The Danger of Dependency

Studies in First Corinthians

Lesson 27: The Danger of Dependency

I Corinthians 10:23-33


The decade of the 1970’s was known as the time of the awakening of human rights – but from a negative standpoint: the “right” to an abortion on demand, the “right” to marry someone of the same sex, the “right” to divorce for no particular reason.


And the 1980’s has been characterized as the “me” generation. Books were written about “Winning by intimidation,” and “being faithful to yourself;” putting yourself first no matter what. And marriages and careers and other kinds of commitments have been abandoned on the basis of that kind of thinking.


But, thankfully,  into that kind of thinking comes the word of God of I Corinthians chapter 10 (and other passages) and it is very different from all of that! The background of the passage is the importance of a Christian being willing to do whatever it takes, even to the sacrifice of things to which we have a right – for the salvation and/or growth of others.


In our last lesson, we saw how far reaching this can be – it even extends to the danger of getting involved with a liberal church or some other tool of Satan. The whole section deals with the question “what about “doubtful things?” – things that the scripture doesn’t specifically touch on. And as we have seen in the past few chapters, this question is one of the key issues in the Christian life. Now in looking at chapter 10 thus far we have seen the danger of disapproval in verses 1 through 13, and the danger of deception in verses 14 through 22. This third section of the chapter involves the danger of dependency as described in verses 23 through 33. And the first thing to notice about this danger is the principle of permissibility in verse 33.


All things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful; all things are lawful for me, but all things do not edify.”


Now the phrase, “all things are lawful for me” could be very easily misunderstood – it has to be understood in its context. It can’t mean that there are no rules after salvation – human reason as well as the scripture tell us that there are some things that God does not condone. Idolatry in our last lesson, an unequal yoke with unbelievers, provoking your children to wrath, committing adultery, getting drunk, being a busybody, etc. etc, etc. By the same token, scripture also lists some things which Christians are commanded to do. Children obey your parents, Husbands love your wives, wives submit to your husbands, churches, do all things decently and in order, believers obey the government, and so forth.


The absence of law is known as “antinomianism” – history and experience have shown again and again that that leads to devastation. So obviously, the phrase “all things are lawful for me” does not mean that


Now the context of this whole passage is the changes that were made when Christ fulfilled the Old Testament law and made it of no effect. One of the most tumultuous results of that change was Christians having to learn where their freedoms lay; that fall between those things that are commanded for Christians and those things that are forbidden. Therefore, when he says “all things are lawful for me” he is referring to all those things that are in that gray area. Thus we are free from the laws and sacrifices of the Old Testament. And free to dress as we please, and free to eat whatever we want to and free to go where we want to go and do what we want to do (there are no longer any Sabbath restrictions, for example) but that freedom, wonderful as it was, is modified by the principle of “helpfulness” (or “expediency) Notice the phrase “all things are lawful for me but all things are not helpful.” Some things that are permissible for the believer are still not good for us.


Now this law of “helpfulness” (or expediency”) is defined by the last phrase of this verse – all things do not edify. The word “edify” is a translation of a Greek word that means literally “to bring things together” (like today’s phrase “to get it together.”) This shows the reality of the laws of God. The things that He denies are the things that tear down rather than build up. This is true of any of the sins listed above. Now the question that comes up at this point is, “how do we know what the “expedient” or “edifying” things are?”


Now we have been talking about “the principle of permissibility.” But there is another principle that modifies that one. How do we know what edifies and what doesn’t? This is where the principle of relationships comes into play. Look at verse 24:


“Let no one seek his own, but each one the other’s well being.”


The determining factor for personal edification is how it affects others! And this principle is repeated throughout the New Testament. Look at Matthew 22:35 – 40:


Then one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question, testing Him, and saying, (36)Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law? (37) Jesus said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. (38) This is the first and great commandment. (39) And the second is like it, you shall love your neighbor as yourself. (40) On these two commandment hang all the law and the prophets.


Romans 14:7for none of us lives to himself, and no one dies to himself.


Romans 15:2 Let each of you please his neighbor for his good, leading to edification.


I Corinthians 13:5(love) does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil


Galatians 6:2 Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”


Philippians 2:2 Fulfill my joy bybeing like minded having the same love, being of one accord of one mind . . .


Now that is a big order. It is completely contrary to our normal human tendencies. So how are we to put it into practice? Well, verses 25 through 28 Paul gives us a picture of personal practice that should help put it all in perspective:   


First of all, verses 25 and 26 deal with private activities


Eat whatever is sold in the meat market, asking no questions for conscience’ sake (26) For the earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof (27)If any of those who do not believe invites you to dinner, and you desire to go, eat whatever is set before you, asking no questions for conscience’ sake.


Verse 25 basically says, “in the area of neutral things, do whatever you want to! Because, verse 26 says, “the Lord created everything for your pleasure, since you are His child (a quotation of Psalm 24:1) and verse 27 says that this even extends to public activities. But if you discover that someone has a problem with that, “the principle of edification” comes into play – and that is the next point:


Verses 25 through 27 dealt with “private activities.” But now verses 28 and 29 deal with the problem areas


But if anyone says to you, “this was offered to idols,” do not eat it for the sake of the one who told you, and for conscience sake. (29) Conscience I say, not your own, but that of the other. . .”


If you discover that someone has a problem with his conscience because of what you are doing, refrain from doing it for his sake. And notice from verse 28, He may be the one who brings it up! If he does, it indicates that he has a problem with it (no matter how he might word it.)  Unbelievers and weak Christians have a very different opinion of what a Christian should be (realistic or not) And if you and I are not careful, a weak believer may be encouraged to violate his conscience because of something we do. Or the fact that they think that they have violated our conscience might hurt their conscience. And notice the point made in verses 29b and 30: why should the exercise of my liberty cause another man to violate his conscience?


. . . For is my liberty judged by another man’s conscience? But if I partake with thanks, why am I evil spoken of for the food over which I give thanks?


You can do one of two things in this kind of situation: either explain the truth of your liberty to him (if it fits the time frame and the situation) or, simply refrain from eating – and that shouldn’t be so much of a problem – you can always eat it some other time.


Now we have seen the principle of permissibility,”  the priority of personal relationships, but now, in verses 31 through 33, we find the principle to follow in participation in such activities. How do we know what to do and what not to do without feeling like a hypocrite? The determining factor for the effect of our activities on others is the glorification of God – look at verse 31:


Therefore whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all for the glory of God.”


Notice the widening circle of decisions here: First, “all things are permissible to us, but (2) they must be considered in the light of edification of others. In fact (3) edification of others is determined by the glorification of God.


With this principle, activities to various groups can be avoided – verse 32


Give no offense either to the Jews or to the Greeks or to the church of God.


And this principle is so effective that Paul gives his own testimony to its workability in verse 33


Just as I also please all men in all things, not seeking my own profit, but the profit of the many, that they may be saved.”


Maybe as we have worked our way through this passage you have been thinking, “well, why is all this so important anyway?” Well, the last line of verse 33 brings it all back into focus: the salvation of others! And as we think about it from that standpoint, is there any right you have that is  worth keeping someone from understanding the gospel and being saved? When we think about it from that perspective, even the way we “eat or drink” (verse 31) is important isn’t it?



The purpose of these studies is to draw you closer to Jesus Christ. If you do not know him, it is my prayer that they will help you understand that Romans 3:23 says that you, like all of us, have sinned and come short of the glory of God. And Romans 6:23 says that the result of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through our Lord Jesus Christ. And Acts 16:32 says “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved. If I can be of help to you in understanding any of this information I can be reached at






The Danger of Deception

Studies in First Corinthians

Lesson 26: “The Danger of Deception”

I Corinthians 10:14-22


The Christian life is full of wonderful blessings – and the longer you have known the Lord, the more aware of that you become. But what many Christians don’t realize is that there are also many dangers in the Christian life. And although we don’t have time to detail all of those, we do have a chapter before us where several of them are listed. First Corinthians chapter 10 deals with three such dangers, and they may not be the ones that we would expect at first thought: First, there is “the danger of disapproval” in verses 1 through 13, then “the danger of deception” in verses 14 through 22 and, “the danger of dependency” in verses 23 through 33.


In our last study we thought about “the danger of disapproval” as it is described in verses 1 through 13. So in this lesson we want to think about “the danger of deception” in verses 14 through 22. In verses 14 and 15 we find an appeal which Paul makes about the subject of deception in general.


Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry. (15) I speak to wise men, judge for yourselves what I say.


As usual, the word “therefore” should immediately catch our attention. And, as usual, it ties in with the verses just before this. In those verses he had been talking about the kinds of things that can keep Christians from being effective witnesses for him – and thus “lose out” on the “promised land” of satisfaction in this life and rewards at the judgment seat of Christ. So in this passage he is going to make a further appeal on the basis of those dangers. Incidentally, notice that the appeal is to “wise men” – the thing of which the Corinthians were so proud (and the subject of the whole first section of the book.) And the specific appeal is to “flee from idolatry” As we saw in our last study, “idolatry” is a summary of all the problems that took Israel away from God. It is the matter of letting anything take the place which God ought to have in our lives.


In Corinth it was a specific problem – people were still worshipping idols right along with the Christians worshipping Christ. In our day this is important from the standpoint of the principle involved. Now why is that appeal so important? Well, verses 16 through 20 give us the argument on which the appeal is based. The summary of the argument is that to participate in idol wordship in a Christian temple is to have fellowship with the false teaching that it represents. And that argument is developed by giving an analogy – the Lord’s Supper – in verses 16 and 17:


The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? (17) For we, being many are one bread and one body; for we all partake of that one bread.


To participate in the Lord’s supper is to have fellowship with the Lord – verse 16. And at the same time it is to have fellowship with other believers – verse 17. Then the argument is further developed in verse 18 with another example: the nation of Israel:


Observe Israel after the flesh: Are not those who eat of the sacrifices partakers of the altar?


In many of the Old Testament sacrifices, part of the sacrifice was given to the priest and part to the offeror. And the purpose of this was to show fellowship between the offeror, the priest and the nation of Israel as a whole.


So in summary, here is the principle: when we participate in a “religious ceremony” we are having fellowship with everything that that ceremony stands for. And therefore to participate in false worship is to have fellowship with that particular form of false worship and all that it stands for.


Now if the “appeal” of verses 14 and 15, and “the argument in verses 16 through 20 on which it is based are true, then there are only two alternatives in the appeal. These are described in verses 21 and 22.

The first alternative is separation from the temple – verse 21:


You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot partake of the Lord’s table and of the table of demons


A person cannot sincerely partake of the Lord’s table on Sunday night and then on Wednesday night sincerely partake of something designed to lead people away from God. So there must be a separation from all idol activity.


Now if a person is not going to accept that alternative, the only other alternative is to “subject the Lord to jealousy” – verse 22


Or do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than He?


With humans, jealousy is sinful because it is based on desire. But with God it is not sin because what he wants He has every right to have. He wants, (and deserves) wholehearted allegiance from the believer. Are you so strong that you can deny Him what He wants?


Now those are the principles covered in these verses. But to really get the value of the passages we need to look at an analogy for today – there are at least 3 things that we can learn from all this:


First, of course, this principle applies to the kinds of things that we talked about in our last lesson; looking at your business or your family or your hobby or your glamour or your education or your fame to fill that place that only God can fill. To be motivated by those things is to worship those things. And these verses say that it cannot me done. It makes God jealous!


But there is a second application of these verses, and that is that they show us the true nature of liberalism in the church today. Satan is behind liberalism today just as he was behind idolatry in Corinth. He has many diversions form his frontal attack – moral laxity, drug abuse, alcoholism, etc. etc. But his major line of attack is counterfeit worship, described in I Timothy 4:1:


Now the spirit expressly says that in the latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons . . . . .like any counterfeit, Satan’s worship is almost exactly like the real thing.  For example, he has his own doctrines. Some of his doctrines deny the truth. The most prevalent (and therefore the most important) one is the question of the inerrancy of scripture. That questioning in and of itself does not deny any basic doctrines, it just “worries” you – like an accountant saying “we may have some problems with your tax return . . .  .” And even though that in and of itself doesn’t sound too bad, it quickly opens the door for flat denials of the virgin birth, the deity of Christ, the inspiration of scripture, the resurrection, etc.


Some of his doctrines displace the truth. In place of the teaching of the Word of God in the worship service there are “lectures” about “current issues” Then, some of his doctrines distort the truth, saying, for example, that Christ died as a martyr to show us how to face death bravely, or that believing “about” Christ is all that is necessary to be saved, and that “all roads lead to Rome, that sincerity in what you believe is all that rally matters.


But not only does he have his doctrines, he has his own pastors – look at II Corinthians 11:13 through 15:


For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. (14) and no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. (15) Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according tot heir works.


Dr. William McCrae of Tyndale College in Toronto has said that “the finished product of Satan’s art is not the drunken bum in the gutter, but the false teacher in the pulpit. These are men who try to “demythologize” the scripture, or urge young Christians “use your own head, don’t quote scripture so much.” Satan has his own doctrines and his own pastors, and Revelation 2:9 points out that he even has his own churches:  In the first chapters of the book of Revelation, Jesus Christ had the apostle John write letters to seven churches scattered around the Mediterranean area giving each of them an evaluation. To the church in Smyrna He wrote, I know your works, tribulation, and poverty (but you are rich); and I know the blasphemy of those who say they are Jews but are not, but are a synagogue (congregation) of Satan. (!) These are the kinds of churches that take out ads in major newspapers, explaining that “we can still believe in Jesus as a great teacher even if he did believe in angels.”


Or another ad saying “what should children be taught in Sunday School? That God created the world in 6 days? That man is not a creature of evolution? That Jesus was born to a virgin who had not had sexual relations with a man? That he did miracles and was literally raised from the dead? That Jesus may come down from the sky just any day now? That only those who believe such assertions with all their hearts are “saved” while everyone else will burn in hell? Or, that creation should be studied from all of the world’s religious viewpoints, plus the views of modern science? That man has evolved from a wonderful evolutionary process and is a part of the beautiful process of nature? Or, that Jesus was most likely a good man who did many good things, but whose followers invented myths and legends about him? That religion should deal with the here and now, with a complete trust in the forces that brought us into existence without a morbid fear of death.”


We’ve been talking about the true nature of religious liberalism. But now coming back to First Corinthians chapter 10, we also need to think about the true nature of relationship between a believer and a liberal church. Look at verse 14 again:


Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry.


If Satan is at the heart of idolatry and the heart of liberalism, this verse could be construed to say “flee apostasy” or” “flee liberalism.”  This is emphasized more clearly in II Corinthians 6:14-16.


Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? (16) And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God, has said, “I will dwell in them and walk among them. I will be their God and they shall be my people.”



The context here is speaking specifically of church (“or religious”) relationships. Marriage is a legitimate application of the passage, but not the primary one. So clearly what this passage is saying is “get out of that liberal church!”


Now the question often comes up, “what constitutes a “yoke?” – attendance? Membership? financial contributions?  And basically, that has to be determined by the individual. But the basic principle is stated clearly in verse 17: “Come out!” Now this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t have anything to do with people who are in such a church. But it is to say that such things must be thought through very carefully!


Now we have thought about the true nature of liberalism and the relationship between a believer and a liberal church. But there is one last thing to be considered, and that is the consequences of continuing a relationship with a liberal church. Believe it or not, there are many people whose churches have gradually become liberal without the members even realizing it. And often people like that will try to stay in the church in an attempt to “rescue” it. Over the years I have been personally acquainted with people who have given of their time and their money in those kinds of attempts. But we have to remember that behind all of the seemingly “good” things that are taught or “good works” that are done in those churches is the work of Satan himself. No one can argue with the fact that God has blessed the people that have stayed in those churches and have taught those Sunday School classes. But listen carefully: God’s blessing does not necessarily indicate His approval – because He always blesses His word, regardless of who is giving it out! But it is also true that to remain in a liberal church can be dangerous to your own spiritual health.


You can’t walk through a coal mine without getting dirty. And in the same way, you cannot regularly sit under false teaching without being affected to some degree. Even if you might not be hurt (and that’s a big “if,” what about your children? But the most important point by far is brought out back in verse 22 “do we provoke the Lord to jealousy?


We have been talking about the dangers of liberal religion – and it is obvious that this is a serious business. But the overall application of this passage is much broader than that: I mentioned earlier II Corinthians 6:16, which says that you and I as Christians are the dwelling place of God. (As God, has said, “I will dwell in them and walk among them. I will be their God and they shall be my people.”) If that is to be true in your life you may have to sacrifice some of your treasured relationships and friendships. Think carefully about your life for a moment: are you “provoking the Lord to jealousy” by the way you live: the things in which you invest your time and money, the people you listen to, the company you keep, and so forth.



The purpose of these studies is to draw you closer to Jesus Christ. If you do not know him, it is my prayer that they will help you understand that Romans 3:23 says that you, like all of us, have sinned and come short of the glory of God. And Romans 6:23 says that the result of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through our Lord Jesus Christ. And Acts 16:32 says “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved. If I can be of help to you in understanding any of this information I can be reached at



The Danger of Disapproval

Studies in First Corinthians

Lesson 25: “The Danger of Disapproval”

I Corinthians 10:1-13


As almost everyone in the civilized world knows, every 4 years the world of athletics celebrates its achievements and honors its heroes in the Olympic games. And it is truly amazing what the human body and spirit can accomplish and endure. But unfortunately it seems that almost every Olympiad a has a scandal of one kind or another. In the Olympics celebrated recently in Brazil, some of the best swimmers in the world demonstrated that although they had accomplished amazing things with their bodies, their spirit of honor, honesty, and decorum left much to be desired. In these same games, the entire Russian track team was called into question for the use of drugs. Unfortunately, such moral failures are not limited to any one nation or to any particular sport. As the human race spins further and further into Godlessness, these things will continue to take place in whatever time we have left before the Lord Jesus Christ returns.


But whether you realize it or not, that is something that is a very real possibility in the Christian life! In the last part of chapter 9, Paul has said that he “disciplines” his body because of the possibility of “disapproval” or “disqualification.” He wants the Corinthians (and us) to understand how simple it is to lose “rewards” at the judgement seat of Christ. This is a judgement that every believer in Jesus Christ will face. So in this lesson he elaborates on the little discussed topic of “disqualification” by using believers as examples. We know that this is his topic because he begins with “moreover” – an obvious tie-in with the previous passage. Now at this point we need to stop and point out that this judgement has nothing to do with whether or not a person will go to heaven or hell. This a judgement that every Christian will face. It has to do with how well or how poorly we have used our time and talents to honor the Lord Jesus Christ during the time span between the day we accepted Him as our Savior and the time that we die and go into His presence. And as we look at what he says, we will cover it from 3 standpoints, and also, we will see that those same provisions have been made for us in this New Testament generation.


  1. The past privileges of the people of God in verses 1 through 4


  1. The past problems of the people of God in verses 5 through 11 and,


  1. The present provisions of the people of God – verses 11 and 12.


“The people of God” to whom Paul refers here are the Old Testament saints who went from Egypt, through the wilderness, into the promised land.


So let’s look first at the past privileges of the people of God  in verses 1 through 4 (showing how special these Old Testament saints were to God) First of all verse 1 tells us that they enjoyed divine guidance


Moreover, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea.


The phrase “the cloud” is a reference to the pillar of cloud which guided the Israelites in the wilderness (described in Exodus 13:21,22) The equivalent for today’s believers is the Word of God (Psalm 119: 105; II Timothy 3:16,17) Verse 1 also tells us that they enjoyed divine deliverance (note the phrase “all passed through the sea”) Obviously this is a reference to the crossing of the Red Sea  (Exodus 14:21 and 22). A third privilege of these people was divine identification as pointed out in verse 2


All were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. All ate the same spiritual food, (4) and all drank the same spiritual drink for they drank of that spiritual rock that followed them and that rock was Christ. 


Even though the text says “spiritual drink” and spiritual” food, it is a reference to the divinely provided manna and water described in Exodus 16:4 through 36 and Exodus 17:5-7.


Both are “types” of Christ – verse 4 specifically says so. “The Rock” is one of the Old Testament names of for Jehovah – so Paul is identifying Christ as Jehovah here. But also, this shows the pre-existence of Christ – He is the one who sustained them in the wilderness wanderings!


The word “baptize” in its most basic meaning means literally “to identify” one thing with another thing. In this instance the Israelites were identified” with the godly faith and leadership of Moses.

Now surely, with all these people (note the repetition of “all” throughout the passage) enjoying all of these privileges, they would have been very successful people, don’t you think?  But verse 5 indicates that, to the contrary, they had many, many problems.


But with most of them God was not well pleased, for their bodies were scattered in the wilderness.


The phrase “most of them” is an understatement – history shows that only 2 actually went into the promised land out of some 2 million who left for Egypt that night. And remember that the point is that we are the same today – disqualification is a very real possibility.


So let’s think now about the past problems of the people of God as they are listed for us in verses 5 through 11.


Verse 6 provides a summary of the wilderness generation:


 Now these things became our examples, to the intent that we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted.


The word “lust “here means “strong desire” of any kind, not just sexual things. And that is the key to all kinds of sin – the fact that we do what we want to do! Then in verses 6 and 11 we see what the wilderness generation symbolizes for us.


(6) Now these things became our examples, to the intent that we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted . . . . . . . (11) Nor murmur as some of them also murmured and were destroyed by the destroyer


Now why did God bother to write all these things down? For our sakes! They are “symbols” of the kinds of things that can happen to any generation of Christians. The old saying is that experience is the best teacher,” but that is not Biblical! Experience may be the most thorough teacher or the most difficult teacher, but God’s choice of teaching method is example.


Now the next thing we see in this record of the past problems of the people of God is a listing of the sad events of the wilderness generation in verses 7 through 10. First there was idolatry in verse 7. (described in Exodus 32:6 – the golden calf incident – where 3,000 died.


And do not become idolators as some of them. As it is written, “the people sat down to eat and drink and rose up to play.


This would have had particular significance for the Corinthians – idolatry was the very subject that had started this whole discussion! But the whole world today is more guilty of idolatry than that generation was. Think about it this way: Whatever motivates your life is your idol; whatever it is that is the basis for distinguishing right from wrong is your idol. It may be a person or a philosophy or the acquisition of possessions or lack of possessions. Why do you do the things you do and refrain from doing?


Then verse 8 brings out a second problem: fornication (sexual sin) – example: Numbers 25:1-9


Nor let us commit sexual immorality, as some of them did, and in one day thousands died


Again, this is extremely comparable to our civilization and that of the Corinthians. Then in verse 9 there was “testing Christ. The story is in Numbers 21:1 through 6 – fiery serpents were sent among the people because of their dissatisfaction with God’s provisions. It almost seems as if they were just pushing to see how far God would go before administering discipline. Perhaps in our day it would be in the form of seeing how much like the world we can be.


Then there was “murmuring” (complaining) in verse 10 (an example is in Numbers chapter 16 (the whole chapter) – two incidents of murmering against the leadership of Moses and Aaron – over 14,000 died. Murmering and complaining are sin!


Finally, verses 11 and 12 draw some conclusions from the wilderness generation:


Now all these things happened to them for examples, and they were written for our admonition, on whom the ends of the ages have come. (12) Therefore, let him that thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.


“Falling” in verse 12 cannot mean “falling from grace” because of the clear teaching of  “eternal security” throughout the scripture. Our security rests on the promise of Christ in John 10:27 – “He that comes to me I will in no wise cast out”.) It rests on the provision of Christ in I John 1:7 (the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from all sin.”) So what “falling” means is that if you are not willing to be a slave to Jesus Christ you can be disqualified for some or all of the rewards you could have had. As with anything having to do with the future, whether pleasant or unpleasant, it is hard to visualize what the scene at the Judgement seat of Christ will be like but the scripture does speak clearly of “loss” and “pain” in describing it.


Now with that in mind, the things we have been talking about in this chapter are very somber for us too. Because we individually and as a people have many of those same problems. So what are we to do? First, don’t forget these people and their failures. And there is hope, because verses 12 and 13 show us the present provision for the people of God. If the above is true, and such common problems stand to disqualify us, what should we do?  The case seems hopeless. But there are two things to remember: first, the common nature of temptation in verse 13


No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; but God is faithful. Who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but will, with the temptation also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.


No matter what you may think there is nothing unique about your testing or temptation. Thousands down through the years have triumphed over that very sort of thing with the power of the Holy Spirit  – and you can too!


The second truth in this verse is the complete faithfulness of God . The phrase “way of escape” is a translation of the Greek word “ekbasin” which means “completion” or “issue.” So it doesn’t mean you can finally escape if you hold on long enough, but rather it means if you don’t run away from it; hold on long enough, you can escape, but that if you don’t run away from it; if you let Him deal with it in His way, He will accomplish His purpose in it.” It doesn’t say it won’t last a long time, or that it will be easy, but that His purpose will be accomplished. And the promise of the Word of God is that God has provided a way in which temptation and sin can be successfully dealt with.


The purpose of these studies is to draw you closer to Jesus Christ. If you do not know him, it is my prayer that they will help you understand that Romans 3:23 says that you, like all of us, have sinned and come short of the glory of God. And Romans 6:23 says that the result of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through our Lord Jesus Christ. And Acts 16:32 says “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved. If I can be of help to you in understanding any of this information I can be reached at



Relinquishing Rights

Lesson 24: Relinquishing Rights

I Corinthians 9:15-27


At the conclusion of a concert two ushers were applauding harder than anybody else. People seated nearby smiled appreciatively at the two music lovers until one of them stopped clapping and the other one was heard to say, “keep clapping, you dope, one more encore and we’re on overtime.”


There is an example of motivation – whether legitimate or not. But let me ask you today, what is your motivation in the Christian life? What keeps you going, even when the going gets rough? Well, in the passage before us today, Paul explains what his motivation was – in spite of all the difficulties that he faced. In this chapter he is actually illustrating a principle which he began in chapter 8: the relinquishing of rights in order to meet the needs of others. But to set up the illustration he spends the first 14 verses establishing his right to be supported by other believers, which we have called The recognition of rights. But now in the second half of the chapter he establishes the importance of giving up that right to be supported. But as we look at the passage we are going to see that that is just an illustration of giving up any right to accomplish what God wants you to accomplish; going to any lengths for His honor and glory. As we look at the passage we will see: an example of sacrifice” in verses 15 through 18; The extent of sacrifice in verses 19 through 22;  and the enablement for sacrifice in verses 23 through 27. So let’s look at the example of sacrifice which we find in verses 15  through 18. And the first thing we want to notice in that regard is the right being sacrificed in verse 15a


But I have used none of these things, nor have I written these things that it should be done so to me .. . .


The phrase “these things” is a reference to the subject of the first half of the chapter – the right to be supported. He had not exercised that right in the past – he had been a tentmaker while preaching. And he is not announcing the beginning of such exercise now. Well, we might ask the question, “what is the reason for such a sacrifice?” And does this mean that everybody should make a sacrifice like this? That nobody should be supported by other Christians while they do the Lord’s work? Those questions are answered in verses 15b and 16


For it would be better for me to die than that anyone should make my boasting void. (16) For if I preach the gospel I have nothing to boast of, for necessity is laid upon me; yes, woe is me if I do not preach the gospel!


There are two key words in these two verses: look at the phrase “my boasting” in verse 15 and the phrase “nothing to boast of” in verse 16 (the King James Version uses “glory” and “glorying” instead of “boasting”) Paul was willing to forego his right to be supported so that he would have something about which he could legitimately boast. “But, someone says, “is it ever legitimate to boast? Well, he explains that in the next verse:


(16) For if I preach the gospel, I have nothing to boast of, for necessity is laid upon me; yes, woe is me if I do not preach the gospel!”

Paul says, “I can’t boast about preaching the gospel – that is God’s doing, and I am obligated to tell about it.” But,” he says, “I can take pleasure in the fact that I have distributed it effectively” – look at verse 18.


What is my reward then? That when I preach the gospel, I may present the gospel of Christ without charge, that I may not abuse my authority in the gospel.


Here is the crux of this whole chapter: Paul could not take pride in the preaching of the gospel, but he could take pride in the fact that nothing that he had done had stood in the way of people accepting it. Now with Paul, the issue was the matter of financial support; with you it may be something else. But the principle of this whole chapter is this: are you willing to give up even something that you might have a legitimate right to, to be able to get the gospel across to somebody?


“Well,” someone says, that’s o.k. in theory, but how far does God expect us to carry something like that? Well, the extent of the sacrifice is outlined in verses 19 through 22. The general application of the principle is in verse 19:


For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win the more.    


He stresses again that he doesn’t have to do this – he is a free man. But even though he has status as a free man he extends this willingness to sacrifice rights to all of his rights. And the reason – to win men to Christ (“that I might gain the more.”). Incidentally, there is another principle that grows out of this one: we need to be careful that we don’t win people to us – that we win them to Christ.  Sometimes people are attracted to material or physical things that they like about the one who is witnessing – and they accept Christ so that they can be like that person. But they need to understand that God may or may not want them to be  like us if they get saved. They will have the same opportunities, peace and joy and direct access to God, but they may not wind up with the same kind of house or car, etc.


So that is a general illustration of the principle of sacrifice. But in verses 20 through 22 we find some specific illustrations of the principle. First, the Jews – verse 20:


 And to the Jews I became as a Jew that I might win Jews; to those who are under the law, as under the law.


Then in verses 21 and 22 he gives two more specific applications: “the Gentiles” (“those without the law) and “the weak”


To those who are without law as without law (not being without law toward Christ) that I might win those who are without Christ. (22) To the weak I became as weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men that I might by all means save some.


Not that he went back to the Old Testament laws for his salvation, or that when he was with gentiles he acted like God didn’t have any standards. But that when he is dealing with Jews he is careful not to flaunt his liberty (about the Sabbath, dietary laws, etc.) And that when he was with Gentiles he didn’t try to convict them breaking the Jewish laws. And that when he was with new or immature believers (whom he refers to as “the weak”) he didn’t try to force them to operate at the same level that mature believers would. There are many situations today in which you could only get a hearing if you accommodated the hearer’s weakness. For example, drinking coffee around Mormons (for as long as you are working directly with them) or flashy clothes around Mennonites. But there is something we have to be careful about here: this is not situational ethics. He is only talking about rights. There are some things a Christian doesn’t have a right to do – getting drunk, fighting, and so forth. And he is talking about relinquishing rights, not appropriating them. This is probably one of the most widely misapplied principles in all of scripture. He is not saying “I will get drunk with people so I can witness to them.” There are many more situations where relinquishing rights will be necessary than where to appropriate them will be. This kind of relationship will demand a situation by situation decision. – not just a sheltered, fearful life, trying to please everybody, but also not just treating everybody exactly the same way.


Now this is a big order! But we can’t leave this passage without seeing the enablement for sacrifice that is brought out in verses 23 through 27. The essence of Paul’s motivation is in verse 23.


Now this I do for the gospel’s sake, that I might be partaker of it with you.


The phrase “with you” is the key to understanding this verse. Because it is a reference to standing in the presence of God with other believers – especially those whom you have helped to win.


Then, in verses 24 and 25 we find the examples of the motivation. The first example is the sacrifice of “rights” by an Olympic runner in verse 24


Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it.


And the second is very similar: the sacrifice of rights by the champion athlete in any field. In verse 25.


And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown.


Both of these give up their “rights” to (the right to eat whatever they want, to wear comfortable clothes,) for future goals. And for what? A perishable crown”; a little earthly glory! Now Paul’s point is this: if they are motivated by such a “perishable” (temporal) goal, how much more should we be motivated by permanent goals? Finally, in verses 26 and 27 we find the energy that Paul derived from this motivation.


Therefore, I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air (27) But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others I myself should be disqualified.


Let me ask you something: how do you live your life? Are you just puttering around, getting by the best way you can? The Christian life ought to be a life of running purposefully – verse 26 even to the point of paying attention to specific activities – verse 27. Notice his terminology carefully – “disqualified,” not “lost”. Loss of salvation would be inconsistent with the rest of scripture. The Greek word translated “disqualified” is “adokimos.” It comes from the word “dokimos, which is translated” “approved” in several other places in Paul’s writings, but with the prefix “a” it becomes negative – thus meaning “disapproved.” So his great fear is that he could stand at the judgement seat of Christ and have a loss of reward because of someone he had not been able to witness to because of his poor testimony.


In this passage we have one of the fundamental principles of the Christian life. And it is the principle of being willing to sacrifice whatever it takes to “win the race” of Christ’s approval when we stand before Him. We have been talking about it from the standpoint of soul winning. But it can be applied in every area of ministry, in marriage, and in the home. And the pertinent question always is: “where where  would you and I be if Christ had insisted on His rights?”



The purpose of these studies is to draw you closer to Jesus Christ. If you do not know him, it is my prayer that they will help you understand that Romans 3:23 says that you, like all of us, have sinned and come short of the glory of God. And Romans 6:23 says that the result of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through our Lord Jesus Christ. And Acts 16:32 says “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved. If I can be of help to you in understanding any of this information I can be reached at


Relinquishing Rights

The purpose of these studies is to draw you closer to Jesus Christ. If you do not know him, it is my prayer that they will help you understand that Romans 3:23 says that you, like all of us, have sinned and come short of the glory of God. And Romans 6:23 says that the result of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through our Lord Jesus Christ. And Acts 16:32 says “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved. If I can be of help to you in understanding any of this information I can be reached at

Principles of Finance

Studies in First Corinthians

Lesson 23: “Principles of Finance”

I Corinthians 9:1-14


One of the biggest complaints of unbelievers about the 20th century church is the handling of finances – both positively and negatively. Yet there is no excuse for this, because the scripture has as much to say about this subject as about any other aspect of the church. And evidently that was true in Corinth as well. Because in this section of the book where Paul is answering questions, that is the subject of a whole chapter. From the details of his answers we can surmise that the questions were about such things as “are we obligated to support Christian workers? And if so, which ones?”  But it is interesting to notice that in answering the question Paul “kills two birds with one stone.” He not only answers their questions, but he uses it to reinforce the principle of chapter 8 – the sacrifice of our rights. In answering their questions, Paul touches on two subjects: the recognition of rights in verses 1 through 14, and, the relinquishing of rights in verses 15 through 27.


In the first part of the chapter he is going to talk about his right as a full time Christian worker to be supported by the church (and preachers love to teach this passage.) But in the second half he is going to say that he is willing to give up that right for the glory of God (and churches love to hear that part of the chapter taught.) So let’s begin looking at the recognition of rights that Paul outlines in verses 1 through 14. And the first thing to notice in that regard is the basis of his rights as stated in verses 1 and 2 (All of these were among the qualifications of apostleship set out in Acts chapter 2)


Am I not an apostle? Am I not free? Have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord? If I am not an apostle to others, yet doubtless I am so to you. For you are the seal of my apostleship in the Lord.


First there was his right of Christian freedom. The order of the first two questions in this verse is reversed in the Greek text (and translated so in the New American Standard Version). And actually this is the more chronological order, so we are following that order. And this is the first right that every Christian has: freedom in Christ – forgiveness of sins. But then there is also the matter of his rights as an apostle. Evidently some in Corinth were questioning that position. So here he lists at least two of his qualifications in that regard: He had seen the Lord (on the road to Damascus.)And he could demonstrate fruit from his ministry – the Corinthian believers themselves. “Are not you my work in the Lord?” he says in verses 1 and 2.


So those are the bases of Paul’s rights. But in verses 3 through 14 we find the broadness of his rights. Verses 3 through 6 give some examples of the substance of those rights


My defense to those who examine me is this: (4) Do we have no right to eat and drink? (5) Do we have no right to take along a believing wife, as do also the other apostles, the brothers of the Lord, and Cephas?(Peter)


You see, the bottom line, the “substance of his rights” was the right to be supported by the Corinthians. Commentator Leon Morris says because of the practices of the early church in the first century, the phrase “at the expense of the church” could be inserted at the end of each of these questions.


Now in the next verses he appeals to other areas of truth. First there is the appeal from custom (of living off of the work one has produced) in verse 7.


Who ever goes to war at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard and does not eat of its fruit? Or who tends a flock and does not drink of the milk of the flock? (And the work of the farmer makes the same point)


Then in verses 8 through 10 there is an appeal from the Old Testament law:


Do I say these things as a mere man? Or does not the law say the same also? (9) For it is written in the law of Moses, you shall not muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain.” Is it oxen God is concerned about? Or does He say it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt this is written, that he who plows should plow in hope, and he who threshes in hope should be partaker of his hope.


The basic principle here is that the Old Testament priests were to be allowed to eat the meat of the sacrifices. Now we have seen the appeal from custom and the appeal from the Old Testament, but there is a third appeal: the appeal from basic justice in verse 11.


If we have sown spiritual things for you, is it a great thing if we reap your material things?


And finally, there is the appeal from Christ Himself in verse 14


Even so the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should live from the gospel.


This is a quotation of Matthew 10:10, where Christ was commissioning the apostles to go and offer the kingdom to Israel. And there Jesus very specifically said, “the workman is worthy of his food.”


But in order to get the most out of this passage, I want us to look in closing at the basic principles that are wrapped up in Paul’s rights – some observations derived from and based on the above principles. The basic principle here is that Christian workers have the right to be supported. But how do you know who falls into that category? Two things are suggested along that line back in verses 1 and 2: (1) he had had a specific ministry to those who supported him – verse 1 are you not my work in the Lord? And he had obviously had results in his ministry – verse 2 You are the seal of my apostleship in the Lord.” Someone who doesn’t meet these two requirements doesn’t have the right to be supported. But there is something else suggested here: with so many worthy Christian causes asking for your money, how can you know who to support? Well, in this passage there are some basic priorities suggested by Paul’s rights: First would be those who minister to you in the local church – verse 11


If we have sown spiritual things for you, is it a great thing if we reap your material things?


What are the ministries that most directly affect you ? They should have first priority. Next would be ministries that are an outgrowth of the local church – missionaries, tape ministries, etc. Then those who minister to churches – seminaries, Bible colleges, etc., then those who minister to you in a legitimate way outside the local church – radio and TV ministries, and then those who may not specifically touch you, but which you appreciate  – “parachurch” ministries. Of course this assumes that they are doctrinally sound. And that those who are directly supported by them are supporting them also.


You see, the Bible does have a great deal to say about money and the ministry. In fact, as we see from this passage, it is a part of the Lordship of Christ in your life and in the church. And the main reason there is so much criticism of ministries and churches in that regard is because so many are not careful to follow those instructions.


The purpose of these studies is to draw you closer to Jesus Christ. If you do not know him, it is my prayer that they will help you understand that Romans 3:23 says that you, like all of us, have sinned and come short of the glory of God. And Romans 6:23 says that the result of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through our Lord Jesus Christ. And Acts 16:32 says “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved. If I can be of help to you in understanding any of this information I can be reached at


Operating in the Gray Areas

Studies in I Corinthians

Lesson 21: Operating in the Gray Areas

I Corinthians 8:1-13


As we come to this chapter we are in that section of the book where Paul is answering a list of questions sent to him from the church in first century Corinth. And this is important to us because, even though the specific situations that we face may not be the same, Paul’s answers establish principles by which we can operate even today. For example, the specific problem presented in this chapter is the problem of whether or not to eat meat that had been offered to idols as a sacrifice. In that society there were many idols and idol worshippers. The routine practice for the worshippers was to go into an idol temple and place plates of fine cuts of meat before their idol as a sacrifice. Obviously the idols couldn’t eat it, so after the worshippers had left, the priests, clever fellows that they were, would remove the meat and take it down the street to the meat market where it would be bought and sold at cut-rate prices. Now as often happens, this led to a real disagreement among Christians as to whether or not they should eat that meat. To some Christians who had been involved in the worship of idols it was a painful reminder of the sins that were often a part of the rituals and practices of their past and they felt that they should not eat such meat at all. Other, more mature Christians saw nothing wrong with it. And it became a major issue in the church. So they included it in their list of questions to Paul.


His answer establishes some principles by which we can make decisions about the “doubtful” issues of the Christian life, even after all these years. And eating meat that had been offered to idols offered a perfect example. Of course we don’t have to deal with the issue of meat, but what about such matters as dancing and social drinking of alcohol? Paul answers the question about these kinds of things in the matter “priorities.” So the first aspect of priorities that we see in this chapter is the principle of priorities in doctrine in verses 1 through 3, When all is said and done, knowledge of the Word of God is one of the most important aspects of the Christian life. But evidently the Corinthians had the same problem that many Christians today have. They thought that knowledge was the most important thing in the Christian life. So verse 1 deals with the existence of knowledge.


Now concerning things offered to idols: we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffs up, but love edifies.


The first thing pointed out in this verse is that all the believers at Corinth had some knowledge about this situation. But, notice carefully: knowledge alone is wasted! Look carefully again at the phrase “knowledge puffs up, (gives an inflated idea of one’s importance) So what part does love play? The last phrase of the verse tells us: “. . . . but love edifies.” The important thing is not how much knowledge you have, but what that knowledge motivates you to do. And the right use of knowledge causes us to reach out in a loving way to those around us.


Then verse 2 tells us the extent of knowledge .


And if anyone thinks he knows anything, he knows nothing yet as he ought to know.


No believer knows all there is to know (especially if he thinks he does) The more we know the more we realize we don’t know. And then verse 3 tells us what the real essence of knowledge is.


And if anyone loves God, this one is known by Him.


The real test of knowledge is the love that it produces. The person who truly loves God does so because he possesses knowledge of God. This is stated in different ways in several other places.


For example, I Timothy1:5: Now the purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from sincere faith.


I Corinthians 13:13 – And now abide faith, hope and love, these three, but the greatest of these is love.


Galatians 5:22 – But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control.


John 13:35 – By this all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.


In each of these contexts, “love” is in the sense of “action” as defined in I John 4:10 – “God loved us and sent His son . . .”


Now the bottom line of all of this is this: The basic principle that determines Christian activities is not what the believer knows, but the amount of love for God and God’s children produced by that knowledge. And all of this reasoning sets the stage for Paul’s teaching – keep it on the back burner, because we’ll come back to it.


We are dealing with priorities here. The first priority in the study of scripture is the action or love that it produces. But verses 4 through 8 indicate that there was a problem of priorities in Corinth.

First we have some very basic information about the doctrine of idols in verses 4 through 6. The basic statement of the doctrine is in verse 4.


Therefore, concerning the eating of things offered to idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and there is no other God but one.


Then, verses 5 and 6 give an elaboration on that statement.


For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as there are many lords) (6) Yet for us there is one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we for Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we live.


There are many human authorities and the term “lord” can legitimately be used for them, but ultimately, all authority is from God – and there is only one God. Now although we do have this information about idols, verses 7 and 8 tell us that there is a lot of ignorance of the doctrine of idols. The basic statement about the doctrine of idols is in verse 8.


But food does not commend us to God. For neither if we eat it are we the better, nor if we do not eat are we the worse.


How could anything be more clear? There is no harm in eating meat offered to idols! However, verse 7a brings up a problem: there are some people who are ignorant of the doctrine of idols.


“However, there is not in everyone that knowledge. . .” And then the explanation of the statement is in verse 7b:


“. . . . .for some, with consciousness of the idol, until now eat it as a thing offered to an idol, and their conscience, being weak is defiled.”


For some people to eat meat offered to idols brought back all of the memories of idolatry. And it would have been easy for those who had not been involved in idolatry to just say, “well, they shouldn’t let bother them.” – and they shouldn’t! But there is something else involved here: notice the little phrase “and their conscience being weak is defiled. . . . .”. Here is a little sideline insight into the sinfulness of sin: very often, to continue in a sin over a period of time ingrains a weakness that may last a lifetime (alcoholism, for example) Or at the very least creates problems for a new believer as he adjusts to the new standards and values of the Christian life.


Now because of that weak conscience, this believer may set much tighter restrictions on himself (and therefore on others) than more mature Christians do. So what are we to do in a case like that? – the next verses answer.


The implications of the doctrine of idols is in verse 9:


But beware lest somehow this liberty of yours become a stumbling block to those who are weak.


Verse 8 tells us clearly that those who have the knowledge of idols are the stronger Christians. But verse 9 establishes that the strong have a responsibility to the weak. Romans 14:23 says that for anyone to violate his conscience is sin. (even a weak Christian.)


Is a neutral thing, such as meat, which has no effect on our relationship (verse 8) wprth causing brother to sin? So what is the responsibility to of the strong believer to the weak believer? Denounce them for their stupidity? Demand their own rights to eat meat? The answer is in the next point.


Verses 10 through 13 discuss the placement of priorities for fellowship. Here we come back to the things we discussed at the beginning of this study – which may have seemed irrelevant at the time.) And do you remember that basic “priority of doctrine” was? The guide to Christian reactions in fellowship with other believers is love, not knowledge. Specifically, although a mature believer may realize that there is nothing wrong with eating meat that has been offered to idols, his actions are not to be guided by that knowledge, but by love for the weaker brother – look at verse 10:


For if anyone sees you who have knowledge eating in the idol’s temple, will not the conscience of him who is weak be emboldened to eat those things offered to idols?


You see, to insist on your liberties as a believer could cause a weaker brother to abuse his liberties. And the stronger (more knowledgeable) believer who misleads a weaker believer is guilty of sin, according to verse 12

But when you thus sin against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ (!)


Incidentally, this is a reminder of the unity of the body – to sin against a believer is to sin against Christ.


In closing, we need to remember that this chapter applies only to “neutral” things. The scripture is very specific in prohibiting some things. But there are other things equally sincere Christians differ about. But in those “gray areas” there are several things to be considered: First, the emphasis should be on the love that Christians ought to have for one another – and that is very rare in our society of “rights.” Second, this practice applies to specific cases, not generalities or religious bigots. For example, you don’t need to refuse to play tennis on Sunday just because a weak Christian might pass by. But if you know that a new Christian has asked someone about whether playing tennis on Sunday is a sin, or some other specific problem that someone has, you should go to any lengths to keep from hurting him. Look at verse 13:


Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never eat meat again, lest I make my brother stumble. This doesn’t need to be a permanent abstention – just until the weaker brother grows enough to not be bothered. The basic, underlying principle behind this whole chapter is summarized in the last line of verse 11


And because of your knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died?


If all of this seems too harsh and demanding, ask yourself the question, where would be if Christ had demanded His rights?


The purpose of these studies is to draw you closer to Jesus Christ. If you do not know him, it is my prayer that they will help you understand that Romans 3:23 says that you, like all of us, have sinned and come short of the glory of God. And Romans 6:23 says that the result of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through our Lord Jesus Christ. And Acts 16:32 says “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved. If I can be of help to you in understanding any of this information I can be reached at