Tag Archives: curse

Cursing Others! (A Study of I Corinthians 16:22)

Friends: If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you know that my friend Frank (in New Jersey) and I have been doing an email Bible study for over a year. We read the same chapter every day for a week — and then send a brief email of encouragement to each other. We’ve completed most of the epistles of the New Testament — and it’s been a great discipline for both of us.

We’re now finishing the book of I Corinthians. We started reading I Corinthians 15 on Easter Sunday! As we conclude I Corinthians, I want to post several last outlines on the last chapter, chapter 16. Verse 22 hit me like a bucket of cold water!

What a shocking way to end this first epistle to the Corinthians! Paul has given sixteen chapters of instructions about controversies, sins, and the spiritual giftedness of these believers. And now he concludes this letter with this statement: “If anyone does not love the Lord, let that person be cursed! Come, Lord!”

If we believe that Paul’s letter is inspired of God, then God the Holy Spirit led him to write those words! There are two and only two categories of human beings: (1) those who love the Lord, and (2) those who don’t. For that second category, only God’s judgment awaits. They are presently under God’s curse and will be so for all eternity unless they repent of their sins and trust in Christ. Such a categorical statement is intolerable to our present culture, but is nonetheless true.

A Possible Outline:

Cursing Others!
(A Study of I Corinthians 16:22)

I. The Imperative of Loving the Lord

God’s Word commands us to love the Lord our God with all our strength!

II. The Consequences of Not Loving the Lord

Only God’s curse awaits those who choose not to love the Lord!

III. The Expectation of Those Who Love the Lord

Those who love the Lord are looking forward (and seeking to “hasten”) the return of the Lord!

Today’s Challenge: If I acknowledge that there are two and only two categories of human beings — those who love the Lord and long for His returning and those who don’t and are under God’s curse — I will do something about it! I will seek to share the gospel of God’s grace with all I meet, either face-to-face or online!

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Posted by on May 4, 2020 in I Corinthians 16


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Getting to Know . . . 2 Samuel! (3:22-39) Vengeance!

We have a sad text before us this morning. Let’s notice what happens in the last section of 2 Samuel 3:
From our previous section, we learned that Abner had slept with one of Saul’s concubines and had been reprimanded by Ish-Bosheth, Saul’s son, for doing so. Ish-Bosheth reigned over Israel as king for two years.

This reprimand infuriates Abner and he defects to David’s side and promises him the entire kingdom of Israel. They make an agreement (contingent upon Abner’s bringing Michal to David) and David provides a feast for Abner and his men.

In this section of 2 Samuel 3 we see that Joab, the commander of David’s men, returns from a raid and is incensed that David had sent Abner away in peace (v. 25).  Joab has Abner captured without David’s knowledge. Joab takes Abner aside into an inner chamber and kills him to avenge the blood of his brother Asahel (the swift runner).

David mourns Abner’s murder, proclaims himself and his kingdom innocent of the action, and calls down a curse on Abner and his family (“May his blood fall on the head of Joab and on his whole family! May Joab’s family never be without someone who has a running sore or leprosy or who leans on a crutch or who falls by the sword or who lacks food.”) (v. 29).

The text tells us again why Joab and his brother Abishai murdered Abner. David has Joab and all the people with him mourn Abner’s death. The king wept aloud at Abner’s tomb and even sang a song of lament for Abner (v. 33). David fasted until sunset — which pleased the people who now knew that David had no part in the murder of Abner. David addresses his men and says that a great man has fallen in Israel this day, that he is weak, that the sons of Zeruiah (Joab, Abishai and Asahel) are too strong for him, and that the Lord would repay the evildoer according to his evil deeds (v. 39).

Some takeaways for me:
1. A longing for vengeance causes one to deceive, take matters into one’s own hands, and jeopardize one’s entire family. “Vengeance is mine,” says the Lord!
2. It is always right to mourn the wrongful death of another. David’s mourning (with fasting) shows that he had no part in Abner’s murder.
3. What is the place of calling down God’s curse on another person? David doesn’t hesitate to do so, but I know of no biblical commands for us to follow his example.
4. There is a transparency in David that is convicting. He admits that he is weak.

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Posted by on February 1, 2019 in 2 Samuel 3


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One Hundred Questions about the Book of GALATIANS! (Ch. 3)

Coming up in June I get to teach the book of Galatians to students at Word of Life, Jeju Island, Korea!  So we’re trying to think through this incredible book by asking a lot of questions.

I’ve got it figured out that with six chapters in Galatians, if I ask about 16-17 questions per chapter, that would total to 100 questions.  (My mother always said I was good at math.  She also said I was special).

Let’s dive into chapter 3 with our “queries” (Mom would have been proud of my using that word):

Sixteen questions on Galatians chapter three:

1. Would you ever call someone else a “fool” (v. 1)? Aren’t there verses that say we never should call someone else a fool? Then how does Paul get away with doing so here?
2. Paul has already described the Galatians as confused spiritual deserters (1:6). Now he says they have been foolishly “bewitched” (v. 1)! What’s the place of strong language in correcting others?
3. Some Christians say that the receiving of the Spirit is subsequent to conversion. How would you prove otherwise from verse 2?
4. What does it mean to begin “by means of the Spirit” (v. 3)?
5. Note that “the works of the law” and “believing” are contrasted here in verse 5. What point is Paul making?
6. In what way did Abraham believe God? Where is his story and how is he an example of belief (v. 6)?
7. What is meant by “faith” in verses 7-9, do you think?
8. This idea of a curse — what is the curse of the law (v. 13)?
9. How does His redeeming work redeem us from the curse of the law (vv. 13-14)?
10. Paul gives the example of a human covenant and emphasizes God’s “promise.” Put into your own words Paul’s argument in verses 15-18.
11. Why was the law given (v. 19)?
12. How has the law been misunderstood? Is it opposed to the promises of God (v. 21)?
13. What is meant by the expression “Scripture has locked up everything under the control of sin” (v. 22)? (He repeats the verb “locked up” in verse 23).
14. It sounds like Paul shifts from the metaphor of the law as a jailer to that of a guardian in verses 23-25. What is his point?
15. How many times is “faith” used in this chapter?
16. What in the world is Paul’s meaning of his well-known statement that in Christ “there is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female” (vv. 26-27)?


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Posted by on April 26, 2018 in Galatians


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