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Prophecy and Tongues (1 Cor. 14:1-40)

The importance of some spiritual gifts were being exaggerated in Corinth while others were minimized. Those with more “impressive” gifts saw their gifts as proof of their spiritual superiority and as a means of serving themselves rather than others. So far in this section, Paul has reminded the church that God has given them numerous indispensable gifts (ch. 12), and t...

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The Way of Love (1 Cor. 13:1-13)

Many in the church at Corinth were exaggerating the importance of certain spiritual gifts such as tongues, prophecy, and knowledge, and the church was fracturing because of this. Those with these gifts deemed themselves more important than those who didn’t, and those who didn’t were tempted to feel useless and unimportant in the church. In chapter 12, Paul reminded the...

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Spiritual Gifts (1 Cor. 12:1-31)

The Corinthians found no shortage of things to be divided over. There was Team Paul vs. Team Apollos (1:12), weak Christians vs. strong Christian (chs. 8-10), and wealthy Corinthians vs. poor Corinthians (11:17-34). In chapters 12-14 we’re introduced to yet another point of division: spiritual gifts. Instead of appreciating the many ways God gifted his people, many in th...

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Honor and Respect In Worship (1 Cor. 11:2-34)

So far, Paul has written to the Corinthians about divisions (1:10-4:21), sexual immorality (chs. 5-7), and Christian freedom (chs. 8-10). In this next section of his letter (chs. 11-14), he turns to address how the Corinthians should conduct themselves in the context of public worship, beginning with their conduct regarding head coverings and the Lord’s Supper....

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Do All For the Glory of God (1 Cor. 10:1-11:1)

Paul has used the controversial issue of eating in pagan temples to teach on Christian freedom and love. In chapter 8, he argued that Christ-like love forbids us to do anything, however lawful, if it will harm other believers. We ought to be more concerned with building each other up than asserting our “rights”. In chapter 9, he pointed to himself as an example of this...

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Do All For the Sake of the Gospel (1 Cor. 9:1-27)

Paul began this section of his letter (8:1-11:1) by addressing foods sacrificed to idols and emphasized the priority of sacrificing one’s rights for the good of the “weaker” brother who could not eat those foods with a clear conscience. Love for others, he said, should take precedent over our “rights”. Paul now turns to show how he has modeled this in his own lif...

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Knowing Is Loving (1 Cor. 8:1-13)

In chapters 5-7, Paul addressed issues relating to sexuality. In addition to being sexually promiscuous, Corinth was also steeped in idol-worship, and Paul now turns in this section to address how to live faithfully in such a culture (8:1-11:1). Specifically, he addresses the matter of eating food that’s been sacrificed to idols. In doing so, he addresses the more founda...

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Applying the Gospel to Marriage and SIngleness (1 Cor. 7:1-40)

First-century Corinth was well-known for its sexual immorality, so it was no surprise that Paul had to address reports of it within the church (1 Cor. 5-6). Others in the church, however, perhaps as an over-reaction to Corinth’s blatant immorality, promoted an ascetic lifestyle which looked down on sex, even within marriage. Paul now turns to address this group in the ch...

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Don't Sue Your Brother (1 Cor. 6:1-11)

In 1 Corinthians 5:1-13, Paul rebuked the church for its failure to deal seriously with the sin of the of sexually immoral man in their midst. He concluded by saying that churches are responsible to pass judgment among themselves. In 6:1-11, Paul expands on this topic and rebukes them for “outsourcing” judgment to unbelieving courts. ...

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How Can We Know God? (1 Cor. 2:6-16)

Paul has been emphatic that the gospel stands opposed to worldly thinking or “wisdom” (1:18-25). The cross, which demands a humble confession of our own helplessness, is at odds with and offensive to the Greek understanding of wisdom and power. As evidence of this, Paul pointed out that the church was predominantly made up of Corinth’s poor and unlearned (1:26-31), a...

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