1 Cor 1:1-17 — Greetings, Divisions in the Church
1 Cor 1:18-31 — Christ the Wisdom and Power of God
1 Cor 2 — Proclaiming Christ Crucified, Wisdom from the Spirit
1 Cor 3 — Divisions in the Church
Thoughts about serving others
This link includes a list of posts about Serving the Least, the Lost, and the Lonely.
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Let the Word evoke words. May your life encourage lives.
One Reply to “Sep 18 — 1 Corinthians 1-3”
In the next 10 days, we’ll cruise through Paul’s letters to the church in Corinth. Paul writes this budding new church that was planted in the booming market town of Corinth. There’s a ton of history to provide some interesting background, but for sake of brevity, Corinth makes Las Vegas (or perhaps Amsterdam would be better) look like a mellow town. People are torn between worshiping pagan gods and this new powerful idea we call Christianity. Many are confused about this new thing, so Paul provides these amazing letters.
The new church is already becoming fractious. Some say this was the beginning of denominations, but Paul tries to keep them focused on Christ, constantly bringing the discussion back to Jesus: “One of you says, ‘I follow Paul’; another, ‘I follow Apollos’; another, ‘I follow Cephas’; still another, ‘I follow Christ'” (1 Corinthians 1:12). Here Paul is highlighting several polarizing groups within the church. “Is Christ divided?” (1:13) is Paul’s rhetorical question and he does not hold back on his punches as he picks up the discussion in chapter 3: “Indeed, you are still not ready. You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you” (3:2-3). Paul constantly redirects the attention back to Christ, “For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building” (3:9). He wraps up chapter 3 with more clarify: “all are yours, and you are of Christ, and Christ is of God” (3:23) “so then, no more boasting about human leaders!” (3:21).
Paul elaborates on the Holy Spirit in chapter 2 as he explains the importance of God’s teaching. “My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power” (2:4). “The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God” (2:10b). Here’s an important, new idea: “What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us” (2:12). This is a profound statement that is difficult to those who are not in Christ to understand and perhaps those who are not mature in Christ to properly appreciate. Indeed, we may even be considered fools for our belief in the very thing that gives us great hope, even to the point that “we have the mind of Christ” (2:16) if we accept the things that come from the Spirit.
Growing in the knowledge of Christ takes time. The church in Corinth is still in its infancy–at times it seems like the modern church acts this way. Lord help me to look to the Spirit for instructions, listening to his direction and prompting. Help me to tune out the things of the world that would distract me, even if that makes me look foolish in the eyes of the world. And may I always give you the glory and honor.