Giving Expression to the Lord's Grace and Glory in Life
Review of 1 Corinthians
Introduction to 1 Corinthians: Conduct in the Church
Corinth is a narrow strip of land that formed a bridge of about five miles connecting the Peloponnese with mainland Greece.
Corinth was a wealthy trade city with geographical importance. It was known for its sinfulness. Christians in Corinth struggled with worldliness.
The Corinthian churches consisted of mainly Gentiles who were once idolaters.
The Apostle Paul struggled with the Corinthian believers because they did not understand what it meant to be spiritual people or people of the Holy Spirit.
This letter is Paul’s third exchange with the churches in Corinth. First, he personally founded and taught the church by staying with them for a year and six months. Second, Paul wrote the Corinthians from Ephesus. It is a letter that we do not have preserved for us (see 5.9). Paul dealt with problems regarding sexual immorality in the church in that letter. These problems persist and resurface. Third, Paul writes 1 Corinthians to confront persistent sin and rebellion in the church. This is the letter we are now studying.
We ought to study 1 Corinthians because it addresses strident individualism, arrogance, and accommodation to culture. These same problems exist in our church as well.
1.1-9: Called to be Saints – God calls, commands, and commissions us to be holy.
1.10-17: Contention in the Church – Paul pleads for peace in the church by moving them to more effectively preach the Gospel of the Cross of Christ.
1.18-25: Contention at the Cross – There will always be those who stumble at the cross, scorn the cross, and submit to the cross.
1.26-31: Contention over God’s Chosen – We find righteousness, sanctification, and redemption in God’s Chosen One, the Lord Jesus Christ.
2.1-5: Contention over Preaching – Powerful preaching must be pure and sympathetic.
2.6-16: Contention over Spiritual Elitism – We avoid spiritual elitism by developing appreciation for spiritual things and diligently seeking an eternal quality of life.
3.1-5: Carnal Christians – We must stop thinking and living like the carnal people of this present age.
3.5-9a: Proper Perspective on Pastors – The pastor has a high calling which leads him to a sober reality: He cannot abdicate or abandon his responsibilities.
3.9b-15: An Enduring Architecture – Jesus will review our building efforts, reward the good we do, and reject the bad.
3.16-17: We Are God’s Temple – We are a privileged and protected people.
3.18-23: We Are Christ’s – We must not deceive ourselves or boast in men. We once belonged to the world, the flesh, and the devil. Now, we are chosen in Christ, purchased by His blood, drawn by His Spirit, and children by faith alone.
4.1-2: Faithful Stewards – Pastors are both servants and stewards. We must be faithful to Christ and His people.
4.3-5: Judge Nothing Before the Time – We cannot depend on the judgment of others or our own judgment. We must commit ourselves to the infallible, inerrant judgment of God.
4.6-13: The Crucible of Our Suffering – Being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we endure, being defamed, we entreat.
4.14-21: Father Knows Best – We need spiritual fathers exerting spiritual authority motivated by genuine love. Two great motivating meditations: What form of correction do you desire? What form of correction do you deserve?
5.1-8: An Unleavened Church – How do we avoid misusing the church discipline described in this passage? The entire church must agree on the action of excluding someone from our fellowship. When we do this, our purpose is still restorative. We utilize this form of discipline because of the contamination of sin. This form of discipline is often undermined in the 21st century.
5.9-13: Principles of Separation (Holiness) – We must be in the world but not of the world; we must not keep company with brothers or sisters who are living in sin; we must separate from evil people in the church.
6.1-11: The Way We Were – “Such were some of you.” But now we are washed, sanctified, and justified.
6.12-20: Flee Sexual Immorality – We have bodies destined for eternal redemption not eternal corruption. We belong to God body and spirit. Therefore, we glorify God in both body and spirit.
7.1-16: Marriage Matters (Pt 1) – Those who are married or used to be married should stay as they are. They shouldn’t change their relationship status.
7.17-24: Marriage Matters (Pt 2) – Remain in the same relationship that you were in when you were called to salvation in Christ.
7.25-40: Marriage Matters (Pt 3) – Unmarried people and widows should remain as they are as well.
8.1-13: The Danger of a Loveless Knowledge – Knowledge and love should be inextricably linked. Loveless knowledge takes on three characteristics: It is conceited, categorical, and contemptuous.
9.1-18: Preach the Gospel! – All Christians must preach the Gospel and will answer to God for their preaching stewardship. Why? We preach to souls who are needy before a Savior who is worthy.
9.19-23: All Possible Means – You can’t do wrong in order to get a chance to do right. You can’t do wrong in order to get what you want.
9.24-27: Make the Prize Yours – Run a steadfast, selfless, and successful race.
10.1-13: The Danger of Idolatry – All of us can fall into idolatry. Some of us are more likely to fall while some of us are more likely to stand.
10.14-22: Partaking of the Table of Demons – Beware of contrary interests and imperatives. If we are serving God, we should serve His interests. We make our light shine not through conformity and compromise but through holiness and separation.
10.23-11.1: A Crisis of Conscience – We strive to give no offense so that people may be saved. We do this by imitating Paul as he imitated Christ.
11.2-6: What’s a Woman to Do? – What are the roles and responsibilities of women in the church? A Christian woman is a child of God, a steward of His revelation, a priest of God, and will one day reign with Christ.
11.2-16: Transitioning Not Transforming – We must not be conformed to the world’s penchant to blur and eventual erase the line between a man and a woman. We won’t conform if we experience daily transformation through the renewing of our minds (The Holy Spirit illumines and ignites His revelation to us.).
11.17-26: The Lord’s Supper (Pt 1) – If we are not prepared to take the Lord’s Supper together, we must repent of our rebellion, ingratitude, and contemptuousness.
11.27-34: The Lord’s Supper (Pt 2) – Four attitudes of those who eat and drink in an unworthy manner: Undiscerning, irreverent, loveless, and excessive.