To me, the most striking phrase of Jesus is, “Have ye not read?” (Matthew 12:3,5; Matthew 19:4; Matthew 22:31; Mark 12:10,26; Luke 6:3).
The religious leaders of Christ’s day had indeed “read” the Old Testament passages that Jesus’ referred to in the above passages, but were more interested in upholding their own “traditions” rather than upholding God’s word (Matthew 15:3,6; Mark 7:8-9,13).
As a result, the Lord called these religious leaders “hypocrites” (Matthew 15:7-8 ; cf. Isaiah 29:13).
Today, our society would call them “reading-challenged.”
1) Today’s Nudge: “From 1-2 Corinthians, choose a favorite verse or short passage and explain why it’s special to you”:
My favorite verse in 1-2 Corinthians is 2 Corinthians 10:5:
“casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.”
This verse provides us the key to living a successful Christian life. We must be willing to “bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.” Paul obviously employed this principle in his life, for he stated in Galations 2:20:
“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”
2) “Name a commentary or book on some part or the whole of these two letters that you find especially helpful”:
I’ve used the Bible as its own best commentary in this article http://mbriley.preachersfiles.com/2006/01/09/the-6-8-10-principles/, emphasizing the “6-8-10” principles found in 1st Corinthians Chapters 6, 8, and 10.
One of the bleakest passages found in the Bible is found in Romans 1:24, where the phrase “gave them up” is found. The phrase is again repeated in verse 26 and 28, emphasizing the fact that when God gives an individual (or individuals) up, there’s no hope for that individual. Through the power of choice (Joshua 24:15), they have determined and sealed their own eternal destiny.
In his commentary on Romans http://www.searchgodsword.org/com/bcc/view.cgi?book=ro&chapter=001, Brother Burton Coffman provides the following comment regarding this phrase:
“These dreadful words, thrice repeated with increasing intensity, are a kind of litany of the doomed, showing how dreadful is the fate of them that are given up of God, that is, handed over to the consequences of their rebellion.”
When God gives us up, there is no bleaker moment.