Posts by Eddie Parrish

Posts by Eddie Parrish

Bible and praying hands

Survey of 1 Corinthians 1

Paul had received a report from a family in the Corinthian church about the existence of contentious divisions in the church. After a brief salutation and greeting, the apostle gets to the business of addressing this dangerous situation. Following is an outline and brief summary of the chapter. Salutation (1:1-3) When Paul identifies himself, he establishes his authority in some very concrete language. First, he was called by the will of God. He did not take the apostolic office on…
Bible and praying hands

Introduction to 1 Corinthians

There may not have been a more troubled church in the first century than the church in Corinth. In his first letter to them, Paul corrects their errors, answers their questions, and encourages them with statements of confidence. In this article, we will address some matters of background and introduction: the writer, recipients, and purpose of the letter. Next week, we will begin a survey of the contents of the letter. Recipients Paul identifies them as “the church of God…
Woman with Bible

The Value of Scripture

In the days following the death of wicked King Ahab, Israel was ruled by Ahaziah, Ahab’s son. A serious fall would leave Ahaziah unable to get out of his bed. Concerned for his future, the king wanted to know if he would recover. He sent messengers to “inquire of Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron” (2 Kings 1:2). Jehovah’s response, voiced through the prophet Elijah, was this rhetorical question, “Is it because there is no God in Israel that you are…
Woman with bible

Lessons from a Messed Up Church

Corinth was a busy metropolitan city in the days that Paul helped start the church there. But Corinth also had a much-deserved reputation for moral bankruptcy. Folks who were in the practice of using prostitutes were said to have “Corinthianized.” This term later came to be used to describe moral decay in general. The sins out of which the Corinthian Christians came attest to the type of society it was (1 Cor. 6:9-11). At the time Paul wrote his first…

Today’s Sins are Nothing New

Though I cannot recall the source, I remember the following illustration and its applicability to the topic at hand. Jewelers display diamonds and pearls on black cloth to create great contrast and thereby enhance the brightness of the jewels. In the first three chapters of Romans, Paul lays out the black cloth. In chapters four and five, he places the jewels on it. The black cloth is sin. The jewels are the salvation offered in Christ. Consider what Paul wrote…

Making Marriage Great

Herbert and Zelmyra Fisher hold the record for the longest marriage in American history: 86 years, 290 days. When asked to explain their secret, Zelmyra said, “There is no secret. It’s God who has kept us together.” She was not implying that marriage was always easy. It isn’t. Great marriages take hard work, but they are far from impossible. Consider the following keys to a great marriage. Be patient with each other. We should be as patient with our spouses…

When Love is Bad and Hatred is Good

Love has long been held up as a far superior trait than hatred, and it isn’t hard to see why. “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love” (1 John 4:7-8). In a discussion of the three supreme traits of faith, hope, and love, Paul affirmed that “the greatest of these is…

Characteristics of Faith from Hebrews 11

While no characteristic that God desires for us is unimportant, one could make a strong case that faith is among the most important. It is fundamental, foundational, and central. Jesus placed it among the “weightier” matters of the law (Matt. 23:23). Its usage in the New Testament bears witness to its preeminence. It sometimes describes the whole of New Testament doctrine (Jude 3; Acts 6:7; 1 Tim. 4:1). It is that which begins and undergirds all of gospel obedience (Rom.…

Forgiveness

“Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you” (Eph. 4:32). The character of the Christian includes “bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you” (Col. 3:13). What has God said about this beautiful gift that we can (and must) extend to each other? Specifically, what roles do repentance and restitution play in the interchange…

How Do I Make 2019 Better than 2018?

The time for resolutions has come. If you are among those who like to refocus with the dawning of a new year, here are a few suggestions. Assess the Past Year Self-examination is important and helpful. “Examine yourselves” is the admonition of 2 Corinthians 13:5. In the spirit of that passage, set aside some time to sit down in a quiet place and contemplate your life. What are your strengths? In what areas are you weak? What temptations seem the…

Signs of Grace

Paul began his second letter to the Thessalonian church with these encouraging words, “We ought always to give thanks to God for you, brethren, as is only fitting, because your faith is greatly enlarged, and the love of each one of you toward one another grows ever greater; therefore, we ourselves speak proudly of you among the churches of God for your perseverance and faith in the midst of all your persecutions and afflictions which you endure” (2 Thess. 1:3–4).…

Unraveling the “Mystery”

Several passages in the New Testament use the word “mystery” in connection with God’s plan for the redemption of man (Rom. 16:25; Eph. 1:9; 3:3-4; Col. 1:26). But why call this plan a mystery? In modern English usage, we use “mystery” to refer to things that lie outside our understanding or that defy explanation. For example, the location of Jimmy Hoffa is a mystery. The fate of the Ark of the Covenant is a mystery. Were the writers of scripture…