1 Corinthians 11 for Evangelism?

POST-SCRIPT God’s Word is absolutely amazing.  It is powerful and it is sufficient (Heb 4:12, 2 Tim 3:15-17).  It is life changing and it is clear.   Sometimes we study the Word of God and have no idea how God will use a particular passage in our own lives or the life of someone else.  Sometimes we listen to a sermon and we say, “Yeah, yeah, yeah I already knew that OR how does that really apply to my current situation, etc, etc.”  It’s possible some people may be thinking this after studying 1 Corinthians 11.   

On Saturday I was watering my lawn and I noticed a Jehovah’s Witness making house calls around my neighborhood.  She went house to house passing out the Watchtower magazine and inviting people to her cult church.  I was praying this lady and her 7 year old daughter would make the turn and come visit me.  Why you ask?  Because this family is part of a cult.  A cult that denies the deity of Jesus Christ.  A cult that does not embrace Jesus Christ as Savior or as Lord. 

To make a long story short, this lady started off her presentation by having her daughter read me a verse in Scripture and then handed me a Watchtower magazine.  After we discussed a couple of neutral issues I turned the conversation around so we could discuss the deity of Christ (we went to John 10 and a few other key texts).  This lady did not have many good answers to the questions I asked her but she did have answers.  Finally she turned to a Scripture passage in 1 Corinthians that talked about the different roles between the Holy Father and the Holy Son.  In her mind this proved her major point that God the Father and God the Son are not fully equal.  She told me that Jesus was before Abraham but that He is not an eternal Being (Jesus is a created being).  She also let me know that Jesus is not God very God and the Trinity is a Christian invention. 

I was able to use 1 Corinthians 11:3 (of all passages) to show this lady that Paul makes just the opposite point…That even though the Father and Son have different roles/functions they are still fully equal (just like men and women).  I was able to show her that this is actually the major point of 1 Corinthians 11:3!    Of course at this point the lady said her daughter needed to move on because she was getting really hot from the sun.  I think she was telling the truth but it might have been the other Son… Why am I sharing this particular story with you?  Because friends you never know how God is going to use you and His Word.  Who would have thought that 1 Corinthians 11:3 would be used to defend the deity of Christ in an evangelism context?  The Bible is God’s Word.  Let us seek to accurately understand it and then apply it to our own lives and the lives of those around us.   

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5 responses to this post.

  1. For a really good proof-text of the equality of the Father and the Son, Have them compare these two verses:

    Isaiah 44:24–“Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer…’I am the LORD, who makes all things, who stretches out the heavens all alone, who spreads abroad the earth by Myself‘”
    John 1:3–“All things were made through Him [Christ], and without Him nothing was made that was made.”

    You can even have a JW look these up in their NWT, they say pretty much the same thing in it.

    Nothing was made apart from Jesus. Yet YHWH (Jehovah) says that He made all things by Himself. Now, if you are a JW, these are a contradicition. But, if you hold to the orthodox view of the Trinity, they are actually a good proof text for the truth.

  2. Always be ready to make a defense, and what a good defense it was, but if you were not an expository preacher who understands the meaning of context and the meaning that context brings to the verse you probably could not have defended the faith like you did with that verse.

  3. It does surprise some Jehovah Witnesses that Jesus is Jehovah. According to Isaiah 40:3 John the Baptist was to prepare the way of the LORD (KJV) or Jehovah. Matthew 3:3 says “For this is he that was spoken of the prophet Esaias, saying…” (quotation from Isaiah 40:3).

    Ungetoverable…

    Appreciate the good article, especially the point that Scripture is to be used as a good tools to chisle the layers of false doctrine from the hearts of men.

    rick

  4. I’m guessing your visitor opened her New World Translation to 1 Corinthians 8:5-6 — For even if there are so-called gods whether in heaven or on earth, as indeed there are many gods and many lords, yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom are all things, and we exist for Him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we exist through Him.

    I almost feel sorry for those Watchtower’s Witnesses when they go there. It’s always quite an eye-opener when they realize that their own interpretation of this “proof” text refutes their argument that Jesus is not Jehovah. If (as they claim) “There is but one God, the Father” means that Jesus is not God, then by that same argument, the phrase that follows, “and [there is but] one Lord, Jesus Christ” must mean that God the Father is not the LORD [Jehovah] … and that Jesus is. Just for the fun of it you might ask, “So what you’re saying is that Jesus is Jehovah and God the Father isn’t — is that the point you’re making?” [Warning: Don’t try this question on the Mormons, since that is precisely what they believe.]

    After your guests have squirmed a while about the implications of their own hermaneutics, they’ll actually be relieved when you explain that the subject in context of 1 Corinthians 8 is food offered to idols. In verse six the Apostle Paul isn’t arguing against either the deity of Jesus Christ or the Lordship of God the Father. He’s merely pointing out to these former pagan Greeks that the idols they formerly worshiped are of no account in comparison to the LORD GOD (whom Paul clearly identifies as two distinct persons, both the LORD Jesus and GOD the Father ).

  5. Thanks Bob. Some great insights here.

    Caleb

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