First Corinthians: Solid Spiritual Gold

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The Book of First Corinthians, by St. Paul, is solid spiritual gold, by that I mean it is one of the most spiritually rich books in the entire bible. Let’s take a look at some of the verses in it, and see why this is so. Click on the link in the paragraph to get the relevant First Corinthian verses.

1 Corinthians on Dissention

St. Paul preaches that there should be no dissentions in the Church, but rather, we should all be of one mind and spirit. Not only did the Protestant Rebellion destroy this unity, but even today, in the Catholic Church, there are Modernist (more worldly) factions competing with Traditional (more spiritual) factions. Somehow, we must all pray that these differences go away. Most likely, the Immaculate Heart of Mary will have to triumph in the world for this to happen.

1 Corinthians on Preaching Christ Crucified

Many protestants wonder why Catholics have crucifixes in their churches instead of a cross. “Don’t you know that Christ is risen?” they will say. “Why do you still have him hanging there on the cross?” St. Paul answers their question by saying that he preaches Christ crucified! In the Catholic view of things, time is merely an earthly construct, the movement of the earth through space. But what happened in the past is still ongoing in God’s way of seeing things, through the lens of eternity. The crucifix is also a reminder for us that we too must pick up our cross and follow Jesus to Calvary (Luke 9:23).

1 Corinthians on Heaven

Paul lets us all know that what awaits us in heaven is inconceivable to our senses here on earth. Heaven is greater than anything we can possibly think of. And all we have to do to attain it is to love Jesus, obey God, and repent of our sins. Just imagine the nicest place here on earth, and then realize that that place is like a trash dump compared to our mansion in heaven. After all, who better to build our eternal spiritual home in heaven than Jesus, a carpenter!

1 Corinthians on Purgatory

Many Protestants mistakenly believe that there is no purgatory, thanks to Martin Luther. But here St. Paul talks about our judgement day, and how our works will be tested with fire. If our deeds are great, we will receive a great reward (heaven). If they are not, we will still be saved, but only by suffering in fire. These verses not only point out the reality of purgatory, but also the necessity of good works performed as a result of our faith in Christ.

1 Corinthians on Our Bodies as God’s Temple

During abortion rallies, there are sometimes signs that say, “My body, my choice!” But here St. Paul says that they are wrong. Our bodies are not our own, but rather, a temple of the Holy Spirit. A temple is a building for worshiping God, and so we need always to remember this fact when we are tempted to defile our body/temple like King Antiochus did, whether it be through pornography, fornication, homosexuality, drugs, or whatever. The story in Mark 11:15 where Jesus cleared the money changers in the Jerusalem temple should remind us that when we receive Holy Communion (The Body of Christ), Jesus does the exact same thing to our body/temple: he cleanses us of pride and the other deadly sins, if we are in the state of grace.

1 Corinthians on Not Pronouncing Ourselves “Saved”

How many times have Protestants pronounced themselves “saved,” and then asked us if we too are saved? They totally miss the point that salvation is a journey that isn’t completed until death, and is not a past event. In these verses, St. Paul says that he does not judge anyone, including Himself. That job belongs to Jesus, and only to Jesus, and it is not done until we die, not before.

1 Corinthians on Imitating the Saints

In these verses, St. Paul says to imitate him, since he is a father in Christ Jesus. These verses also call to mind that we can refer to other men as fathers, because Matthew 23:9 used hyperbole to highlight the maximum fatherhood of God the Father.

1 Corinthians on Excommunication for the Good of One’s Soul

St. Paul explains here that excommunication isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Rather, it is done for the good of one’s soul. If a person is a heretic, then he/she should not be receiving the Eucharist, because reception of Holy Communion in the Catholic faith means that you agree with all that the Church teaches. Excommunication is meant to get one’s attention that he needs to reorient his belief system so that it is in line with the teachings of the Church. Paul even says that the person excommunicated here may be saved on his judgement day.

1 Corinthians on Disassociation from Evil People

St. Paul is very clear here regarding the unrighteous and how we need to not associate with them. Why? Because one bad apple will usually make the other good apples bad; the good apples usually will not make the one bad apple good. Here Paul recommends staying away from the immoral, idolaters, adulterers, thieves, the greedy, drunkards, revilers, and robbers.

1 Corinthians on The Divination of Mankind

Salvation in Jesus Christ is much more than just fire insurance! When we become united to Christ through the Eucharist, and especially later on when we enter heaven, we become one spirit with Him. This verse, I think, is one of the most important verses in the entire bible, and also one of the most overlooked. It is in complete harmony with 2 Peter 1:4, where St. Peter says that we will become partakers in the Divine nature. The Catechism (CCC 460) even says, “For the Son of God became man so that we might become God.”

1 Corinthians on the Power of the Believing Spouse

The sacrament of Holy Matrimony unites the man, the woman, AND Jesus together as one. But sometimes, one of the spouses can get caught up in the world and forget all about Christ and His Church. The believing spouse then starts going to Mass all alone, while the other watches TV, shops, or plays golf instead. But the power of the prayers of the believing spouse are very powerful indeed. In these verses, St. Paul says that the faith of the believing spouse can save the unbeliever!

1 Corinthians on Celibacy

Some protestants argue against celibacy, saying that it is unnatural, and even causes pedophilia, even though Jeremiah, John the Baptist, Jesus, and St. Paul were all celibate. Here St. Paul tells us that to marry is okay, but celibacy is even better!

1 Corinthians on Self-Mortification

As holy a man as St. Paul was, even he had to practice self-mortification to be in God’s good graces. Just as Jesus willingly went to the cross, St. Paul says that he has to pommel his body and subdue it, so that he won’t be lost after preaching the Good News to others. Catholics usually do this during Lent, but self-mortification is a good habit throughout the year.

1 Corinthians on Old Testament Typology of Baptism and of the Eucharist

The Old Testament is full of “types” (foreshadowing of Christ, Mary, the sacraments, etc.). Here St. Paul tells us about how the Jews in the Old Testament were baptized by crossing the Red Sea under the shekinah glory cloud of God (water and the Spirit are always present at Baptism). The manna in the desert was supernatural food, which points to the supernatural Eucharist (our daily bread) we have today. The water from the Rock, which was Christ Himself, also points to the Eucharist in the form of the Precious Blood.

1 Corinthians on The Eucharist as Not Symbolic

St. Paul just couldn’t be clearer that the Eucharist is a participation in the body and blood of Christ. He even likens the salvific Eucharistic sacrifice to pagan sacrifices. If the Eucharist weren’t a sacrifice, then Paul is using faulty comparative logic here, by contrasting the Eucharist to other sacrifices. He even says that you cannot drink the cup of the Lord (His real blood) along with the cup of real demons and be saved. It’s either one or the other.

1 Corinthians on the Liturgy of the Eucharist

Here St. Paul gives us the words of the second part of the Mass, during the consecration of the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ. These same words are still used today by priests. Note that in Greek the word for “remembrance” is “anamnesis”, which is always used in the Old Testament to denote a memorial sacrifice. “Remembrance” as it is used here is much more than just recalling a past event; rather, it is making a past sacrifice present through space and time as a memorial. And that past event is the Last Supper.

1 Corinthians on Not Partaking of the Eucharist Unworthily

These verses tell us that we have to be in the state of grace to properly receive the Body and Blood of Christ. This means that if we have committed mortal sins, then we must receive the sacrament of Confession prior to receiving the sacrament of the Eucharist. Paul even says that some have died because they weren’t in the state of grace when they received the Eucharist.

1 Corinthians on the Gift of Love

Here St. Paul defines what love is, and what it is not. Following rules without love is just being a clanging bell. If you do not have love, prophesying and giving away everything you have to the poor is not salvific. Patience and kindness without resentment while going through tough times is a great indicator of true love.

1 Corinthians on Salvation as More than Just “Faith Alone.”

St. Paul lets us all know that we are not saved by faith alone, like Luther taught. Rather, there are 3 things that are important, those being faith, hope, and love, with love being the most important. And since hope is one of the three, those who say that they are assured of their salvation are wrong; otherwise, hope of salvation would never come into play. When someone asks you if you are saved, the correct answer would be that I hope to be saved through my faith in Christ and my love for God and my fellow human beings.

1 Corinthians on Speaking in Tongues

Many Catholics do not believe that speaking in tongues is a valid gift of the Holy Spirit these days. But here, St. Paul urges us all to speak in tongues and to prophesy. Paul also warns us that if someone does speak in an unknown tongue, that there needs to be an interpreter present; otherwise, it’s useless noise.

1 Corinthians on Original Sin

Yes, Adam was a real person. If he were not, then the doctrine of original sin, which states that we all inherit the sin of Adam, would not exist. Here St. Paul tells us that one man, Jesus, saves us, thus overcoming the spiritual death of sin, caused by one man, Adam.

1 Corinthians on a Physical Body and a Spiritual Body

We all know what a physical body is, but here St. Paul talks about a spiritual body, not just a spirit. So what is a spiritual body? It definitely points to the body Christ had after the resurrection, where he could appear and disappear at will, as well as go through locked doors. This is the kind of body we will have in heaven after the final judgement. It could also refer to the Eucharist, which is the body, blood, soul and divinity of Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians on the End of the World, the Resurrection

St. Paul talks about how at the very end of time, on the very last day, that everything will change. The dead will first rise from their graves, and then we, the living, will be changed and meet Christ in the air. This means that all of the “Left Behind” books are in error, because they have everyone disappearing, leaving their clothes behind, and there are more days for those “left behind” to repent. Absolutely none of that is biblical.

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