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I Corinthians Intoduction and Chp. 1

                                                              I Corinthians

                                                                            By Joyce Webb 2016

Paul wrote to the believers at Corinth. Corinth was a city in Greece.

These believers had several problems that began among them in the church.

Some of them were doing things in the worship services that were not right.

Others were doing sexual sins and they did not think it was wrong.

Some were having fights and arguments and were taking each other to court.

Some did not believe that Jesus rose from the dead.

Some did not think that Paul had the right or authority to be telling them what was right about God.

So Paul has written the letter to teach them what is right.

 

Chapter 1

Vs. 1 Paul introduces himself as an apostle (disciple) of Christ. He says that he has been chosen by God to be an apostle.

Paul says the letter is also from Sosthenes another believer.

Paul says that this letter is for the church at Corinth. That they have been called by God to be his holy people.

He said that God made them holy by Jesus Christ just like He has done for Christians everywhere------and for anyone who calls on the name of the Jesus Christ who is Lord.

May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace.

(That simple sentence----is powerful. We need grace from God. Think of times when you have said something or done something to someone that hurt them or made trouble for them----but they gave “grace” to you instead of being mean back to you or scolded you, etc. They were kind and forgiving.

How much more we do things that are not holy or right and God does not “zap” us but He gives us grace, forgiveness, is patient with us.

And “peace”. How we want to have peace. If you have had to live in a home where people were always fighting and arguing or yelling you understand how important peace is.

If you have been troubled in your spirit about your sins or your mistakes or your failing to do something you understand how welcome peace would be.

If you live in a country where there is war and danger you understand how important it is to have peace.

Sometimes you would rather have peace than enough food. Sometimes you would rather be poor and have peace. Sometimes you would rather live alone than live in a family where there is anger and yelling.

Peace is a wonderful thing to our spirit.

In Christ we can have peace in our spirit even when there is much trouble around us.

There is a story told of a contest for artists to draw or paint and picture showing “peace“.

One person drew a picture of green fields, a quiet blue pond, trees, flowers, sunshine.

It was lovely. A peaceful scene.

One person drew a picture of a storm a tree a bird’s nest in the tree. The bird was in the nest with her babies under her. Her wings were over them. The storm was blowing rain and wind. But the babies were safe under the mother’s wings. Under the picture was the title “Peace”.

Sometimes all around us is peaceful but our spirit is troubled.

Sometimes all around us is stormy and troubled but our spirit is at peace.

May God give you grace and peace.)

 

Vs. 4.5 Paul tells them that he thanks God for the grace that God has given to them.

He says that God has given them the gift of speaking well to others, and they have been made rich by the knowledge that they have.

Vs.6 This shows that what Paul preached to them about Christ was true.

Vs. 7 He tells them that they have every spiritual gift they need until Christ returns.

Vs. 8 Christ will keep them true and without blame until the day Jesus returns.

(This is something some Christian worry about. They know their own weakness. They have a fear that they will sin or get off the right path or they will be led wrongly by some teacher.

Jesus can keep us true to Him. The Holy Spirit speaks to our heart and mind to warn us when we begin to go the wrong way. If we hear teaching that is not right in our spirit there will be a warning and we need to stop and think about it.

God is patient with us. He knows where we are weak. He will give the Holy Spirit charge over us.

Like a dog with sheep. The sheep may want to go the wrong way, but the dog keeps moving them in the right direction. Sometimes the dog just gets too close to them and it moves them, sometimes the dog barks at them, sometimes the dog has to nip/bite at their heels to get them to move. The Holy Spirit works like that with us.

Vs. 9 God is faithful. He is the One who has called you to follow Him and have fellowship with Him and Jesus Christ his son.

Vs. 10 Paul says Please be in agreement with each other. Stop this arguing. It just makes division in your group. You need to come together with the same mind and judgment about things.

Vs. 11 Paul says that the family of the house of Chloe have told him about these arguments.

Va. 12 Some of you are saying “I follow Paul.” Some say, “I follow Apollos.” Some say, “I follow Christ.” Can Christ be divided up into pieces?

Vs. 13. 14, 15 Was I (Paul) the one crucified for you? Were you baptized in the name of Paul? (I am glad I did not baptized anyone except Crispus and Gaius.) So no one can say they were baptized in my name.

Vs. 16 Oh, yes, I also baptized the family of the house of Stephanas. I do not remember baptizing any one else.

Vs. 17 Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach to you the Good News about Jesus. I did not speak with fancy big words it was simple because I did not want cross of Christ to lose its power with fancy preaching.

Vs. 18 The preaching of the cross of Christ to those who do not believe they think it is foolish talk. But to those who are saved and are believers we know the power of the cross and of God.

Vs. 19 It is written (in Isaiah 29:14) I will destroy the wisdom of the wise. I will bring to nothing the understanding of those who think they understand deep things.

Vs. 20 Where are the wise? Where are the scribes (men of learning)? Where are those to explain and arguing great ideas? God has made the wise of this world to look foolish.

(Did you know that according to science and the laws of flying that a bumble bee can not fly? A bumble bee’s body is too big and heavy for the size of its wings. So it should not be able to fly according to science. But the bumble bee flies. God has made the men of science with all their knowledge to look foolish. God can do things that are impossible.)

(There is the platypus. It has a body with fur like a mammal. Feet with claws and webbing. Mouth like a duck. Lives in the water like a beaver.

What kind of animal is a platypus? What group do the scientists put it in? God must have made the platypus just to confuse the scientist. God is saying “You are not as smart as you think you are. There are some things you do not know.”)

Vs. 22 The Jews do not want to believe anything unless they see a sign from heaven to prove it is true.

The Greeks do not want to believe anything that does not agree with their own ideas and thinking.

Vs. 23. We preach Christ was crucified. To the Jews it is a “stumbling block?. They come to a stop over such a story. They can not believe that if Jesus was God’s son, he would die on a cross.

To the Greeks it is a foolish story.

Vs. 24. But to those who have received forgiveness and salvation both Jew and Greek we know it is the power and wisdom of God.

Vs. 25 This “foolish” plan of God to have His Son die and come to life again is much wiser than any plan man could make. God’s “weakness” is much stronger than man’s strength.

(It may seem that God’s Son was “weak” to allow others to take him and put him on a cross to die.

Even the people, and priests as they watched Jesus on the cross said to him, ‘You saved others, now come down from the cross and we will believe you.”

“He saved others, but he cannot save himself.”

The truth is he could have saved himself. He did not have to come down from heaven at all. But he did.

Men did not take his life, Jesus gave it up. Jesus said, “No man takes my life from me. I lay down my life, and I have the power to take it up again.” John 10:18

If Jesus had saved himself he could not have saved others.

He died to take our place. We should have died. But He volunteered to die in our place.

We should die as punishment for our sin. But Jesus took the punishment for us.

If Jesus would not have died, then we would have to die for our own sin.

It looks foolish and sounds like a foolish story that God’s Son all powerful would die on a cross.

Man’s mind can not understand why God would do that.

Because man’s mind does not understand God’s great love for man.

It is because of His great love that He was willing to do such a hard painful thing.

To those of us who believe and have received forgiveness and hope of eternal life we know the power of this great love and sacrifice.

Others may think it is foolish, but we are so thankful.)

Vs. 26, 27, 28 Paul says you have been called to be a messenger for God. You are not rich, are not powerful, or have great minds of wisdom. You are ordinary, regular kind of people.

God has called you to use you. You will show the power of God in your life and in your preaching. People will look at you a weak and ordinary person and see how the power of God works in your life.

God has chosen the weak things of this world to show his power and people will wonder at how it could be. (Like the bumble bee.)

How can a man with no great learning get up and speak a message that is full of power that makes men’s hearts feel the power of God?

God uses an ordinary man to show his power to others.

Vs. 29 This way no man can be proud because he knows he has no power in himself. It is only God’s power in him. Man can not take the credit and glory for it.

Vs. 30 In Christ, we have wisdom, righteousness, are holy and clean, we are redeemed.

Vs. 31 It is written (in Jeremiah 9:23) He that glories (boasts, and is proud) let him glory (boast, be proud) of what the Lord has done.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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