Your glory is higher than the heavens. (2) You have taught children and infants to tell of your strength, silencing your enemies and all who oppose you. (3) When I look at the night sky and see the work of your fingers– the moon and the stars you set in place– (4) what are people that you should think about them, mere mortals that you should care for them? (5) Yet you made them only a little lower than God and crowned them with glory and honor. (6) You gave them charge of everything you made, putting all things under their authority— (7) the flocks and the herds and all the wild animals, (8) the birds in the sky, the fish in the sea, and everything that swims the ocean currents. (9) O LORD, our Lord, your majestic name fills the earth!
1 Corinthians 15:32 NLTse (32) And what value was there in fighting wild beasts–those people of Ephesus–if there will be no resurrection from the dead? And if there is no resurrection, “Let’s feast and drink, for tomorrow we die!”
Isaiah 22:8-14 NLTse Judah’s defenses have been stripped away. You run to the armory for your weapons. (9) You inspect the breaks in the walls of Jerusalem. You store up water in the lower pool. (10) You survey the houses and tear some down for stone to strengthen the walls. (11) Between the city walls, you build a reservoir for water from the old pool. But you never ask for help from the One who did all this. You never considered the One who planned this long ago. (12) At that time the Lord, the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, called you to weep and mourn. He told you to shave your heads in sorrow for your sins and to wear clothes of burlap to show your remorse. (13) But instead, you dance and play; you slaughter cattle and kill sheep. You feast on meat and drink wine. You say, “Let’s feast and drink, for tomorrow we die!” (14) The LORD of Heaven’s Armies has revealed this to me: “Till the day you die, you will never be forgiven for this sin.” That is the judgment of the Lord, the LORD of Heaven’s Armies.
1 Corinthians 15:33 NLTse (33) Don’t be fooled by those who say such things, for “bad company corrupts good character.”
Proverbs 13:20 NLTse Walk with the wise and become wise; associate with fools and get in trouble.
1 Corinthians 15:45 NLTse (45) The Scriptures tell us, “The first man, Adam, became a living person.” But the last Adam–that is, Christ–is a life-giving Spirit.
1 Corinthians 15:47 NLTse (47) Adam, the first man, was made from the dust of the earth, while Christ, the second man, came from heaven.
Genesis 2:7 NLTse Then the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground. He breathed the breath of life into the man’s nostrils, and the man became a living person.
1 Corinthians 15:52 NLTse (52) It will happen in a moment, in the blink of an eye, when the last trumpet is blown. For when the trumpet sounds, those who have died will be raised to live forever. And we who are living will also be transformed.
Isaiah 18:3-5 NLTse All you people of the world, everyone who lives on the earth– when I raise my battle flag on the mountain, look! When I blow the ram’s horn, listen! (4) For the LORD has told me this: “I will watch quietly from my dwelling place– as quietly as the heat rises on a summer day, or as the morning dew forms during the harvest.” (5) Even before you begin your attack, while your plans are ripening like grapes, the LORD will cut off your new growth with pruning shears. He will snip off and discard your spreading branches.
Isaiah 27:11-13 NLTse The people are like the dead branches of a tree, broken off and used for kindling beneath the cooking pots. Israel is a foolish and stupid nation, for its people have turned away from God. Therefore, the one who made them will show them no pity or mercy. (12) Yet the time will come when the LORD will gather them together like handpicked grain. One by one he will gather them–from the Euphrates River in the east to the Brook of Egypt in the west. (13) In that day the great trumpet will sound. Many who were dying in exile in Assyria and Egypt will return to Jerusalem to worship the LORD on his holy mountain.
1 Corinthians 15:54-58 NLTse (54) Then, when our dying bodies have been transformed into bodies that will never die, this Scripture will be fulfilled: “Death is swallowed up in victory. (55) O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” (56) For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power. (57) But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ. (58) So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.
Isaiah 25:7-9 NLTse There he will remove the cloud of gloom, the shadow of death that hangs over the earth. (8) He will swallow up death forever! The Sovereign LORD will wipe away all tears. He will remove forever all insults and mockery against his land and people. The LORD has spoken! (9) In that day the people will proclaim, “This is our God! We trusted in him, and he saved us! This is the LORD, in whom we trusted. Let us rejoice in the salvation he brings!”