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...Keep Reading
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After his military victory against Chedorlaomer’s armies, Abram was met by two kings: Melchizedek, the king of Salem, and the unnamed king of Sodom. While Melchizedek celebrated Abram’s victory and blessed him, the king of Sodom offered him a business transaction: “Give me the persons, but take the goods for yourself.” (Genesis 14:21) Not wanting to be indebted to the king of Sodom, Abram refused to be rewarded by him. ...
After the flood, God told Noah and his descendants to “the fill the earth” (Gen. 9:1). Instead, they proudly settled in one place and attempted to build the tower of Babel (11:1-9). In judgment, God confused their language, causing them to separate from one another and form the nations of the earth (Gen. 10). Following the account of Babel is a genealogy (11:10-32) that brings us to Abraham, the man God will use to bless the nations he has scattered....
In this final section of the Sermon on the Mount so far, Jesus has used a series of contrasts to demand a response from his audience. They are to choose the narrow road as opposed to the wide road (7:13-14), listen to true teachers as opposed to false ones (7:15-20), and to do God’s will over and against merely professing to love him (7:21-23). Jesus turns to one more contrast to conclude his sermon....
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....Keep Reading
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...Keep Reading
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...Keep Reading
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...Keep Reading
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...Keep Reading
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. ...Keep Reading
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...Keep Reading
Though Paul has already addressed sexual immorality in chapter 5, his main emphasis there was not so much on the sin itself but how the church should respond to the man sleeping with his stepmother. In this section, Paul addresses sexual immorality more broadly, urging the church to flee from it and to glorify God with their bodies....Keep Reading
First Corinthians is Paul’s response both to reports he had heard about the church and to questions the church itself had sent him. Having addressed the report of divisions (1:10-4:21), he now turns to address reports of immorality within the church (5:1-6:20)....Keep Reading