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1 Corinrhians 1:1-31
Corinithians 1-4
1 Corinithians 5-6
1 Corinthians 7
1 Corinthians 8-11
1 Corinthians 12-14
1 Corinthians 15-16
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An Expository Study of the First Book of Corinthians



I Corinthians

"Our focus is people--never a building, but it's nice to have a new facility to meet in."

Isaiah 37:30. "This will be the sign for you, O Hezekiah: 'This year you will eat what grows by itself, and the second year what springs from that, But in the third year sow and reap, plant vineyards and eat their fruit."

"The radio is to teach and nourish across denominational lines, not to just go out to selfishly build churches of our own. Now we will start to reap in those who have no fellowships--those we've been feeding [over the radio] who are not of any denomination or fellowship. We've been in ---- as a very small congregation for two years. Now we'll start to grow in the 3rd year." [Pastor ---- ---- basically stated what I've noticed (by our actions) is the mission statement of our fellowship i.e. To nourish and feed the entire body of Christ the Word of God without regard to which denomination or fellowship they belong to. Then to reap those we feed who are unaffiliated and seeking a fellowship.

A Little Background For 1 Corinthians

Acts 18:1-18. "After this, Paul left Athens and went to Corinth. There he met a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had ordered all the Jews to leave Rome. Paul went to see them, and because he was a tentmaker as they were, he stayed and worked with them. Every Sabbath he reasoned in the synagogue, trying to persuade Jews and Greeks. When Silas and Timothy came from Macedonia, Paul devoted himself exclusively to preaching, testifying to the Jews that Jesus was the Christ. But when the Jews opposed Paul and became abusive, he shook out his clothes in protest and said to them, 'Your blood be on your own heads! I am clear of any responsibility. From now on I will go to the Gentiles.'

Then Paul left the synagogue and went next door to the house of Titius Justus, a worshipper of God. Crispus, the synagogue ruler, and his entire household believed in the Lord; and many of the Corinthians who heard him believed and were baptized.

One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision: "Do not be afraid, keep on speaking, do not be silent. For I am with you, and no one is going to attack and harm you, because I have many people in this city." So Paul stayed for a year and a half, teaching them the word of God.

While Gallio was proconsul of Achaia, the Jews made a united attack on Paul and brought him into court. 'This man,' they charged, 'is persuading the people to worship God in ways contrary to the law.' Just as Paul was about to speak, Gallio said to the Jews, 'If you Jews were making a complaint about some misdemeanor or serious crime, it would be reasonable for me to listen to you. But since it involves questions about words and names and your own law--settle the matter yourselves. I will not be a judge of such things.' So he had them ejected from the court. Then they all turned on Sosthenes the synagogue ruler and beat him in front of the court. But Gallio showed no concern whatever. Paul stayed on in Corinth for some time. Then he left the brothers and sailed for Syria, accompanied by Priscilla and Aquila..."

1. Corinth is on the southern Isthmus of Greece with the Adriatic Sea on one side and the Aegean Sea on the other side. Small boats with their goods were transported overland across this Isthmus, and larger ones, ships, were unloaded and their goods transported across and re-loaded on other ships. Corinth thus was in a geographic location which brought much commerce to this seaport city. This was what we Navy men called a sailortown. It was very immoral, which every sailortown is [i.e. Naples, Italy was a sailortown since Romans times, and is to this very day.] The population was around 200,000 freemen and 200,00 slaves, 400,000 in all.

I Corinthians covers:

  1. Division and denominationalism (1:10-4:21)
  2. Sexual immorality and lawsuits (5:1-6:20)
  3. Marriage (7:1-40)
  4. Christian rights & responsibilities (8:1-11:1)
  5. Christians in public (corporate) worship (11:2-34)
  6. Spiritual gifts and how they should be used (12:-14:40)
  7. The resurrection of Christ and believers (15:1-58)
  8. Conclusion (16:1-24)

1 Corinthians

vs. 1. We are Christians because of God's will, grace and love. This Sosthenes may be the Sosthenes in Acts 18 who persecuted Paul. Those that are really hostile toward the gospel are often very close to the kingdom of God.

vs. 2. This is addressed to "the Church of God at Corinth, but also to anyone, anywhere who calls on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ--i.e. this is written to all Christians of all ages and places.

I Corinthians 1:1-2. "Paul, called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and our brother Sosthenes, to the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be holy, together with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ--their Lord and ours..."

Vs. 3, salutation. Vs. 4-9, Paul thanks God for the Corinthians. Our enrichment is spiritual. Paul is telling them they're not short on any gift. They're a very gifted Church. (i.e. they have the spiritual gifts of I Corinthians 12 in full measure.) But these gifts didn't have anything to do with how spiritual they were. They had problems. i.e. Just because we may have a spiritual gift doesn't make you a spiritual giant. Your spiritual barometer isn't what God does through you, but what you do in private. Worship teams can be very carnal inspite of their gifts. Look at the heart of an individual--not the gift. Those that minister need to abound in love. vs. 8, Paul still at this time thought that the 2nd coming of Jesus Christ would be in his lifetime. vs. 9, When we are faithless, God is faithful.

I Corinthians 1:4-9. "I always thank God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus. For in him you have been enriched in every way--in all your speaking and in all your knowledge--because our testimony about Christ was confirmed in you. Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed. He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful."

Divisions in the Church

vs. 10-17: Paul names the people who exposed the divisions. He urges for unity in the body of Christ. I am reminded of the story of the four bulls and the lion. There were four bulls who were friends. The lion was hungry and wanted to kill and eat them, but couldn't get near them as long as they stood together in common defense. So the lion started to tell one bull that the others were saying evil, nasty things about him. He would do this in turn, with each bull. They all ended up so angry with each other that their friendship broke up. The lion went and killed and ate each bull, one after the other. [I am reminded of the story of how the famous legless British fighter pilot, during the Battle of Britain discovered how to effectively shoot down many German bombers. One day when he was flying up to meet a horde of German bombers, he got so angry that he insanely headed on a collision course for the lead bomber. The bomber pilot, in panic, wrenched his aircraft to the right. Instantly, before Douglas's eyes, the whole bomber formation broke up into little groups scattered all over the sky. That day they had a fieldday and many bombers were shot down. He used the same tactic from then on, and taught fighter command to do the same. On the other side of the coin, we in the 8th Army Airforce taught our bomber pilots that at no time was a bomber to break formation, even to try to rescue a crippled aircraft. The firepower of a B-17 with all 13 of its' 50-caliber machine-guns is most effective when it is in combination with the other three B-17's that make up the box. They were taught, that at no time were they to break the integrity of the formation! To do so would jeopardize the forty aircrew members of all four B-17's and not just their own. Satan's tactics are to divide and conquer. He can't conquer unless he divides his foes first. Satan does not want to see unity within the body of Christ, whether we're talking about our own congregation and Christian fellowship, or all the Christian fellowships which make up the entire body of Christ.] Pray for those whom you have an issue with where you feel uncomfortable about dealing directly, person to person. Pray that the Church is of one mind, unified. Pray for more of God's love, you're a Christian within the body of Christ. We're all sinners saved by grace, no denominations--one body, unified under one commander, Jesus Christ the Captain of our Salvation. To quote Jonathan Edwards, "In essentials unity; in non-essentials liberty; in all things charity." Good advice we should all adhere to. In Romans 1-8 Paul points out the essentials of the faith, in Romans 14 the liberties we have in non-essentials, in 1 Corinthians 13 the charity we should have toward all men, and what that charity is.

1 Corinthians 1:10-17. "I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought. My brothers, some from Chloe's household have informed me that there are quarrels among you. What I mean is this: One of you says, 'I follow Apollos'; another, 'I follow Cephas'; still another, 'I follow Christ.' Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized into the name of Paul? I am thankful that I did not baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius, so no one can say that you were baptized into my name. (Yes, I also baptized the household of Stephanus; beyond that, I don't remember anyone else.) For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel--not with words of human wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power."

Ephesians 4:11-16. "It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. [Paul now proceeds to clarify and define the type of unity in the faith he is talking about. (unity in the knowledge of the Son of God is self-explanatory.)]

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Content Editor Peter Benson -- no copyright, except where noted.  Please feel free to use this material for instruction and edification
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