"THE FIRST EPISTLE TO THE CORINTHIANS" Chapter One OBJECTIVES IN STUDYING THIS CHAPTER 1) To understand how division is unacceptable in the Body of Christ 2) To see why our boasting should be only in the Lord SUMMARY In his opening remarks, Paul expresses gratitude that the Corinthians had been enriched by God, came behind in no gift, and were eagerly waiting for the revelation of the Lord (1-9). He immediately begins dealing with the first problem, that of division which manifested itself in what we might call "preacheritis" (10-17). Discerning that the underlying cause concerns the exaltation of human wisdom, Paul demonstrates the folly of boasting in such (18-31). OUTLINE I. INTRODUCTION (1-9) A. GREETINGS FROM PAUL AND SOSTHENES (1-3) 1. To the church at Corinth, and those who in every place call on the name of Jesus (2) 2. Grace and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus (3) B. THANKSGIVING FOR GOD'S GRACE TOWARDS THEM (4-9) 1. Enriching them in all knowledge, even as Christ's testimony was confirmed in them (5-6) 2. Coming short in no gift as they eagerly await the revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ (7) 3. Who will confirm them so they may be blameless (8) 4. For God is faithful, who called them into the fellowship of His Son (9) II. THE NATURE OF THE DIVISION AT CORINTH (10-17) A. AS REPORTED TO PAUL (10-12) 1. His plea for unity (10) 2. For those of Chloe's household have reported contentions among them (11) 3. Evidently involving "preacheritis" (12) B. PAUL'S INITIAL REACTION (13-17) 1. Rhetorical questions to illustrate the absurdity of what we would call "preacheritis" (13) 2. Gratitude that he personally baptized few of them (14-17) a. Lest any should accuse him of baptizing in his own name (14-15) b. Administering baptism was not his chief calling anyway (16-17) III. THE FOLLY OF BOASTING IN HUMAN WISDOM (18-31) A. GOD WILL DESTROY THE WISDOM OF THE WISE (18-25) 1. Granted, the message of the cross is foolish to some, but not to the saved (18) 2. But God will the destroy the wisdom of the world (19-20) 3. God chose to use His "foolishness" and His "weakness" to save those who believe (21-25) a. Because the world through its wisdom knew not God (21a) b. So God chose to save mankind through a "foolish" message about Christ crucified (21b-24) c. But even God's "foolishness" and "weakness" is wiser and stronger than men (25) B. THE CORINTHIANS' OWN CALLING DEMONSTRATES THIS TRUTH (26-29) 1. Not many of them were "wise, mighty, or noble" (26) 2. But God has chosen those things that are "foolish, weak, base, despised, and which are not," so that no flesh should glory in His presence (27-29) C. INSTEAD, BOAST IN THE LORD (30-31) 1. He provides for us the true wisdom, plus righteousness and sanctification and redemption (30) 2. We should glory only in Him (31)
REVIEW QUESTIONS FOR THE CHAPTER Move your mouse pointer underneath each question to see the answer.
1) List the main points of this chapter. 2) Who joined with Paul in addressing this letter to the Corinthians? (1) 3) What was one thing the church did not lack in Corinth? (7) 4) What is the first problem Paul deals with in this epistle? (10) 5) Who reported this problem to him? (11) 6) How was their divisiveness expressed? (12) 7) Whom had Paul personally baptized at Corinth? (14,16) 8) Why was Paul thankful that he had not baptized any other? (15) 9) In what two ways do men view the preaching of the cross? (18) 10) How did the preaching of Christ crucified appear to the Jews and the Greeks? (23) 11) How has God chosen to confound the wise of this world? (27-28) 12) Upon what grounds may we boast? (31)