Studies in 1 Corinthians
Contrasts Between God’s People and The World Around Them
New Series Begins Sunday, September 11, 2022.
Just like in first century Corinth, so Christians today face sharp contrasts between the world’s morals and values and those to which Christ calls us. At the beginning of Paul’s first letter to the Corinthian church, he makes it clear: “For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men” (1 Corinthians 1:25, ESV).
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In 1 Corinthians 4 Paul takes those to task who would question his authority as an apostle of Jesus Christ. When a person questions the authority of God’s messenger, as they did with Jesus, that person is challenging the very sovereignty of God.
This is not a good place to be. This is because once you jettison God for your guiding principles, you become your own judge of what is right and wrong, eating from the tree of knowledge. The path that follows is very predictable as we see in 1 Corinthians 5:1-8 where what God has forbidden is embraced and welcomed. Today’s lesson will require some uncomfortable passages in God’s word in Genesis 1:27 and 2:24-25, Leviticus 18 and 20 and Deuteronomy 22. Better to listen to God by eating of the tree of life!
With Dean Wolf
In 1 Corinthians 1-3, Paul addresses the divisiveness that it troubling the church as people gravitated to their favorites. The challenge is that elevating one person or group of people over others is wrong among God’s people. Paul’s encouragement is to keep Jesus at the center of their lives.
In chapter 4, however, Paul moves to address those Christians who have started questioning his authority as Christ’s apostle. This must be resolved before he begins to address the list of problems that have emerged in a church that is striving to live for Christ in sharp contrast to the lifestyles of the cosmopolitan world around them.
Among us believers in Christ there is a supernatural connection between God, His Holy Spirit and our spirits. The wisdom that this connection inspires does not make sense to the non-believer until they come to know and to believe in the Lord of all creation, Jesus Christ.
CORINTH WITH DEAN WOLF
CORINTH – INTRODUCTION
After spending a year and a half evangelizing Corinth, Paul moves on to take the gospel to other parts of Asia Minor. Towards the end of three years later in Ephesus he receives news of trouble in the church in Corinth. The new Christians there are struggling with whom to believe: the apostle Paul himself or those who are trying to bring the church into mainstream Corinthian society. Now, as then, this is the real challenge of the church.
We begin setting the stage for Corinth in order to apply Paul’s teaching to our own struggles today.