57 A.D. – First Corinthians

The Last Supper, fresco by Andrea del Sarto, c. 1525

The Last Supper, fresco by Andrea del Sarto, (c. 1525)

Ch. 1 – God gives grace, and enriches our speech and knowledge.  What does it mean to be enriched in speech and knowledge?  Note that God called (and calls) people everywhere into fellowship with Christ followers.  Here, God called the church (into fellowship); and called people everywhere who call upon Jesus (into fellowship).

Paul said that each of the Corinthians claimed to follow someone.  Do believers do that today?  How?  (How about Calvinism, Armanianism, religious orthodoxy instituted by man and not God, etc.?).

Ch. 2 – Nothing is as important as proclaiming Jesus and Him crucified (and, as Paul would later argue, Jesus resurrected – see note in Ch. 15 below).  These “nothings” include wisdom, lofty speech, etc.

The glory of men rests in the hidden, eternal wisdom of God.

Ch. 3 – To “follow” someone else is to be merely human (see note above in Ch. 1).  Don’t boast in men.  Boast in Jesus.

Ch. 4 – We are not to act like guides but like a father to new believers, younger believers, and others struggling in the faith.  What is the difference between a guide and a father, Biblically speaking?

Don’t talk a good game.  Does “talking a good game” make one a false teacher?  Jesus’ warning in Matthew 7:15-16 (about wolves in sheep’s clothing) wasn’t so much about teachers proclaiming false things as much as it was about false teachers making believable claims.

Live in the power and might of the Spirit.  God’s kingdom consists in and of power.

Ch. 5 – Why does God have the expectation of believers associating with the world?  We are not to associate with “believers” whose so-called works of faith show them to be worldly and opposing to real works of faith done for the kingdom.  What does Paul mean when he says to not associate with these “believers?”  And what are we to do with them?

Ch. 6 – Live like you will judge the world – do not show partiality.  Remember in Job 32:21, the young man Elihu prayed that he would not show partiality to any man, nor flatter any man.

When Paul says that the saints will judge the world, he means everything that God created and set before man and commanded man to have dominion over – including angels (Genesis 1:26-28).

Ch. 7 – Christ bought us at a hefty price (His life).  “Do not become a bondservant of men.”  At home, in the world, in public service, or anywhere else, do not become bound to the unbiblical, ungodly laws of man.  As said before, don’t follow man.  Serve Christ, not man.  We do not lay down or surrender our followership of Christ at any time, for any one, in any place, or for any purpose.

Ch. 9 – The Biblical ideal for athletes is that they keep their bodies under self-control IN ALL THINGS.  This is a spiritual ideal, of course, but moral as well.  There’s a Biblical expectation of discipline for the body.

Ch. 10 – Paul makes it clear that Christ was with Israel in the wilderness (Old Testament).  He was their escape from temptation but the Israelites rejected Him.  Christ is our way of escape from temptation, too.  Run to Jesus!

Ch. 12 – A person can confess JESUS IS LORD when the Holy Spirit comes upon them (indwells them).  There is not a separate “baptism of the Holy Spirit” as a means or completion for the salvation experience.  Salvation happens at once – in faith believing and in confession redeeming (Romans 10:9-10).

What is “the more excellent way” Paul mentioned which seems to imply that there is something above, or more than, apostleship?  Could it be sonship with the Heavenly Father?

Ch. 13 – The more excellent way is LOVE.  God loves us and gave His Son for us (John 3:16).  And love brings us to the Father.  We become His son.  Note that Paul mentions faith, hope, and love often and together in his letters.

Ch. 14 – Paul gives us a great outline for believers to follow when we get together.  I think it applies across the board when it comes to nearly any assembly of believers (worship, Bible study, fellowship, event, etc.):

– A hymn:  Sing (hymn, song, chorus, anthem, etc.).
– A lesson:  Teach (Bible study or devotion).
– A revelation:  Proclaim (preaching, proclamation of Bible truth).
– A tongue:  Present (Gospel to unbelievers who may be present).
– An Interpretation:  Hear (testimony by a believer, then a challenge or application).

Ch. 15 – My friend and mentor, Tony Preston, once said, “Nothing good came from the cross until Jesus resurrected from the dead.”  See note in Ch. 2 above.

Ch. 16 – Watch.  Stand firm in the faith.  Act like men.  Be strong.  Do everything in love.  Great words for Christian men and boys to live by.

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