1 Corinthians

Paul the apostle

1 Cor 1.1-3; Introduction; Greeting to the Corinthian church

1 Cor 1.4-9; Prayer; Thanksgiving for the church and their gifts

Divisions in the church

1 Cor 1.10-17; Discipline; Paul combats divisions in the church

1 Cor 1.18-31; Discipline-Teaching; Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom. Christ is the wisdom and power of God.

1 Cor 2.1-5; Discipline-Teaching; The apostles proclaim Jesus Christ and him crucified.

1 Cor 2.6-16; Discipline-Teaching; The mature recognise what they preach is true wisdom from God. These are revealed by the Spirit of God. Believers have the mind of Christ.

1 Cor 3.1-4; Discipline; Paul continues to combat divisions in the church. Paul has to address them as infants in Christ, not spiritual people.

1 Cor 3.5-17; Discipline-Teaching; Each person’s work will be tested and revealed by fire. If someone’s work is burnt up, he will be saved but only as through fire. Warning not to destroy the Lord’s temple.

1 Cor 3.18-23; Discipline; Paul winds up his argument against divisions in the church. Let no one boast in men, we are owned by Christ who is owned by God.

How to regard the apostles

1 Cor 4.1-7; Teaching; The church should regard Paul and Apollos as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. Paul defends himself against their criticism.

1 Cor 4.8-21; Discipline-Teaching; Comparison between the apostles and the Corinthians. The Corinthians think they have made it, while the apostles are low in the world.

Sexual immorality in the church

1 Cor 5.1-8; Discipline; Paul combats sexual immorality in the church. He has pronounced judgment on the man. He should be removed from church. They are to remove sinful influences from their midst.

1 Cor 5.9-13; Discipline-Instruction; They must not associate with people who pretend to be brothers who persist in sexual immorality, greed, idolatry, reviling, drunkenness or swindling. Purge them from the church.

Lawsuits against fellow Saints

1 Cor 6.1-8; Discipline; The Corinthians have been going to the unrighteous instead of the Saints to judge their grievances with one another. Paul says it would be better if they suffered the wrong.

1 Cor 6.9-11; Warning; The unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God. Neither the sexually immoral, the idolaters, adulterers, practicing homosexuals, thieves, the greedy, revilers nor swindlers will inherit. They were like this but were justified and sanctified in Jesus name and by the Spirit.

Sexual idolatry, marriage, and singleness

1 Cor 6.12-20; Warning; Paul exhorts them to flee sexual immorality and in particular, prostitution associated with foreign worship and festivals.

1 Cor 7.1-5; Instruction; Some say they not even touch a woman. Paul says people should get married lest they succomb to sexual immorality (sexual idolatry). Paul gives principles for marriage.

1 Cor 7.6-16; Instruction; Paul gives instructions for singles, widows and the married. Married believers exert a good influence on their unbelieving spouse and children.

1 Cor 7.17-24; Teaching; Paul instructs people to live as they are called in order to reinforce his instructions about marriage and singleness.

1 Cor 7.25-40; Instruction; In light of the closing of this age Paul suggests remaining single is better than getting married. Singles are more devoted to the Lord.

Food, idolatry, and brotherly witness

1 Cor 8.1-13; Instructions; Food offered to idols is nothing. But weaker believers may be discouraged if they see you eat. So don’t make them stumble by eating.

1 Cor 9.1-18; Teaching; Paul acknowledges his rights as an apostle, but gives them up for the benefit of others.

1 Cor 9.19-27; Teaching; Paul adopts the customs of those he is trying to save but remains under the law of God and Christ. Paul disciplines himself so he may obtain the prize.

1 Cor 10.1-22; Instruction; Paul warns the Corinthians against temptation and idolatry using scriptural examples to learn from.

1 Cor 10.23-11.1; Instruction; Paul warns the Corinthians away from practices that may give offense to others. Do it all to the glory of God and imitate Paul as he imitates Christ.

Head Coverings

1 Cor 11.2-16; Instruction; Paul gives clothing instructions to women who have their heads uncovered. This is not in accordance with the traditions. Just as Christ is the head of the church, so is the man the head of his wife. The wife needs to reflect this in the way she dresses.

The Lord’s Supper

1 Cor 11.17-34; Instruction; The Corinthians are abusing the Lord’s Supper. Paul instructs them to participate in a helpful manner for others.

Spiritual People in Church

1 Cor 12.1-11; Teaching; The Spirit that enables people to believe and say ‘Jesus is Lord’ also gives spiritual gifts to the church, Spiritual people. The people are the gift. The gifts are the wise, the knowledgeable, those with outstanding faith, those who can heal, those who work miracles, give prophecies, help us discern, and lastly those who speak in tongues and interpret those tongues.

1 Cor 12.12-31; Instruction; The church has one body with many members. We are all one – Jews and Greeks, slaves and free. But we are varying members. We can’t all be the same. That would be boring. We cannot say to one another we don’t need you. We need to lust after the higher gifts that build up the church.

1 Cor 13.1-14.1; Instruction; Love is the best way to serve the church. Faith by itself is nothing and gains nothing. The best three gifts are faith, hope and love. The greatest of these is love. So pursue love and lust after the gift of prophecy.

1 Cor 14.2-25; Instruction; Tongues benefits only the speaker because no one who hears can understand what they are saying. Hence prophecy is much better than tongues because people can understand this person. People who want to speak in tongues in church need to have an interpreter. Otherwise if an idiot came into the gathering he could not agree with the spiritual ‘blah blah’. Idiots can understand prophecy through it recognise that God is really among us.

1 Cor 14.26-40; Instructions; Paul gives instructions for an edifying church. It should be orderly and respectful of people’s roles and gifts. Women should keep silent and ask their husbands questions at home.

1 Cor 15.1-8; Teaching; Paul reminds the Corinthians of the gospel. Christ died, was buried, raised on the third day and appeared according to the scriptures.

1 Cor 15.9-11; Testimony; Paul explains his calling and the grace given him.

1 Cor 15.12-19; Discipline; The Corinthians say there is no resurrection. Paul defends the resurrection of the dead.

1Cor 15.20-28; Teaching; Paul explains what will happen in the end times. Christ will deliver the kingdom of God to the Father. He will reign until all his enemies are under his feet. Death will be destroyed.

1 Cor 15.29-34; Discipline; Paul speaks about baptism on behalf of the dead and keeping good morals.

1 Cor 15.35-49; Teaching; Paul explains what the resurrection body is like. Heavenly, not earthly. Imperishable, not perishable. Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven

1 Cor 15.50-58; Teaching; We shall all be changed at the last trumpet. The mystery of resurrection and victory over death. Therefore always abound in the work in the Lord.

1 Cor 16.1-4; Instruction; Paul organises a collection for the Saints

1 Cor 16.5-22; Dialogue; Paul explains his plans for travel, gives them some final instructions for supporting others, and parting greetings. Paul curses those who do not love the Lord.

1 Cor 16.23-24; Conclusion; The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you. 24 My love be with you all in Christ Jesus. Amen