Last Lord’s Day we began a study of 1 Corinthians. Unfortunately we failed to get an audio copy of the message on CD. I want to provide some of the notes from that message for those who were unable to attend.
1 Corinthians – Why Study It?
The Author of 1 Corinthians was Paul
It was written during a time of personal discouragement
1 Corinthians 2:3 – “I was with you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling” and 1 Thessalonians 3:7 – “for this reason, brothers, in all our distress and affliction we have been comforted about you through your faith” give us five word descriptions that capture something of where the Apostle Paul was as he ministered in Corinth: Weakness, Fear, Much Trembling, Distress, and Affliction
Outline of 1 Corinthians
I. Greeting – 1 Corinthians 1:1-9
II. Paul deals with problems reported to him – 1 Corinthians 1:10-6:20
III. Paul answers written questions – 1 Corinthians 7:1-15:58
IV. Concluding remarks – 16:1-16:24
So why study 1 Corinthians?
1) Because it was written to Springs of Grace Bible Church – verse 2 “To the church of God that is in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints together with all those who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours:”
2) Because it was written to a people very similar to the society we live in. It was a very modern city with a large urban center full of great diversity racially, economically, sociologically and religiously. It was a sin with rampart sexual sin and materialism.
3) Because of the issues that are dealt with in this letter (church divisions, sexual immorality, loving people from different backgrounds, marriage, divorce, singleness, roles of women in ministry, charismatic gifts, the church as a body, how to relate to a world outside of the church, life after death)
4) Because of the problems which the letter confronts
The letter of 1 Corinthians sets forth answers to two key questions that were at the heart of the issues in the church at Corinth and immensely important to us.
#1 – How do we live as Christians in an ungodly world? Do we shelter ourselves from the world or do we identify ourselves with the world? Both extremes were in the church at Corinth and are struggles we have to deal with to live as the body of Christ today in Tulsa.
#2 What is the true nature of spirituality? Is it certain gifts or experiences or personalities or is it perseverance and love and serving and holy living or is it evangelistic effort and spiritual prayer or ….?
5) Because of the method which it teaches
I love the fact that Paul often doesn’t give black and white answers. He often gives the Corinthians the great principles of the Gospel and the character of God and calls them to THINK how to apply them. He doesn’t offer a rule book but a Lord to walk with and truths to think through.
6) Because of the core truths that hold everything together not only in this letter but in all of life and eternity.
THE CROSS – Chapter 1 – For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. No one walks long with Jesus who doesn’t keep the cross in front of them (the glory Jesus displayed there and the mercy we received there). It is our message, our hope, our glory, and our life.
The GOD-CENTEREDNESS and CHRIST-CENTEREDNESS of everything – Chapter 3 “For all things are yours, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future—all are yours, and you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s.” Everything has its purpose and being and fulfillment in Christ. It’s always about Him!
LOVE – Chapter 1-16 is a love letter. Chapter 13 may well be the greatest description of love ever given. The letter ends with these words: “let all that you do be done in love.“ – My love be with you all in Christ Jesus.”
I hope you will come each week anxious to study this portion of God’s Word with us. I can hardly wait for next Sunday!