"THE FIRST EPISTLE TO THE CORINTHIANS" Chapter Six OBJECTIVES IN STUDYING THIS CHAPTER 1) To see how brethren in Christ should settle their differences 2) To be impressed with the power of the gospel to transform the lives of people 3) To appreciate the proper use of our bodies in service to God SUMMARY Having seen that the brethren at Corinth were often filled with strife, envy and divisions (3:3), and that Paul frequently describes them as being "puffed up" (4:6,18), it is not surprising that they were also guilty of the fault Paul deals with in this chapter: taking brethren to court before unbelievers. With an expression of shock and disbelief, he instructs them through a series of questions designed to help them see how absurd and wrong such a thing was (1-11). The latter half of the chapter deals with what must have been a major problem in a city like Corinth: immorality. What might have been acceptable behavior with their bodies prior to becoming Christians is no longer acceptable, for even their bodies belong to the Lord, whose Spirit indwells them, and who will one day raise them from the dead by His own power. Therefore they should glorify God with their bodies (12-20). OUTLINE I. TAKING BRETHREN TO COURT (1-11) A. PAUL'S REBUKE OF THIS PRACTICE (1-6) 1. Dare they take their personal problems to be decided upon by the unrighteous? (1) a. When the saints will one day judge the world? (2) b. When the saints will one day judge angels? (3a) c. How much more should they be able to judge matters of this life! (3b) 2. More rebuke in the form of questions (4-5) a. Do they seek the advice of those least esteemed by the church to judge? (4) b. Don't they have even one wise man among them who could serve as judge? (5) 3. The shame of it all: brethren suing each other before unbelievers! (6) B. FURTHER COMMENTS CONCERNING LAWSUITS BETWEEN BRETHREN (7-11) 1. It is bad enough that they had lawsuits to begin with! (7-8) a. It would be better to accept wrong and be defrauded (7) b. But no, they found themselves doing wrong and defrauding their own brethren! (8) 2. A warning and a reminder (9-11) a. The unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God (9-10) b. They had been such, but had been washed, sanctified, and justified in the name of Jesus and by the Spirit of God (11) II. GLORIFYING GOD WITH YOUR BODY (12-20) A. THE BODY IS FOR THE LORD (12-14) 1. What may be lawful may not be helpful, and should not overpower us (12) 2. The stomach may need food, but that need is only temporary (13a) 3. The body, which is not for sexual immorality but for the Lord, will be raised up by the power of God (13b-14) B. OUR BODIES ARE TO BE MEMBERS OF CHRIST, NOT A HARLOT! (15-18) 1. Shall we take the members of Christ and make them one with a harlot? (15-16) 2. No, for we are to be one in spirit with the Lord (17) 3. Therefore, flee immorality, which is a sin against your own bodies (18) C. THE BODY IS THE TEMPLE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT (19-20) 1. The body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is from God, and who is in the body (19a) 2. You are not your own, you were bought at a price (19b-20a) 3. Therefore, glory God in your body (20b)
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) What was the nature of the problem being discussed in the first part of this chapter? (6) 3) What is Paul's solution to such a problem? (5) 4) What would have been better than displaying their differences before the eyes of the world? (7) 5) What were some of the Corinthians before they became Christians? (9-11) 6) Though something may be lawful, what two other criteria does Paul mention which should govern our use of it? (12) 7) To whom do our bodies belong? (15) 8) What is the body of one who is a Christian? (19) 9) What then should we do with our bodies? Why? (20)