Paul spends an entire chapter on the resurrection of the dead. In the previous lesson, we provided an overview of chapter fifteen with its key themes. In this lesson, we dig deeper into the chapter to explore further why a correct understanding of the resurrection is so central to the Christian faith and obedience to Jesus' teachings, how an incorrect understanding can lead to worldliness in the church, and how we can use the Scriptures and reason to defend the resurrection to non-believers. This lesson concludes with the final chapter in the book of 1 Corinthians, where Paul comments on weekly collections of money for the poor, house churches, and the holy kiss.
After addressing many issues in the church in Corinth, Paul turns to one last problem, that some Christians in the church did not believe in the resurrection of the dead. Paul spends an entire chapter explaining the centrality of the resurrection to the Christian faith, including what raised from the dead means and why it matters so much.
While the resurrection of the dead is one of the elementary teachings of the Christian faith (Hebrews 6:1-2), this foundational teaching is misunderstood by many Christians. Paul's stirring and strong defense of the bodily resurrection of Christ and his followers provides us today with the confidence and courage to live as Christ lived, and to be steadfast and immovable in our work for the Lord. This lesson covers an overview of the chapter with its key themes, with the next lesson providing a deeper look at parts of the chapter.
For further study:
In this passage, Paul instructs the church in Corinth that their women should keep silent in the church, that they are to be submissive, and they are to learn from their husbands. He goes on further to state that it is shameful for women to speak in church. Does Paul really mean this? Was this instruction only for the church in Corinth at that time? What does Paul mean by "being silent"? We tackle these questions by looking at this and related Scriptures that speak to the Biblical role of men and women, and God's love, heart, and expectation for both.
1 Corinthians 14:1-33 includes two somewhat controversial issues: speaking in tongues and what it was like when Christians came together for worship. The lesson addresses three questions in regards to the gift of tongues: 1) What is speaking in tongues? 2) What was the purpose of speaking in tongues? and 3) Is speaking in tongues available to the Church today? We are also asked what we can learn from this passage as to what Church should look like when we come together as Christians.
Through the first eleven chapters of his first letter to the Corinthians, Paul addresses significant challenges and problems in the church. In 1 Corinthians 12 he turns to spiritual gifts, their importance in building up the Church, and how essential the Corinthians are to one another. Now, in 1 Corinthians 13, Paul turns to "a more excellent way" - the way of love.
In chapter twelve, Paul turns his attention to the miraculous gifts of the Holy Spirit. What does the Bible teach about the miraculous gifts, including gifts of healing, speaking in tongues, and the working of miracles? Are these spiritual gifts available today? Many Christians understand the miraculous gifts to have died within a generation of the Apostles. But is this what the Bible teaches?
This passage also paints a beautiful picture of Christian unity within the body of Christ, a major theme in the book of 1 Corinthians. What can we learn from Paul about building a healthy, unified church?
In this passage, Paul tells the Corinthian Church that some of them are weak, ill, and spiritually asleep (dead) because of their failure to properly celebrate the Lord's Supper. He then explains how the Lord's Supper can bring life. This lesson is divided into three parts: 1) Paul's rebuke of the Church (with specifics as to what they were doing wrong), 2) Paul's instruction on the Lord's Supper, and 3) Practicals we can glean from the Scriptures in regards to celebrating the Lord's Supper.
For Further Study
What the Early Christians Believed About Communion by David Bercot
In this passage, Paul tells the Church that a man who prays with his head covered dishonors his head, which is Christ, and a woman who prays with her head uncovered dishonors her head, which is man. In addition to telling who should cover and uncover, Paul tells the Church when and why.
Was this command rooted in the culture of Paul's day? Was this teaching specific to the Corinthian Church? How did most Christians understand this passage for the first 1900 years since this passage was penned? Should men uncover and women cover today when they pray? We will tackle all these questions in our study of this passage.
For further study:
Bruce Terry, No Such Custom (an exposition of 1 Cor. 11:2-16)
Bruce Terry, thesis dissertation on 1 Corinthians (see Chapter 2 for customs on Corinth)
Michael Marlowe, Headcovering Customs of the Ancient World
Tertullian, On the Veiling of Virgins
Part 1 of this lesson tackles chapters 8 and 10, in which Paul discusses the practice of eating food sacrificed to idols, an issue that is causing division in the church. While sacrificing food to idols is not common in the United States, Christians face this issue in many parts of the world. There are also important lessons for us to learn in resolving Church conflict.
In Part 2 of this lesson, we look at two other related passages: Acts 15 and Romans 14. In Acts 15 we are given a beautiful example of how the Church addressed a difficult issue that could have caused significant division among sincere believers. Instead, the conflict (and its resolution) brought about great unity blessed by God.
In Romans 14, we learn what Paul meant (and did not mean) by "opinion matters". This passage is often invoked by Christians in interpreting Scripture. It is important to understand how Paul defined opinion issues so we can properly apply his instruction to the Church today with the goal of Biblical unity.
In this passage of Scripture, Paul warns the Corinthians of sins that can destroy their relationship with God and disqualify them from the ultimate prize of eternal life. Paul uses four examples, including the story of the Israelites escaping from Egypt and wandering through the desert, to teach us to persevere to the end. Paul's instruction gives us hope to overcome temptation and endure hardship, in order to win the ultimate prize of being with God forever.
In this passage, we are inspired by Paul's example to win people to Christ. Paul puts forth his example as a self-supporting minister (as a tent-maker) and his commitment to "become all things to all men" that he might "by all means save some." What does this example look like? Why does Paul choose this lifestyle? What lessons can we learn from Paul to put into practice in our churches and individual lives?
This lesson was combined with the lesson on 1 Corinthians 10, which can be found here.
What does the Bible say about being single and a Christian? In this passage, Paul provides instructions to those who are single in the church. We may be surprised at what Paul (and Jesus) teach about the single life, that this is a preferred lifestyle to the married life, if lived in devotion to God. Whether young, old, married or not, this lesson inspires us all to consider God's plan for being single in the Kingdom of God.
In this passage, Paul addresses specific issues related to those who are married in the church, including married couples fasting, sexual relations, and divorce and remarriage. This lesson covers Jesus' teaching on marriage, the foundation on which Paul builds. Jesus' teaching shocked his disciples, as it was a radical departure from societal norms. The challenge for us in understanding this (and any other) Biblical topic, is to ensure that all the Scriptures fit together without contradiction. This lesson puts forth the beauty and wisdom of God's plan for marriage.
In the second half of chapter six, Paul addresses immorality in the Corinthian church. Paul explains the importance of the physical body, that Christians are united with Christ, and that our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit. This lesson looks at these blessings and the responsibility Christians have to keep their temples holy. We look specifically at the sin of pornography and images that pollute our bodies.
In 1 Corinthians 6 Paul speaks the truth in love, calling out the church in Corinth for bringing law suits against each other, instead of resolving their disputes internally. This lesson addresses whether Christians should ever bring law suits, as well as what a Christian should consider before making a decision to resort to the courts. We learn from Scripture that God expects his children to resolve disputes in obedience to Christ's teaching and example, a far higher standard than that used by the world's courts.
In 1 Corinthians 5, Paul turns to a new and serious matter: the church's failure to expel from the congregation a brother involved in sexual immorality. This lesson covers the Biblical definition of sexual immortality, Paul's and Jesus' admonition and example of dealing with Christians who refuse to repent of serious sin, the reasons why most churches disobey Paul's clear instruction, and the consequences for failing to do so.
In 1 Corinthians 4, Paul builds on his teaching on church unity from the first three chapters. Paul addresses the Church's boasting, envy, and strife. This lesson tackles the important questions of what Paul meant when he says not to judge and what he meant when he says imitate me. This lesson calls us to serve the Lord in humility and without comparing ourselves to others.
In 1 Corinthians 3, Paul uses four examples from daily life to instruct his listeners on church unity, peacemaking, Jesus Christ as the only foundation of the Church, how we will be judged (and rewarded) by God as to how we build the Church, honoring God by how we care for our physical bodies, and the importance of the Holy Spirit.
In his letter to the Corinthians, Paul has a significant challenge: addressing a long list of problems in a church he deeply loves. This must have been a difficult letter to write! In this lesson, we see how Paul lays the groundwork to prepare the church to receive more specific instruction, which he will provide later in his letter. Here Paul tackles several foundational principles for Christians of any age: our allegiance to Christ above any man, the power of the cross, and the distinction between the wisdom of man and the wisdom of the world. This lesson is recorded in two parts.