1 Corinthians

Gospel + Life

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1 Corinthians

Corinth Background and Connection to US Culture:

- Freedman repopulation of Corinth (just above slave)

- Fiercely independent spirit (no natural aristocracy/nobility)

- Not everyone was rich, but splendid wealth of city was to the advantage of all

- Vice and religion flourished side by side in Corinth, it was the NY/LA/Las Vegas of the ancient world

- The church in Corinth was predominantly Gentile, former idolators. Not only were they in Corinth, but a whole lot of Corinth was in them! This letter is surgery to remove that, to squeeze the culture/paganism out of them.


Paul is deconstructing how the Corinthian church assesses value and aims at breaking the pride that clouds Corinthian thought. He shows us that the Gospel, the folly of the world is truly the wisdom of God and the wisdom of the world is true folly. The problem for the Corinthian church was they were assessing value in the church based on the wisdom of the world and the folly that accompanied it. What followed was a church in Corinth making a mess of the Gospel and losing sight of the simplicity of the truth they had been given. For us, 1 Corinthians is a radical call to humility and Gospel dependence. Will we answer that call and follow Christ humbly and wholeheartedly?

Key take-aways notes and points.

- Overall: bringing Gospel to bear in marketplace

- Gospel in all of life (sex, lawsuits, divisions, food to idols, worship, divorce, religious enthusiasm)

- Gospel as ethical life (becoming what you are). If Romans is theological explanation of the Gospel, then 1 Cor is applied/practical explanation of the Gospel.

- Thus, Gospel is at stake in their bad behavior. Their behavior affects the visible expression of the Gospel to their culture.

- Gospel is opposed to self-focused, experiential Christianity/spirituality

- Gospel is opposed to spirituality that doesn’t intersect with everyday life (whether expressed in asceticism/withdrawal or in license/liberty) Take the Gospel from the 'Stained Glass'

- This explains seemingly unconnected issues… Paul uses them as the illustration to make express the various points above.

Series/Passage Breakdown:

1. Introduction Gospel and Life 1:1-17

Big picture of Corinth/connection to US culture

The overall journey of the book and connection to life – squeezing the American out of us

Big Themes: Gospel in everyday life/marketplace, Gospel spirituality. This may be a painful journey through the book of Corinthians and God may call you to leave some things and abandon some opinions that have defined your identity. As this occurs we will turn to 1 Corinthians 1:9 " God who has called you into fellowship with Jesus Christ our Lord is faithful."

Power and Folly

2. Power and Folly 1:18-2:5

Isaiah 55 Connection?

Talk division/power/wisdom

3. Message and Mission 2:6-3:23

Gifted and empowered by God

4. Servants, Stewards, Scum - 4

Kingdom and Culture

5. Kingdom and Culture: Elephant in the Room 5:1-6:11

Dealing w/ sin, leaven vs. triviality

6. Kingdom and Culture: Taking Gospel from Stained Glass 6:12-7:16

Gospel in everyday life, removed from church building

7. Kingdom and Culture: With or Without You 7:17-40

Be where you are, go where you are called

Worship and Idolatry

8. Worship and Idolatry: Rights and Wrong 8-9

9. Worship and Idolatry: Soli Deo Gloria 10-11:1

10. Worship and Idolatry: Playing Roles 11:2-16

Demonstrating mutual submission and Kingdom order

Address authority issues in our culture (what’s the current illustration)

Gospel and Community

11. Gospel and Community: Humility and Love 11:17-14

This is part 1, work through 3 chapters showing how community is built on the four characteristics of Humility, Clarity, Order and Love

12. Gospel and Community: Clarity and Order 11:17-14

This is part 2, work through 3 chapters showing how community is built on the four characteristics of Humility, Clarity, Order and Love

Resurrection and Victory

13. Resurrection and Victory: Resurrection = Gospel 15:1-49

14. Resurrection and Victory: VICTORY!! 15:50ff

Labor is not in vain.

Gospel + Life : Study in 1 Corinthians

Sunday, Aug. 23rd, 9:30am to Sunday, Nov. 22nd, 11am

Veterans Chapel

Chapel Next meets in two services at 0930 and 1100! Join us at BLDG 2359 on Titus