1 Corinthians 1 Reading Guide
v1-9 - This introductory passage is chock full of promises and statements that help you understand your significance as a Christian:
v2 - This is an open letter, so because you are one "who calls on the name of the Lord," this letter is specifically addressed to you.
v2 - Not only have you been sanctified (made holy) but you're also called to be Christ's saint (holy person).
v7 - Since you don't lack any spiritual gift, you are equipped to do whatever it is that God is calling you to do. So do it.
v7 - Don't just wait for Christ to be revealed, the way we often unexpectantly wait for the Twins to capture the pennant, eagerly wait and anticipate Jesus being revealed.
v8 - Christ will keep you firm to the end, so you don't need to depend upon your own failing strength.
v10-17 - It's interesting to see that right off the bat, the early church divided up into factions, which Paul calls them on the carpet for in these verses. So then, is it wrong for today's church to be divided up into denominations or associations? Yes and no. It certainly isn't God's design for the church to be splintered into so many sub-groups, but at the same time denominations allow people to remain true to their core theological convictions while maintaining unity with their congregation. The Corinthians weren't divided over difficult doctrinal issues like baptism or the authority of scripture, rather they seem to have turned Christianity into a cult of personality defined by who they identified with.
v18-31 - This could perhaps be one of the most relevant passages of scripture for our present time. For most of the last millennia, Western civilization has been centered around the basic truths of scripture, since most people had very similar understandings of who God is, who man is, and how we've been saved by God from our slavery to sin. But that's changing. Rapidly. As more and more of our society looks at Christians and the Bible and concludes it's foolishness, you need to cling to these words more and more. Be reminded often that:
v18 & 24 - the message of the cross is the power of God
v20 - God has made the wisdom of the world foolish (do you often wonder why the world comes to such crazy conclusions?)
v30 - You are in Christ Jesus, who has become the wisdom from God.
OLD TESTAMENT REFERENCE:
Paul quotes Isaiah 29:14. Read that passage in its context (29:13-21) for more insight on why our world is the way it is, and what God has done / is doing to bring salvation to it.
Use the comment box below to discuss one or more of these questions:
EYE FOR DETAIL—From what you recall seeing in this chapter, try answering the following question without looking at your Bible: In verse 12, as Paul was speaking against the divisions in the Corinthian church, he mentioned four persons with whom different factions of the Corinthians were identifying themselves. Who were these four?
If Satan wrote down some guidelines and commands to get people to do just the opposite of what this chapter teaches, how do you think his message might be worded?
Questions taken from The Complete Bible Discussion Guide: New Testament.
Follow the AAA Prayer Pattern:
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: Our Father God is faithful and has called you into fellowship with His Son (v9)
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Pray that you will live your life in a way that boasts in the Lord (v31)
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED:
MONDAY: First, let everyone carefully consider their sins and ungodliness, that they may hate their sins and humble themselves before God...
TUESDAY: Second, let everyone examine their heart to see whether they also believe the sure promise of God that all their sins are forgiven...
WEDNESDAY: Third, let everyone carefully examine their own conscience to see if they are fully determined to show true thankfulness to God in every area of life and to walk sincerely before His face...
THURSDAY: On the contrary, those who do not sincerely believe this testimony in their hearts eat and drink judgment upon themselves...
FRIDAY: But this warning is not intended to discourage those believers with contrite hearts, as if no one might come to the Lord’s Supper unless they are without sin. We do not come to this Supper to testify about our own perfection and righteousness, but, on the contrary, we come seeking life in Jesus Christ apart from ourselves. We come confessing our misery, admitting that we have many shortcomings and do not have perfect faith. Therefore, we can rest assured that no sin or weakness that still remains in us against our will can prevent us from being received by God’s grace and from being made worthy partakers of this heavenly food and drink.