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1ST

CorinthianS

NEW TESTAMENT

1st. CORINTHIANS

What is the book of Acts about in the Bible? Watch as we explain its major themes and gain a deeper understanding of its place in the biblical story.

Who Wrote the Book of 1st Corinthians? The apostle Paul wrote the First Epistle to the Corinthians. He addresses the church in Corinth, a diverse community facing various challenges and divisions.

Context:

Corinth was a cosmopolitan city in ancient Greece, known for its commerce and cultural diversity. The Corinthian church struggled with issues such as divisions, immorality, and confusion about spiritual gifts. 

Curiosities of the Book of Corinthians:

The letter addresses specific issues within the Corinthian church, including controversies over leadership, lawsuits among believers, and questions about marriage, spiritual gifts, and the resurrection.

Literary Styles:

First Corinthians is structured as an epistolary letter, reflecting Paul's personal communication with the church. Paul employs rhetorical techniques, such as persuasive argumentation and appeals to authority and reason.

Key Themes:

  • Unity and Division: Paul emphasizes the importance of unity among believers and addresses divisions within the church.

  • Wisdom and Folly: He contrasts God's wisdom with human wisdom and challenges the Corinthians to embrace the wisdom of the cross.

  • Christian Ethics: Paul provides ethical guidance on issues such as sexual morality, marriage, and participation in pagan rituals.

  • Spiritual Gifts: He discusses the diversity and proper use of spiritual gifts within the body of Christ.

  • Resurrection: Paul defends the reality of Christ's resurrection and its implications for believers.

Structure:

  • Introduction (1 Corinthians 1:1-9): Paul introduces himself and addresses the Corinthian church.

  • Concerns and Corrections (1 Corinthians 1:10-6:20): Paul addresses various issues and controversies within the church, including divisions, immorality, lawsuits, and questions about marriage and idolatry.

  • Answers to Questions (1 Corinthians 7:1-16:24): Paul responds to specific questions posed by the Corinthians about marriage, food sacrificed to idols, spiritual gifts, and the resurrection.

  • Conclusion (1 Corinthians 16:1-24): Paul concludes with personal remarks, greetings, and final instructions.

The Gospel of Luke explores and documents how Jesus ministered to the poor and marginalized while establishing the Kingdom of God.

1 Corinthians challenges believers to examine every aspect of their lives through the lens of the gospel.

Reflect:

  • What five problems does Paul’s letter define for the church in Corinth? (Video 00:38-7:57)

  • What five responses does Paul offer to address the problems in the Corinthian church? (Video 1:44-7:57)

  • How would you summarize Paul’s reaction to the idea that Jesus’ resurrection did not happen or matter? (Video 7:02-7:5 or Read 1st Corinthians 15:12-19)

 

Go Deeper:

Paul writes to the church in Corinth to address some big problems: division, sexual misconduct, confusion about food and worship practices, and controversy surrounding Jesus’ resurrection. Paul says these issues can be resolved because Jesus is alive. But how does Jesus’ resurrection relate to people’s daily life choices? Jesus teaches non-violence, unity, and self-giving love, but if his life ended with a brutal execution, who is to say he’s right and worth following? The fact that Jesus is alive proves that his selfless way is better—not even death can shut it down. Self-centered practices damage the community, but Jesus’ life gives people real reasons for unity and sexual integrity and the power to love others. His resurrection tells his followers that they too have an abundant future beyond death. This is just the beginning—his life opens a view to a whole new reality. The promise of new life, new bodies, a new Heaven, and a new Earth gives us a new way of seeing every aspect of daily life with hope and purpose.

Read: 1 Corinthians 15:51-58 - Isaiah 25:8 - Revelation 19:7-9 - Revelation 21:1-7

  • 1 Corinthians 15 quotes the scroll of Isaiah, an ancient text that is also alluded to in John’s Revelation. After observing each passage, what do these texts have in common?

  • What does God promise to do in each passage?

  • Review 1 Corinthians 15:58 in light of these promises. How do God’s promises help a follower of Jesus understand that a life lived in unity, integrity, and love is purposeful?

  • Let’s take time now to thank God while we acknowledge where we need help, responding to the hope of his resurrection and promises.

Paul issues a challenge to Jesus followers in Corinth.
Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians is written to a specific group of people with unique challenges in their community. But the primary message of 1 Corinthians is evergreen—followers of Jesus are held to a standard of integrity and morality as we seek to represent his new way of life to our communities. Paul addresses a variety of experiences and seeks to help the church see them through the lens of the Gospel message. Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection are what unifies a diverse body of believers and allows us to live in a completely new way fused with the hope of God’s Kingdom.

The Gospel Changes Everything.
1 Corinthians challenges believers to examine every area of life through the lens of the Gospel. Specifically, Paul addresses divisions among believers, food, sexual integrity, worship gatherings, and the resurrection.

The Gospel of Luke explores and documents how Jesus ministered to the poor and marginalized while establishing the Kingdom of God.
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