No church in the New Testament is more like our modern churches than the Corinthian church.
Corinth was a city of wealth and culture, seated at the crossroads of the Roman Empire, through which flowed all the trade and commerce of the empire. A beautiful resort city, it was also a city of immorality. On the hill that rises behind the ancient city stood a temple to Aphrodite. Every evening the priests and priestesses — male and female prostitutes — would come down from the temple into the streets to ply their trade. It was known throughout the length and breadth of the ancient world as a city of great and widespread immorality.
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Resources: Study Questions, Maps, Outlines & Background
Jump to: Chapters 1-4; ** Chapters 4-6; ** Chapter 7; ** Chapters 8-10; ** Chapter 11; ** Chapters 12-14; ** Chapters 15-16
Acts 18 records the details of Paul’s first visit to Corinth and provides the background for studying his letters to the Corinthian church. Teacher: Krisan Marotta on April 24, 2019.
In the greeting of 1 Corinthians, Paul introduces 3 themes of the letter: 1) Paul is an authoritative emissary for Jesus Christ; 2) God chose Paul for this role; and 3) speech and knowledge are gifts from God that we ought to view wisely. We’ll also contrast 2 ways to approach studying this letter. One perspective finds little value in some of the practical problems. The other perspective leads to wisdom that can be applied to any situation. Teacher: Krisan Marotta on May 1, 2019.
The first issue Paul tackles is division in the church. But he’s more interested in the reasons why the factions are developing. We have 3 kinds of clues which reveal the deeper issue Paul wants to discuss. Teacher: Krisan Marotta on May 08, 2019.
As part of the deeper issues of why factions are developing in the Corinthian church, Paul tells us he’s grateful that he baptized few people in Corinth. His discussion gives us a window into the place of baptism. Teacher: Krisan Marotta on May 15, 2019.
Paul argues that those who live in rebellion to God will see the cross as foolishness. There’s no way to spin the gospel to change that. If you re-package the gospel to make it attractive to rebels, it is no longer the gospel. Teacher: Krisan Marotta on May 22, 2019.
As he discusses this issue of changing the gospel message to make it more attractive to the world, Paul says let’s consider what happened when I first preached the gospel to you in Corinth. Let’s consider your calling. What we can learn from it? Our boast is that we belong to God — not because we were smart enough to find Him; but because He was merciful enough to find us. Teacher: Krisan Marotta on May 29, 2019.
Paul argues that when he was in Corinth he didn’t seek to impress them with flashy rhetoric and charisma, rather he taught them wisdom from God, so that their confidence would rest in the power of God. Teacher: Krisan Marotta on June 5, 2019.
Paul argues that the message he preaches is in fact wisdom because it is revelation from God. The gospel is not something we would figure out on our own. Teacher: Krisan Marotta on June 12,2019.
1Corinthians 3:1-4 have been at the center of a theological debate over whether we can have victory of sin in our lives now. One side argues that Paul believes “carnal Christians” will be saved but not sanctified because they have not learned to appropriate the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives. The other side says there is no such thing as “carnal Christians.” I will argue from context which side is right. Teacher: Krisan Marotta on June 19, 2019.
Paul explains how the Corinthians should view Apollos and himself – as fellow-servants of God. His explanation has far-reaching implications for the American church today. Teacher: Krisan Marotta on June 26, 2019.
1Corinthians 3:10-17 is frequently cited as one of the places that Scripture teaches believers will receive various rewards or crowns in heaven. The context indicates otherwise. Paul is issuing a warning to leaders in the church. Teacher: Krisan Marotta on July 10, 2019.
This podcast answers the question: “In what sense will believers be judged according to their works?” Teacher: Krisan Marotta on July 17, 2019.
Paul concludes the first major section of this letter by urging them to repent and imitate him in following Christ and looking foolish to the world. Teacher: Krisan Marotta on July 24, 2019.
Paul confronts the Corinthian church about their attitude toward a man having an affair with his stepmother. Paul is concerned with the blatant disregard of God’s law by the man in question, and even more concerned with the attitude the church is taking toward his behavior. Teacher: Krisan Marotta on July 31, 2019.
Continuing his discussion of the man having an affair with his stepmother, Paul uses a common biblical analogy that a little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough. What exactly is he telling us about the church? Teacher: Krisan Marotta on August 7,2019.
Should believers take other believers to secular law court? Paul confronts the Corinthian church for doing so. But like the other issues he’s addressed, Paul is more concerned with the attitudes behind their taking legal action. Teacher: Krisan Marotta on August 14, 2019.
Paul counters two arguments the Corinthians used to justify their choices: “all things are lawful” and “food is for the stomach.” Teacher: Krisan Marotta on August 21, 2019
Paul argues that the pursuit of sexual purity is a necessary part of following Christ, because we belong to him in a profound way and God created sexuality with a specific meaning. Teacher: Krisan Marotta on August 28, 2019
In Corinthians 7, Paul turns to answering specific question the Corinthians asked. The first question concerns the place of sexuality, and his first task is to correct their view that married people should be celibate. Teacher: Krisan Marotta on September 4, 2019
In Corinthians 7, Paul begins answering specific questions the Corinthians asked. After correcting their view that married people should be celibate, Paul addresses the widows and widowers, telling them both singleness and marriage are good gifts from God. Then he addresses those considering divorce as a way to please God. Teacher: Krisan Marotta on September 18, 2019
In 1Corinthians 7, Paul corrects the idea that married people should be celibate in order to be holy. In this section, he addresses believers married to unbelievers, and tells them it is best to honor their marriage vows. Teacher: Krisan Marotta on October 2, 2019
Paul concludes his advice on marriage by addressing the engaged. As he explains his thinking, Paul gives us one of the most profound lessons we can learn in this life. Teacher: Krisan Marotta on October 9, 2019
Paul addresses a new question: Can we eat meat sacrificed to idols? His answer gives us deep insight into the relationship between knowledge and freedom, truth and love. Teacher: Krisan Marotta on October 16, 2019
In 1Corinthians 8, Paul argues that knowing the truth is not enough; we must use our knowledge in the context of loving our neighbors as ourselves and consider the implications of our actions. Teacher: Krisan Marotta on October 23, 2019
In 1Corinthians 9, Paul uses his own situation as an example of how the Corinthians ought to think about exercising their freedom. As an apostle, Paul has the right to receive financial support, but declined to take any support from them. He wants the Corinthians to learn from his example and exercise their freedom the same way. In part 1 of his argument, Paul defends his right to accept support. Teacher: Krisan Marotta on October 30, 2019
In 1Corinthians 9, Paul uses his own situation as an example of how the Corinthians ought to think about exercising their freedom. As an apostle, Paul has the right to receive financial support, but declined to take any support from them. He wants the Corinthians to learn from his example and exercise their freedom the same way. In part 2 of his argument, Paul explains why he declined to take support. Teacher: Krisan Marotta on November 6, 2019
Appealing to the example of the Israelites in the wilderness, Paul warns that not everyone who saw the miracles entered the promised land. Being part of the tribe does not guarantee God’s favor. Teacher: Krisan Marotta on November 13, 2019
1Corinthians 10:13 is often memorized as a stand-alone verse that promises God always provides a way to escape sin, if only you’ll take it. But in context, Paul is saying something quite different. Teacher: Krisan Marotta on November 20, 2019
Paul concludes by summarizing the his 2 main points: 1) We should limit our freedoms out of love for our neighbor; and 2) We need to take care lest our freedoms are a covering for idolatry. Teacher: Krisan Marotta on November 27, 2019
When a woman participates in a public worship service, is it proper for a her to uncover or head? This podcast gives an overview of what (I think) Paul meant to say and what it means for us today. If you only want the bottom line, listen to this podcast. The next several podcasts cover the details and the controversies. Teacher: Krisan Marotta on January 8, 2020.
The cultural background behind Paul’s advice on women wearing head coverings is incomplete and contradictory. Here’s what we know and (what I think is) the best way to put it together. Teacher: Krisan Marotta on January 15, 2020.
Paul appeals to the creation of Adam and Eve to make his argument. This podcasts examines what Genesis 2 teaches us and why Paul appeals to it. Teacher: Krisan Marotta on January 22, 2020.
Most everyone agrees that Paul is speaking metaphorically, but few agree exactly what he means by the metaphor of head. To understand Paul’s use of head in 1 Corinthians 11:2-16, we look at Paul’s use of head in all his other letters, particularly in Ephesians. Teacher: Krisan Marotta on January 29, 2020.
What’s the problem with the way the Corinthians are handling the Lord’s Supper? Were they profaning a holy ritual? Were they ignoring social economic justice? Both or something else? This podcast examines what the Corinthians were doing wrong. Teacher: Krisan Marotta on February 5, 2020.
What’s the connection between Passover and Communion? Why are we suppose to celebrate the Lord’s Supper? And what is it suppose to do for us? In this podcast, we look at how Paul explains the significance of the Lord’s Supper. Teacher: Krisan Marotta on February 12, 2020.
What does it mean to take communion in an unworthy manner? How are we to examine ourselves before participating? In this podcast, we look at what Paul found wrong with the way the Corinthians were handling the Lord’s Supper and what he wants them to do instead. Teacher: Krisan Marotta on February 19, 2020.
Paul starts the topic of spiritual gifts in 1Corinthians 12. The Corinthians are confused in thinking that speaking in tongues is the mark of true spirituality and that those who have not spoken in tongues are lesser Christians. Paul lays the foundation in 12:1-3 for his argument which will run through chapter 14. Teacher: Krisan Marotta on February 26, 2020
Paul argues that while all believers have the same Spirit, God distributes different gifts to different believers on purpose. Paul’s purpose in this section is not to give a catalog of gifts, but to give examples of some diverse ways the Spirit works. I contrast Paul’s teaching here with the popular understanding of spiritual gifts. Teacher: Krisan Marotta on March 4, 2020
As Paul continues discussing the unity and diversity of the body of Christ, we consider what that tells us about speaking in tongues today. Should everyone speak in tongues? Teacher: Krisan Marotta on March 11, 2020
Paul compares the people of God to the unity and diversity of the human body. In this rich analogy, Paul teaches us how we should view ourselves, how we should view each other and where we should find our worth. Teacher: Krisan Marotta on March 18, 2020
Paul’s famous passage on the attributes of love is part of a 3-chapter argument. In this podcast we focus on what Paul is saying about love and why Paul felt it was important to correct the Corinthians understanding of love. In the next podcast, we’ll examine how this passage fits into the context of his overall argument. Teacher: Krisan Marotta on March 25, 2020
Before he explains what he means by the greatest gifts, Paul interrupts his argument to explain something more important than all of the individual gifts: love. Teacher: Krisan Marotta on April 1, 2020
Paul argues that prophesy is a better than tongues because prophesy edifies the larger body while speaking in tongues edifies only the speaker. Implicit in his argument is that we should value truth over emotion. Teacher: Krisan Marotta on April 8, 2020
Paul gives the Corinthians a rule for deciding when to speak in their public gatherings: If your speech does not edify the group, keep silent. If your speech does edify the group, take turns in an orderly fashion. Teacher: Krisan Marotta on April 15, 2020
Paul starts correcting the Corinthians view that there is no resurrection from the dead by making two points: 1) Jesus, the man, was resurrected and 2) if Jesus wasn’t resurrected, then his death accomplished nothing and we are still guilty before God. Teacher: Krisan Marotta on April 22, 2020
In correcting the Corinthians’ view that there is no resurrection, Paul argues that resurrection is an essential part of the way God intends to solve the problem of sin and death. Teacher: Krisan Marotta on April 29, 2020
Paul answers an objection to the resurrection raised by his opponents with three comparisons: a seed versus the plant it becomes; Adam who brought death versus Christ who brings life; and natural life now versus transformed life in the kingdom of God. Teacher: Krisan Marotta on May 6, 2020
Paul argues that death is a bigger problem than we think because it is more than the end of our earthly life. It is the doorway to judgment. But God will give us mercy in judgment and victory over death because of Jesus Christ. Teacher: Krisan Marotta on May 13, 2020
In the business end of the letter, Paul explains his travel plans and gives his final admonitions. We’ll also reflect on two important themes we learned from the letter as a whole. Teacher: Krisan Marotta on May 20, 2020
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