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1 Corinthians 15
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TOPIC: 1 Corinthians 15

Re: 1 Corinthians 15 1 month, 1 week ago #5188

  • webb
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It is a gift to be alive, to be named God's offspring, and to be given gifts and capacities (empowered by God's Spirit) to serve the creation and to make joyful community.

Status thinking--trying to calculate who is more advanced or who has a better job or more responsibility, as though such distinctions mean anything or have anything to do with your value in God's eyes or in the community of creation--comes directly out of being alienated from God. Envy--despising yourself and/or blaming the other because, in your own estimation, you lose some kind of status competition that exists in your mind--is also a direct manifestation of alienation from God. It can be considered the original sin (see my essay, What Went Wrong? at my Simple Gospel website).

I don't doubt that in the world to come--in which we will not go to heaven, but heaven will come down to a re-created, renovated earth (Rev. 21:1-7)--we will have plenty of gifts of service to express, and not only gifts of praise and worship directed towards God. Service rendered to the beloved creation of God is an act of worship. But unless God reveals it in Scripture, I do not feel authorized to teach that envy is a sickness that any kind of therapy besides the once-for-all self-offering of Jesus can heal. If beings are not converted back to God by God's giving his very life in the person of his Son, it would stand to reason that nothing we can ever do will make a difference. "Give them time" is a human speculation that is based, I imagine, on a good heart that wants all to come to salvation, and I appreciate that. At the same time there is such a thing as a desire in he human heart for a positive end to every story, and that is not revelatory of anything theologically determinative. Sometimes the story does not come out positive, and we have to learn to sit with that.

For thus says the One who is high and lifted up, who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: "I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly, and to revive the heart of the contrite. For I will not contend forever, nor will I always be angry; for the spirit would grow faint before me, and the breath of life that I made. Because of the iniquity of his unjust gain I was angry, I struck him; I hid my face and was angry, but he went on backsliding in the way of his own heart. I have seen his ways, but I will heal him; I will lead him and restore comfort to him and his mourners, creating the fruit of the lips.

Peace, peace, to the far and to the near," says the LORD, "and I will heal him.

But the wicked are like the tossing sea; for it cannot be quiet, and its waters toss up mire and dirt.

There is no peace," says my God, "for the wicked." (Isa. 57:15-21)

Re: 1 Corinthians 15 1 month ago #5191

  • Andrew32
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I don't quite know what to think of your statement that all "status thinking" is evil.

Jesus distinguished people by status. The parable of the minas comes to mind (Luke 19). It seems that He implies that it is a good thing to be over 10 cities rather than over none.

He also turned "status thinking" on its head (without completely decrying it) in Luke 9:46-48. He said that "he who is least among you is the greatest" referring to the persons who had the (once poorly thought of) job of watching children.

Then 1 Cor 3:10-15 speaks of those who build on the foundation of Christ with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, and straw. Their work will be revealed by fire. He whose work is burned up will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, as through fire. There seems to be a clear distinguishment in the levels of reward in heaven. How could something ordained by God - distinguished rewards - be wrong to think about? Of course, though, envious thought regarding anything is sin. Thoughts of simple Godly regret for living a life that will not be well rewarded (similar to Godly regret in 2 Cor 7:10), or thoughts about honoring others who are highly rewarded, seem to me to be thoughts worthy of the Godly.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but you think that in the afterlife there will be no need for a diversified workforce as there is a need for on earth. There will be no "problems" to solve, perhaps? I tend to believe that there will be a "problem": making everyone fulfilled in their existence. Including those whose work is burned up to the point where they receive no reward in the afterlife. And eventually, perhaps, everyone who has ever lived.

To solve this "problem," there will be a need for a diversified workforce. A workforce with jobs of honor, and a workforce with jobs that lack honor. The Lord may give jobs of honor to those who will be highly rewarded for their labors, persecutions, etc., from this life. Would the Lord make heaven less complex than earth by failing to do so? I think diversification of levels of honor in the workforce is a good aspect of creation...as long as James 1:9-10 is obeyed.

Would those who receive the rewards and honors not still be bound by James 1:9-10 in the afterlife, though?
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