†††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††† ††††††††† 1Corinthians 1: 1-17
Intro: If I had the chance to go back into a time machine and to pastor one of the N.T. churches / Corinth not my Choice!†† What a Mess!
A)†††† People focused on men/ Immorality / Marriage problems / Lawsuits/ Divisions / Abuse of gifts / abuse of Lords supper!
AA) Corinth was a large city - 700,000 people The city was a Roman colony on Grecian Soil -
B) The city was also a wealthy city - It was called the VANITY FAIR Of the Roman Empire !
B)But Corinth was a wicked city ! It was a† Port city located in a canal
†††† Which separated the regions of Pelophennsus w/ Macedonia
C) And Corinth† sat at the base of a† 4 mile stretch of land that stood between the Adriatic & Aegean Seas
D) Because of its 2 seaports Corinth became a major Commercial center.
1) †To avoid sailing 200 extra miles around† Southern Greece / sailors would put their boats on rollers / roll them 4 miles
E) This made Corinth a convenient & popular stopping place for these sailors / looking to get drunk & indulge in one night stands
F) Because Corinth was a †††† Resort type of city it attracted those seeking pleasure from all over the region.
1) †All these elements added to the climate of Corinth - made it a very wicked city .
The city of Corinth was also filled w/† shrines & pagan temples the most popular was the Temple of Aphrodite " Goddess of love"
A) ††† Employed 1000 temple prostitutes who went out every
†††††††††††††††††† night soliciting business in the name of worship
B) ††† Corinth was a degraded place/† in fact it was† There in Corinth
††††††††† that Paul Wrote the book of Romans / there In† Ch. 1 : 18
††††††††† 1)††††† Man demise - turned from worship the creator but ††††††††† ††††††††† ††††††††† creatures & practice every immoral thing / homosexuality
C) Paul only had to look out His window!
1) †In Rome at the time they had a saying to describe those who lives were Characterized by living Loose / immoral / drunkenness
D) They said you are behaving like a Corinthian.
1) †It is interesting that - those living in the South & places like the mid west - have a similar mentality about us in Calif.
E) Some truth to that especial - in coastal communities - like the ones here.
1) †If you really think about it Corinth - is some what like this place we call Home - many of the same traits.
Corinth was a† Wicked pagan place &† the wickedness† had crept into the church!† MESS!
A) It is here in this epistle that we are introduced to the concept of a carnal Christian!
1) †Paul founded Acts 18 - 18 months - longest beside Eph.†††† Now the
†††† church was a mess. Multiple problems.
B)†††† AS we begin to look at this book which deals w/ many of the
††††††††† problems †that can creep into the Church .
1) †††† I want us to see the main reason for these problems / why they
††††††††† †††††††† were happening / so that we might avoid them!
C) I want us to see the Lordís† heart in dealing w/ situations like this that††
†††† can creep into a church, or a family
††††††††† 1)So that we might deal w/ these types of things swiftly & effectively !
D)†††† Find this to be a very thought provoking book as well as highly
††††††††† practical/ that will challenge our hearts /our attitudes / ideas
††††††††† 1)††††† Help some of us to be more sold out in our faith / others
†††††††††††††††††† to be more effective in ministry!
V.1 1 Cor 1:1† Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother,
†It was the custom of ancient Greece for those writing letters to put their names at the Beg. Rather than the end.
A) Kind of like today sending a fax or an e-mail
B) This was a common opening for Paul to identify himself as an Apostle - the way he began most of his letters / Apostle = sent one
C) Several reasons for this - Real simply Distinguished him from the other Paulís in the Church.
1) †Also it established his calling to speak on some of these issues as one having authority- for those who questioned him .
D) Apostle of JC by the will of God. -† His Credentials if you would
††††††††† 1) Paul also used the term Ambassador
Now it was also common in Paulís writing for him to mention those who were w/ him in his openings here he mentions ††††††††† Sosth.
A) Interesting - you recall from our study in Acts Ch. 18 - Paul like usual went to the Synagogue to teach - rejected as usual by the Jews
1) †Next door - house adjoining wall Crispus - ruler of Synagogue. Saved
B) Sosthenes was the guy who took his place & took Paul to court - when the case was thrown out Sosthenes was beaten up
1) †Debated by who - Some say Jews beat him for lousy case & representation.
C) Others say that it was the Greeks who beat him for wasting their time.
1) †I point this out because - Sosthenes who opposed Paul ended up getting saved & ministered w/ Paul.
D) Good reminder to us who like to share our faith - There will always be those w/ whom you share your faith who will oppose you .
††††††††† 1)Good indication they are convicted ( rock into a pack of dogs one†
††††††††††††† that barks the loudest is the one who got hit.)
E) Donít get discouraged† the Lord is working† on them !† Sometimes they
†††† just need to be beat up by the world
V2 †To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all who in every place call on the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours:
Note that Paul is not addressing the Church of Corinth / but the †Church of God / which is At Corinth††
A) Good reminder the Church belongs to God. Church of God at Vista
A)†††† Sanctified - set apart / idea taken from marriage / set
††††††††† apart for that person
B) Paul You are the temple of H.S. / Paul key in on this later
†††† Set Apart from sin
C) Interesting that As messed up as this church was God saw them as††
†††† sanctified† Also Called Saints
A)†††† Saints are all believers -†† I love how Paul focuses on their position
B) †he could have thrashed these guys but he instead chooses to focus on who they are - their position in Christ before exhortation.
†††† 1) Before appealing to them to be† that / key
C)†††† This is what God has done for you this is who you are in him so
††††††††† lets live like it! Notice what else he says V.3
3† Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
V3 Grace = Grk charis = beauty / Peace - Shalom† ( Greeting )
A) More /† grace who God is peace result Knowing Him!
B) Christian lives are to be lived on the Basis of Grace. Saved by Grace / walk by Grace / made strong because of Grace ./ His Grace is Sufficient. Ö.
Paul further says in v.4 4† I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given to you by Christ Jesus,
A) I thank God for the Grace / not righteousness / not faith /
B) These people had been heathens, and now† they are born again by having received the grace of God.
The interesting thing in contrasting the Corinthian letters w/ some of Paulís other letters is that in this letter is there is no mention of the problem of wrestling legalism.
These people were not all caught up with wrong rituals (you have that in the letter to the Colossians); they were not involved with disputes over
Circumcision (you get that in Galatians); and there was no resting upon dead works (you get that in Philippians).
There are no questions raised in this letter on the deity of Christ, or the virgin birth, or the substitutionary atonement, or the incarnation of Jesus.
Here in Corinthians the problem was license. They had accepted the grace of God to such a degree that they did not think it made any difference how they behaved, and that is part of† what was causing the problem.
†And in V.5-9Paul reveals the RESULT OF THAT GRACE
5† that you were enriched in everything by Him in all utterance and all knowledge,6† even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you,
7† so that you come short in no gift, eagerly waiting for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ, 8† who will also confirm you to the end, that you may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.
9† God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
1st They were Enriched - word that speaks of Spiritual wealth
A) Notice Paul says that we have been enriched in everything by Him
B) Havenít you found that to be true that your relationship w/ Jesus has enriched your life in every way - in every area
1) †Marriage - friendships / the way you approach your job / view of the bible coming to Church - all enriched by him
C) Paul mentions a few specifically in all utterance - knowing Jesus & having received Grace affected - your conversations
1) †On the subway in Moscow - only ones talking
D) Something to talk about - Devotions for couples !
Also enriched in knowledge / BC - We were in the dark - everything was a ministry - but it has all been revealed in Him.
A) Found true meaning of life - knowing Jesus / walking /growing / serving
B) Havenít you found - a lot wiser - since known Him - study His word
1) †Prov. 1:7 7† The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, But fools despise wisdom and instruction.
C) Psa. 119 Thy word is a lamp Ö & a light unto my path.
V. 6 We are given a testimony - Some from / saved out of / you have a testimony
A) YOU ARE A TESTIMONY - WHAT DO PEOPLE SEE !!!!!!!!
V. 7 We have been gifted /††††† Paul says the Corinthians were not lacking in gifts -†† Gifts were flowing !
B) Good reminder The† gifts are not an evidence of spirituality but of
†††† Grace !
1) †Our tendency when we meet some one who is gifted† is to say wow!
††† so spiritual - not always the case .
D)†††† Corinth was behind in no gift but they were messed up !
††††††††† God loves his sheep!†† Gifts result if Grace
They also had a hope v.7,8 also mentions that they were eagerly waiting for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ,† 8† who will also confirm you to the end, that you may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.
A) Hope of Jesus coming back again - to take them to Heaven - see them through to the end - day when position holy - becomes reality -
1) †Blameless to the end
They were waiting for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ, and they understood that when he appeared, he would set things right on earth.
They were not given to naive and liberal delusions that they would, by their own efforts, handle all the problems of the world, and correct all the evil in life, and bring in the kingdom that way.
They were not strategizing self-reliant schemes for earning a status and a position of blessing with God.
††††††††† They understood that it was Christ who would sustain them to the end,
††††††††† and that it was he who would present them blameless before the Father
B) Eagerly waiting speaks of waiting w/ anticipation & also activity - being active . No Christian couch potatoes
C) Is that a description of your life ? Eagerly waiting ( What is your life about ) What are you pursuing ? What takes up your time
1) †Is it reflective of a heart that is eagerly awaiting the coming of our Lord.
D) Not going to define - but you consider your own heart.
The next thing he mentions in v. 9 is that through Grace they were brought into fellowship of Christ . Because God is faithful
This is the key verse of First Corinthians.
The rest of the letter centers around it. It is a statement that God had called them to a very important relationship. and,
Paul mentions this here at the very beginning of this letter because it is the reason for all of the problems in the Corinthian church.
††††††††† They had not understood the implications of their calling, and the††
††††††††††††††††††††† relationship they personally and individually had with Jesus†
†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††††††††Christ himself.
Instead, as we see, beginning with the very next verse, the apostle has to deal with divisions, scandals, lawsuits, immorality, drunkenness, quarreling, and various other things.
Despite this fullness of provision which they had received, they were
experiencing a great failure in the church. They had all this ability to do all these mighty things in the Spirit, but not much was happening out in the city.
Instead of making an impact on Corinth, Corinth was making an impact on the church.
††††††††††††† All these ugly attitudes and actions and activities that were going††††††
††††††††††††††††† on every day and night out in the city were beginning to infiltrate†††
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† into the church,
Instead of the church changing the city, the city was changing the church.††††
††††† Despite all this mighty provision, great knowledge & gifting† there was†
†††††† no manifestation of the power of God.
What was wrong?
Well, what was wrong was the Corinthians lack of understanding of what it meant to have Jesus Christ living among† them.
They have lost the sense† that Jesus is among them, They were not living their lives w/ the awareness and the excitement that they are partners with Christ in everything they did.
†When that begins to fade from the Christian consciousness, all these troubles that the Corinthians were experiencing begin to crowd in, and press in upon us.
Therefore, this letter is written to call these people back, as it is written to call us back as well, to an awareness of what it means to have fellowship with Christ.
Fellowship with Christ is the work of the Holy Spirit. It is his task to take the things of Christ and make them known unto us,
†††††††††††† to make the person of Jesus vivid and real in our daily experience.
Fellowship with Christ is not only direction in what to do, but it is dynamic -- it is how to†† do it.
It is not only guidance he gives us, but resource as well.
It is not only an understanding of life, but an under girding, in order that††
††††† we might perform it.
†Now that is what these Corinthians had lacked.
That is what, oftentimes, we lack today
A) It is a failure to understand what it means when Jesus himself says "when two or three are gathered together in my name" "there am I in the midstÖ
B) Jesus is in the mist of us tonight - / in the mist at lunch - at home -
1) †Is He Pleased w/ the attitude of our hearts ? Is He blessed by the conversations come out of our mouth.
C) Is He encouraged by the way that we treat one another.
Now that was what was missing in Corinth, and as we continue† this letter and see the different Problems Paul addresses,
A)† we will see how, in every case, the apostle calls them back to that:
They were suffering divisions because they had lost sight of the Lordship of Jesus.
†††† They were immoral because they had forgotten that the members of their††
†††† bodies were the members of Christ.
They were in lawsuits with one another because they had failed to see that Jesus was judge of the innermost motives of the heart.
† They were quarreling because they had forgotten that others were members of Christ's body and, therefore, they were members one of another.
All that the apostle does to heal the hurts at Corinth is to call them back to an awareness of fellowship with the Lord Jesus Christ.
1st problem† Division - schisms = to tear or to rip - speaks of something being out of Joint .
A) The reason for the divisions - they were focused on men & not on Christ ! Eyes on men and not the Lord .
B) 4 groups -, Paul - not impressive - but radically anointed
Apollos - Eloquent - and insightful
C) Peter - Practical & down to earth
1) †Jesus - just Jesus - super spiritual
Paul said v13 Is Christ Divided?†
A)†††† These people were guilty of focusing on the messenger
††††††††† not the message or the one who sent it!
B) We can be guilty of the same thing !
1) †Normal to have your favorite teachers - but when a person gets held into such esteem that we can not receive from anyone else - trouble
C) Or when we put leaders on such a high pedestal - so that we cannot receive any body else - borders on idolatry.
D) Paul says is Christ Divided ? No - Paul Peter - Apollos all had the same goal - to see people grow in Christ - be pointed to Christ .
1) †Any teacher who seeks to drawn others to himself is in great danger
†† James 3:1 We will receive a stricter Judgment
E) I am sure the attitude in Corinth grieved Peter & Apollos the same way it grieved Paul.
F) Trip to Oregon - handful of folks who - stuck in the mud because they liked the way I taught & did things better than Steve.
1) †Grieved - these were People who should have been - serving who were sitting complaining .
G) Same Problem eyes on man & not on Jesus / eyes on self.
1) †Exhorted them to get w/ the program - see what God is doing .
F) People saved - people serving - body is expanding -† Not like the good old days
1) †Wiersbe.† Good old days are the product of a bad memory & a good imagination.
Paul goes on to say I wasnít crucified for you - & were you Baptized in the name of Paul.
A) In other words what Paul was saying was I didn't seek to† point anyone to me
B) Church - stained glass window picture of Jesus / Preacher who was a large man went on† vacation " - smaller assistant took place
1) †5yr. Girl asked mother Mommy Where is the man who never lets us see Jesus !
This is the Crux of their Problem / root of every problem
they took their eyes off Jesus / off of the cross
A) Paul seeks to bring them right back to basics V.17 17† For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of no effect.
B)†††† That was the Beg. of their Problems / took their eyes off of Jesus off of the Cross Division starts
††††††††† 1)††††† That then leads to carnality & compromise†
Unity at the cross all sinners all in need of a savior
C)†††† At the cross we are all lumped into one group
††††††††† At the cross we are all made a new group / new man !
D)†††† Suggest to you every problem we might deal w/ answer is in
††††††††† Jesus Christ & him crucified !
††††††††† 1)††††† God doesn't love me ! Rom. 5 Proved .......freely give all .....
E)††††† Husband doesn't know how to relate to wife† Eph. Love as .........