Lesson 7

CHAPTER SEVEN

I AND II CORINTHIANS

OBJECTIVES:

Upon completion of this chapter you will be able to:

C Name the author of the books of I and II Corinthians.

C Identify to whom the books were written.

C State the purposes for I and II Corinthians.

C Write the Key Verses of the books of I and II Corinthians from memory.

C State the Life and Ministry Principles for these books.

I CORINTHIANS

INTRODUCTION

AUTHOR: Paul

TO WHOM: Believers at Corinth

PURPOSE: Paul deals with problems which have been brought to his attention and questions which the Corinthian believers have asked.

KEY VERSE: 13:13

LIFE AND MINISTRY PRINCIPLE: Love is the greatest spiritual key to effective Christian life and ministry.

MAIN CHARACTERS: Paul, Timothy, Apollos, Stephanas (See also the names in closing greetings in chapter 1 6.)

OUTLINE

I. Introduction: 1:1-9

A. The writers: Paul and Sosthenes: 1:1

B. The readers: 1:2

1. To the church of God at Corinth.

2. Them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus.

3. Those called to be saints.

4. All that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ.

C. The greeting: Grace and peace from God and Jesus: 1 :3

D. The thanksgiving : 1:4-8

1. The nature of the thanksgiving : 1:4

2. The basis for the thanksgiving: 1 :4

3. The thanksgiving for their past enrichment: 1:5-6

4. Thanksgiving for their present condition: 1:7-8

E. The affirmation of faith: 1:9

II. Church divisions: 1:10-4:21

A. Reaction to the report of their divisions: 1:10-17

1. An appeal for unity: 1:10

2. The source of his information about their divisions: 1:11

3. The nature of their divisions: 1:12

4. Questioning the divisions: 1:13

5. Their divisions not due to his ministry: 1:14-17

B. Arguments against church divisions: 1:18 -4:5

1. Division is inconsistent with the Gospel: 1:1 8-3:4

a. The Gospel is not worldly wisdom : 1:18-2 :5

(1) The proof from reactions to the Gospel: 1:18-25

(2) The proof from the composition of the church: 1:26-31

(3) The proof from Paul’s work: 2:1-5

b. The Gospel is heavenly wisdom : 2:6-3:4

(1) The recipients of this wisdom : 2:6

(2) The nature of the wisdom: 2:6-12

(3) The acquisition of this wisdom : 2:13-3 :4

2. Description of true ministers: 3 :5-4:5

a. The ministers are laborers in God’s field: 3:5-9

(1) The function of ministers: 3 :5

(2) The work and reward of ministers: 3:6-8

(3) Summary of the teaching: 3:9

b. Ministers are builders of God’s sanctuary: 3:10-23

(1) The work of the builder will be tested: 3:10-15

(2) The destruction of God’s sanctuary is punished: 3:16-17

(3) An exhortation concerning their view of ministers: 3:18-23

c. The ministers are stewards of the mysteries of God: 4:1-5

(1) The view to be taken of ministers: 4:1

(2) The demand for faithfulness in the steward: 4:2

(3) The Lord as judge of stewards: 4:3-4

(4) The appeal to withhold judgment until the Lord comes:

4:5

C. The appeal to the Corinthians: 4:6-21

1. Application of the argument to their divisions: 4:6-21

a. The purpose of the application : 4:6

b. The failure to recognize talents as gifts: 4:7

c. The results: 4 :8

d. The experience of the apostles: 4:9-13

(l) The low position of the apostles : 4:9

(2) The contrast between them and the Corinthians: 4:10

(3) The description of their experiences: 4:11-13

2. The appeal to follow his example: 4:14-17

a. His aim in writing: 4:14

b. His relation as their spiritual father: 4 : 1 5 -1 6

c. His reason for sending Timothy to them: 4:17

3. The warning that their attitude will determine his actions: 4:18-21

a. The puffed-up attitude of some believers: 4:18

b. The coming of Paul to Corinth: 4:19-21

III. Moral problems in the church: 5:1-6:20

A. Immorality: 5:1-13

1. Discipline of the incestuous person: 5:1-8

a. The nature of the sin: 5:1

b. Failure of the church to act: 5:2

c. Judgment of the guilty person: 5:3-5

d. Appeal to the church to act: 5:6-8

2. The general principle in handling such cases: 5:9-13

a. His former instructions: 5:9-11

b. The call to act upon this principle: 5:12-13

B. The evil of litigation before worldly courts: 6:1-11

1. The question of such litigations: 6 :1

2. The reasons for settling problems in the church: 6:2-6

a. Because of the church’s future work of judging: 6:2-3

b. Because their lawsuits set up unqualified judges: 6:4-5

c. Because it shows the church’s failure to exercise judgment: 6:5-6

3. The results: 6:7-8

4. The warning against unrighteousness: 6:9-11

C. Holiness of the body: 6:12-20

1. The limitation on Christian liberty: 6:12

2. The application of the principle in two areas: 6:13-14

a. To foods: 6:13

b. To sex: 6:13-14

3. The nature of the believer’s body forbids fornication: 6:15

4. A contrast between two unions: 6:16-17

5. Warning to flee fornication: 6:18

6. The nature of the sin of fornication: 6:18

7. The proper use of the body: 6:19-20

IV. Marriage: 7:1-40

A. The problem of marriage and celibacy (remaining single for spiritual purposes):

7:1-9

1. The approval of the celibate life: 7 :1

2. Instructions concerning married life: 7:2-6

a. The reason for preferring marriage : 7:2

b. The nature of marriage relations: 7:2

c. Duties in the marriage relation: 7:3-4

d. Regulation of sex relations: 7:5-6

3. The recognition of both marriage and celibacy as proper: 7:7

4. Advice to the unmarried: 7:8-9

B. The problem of marriage and separation: 7:10-16

1. A charge to Christian couples: 7:10-11

a. Authority for the charge: 7:10

b. Contents of the charge: 7:10-11

2. A charge to those of mixed marriages: 7:12-16

a. Nature of the charge: 7:12

b. Contents of the charge: 7:12-16

(1) Separation not to be caused by the believer: 7:12-14

(2) Separation when caused by the unbeliever: 7:15-16

C. The believer’s life and earthly position: 7:17-24

1. The basic principle of life for the believer: 7:17

2. The application of the principle to life: 7:18-24

a. The principle applied to form religious distinctions: 7:18-20

b. The principle applied to the social status of believers: 7:21-24

D. Advice concerning the unmarried: 7:25-40

1. Advice concerning virgins: 7:25-35

a. The nature of the advice: 7:25-27

b. The reason for the advice: 7:28-31

c. Freedom resulting from his advice: 7:33-35

2. Advice to parents of marriageable daughters: 7:36-38

a. Conditions when marriage should be permitted: 7:36

b. Conditions when permission to marry should be denied: 7:37

c. Both are proper: 7:38

3. Advice to widows: 7:39-40

V. Food offered to idols: 8:1 -11:1

A. The relationship of love to knowledge: 8:1-13

1. The need for love with knowledge : 8;1-3

2. The claim to liberty through knowledge: 8:4-8

a. Liberty to eat: 8:4-6

b. Danger to a weaker brother : 8:7

c. Food does not determine relationship to God: 8 :8

3. Warning against causing a weaker brother to sin: 8:9-12

a. The warning to those with knowledge: 8:9

b. The effect of this knowledge: 8:10

c. Consequences of acting on knowledge: 8:11-12

d. The voluntary restriction of liberty: 8:13

B. Paul’s example of voluntary restriction of liberties: 9:1-27

1. His authority as an apostle: 9:1-3

2. His rights as an apostle: 9:4-12

a. The rights claimed: 9:4-7

b. Justification of his claim : 9 : 8 – 1 2

3. His reasons for waiving these rights: 9:12-23

a. He would not hinder the Gospel: 9:12-14

b. It gives him ground for boasting: 9:15-18

c. It enables him to win more to Christ: 9:19-23

4. An appeal for them to follow his example: 9:24-27

C. The history of Israel as a warning against abuse of liberty: 10:1-13

1. The reminder of Israel’s history: 10:1-5

a. Privileges of Israel: 10:1-4

b. The fate of Israel: 10 :5

2. Warnings from the history of Israel: 10:6-10

a. Lessons in Israel’s history: 10:6-10

(1) The general warning against lusting : 10:6

(2) Specific examples: 10:7-10

b. The significance of Israel’s experiences: 10:11

3. The resulting admonition to those under testing: 10:12-13

a. Realize the danger of falling: 10:12

b. Encouragement to those being tempted: 10:13

4. The appeal to avoid idolatry: 10:14-22

a. Flee from idolatry: 10:14

b. The argument against participation: 10:15-22

(l) Recipient of the argument: 10:15

(2) The significance of participation: 10:16-22

D. Summary of general principles governing conduct: 10 :23-1 1:1

1. Limitations upon Christian liberty: 10:23

2. Proper consideration for others: 10:24

3. Instructions concerning meats sold for food: 10:25-30

a. Instructions to those eating at home: 10:25-26

b. Instructions to those eating with unbelievers: 10:27-30

E. Concluding instructions: 10:3 1-11 :1

1. Do all to God’s glory: 10:31

2. Maintain proper relations with all men: 10:32-33

3. Follow the apostolic example: 11:1

VI. Public worship: 11:2-14:40

A. The covering of women: 11:2-16

1. Praise for their obedience : 11:2

2. The principle of subordination: 11:3-6

3. Establishing the principle of subordination: 11:7-15

a. From the creative relation: 11:7-12

b. From the spiritual relationship: 11:13-15

c. Conclusion of the discussion: 11:16

B. Disorders connected with the Lord