Daily Bible Study Tips: Comments on I Corinthians

Overview of Paul’s Letters: Romans and I Corinthians

Overview of Paul’s Letters: II Corinthians - Philemon

Comments on Romans

1 Corinthians 1:10-18
1 Corinthians 3:1-9
1 Corinthians 4:5-13a
1 Corinthians 8:1-8
1 Corinthians 9:24-27
1 Corinthians 12:3-13
1 Corinthians 13
1 Corinthians 15:12-20

Comments on 2 Corinthians

Comments on Galatians and Ephesians

Comments on Philippians, Colossians, 1 Thessalonians, and 1 Timothy

Copyright information, disclaimers, and sponsors
Return to homepage

1 Corinthians 1:10-18

Remember that I said sometimes Paul wrote about situations he was told about, not just questions they had asked?  Today's reading is one of the situations.

1 Corinthians 3:1-9

One Sunday when I was out of town, I attended a church whose pastor was preaching the sixth sermon in a series on Revelation.  Personally, I think a one-sermon series on Revelation is plenty, and in addition, he said only one thing that I agreed with.  But that one thing has stayed with me for more than 25 years:  "If you don't agree with what I say, it's not worth breaking communion over."  Wow!  What an insight! Remember the uproar when President Clinton took communion in a Catholic church?  In modern times you need a play book to know which denominations are in communion with each other.   It turns out that the early church had the same problem.  Paul says that these types of divisions show that we are still behaving like infants in Christ.  As United Methodists, we remain in communion with everyone who wishes to be in communion with us, because we are not following Paul or Apollos or even Wesley.  When it comes to communion, we are following the One whose table it is.

1 Corinthians 4:5-13a

I'm always a little amused and a little sad to hear someone complain about this problem or that problem in the Church as if it's something brand new that needs a new solution.  Trust me, folks, whatever problem the Church has now, it has had before – usually in the first century – and the solution can be found in scripture.  The problem that Paul is talking about in our first reading is the formation of factions.  The Corinthians had decided that some of them were for Paul, and some were for Apollos, and some for Peter, and some for Christ.  He tells them, "Knock it off!"  Verses 7, 8, and 10 are sarcasm, not admiration.  We all know that where two United Methodists are gathered, there will be three opinions.  Listen, understand, then explain.  Find common ground.  Don't divide into factions, because if we don't have common ground in Christ Jesus, we have nothing. 

1 Corinthians 8:1-8

Paul's point in today's passage is that you, O Mature Christian, know good and well that idols are without power, and therefore that meat sacrificed to idols is just meat.  You can eat it.  But there may be immature Christians who look to you for guidance in their spiritual growth.  If they see you eating this meat, they may say, "My friend Mature must think that this idol has power, because he is partaking of the sacrifice.  So maybe the idol does have power after all."  It is a sin, not justice or mercy or humility, to lead your immature Christian friend astray by your behavior, even if the behavior itself is okay.  And it's not just about meat, folks. See also Micah 6:1-8.

1 Corinthians 9:24-27

Both of today's scriptures may sound at first blush like blessings and cursings.  There surely are blessing/cursing passages in scripture, but these are not among them.  These two scriptures are statistically accurate observations:  if you (plural) choose a, you will live and be successful.  If you choose b, you will die.  If you choose church fellowship, you will live.  If you choose gangs, you will die.  If you choose self-discipline and exercise, you will live.  If you choose drinking and driving, you will die.  It's up to you.  Don't say you weren't warned. 

The amazing thing is not that we are given a choice, it is that statistically, the Biblical predictions about what will happen to us if we choose b are extremely accurate.  Godly living measurably increases your life expectancy. See also Deuteronomy 30:15-20.

1 Corinthians 12:3-13

Today we read one of the most famous passages about the Holy Spirit.  All Christians have spiritual gifts, and just as each person has all the bodily parts necessary to carry out the functions of living, each congregation has all the spiritual gifts necessary to carry out the functions of ministry.  Never believe that your gift is not vital to the functioning of your church home.

1 Corinthians 13

The previous reading was about spiritual gifts.  Paul ended by saying that he will now show us the greater gifts.  Today's reading begins with the next verse.  Paul says that the greatest spiritual gift is love.  John says God is love.  Jesus says love one another as he loved us; he also says (quoting Deuteronomy 6) to love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength, and your neighbor as yourself.  There may not be a theme to these study tips, but there is certainly a theme in the Bible, and that is God's gracious love for us.

1 Corinthians 15:12-20

The hoorah about Episcopalian clergy who deny the bodily resurrection of Christ shows that there's nothing new under the sun.  Most of the members of the Corinthian church were not only Gentiles but also Greeks, and Greeks in general had a lot of trouble with the idea of resurrection.  The Corinthian church was troubled because some folks were following Paul around and saying that there is no resurrection from the dead, and this tended to fit what the Corinthians had previously believed.  Paul argues that if those who have already died are out of luck (vs. 18), we're all out of luck, because the entire premise of salvation is that Christ died for our sins and was raised again.  Without the resurrection, we've got nothing, Paul says in vs. 17, but because the bodily resurrection of Christ is a fact, we have salvation (vs. 20).



Copyright 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 by Regina L. Hunter.  All rights reserved.

Opinions expressed on this page are solely those of the author, Regina Hunter, and may or may not be shared by the sponsors or the Bible-study participants.  Thanks to the Holy Spirit for any useful ideas presented here, and thanks to all the readers for their support and enthusiasm.  All errors are, of course, the sole responsibility of the author.

Our Sponsors:

St. John’s United Methodist Church, “Transforming Lives Through Christ.”
2626 Arizona NE, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87110
Traditional worship services are held Sundays at 8:15 and 11:00 a.m. in the sanctuary.  Casual worship services are held Sundays at 9:30 a.m. in the Family Life Center.  Jazz Vespers are held monthly on the second Saturday at 5:00 p.m. in the sanctuary. St. John’s feels especially called to the worship of God and to the service of our neighbors through our music program.

Storm Dragon SoftwareTM
Get a free demo of our computer adventure game, full of hidden-object puzzles, tiling and jigsaw puzzles, cycling puzzles, and more.

Age Games: Animal ReaderTM
Computer games that children can play all by themselves!

Ducks in a Row, Inc., developers of Home Safe SoftwareTM.
Keep It SafeTM - Home inventory software so easy anybody can use it.