Home

For this series of studies you might need a board of some sort to write on.


Where was Corinth?


Map123 www.Keyway.ca



















Map016

www.simplybible.com.au/dmaps.htm#J2


In some respects the Greek city of Corinth was similar to Plymouth: a busy harbour with a strong maritime history; but its a population was doubled by the number of slaves there.


How was the church started?


To answer that we should turn to Acts 18


Someone read Acts 18:1-8, 9-17


1 After this, Paul left Athens and went to Corinth. 2 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 Jews to leave Rome. Paul went to see them, 3 and because he was a tentmaker as they were, he stayed and worked with them. 4 Every Sabbath he reasoned in the synagogue, trying to persuade Jews and Greeks.

5 When Silas and Timothy came from Macedonia, Paul devoted himself exclusively to preaching, testifying to the Jews that Jesus was the Messiah. 6 But when they 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 innocent of it. From now on I will go to the Gentiles.’

7 Then Paul left the synagogue and went next door to the house of Titius Justus, a worshipper of God. 8 Crispus, the synagogue leader, and his entire household believed in the Lord; and many of the Corinthians who heard Paul believed and were baptised.


Probably that meant that Crispus could no longer remain as synagogue leader, and so was replaced by Sosthenes (see later!)


9 One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision: ‘Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent. 10 For I am with you, and no one is going to attack and harm you, because I have many people in this city.’ 11 So Paul stayed in Corinth for a year and a half, teaching them the word of God.

12 While Gallio was proconsul of Achaia, the Jews of Corinth made a united attack on Paul and brought him to the place of judgment. 13 ‘This man,’ they charged, ‘is persuading the people to worship God in ways contrary to the law.’

14 Just as Paul was about to speak, Gallio said to them, ‘If you Jews were making a complaint about some misdemeanour or serious crime, it would be reasonable for me to listen to you. 15 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.’ 16 So he drove them off. 17 Then the crowd there turned on Sosthenes the synagogue leader and beat him in front of the proconsul; and Gallio showed no concern whatever.


What then happened to Sosthenes?

We can only imagine, but look at 1 Corinthians 1:1

It is possible that this Sosthenes was the same synagogue leader who now joined Paul in his concern for the church in Corinth.


Read 1 Corinthians 1:1-9

1 Paul, called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and our brother Sosthenes,

2 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:

3 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

4 I always thank God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus.

5 For in him you have been enriched in every way—in all your speaking and in all your knowledge—6 because our testimony about Christ was confirmed in you.7 Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed. 8 He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful.



1 Paul, called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and our brother Sosthenes,

Very sensibly, the custom was to start with who the letter was from: in this case, Paul and Sosthenes.


Paul immediately reminds his audience that he has the authority to write this letter as an Apostle – and not an Apostle by his own choosing, but he had been appointed to the task by the will of God.


Why was this important?

This wasn’t intended to be a chatty letter – it was written to address problems in the church, and Paul reminds them of his authority.


2 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:

Who is this letter intended for? (Write on board)

The Church in Corinth

The Church Worldwide

Us

Who are the church? (v2)

Those who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be holy, and who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.


What does the word ‘sanctified’ mean?

To be set apart for God, and so treated as holy (like a temple vessel).


Verse 2 is a deliberate reminder from Paul that those he is writing to were set apart by Jesus to be a holy people. To live lives which are different to those they live among in the world. (Write on board: Be Holy, Be Different)

Why does he have to do that? This is the point at which they were failing and the reason that he has to write this letter.

But the letter is also addressed to us. Are we failing here too? How holy should we be?



He has heard that there were several specific problems that needed addressing at the Church in Corinth: (Have pre-written)


    1:10 – 4:21          Division

    3:1–2                   Immaturity & Instability

    3:3                       Jealousy / envy

    5:1–13, 6:12–20   Sexual Immorality

    6:1–11                 Lawsuits

    7:1–40                 Marital difficulties

    10:23 – 11:1        Misuse of freedom

    12 – 14                Misuse of spiritual gifts


If there were problems at the church in Corinth, why should it be appropriate to send this letter to the other churches, and also record it for us to read today?

The problems Paul faced at Corinth are still being faced in churches today.


But Paul also gives us encouragement at the end of verse 2 where he reminds us that if we face the same problems we can also call on the same Lord Jesus Christ—their Lord and ours:


What do you make of this next verse?

3 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.


Is Paul presumptuous in the way he says this?

Or is he simply stating fact?


Before looking at areas where the church is failing, he quickly reminds them that they are not condemned, but rather that God’s grace continues to cover every sin, and that they may continue to know his peace. When feelings of guilt and shame come over us because our sanctification seems such a slow process, it’s good to remember that God’s grace is unfailing, and because of that, we too can have his peace.


4 I always thank God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus.

5 For in him you have been enriched in every way—in all your speaking and in all your knowledge—6 because our testimony about Christ was confirmed in you.


As Paul starts out to write this letter to a struggling church he breaks off to again give thanks to God that their salvation is all of God’s grace and doesn’t depend on man’s imperfect response. And he can find good things to say about them – that they are demonstrating gifts of the Holy Spirit in their lives: speaking (perhaps in tongues) and words of knowledge.


He also thanks God – for what? (v6)

What Paul and his companions said Jesus would do in their lives, how they would be changed if they accepted him, has been proved to be correct.


7 Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed.


Is that true of every Christian (you do not lack any spiritual gift)? Is it true of those in our church?

Or is it that all gifts are given, but not all are accepted or used?


We need too to be aware that the evidence of spiritual gifts in the people in our church is no guarantee that we will not encounter problems


In what way are we (or should we be) eagerly waiting for Jesus to be revealed?


8 He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful.


Again, Paul encourages the church that their sanctification is wholly in the hands of God and that he can be trusted to complete it.


If there are other translations available in your group, ask how the word ‘blameless’ is translated.


Blameless could also be translated un-indictable.

What does that mean?


No-one would be able to bring any charge against us.


Jesus has taken the responsibility for everything we have ever done, and has suffered the punishment for all our sins.





1 Corinthians 2






Study 1    1 Corinthians 1:1-9
Problems in the early Church.

If you would like to PRINT or copy this study, click  HERE  for the PDF version, then Rt Click, and select ‘Print’, or ‘Save as’