Contributed on Sep 16, 2010
Often times we think of our society today as so different from Bible times. But it may surprise you that the things facing the Corinthians are much the same as today, and so is God's grace!
1st Corinthians was written in A.D. 56 from Ephesus at the close of Paul's 3 year residence there (Acts 20:31, 1 Corinthians 16:5-8). Paul's relationship with the Corinthian church is in Acts 18:1-18. He met Aquila and Priscilla there and taught in a house next door to the synagogue for 18 months. ...read more
Contributed on Sep 27, 2010
In today's politically correct world it seems more and more Christians are swallowing some pretty bad stuff in order to 'get along.' The culture pushes back to get us to conform to the values of our culture. Paul comes against that and says you should thi
In lesson three Paul takes aim, not at superstar pastors, but the philosophies and values of the world around us. The Corinthians were very much in the middle of a culture that valued philosophy and discussion as a way to arrive at truth. Paul's time before the Areopagus in Acts 17 was like that, ...read more
Contributed on Oct 4, 2010
The mind is one of the most amazing and most dangerous things we possess. It is incredibly creative, self-justifying and horribly deceiving and sick. So Paul tells us when it comes understanding God, using our minds only will never get us there.
In our series: Lessons in how NOT to be a Christian, we have seen: Lesson 1: You (and your church) do not belong to you, but to God Lesson 2: Don't worship your pastor Lesson 3: Don't confuse the world's wisdom with God's And now Lesson 4: Don't rely on your own mind ...read more
Contributed on Oct 11, 2010
One of the most dangerous places to find yourself as a Christian is thinking you are more mature than you really are. This was one of the main reasons the Corinthian church had so many problems and may be a reason you are not moving forward in your walk.
I have a granddaughter, little Maya. She is our first grandchild and, of course, she is the cutest baby on planet earth. Up until now Maya has only known her mama's milk as her food. She is just starting to eat puréed foods like bananas and the like. We saw the cutest video of her and she actually ...read more
Contributed on Oct 18, 2010
One of the greatest blessings is when God works through you. One of the greatest dangers is when God works through you. Learn how to avoid the penetrating gaze of the Lord and simply rejoice in His work through you.
What’s the hottest thing you’ve ever been close to? I remember once being near a log deck fire that was so hot that it was melting the asphalt under my feet. I’ve seen the effects of intense heat and fire reduce a full house to a pile of ashes and a chimney, with things melted in ...read more
Contributed on Oct 25, 2010
Is there such a thing as the celebrity pastor? Is that a good or bad thing? How should I look at a church to make sure I will be fed as a believer?
As we’ve seen in looking at the problems of the Corinthian church, the members of this congregation had expended a great deal of energy putting certain leaders up on pedestals and then aligning themselves with that leader and claiming their leader was better than theirs. In the first part ...read more
Contributed on Nov 1, 2010
Pride is a sneaky thing. It's the default program for humans and is at the root of the problem in Corinth, and often at the root of our problems as Christians.
The American Heritage Dictionary defines sarcasm as: "A form of irony in which apparent praise conceals another, scornful meaning." An example might be to someone who is always late and you say to them: "Oh my, you're right on time!" Now if I told you that the Bible has several excellent ...read more
Contributed on Nov 8, 2010
Handling sin in the church has become very difficult from both angles - in our PC world much bad behavior is actually celebrated, but Christians are also wounding each other over weakness instead of supporting and helping. We'll try to walk the fine line
In Chapter 5 we move from pride of surface appearance over internal substance to pride over major sin in the body. It's issue two on Paul's mind as he writes to the Corinthians. It's a tough subject—sin in the church. This chapter can easily be misconstrued in several ways and I want to try ...read more
Contributed on Nov 22, 2010
What happens when Christians disagree? If it is reasoning from the Scriptures about the Word, that's one thing. But when believers quarrel often it can be a sign of immaturity. When they try to resolve those disputes in front of the world, the gospel is t
In the last chapter Paul talked about how to deal with big problems in the church involving open, unrepentant sin. Now as we move into Chapter 6, he talks about handling smaller problems between believers. In a way, this is a continuation of the flow from Chapter 5. There he is telling the ...read more
Contributed on Nov 28, 2010
Is there something in your life that if it was taken away your life could not go on? Is there something you just can't stop doing? You may be addicted. In fact, even many Christians are addicted to something they are not even aware of - the flesh. How to
What's your addiction? I know that's a pretty strong statement but I want us to think about that. Put another way, what controls you? What can you not do without? What, if taken away, would mean your life was over? You might say "I'm not addicted to anything!" If that's true, then halleluiah. But ...read more
Contributed on Dec 6, 2010
There are many misunderstandings about Paul's words on marriage and divorce. Looking at them in the context of the situation they were written in, and context of our purpose as redeemed humans offers us some real wisdom.
Beginning in chapter 7, Paul begins to address specific questions the Corinthians had sent him regarding marriage, eating meat sacrificed to idols, worship, the Lord's supper and the resurrection. First he addresses a question about marriage. If you look at the chapter as a whole the context might ...read more
Contributed on Dec 13, 2010
When we experience new life in Jesus Christ we might think a change in our external appearance, position, or circumstances will make us more useful to the Master. But you might just miss out on one of the greatest opportunities available to you.
Last time we talked about how some in Corinth, especially women who were just experiencing new freedoms in the body of Christ, thought it best to divorce their pagan husbands, or remain celibate in marriage in order to be better Christians. In the context of an overly-sexualized society, and of a ...read more
Contributed on Dec 28, 2010
What's permissible for me to do once I believe in Jesus Christ? The answer to that question is actually tied up in how Jesus wants to use you in spreading the gospel. Learn in this lesson how to put His love above your freedom.
As we begin chapter 8, Paul answers a second question the Corinthians posed. And for that I want to mention two things: 1. I want to go back to what I’ve said throughout this study. As believers in Jesus Christ we are first being transformed into the character of God (Rom 12:1 , 2 ...read more
Contributed on Jan 3, 2011
Sometimes we feel like God has to completely change us in order to use us. Paul shows us that God takes the background, weaknesses, and even difficulties and uses them for His kingdom, if we let Him.
Who are you as a person? Who are you as a Christian? Do those two questions get two different responses from you? I think often times we think that when we come to Christ, Jesus basically considers us to be a blank slate that needs to be redrawn into the character of Jesus and that everything about ...read more
Contributed on Jan 10, 2011
Though so often we start out with such good intentions, things happen in our life to trip us up from serving God. What are those things and how can we avoid them?
Paul has just gotten finished encouraging us to pursue our relationship with the Lord and our being used by Him in the furtherance of the gospel like we were competing for the Olympic games, or in a boxing match where winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing! It’s a ...read more
Contributed on Jan 18, 2011
We have a lot of sources that would like us to imitate them: sports stars, movie stars, politicians, movers and shakers, even religious icons and leaders. Though we know we should imitate Jesus Christ, it is often hard for us to do that because He isn't h
In the latter half of chapter 10 Paul comes back to the argument he was making in 8 about food offered to idols. The Corinthians were arguing with Paul that because idols aren’t anything, and certainly aren’t gods, that eating food sacrificed to them was of no consequence. Paul tells ...read more
Contributed on Jan 25, 2011
1st Corinthians 11 is one of the most controversial and misunderstood sections of Paul's writings. We'll explore it using culture, context, character, and language to find out what Paul is and is not saying to the Corinthians and to us today.
The first thing to know about this section is that it is not about marriage or the role of women in the church. It is about having respect in worship for each other within our culture. Just prior, Paul was telling us to have respect for the conscience of others who are weak in terms of the freedoms ...read more
Contributed on Jan 30, 2011
Divisions are never good in the body of Christ. But when the divisions take place over a celebration of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, things get serious real fast. In this lesson, we learn about avoiding the things that separate us, and clinging to that
Among the many problems of the Corinthian church was division. Earlier in the letter he talked about division around choosing one leader over another. In the second half of chapter 11 he focuses on another type of division that was splitting the Corinthian church: the division of rich and poor and ...read more
Contributed on Feb 7, 2011
The Gifts of the Holy Spirit has split churches and The Church for thousands of years. Paul delves into this lively and controversial subject in the next three chapters of 1st Corinthians. His reason for the discussion is not to provide a complete guide t
Chapter 12 might look to some as a right turn in the letter—Paul introducing a totally new subject that has nothing to do with what came before. Although it appears to an answer to yet another question from the Corinthians, the undertone of the letter continues—“let the gospel shine brighter than ...read more
Contributed on Feb 13, 2011
Finding your place in the body of Christ is made difficult by the very nature of the spiritual gifts. People with upfront or flamboyant kinds of ministries can make the rest of us feel insignificant, like we are not contributing or maybe just aren't a par
As humans we like two things: to impress and be impressive. That was one of the main problems the Corinthians faced in many areas including spiritual gifts. The more flamboyant the gift, the more impressive the show of the Spirit, the better. So in chapters 12 through 14 Paul corrects this ...read more
Contributed on Mar 14, 2011
True love is a lot deeper than any of us imagine. Understanding it is probably the most important key to growing as a Christian.
There are a few times for a pastor teaching through the Word of God when a real defining moment arrives. I feel we are at one of those places today. Often times people want a key to becoming a mature Christian. I believe we have such a key before us today. But make no mistake, what we are about to ...read more
Contributed on Mar 14, 2011
If you think you understand what real love is, think again. 1 Corinthians 13 is not a bunch of feel goodisms, but delves deeply into the character of a mature person in Christ. Are you ready?
We began last week looking at Paul showing the Corinthians how much they had missed the real character of God by wanting to be “spiritual” over being loving. In the first three verses Paul tells us that no matter how impressive we are with our spiritual credentials, knowledge, power, or ...read more
Contributed on Mar 14, 2011
When it comes to studying about love, it is easy to feel under the pile because no human can measure up to the standard of love in 1 Corinthians 13 - and that's because it is God's standard. Thanks be to God that he makes us able, as we give our lives, ho
If you’ve watched any spy movies lately, or paid attention to military rhetoric in the past decade, you will have heard the term “actionable intelligence.” It means that you have obtained important information that you can do something about. Well, when it comes to love, I want ...read more
Contributed on Mar 14, 2011
As we come to the end of our series on love we learn that true love 'goes the distance.' Love does not have limits, nor will it ever end. So how do you get this love flowing through your life? We also learn that a person who wants to mature in their faith
Growing up in a world that doesn’t know God, doesn’t understand God, doesn’t act like God and doesn’t want anything to do with God, it is not surprising that the default value for humanity is “every man for himself.” Get what you deserve and make sure no one else ...read more
Contributed on Mar 21, 2011
There is a great deal of controversy today about the use of spiritual gifts in the body of Christ. Many more charismatic denominations feature 1st Corinthians 14 as a way of encouraging the use of spiritual gifts, but a close reading of the passage doesn’
Chapters 12, 13, and 14 address a problem Paul had with how the Corinthians were acting in their church services. They had fallen in love with the spiritual gift of Speaking in Tongues. In Chapter 12, Paul talks about how there are a variety of gifts, not just Speaking in Tongues, and that the gift ...read more
Contributed on Mar 27, 2011
The resurrection of Jesus Christ is at the very heart of Christianity. If there was no resurrection then there is no Christianity. Period. Want to know why it is so important? Paul's got that answer.
Plain and simple, the gospel of Jesus Christ stands or falls on the resurrection. The resurrection is the culmination of what we call “the Christ event,” which includes the birth, life, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Without the resurrection, the gospel is ...read more
Contributed on Apr 4, 2011
Do you ever hear those commercials for beds where they are giving big discounts on last year's model when the only difference is the fabric? As we study the second half of 1st Corinthians 15, we will look at our new model of resurrected body. But it's far
My granddaughter got a cool 4 wheeled toy vehicle for her 1st birthday that she can ride and it’s battery powered. But what is that compared to a big 4 wheel Pickup truck? That’s sort of like comparing this body with the resurrection body. The body we have in this age is like one of ...read more
Contributed on Apr 11, 2011
Often times as a Christian we think that what we do only affects us. In reality the body of Christ is an intertwined unit and who we are and what we do does indeed impact others for good or not. With that in mind, the Apostle Paul gives some parting but v
Usually people ignore the final chapters of many of Paul’s letters. They are usually filled with last minute instructions, greetings, and signatures. We don’t know who many of the people are, and already know who Paul is, so we skip over these sections. But in 1st Corinthians 16 there ...read more