The Book of 1 Corinthians

I Corinthians

Corinth was a major city in northern Greece.  The estimated population was 700,000.  We know that the Apostle Paul helped to plant this church (Acts 18).  He received a word from the Lord encouraging him to stay, and he did stay, for a year and a half.  And although he faced real persecution, he endured, and a church was functioning.  The city of Corinth was known as a very sinful place.  In secular Greek language, to “Corinthianize” was another term for fornication.  And the church had its share of significant problems.   Many scholars believe that I Corinthians was primarily a corrective letter—that is, an attempt to address significant issues in the congregation at Corinth.   But within its pages, I Corinthians has some significant passages.  One interesting passage is in chapter one (verses 18-25) where Paul defends his preaching “the cross”.  It was offensive to Jewish listeners, foolish to Gentiles, but to those being saved, it was the power of God.  And who can forget chapter 13—a soaring description of love.  Chapter 15 is one of the best defenses of the resurrection of Christ, which is central to our faith.

Here is a brief summary outline of I Corinthians:

I.                    Introduction (1:1-9)

II.                  Divisions in the church (1:10-4:21)

III.                Moral disorders in the church (5:1-6:20)

IV.                Instructions concerning marriage (7:1-40)

V.                  Instructions concerning food offered to idols (8:1-11:1)

VI.                Instructions concerning public worship (11:2-14:40)

VII.              The doctrine of the resurrection (15:1-58)

VIII.            The Collection for Jerusalem (16:1-4)

IX.                Conclusion (16:5-24)

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