Adam Osborne dot net My Bible Studies

November 16, 2021

1 Corinthians – 11.06.21

Filed under: Old and New Testament — Adam Osborne @ 4:31 pm

Chapter 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 |

Author | Biography and references | Setting | Timeline | Introductions and Outlines; various | Videos |

Bibliography and references:

  • NIV Life Application Study Bible, 1984. Tyndale House Publishers Inc. and Zondervan.
  • Hebrew Greek Key Study Bible, 1988. World Bible Publishers, Inc.
  • Matthew Henry Study Bible, King James Version. World Bibles. Copyright 1986.
  • The Scofield Reference Bible. New York Oxford University Press. Copyright 1945.
  • Bible for Spirit Filled Living. Thomas Nelson Publishers. Copyright 1980.
  • The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. 2016. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.
  • Christian Standard Bible Study Bible. Holman Bible Publishers. Copyright 2017.
  • Strong’s Greek Concordance.
  • John MacArthur, MacArthur Bible Studies. Godly Solutions to Church problems.
  • Faithlife Study Bible, Logos Study Software. Barry, J. D., Mangum, D., Brown, D. R., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Ritzema, E., … Bomar, D. (2012, 2016). Faithlife Study Bible (1 Co 1:18). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.
  • Everyone in the Bible, William P. Barker, Fleming H. Revell Company, Westwood, NJ. Copyright 1966.

First things first. Watch this Bible Project video on 1 Corinthians. This is an excellent overview and explanation of 1 Corinthians.

Timeline =

  • 50-51 AD = Paul arrives in Corinth and spends eighteen months planting the church.
  • 51 AD = Paul’s hearing before Corinth’s proconsul, Gallio, brother of the Roman philosopher Seneca.
  • 56 AD. Paul writes 1 Corinthians and 2 Corinthians from Ephesus.
  • 57 AD. Paul spends the winter in Corinth, from where he writes Romans.

Author = Paul wrote this letter to the church in Corinth while he was visiting Ephesus during his third missionary journey (Acts 19:1 – 20:1). Paul knew the Corinthian church well because he had spent 18 months in Corinth during his second missionary journey, approximately A.D. 52-53 (Acts 18:1-18). While in Ephesus, he had heard about problems in Corinth (1:11). About the same time, a delegation from the Corinthian church had visited Paul to ask his advice about their conflicts (16:17). Paul’s purpose for writing was to correct those problems and to answer questions church members had asked in a previous letter (7:1)

Setting = Corinth was a major cosmopolitan city, a seaport and major trade center – the most important city in Achaia. It was also filled with idolatry and immorality. The church was largely made up of Gentiles. Paul had established this church on his second missionary journey. Also, if you look at a map showing the cities in A.D. 55, you will see that Corinth and Ephesus (Asia) faced each other across the Aegean Sea.

Key Verse = “I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought.” (verse 1:10)

Introductions by different publishers:

  • NIV Life Application Study Bible:
    • Purpose = To identify problems in the Corinthian church, to offer solutions, and to teach the believers how to live for Christ in a corrupt society.
    • The Blueprint =
      • A. Paul addresses church problems. Without Paul’s presence, the Corinthian church had fallen into divisiveness and disorder. This resulted in many problems, which Paul addressed squarely. We must be concerned for unity and order in our local churches, but we should not mistake inactivity for order and cordiality for unity. We too, must squarely address problems in our churches.
        • Verses 1:1 – 6:20. (1) Divisions in the church; (2) Disorder in the church
      • B. Paul answers church questions. The Corinthians had sent Paul a list of questions, and he answered them in a way meant to correct abuses in the church and to show how important it is that they live what they believe. Paul gives us a Christian approach to problem solving. He analyzed the problem thoroughly to uncover the underlying issue and then highlighted the biblical values that should guide our actions.
    • The NIV Life Application Study bible also lists five (5) “MEGATHEMES” in their introduction pages to 1 Corinthians. I highly suggest that you read those five megathemes as they provide “explanations” of the issues as well as “importance” of the issues. A very good read.
  • Hebrew Greek Key Study bible:
    • Greeks, Romans, Jews, and a mixed multitude of sailors and merchants flocked to this crossroads.
    • The Isthmian athletic games were held biennially there.
    • By the end of the second century, Corinth had become one of the richest cities in the world.
    • Corinth was full of sin. It was one of the most wicked cities of ancient times.
    • There were many religions represented, especially a temple which offered a thousand sacred prostitutes. Pleasure was worshipped more than principles.
    • Paul, also a tentmaker by trade, worked with a husband and wife team, Aquila and Priscilla. Appolos came later.
    • Paul received unfavorable news about the Corinthian congregation from members of the household of Chloe (verse 1:11). There was gross immorality (an incestuous relationship), lawsuits between Christians in front of unbelievers, marriage problems, difficulties concerning meat offered to idols, abuses in taking the Lord’s Supper, confusion about the role of women in the church, and heresies about the afterlife.
    • Paul had written them a previous letter before the 1 Corinthians letter (1 Cor 5:9).
    • Many of the members were recently converted from pagan practices and were having difficulty in adjusting, breaking with the past.
  • Matthew Henry Study Bible:
    • Major Theme = Correction of Christian conduct.
    • Paul is responding to information he received, informing him of serious doctrinal and ethical problems that had arisen within the church after the apostle had moved on to Ephesus.
    • Some of the areas needing instruction were spiritual immaturity, sexual immorality on the part of Christians, strife and divisions, litigation among believers, misunderstanding regarding spiritual gifts, confusion about the relationships of singleness and marriage, and numerous doctrinal questions.
  • The Scofield Reference Bible:
    • Theme: Christian Conduct.
    • Paul defends his apostleship because it involved the authority of the doctrine revealed through him.
    • Analysis:
      • 1. Introduction. The believers standing in grace.
      • 2. The contrast of their present factious state.
      • 3. Immorality rebuked, discipline enjoined.
      • 4. The sanctity of the body, and Christian marriage.
      • 5. Meats, and the limitations of Christian liberty.
      • 6. Christian order and the Lord’s supper.
      • 7. Spiritual gifts in relation to the body, the church and Christian ministry.
      • 8. The resurrection of the dead.
      • 9. Special directions and greetings.
  • Bible for Spirit Filled Living:
    • Occasion: During Paul’s three-year ministry in Ephesus, on his third missionary journey (Acts 19), he had received disturbing reports concerning moral laxity among believers in Corinth. To remedy the situation he sent the church a letter (1 Cor 5:9-11), which has been lost. Shortly afterward, a delegation sent by Chloe, a member of the church in Corinth, reported to Paul concerning the existence of divisive factions in the church. Before he could write a corrective letter, another delegation from Corinth arrived with a letter asking him certain questions (1 Cor 7:1; 16:17). Paul immediately sent Timothy to Corinth to help correct conditions there (1 Cor 4:17). He then wrote the letter that we know as 1 Corinthians, expecting it to reach Corinth before Timothy (16:10).
    • Content. The letter consists of Paul’s response to ten separate problems:
      1. a sectarian spirit
      2. incest
      3. lawsuits
      4. fornication
      5. marriage and divorce
      6. eating foods offered to idols
      7. wearing of the veil
      8. the Lord’s Supper
      9. spiritual gifts, and
      10. the resurrection of the body.
    • Outline:
      • 1. The problem of a sectarian spirit which arose from a preference for religious leaders because of their supposed superior wisdom. 1:1-9
        • A. Contrast between human and divine wisdom over the Cross shows the fallacy of the sectarian spirit which stems from human wisdom. 1:10 to 3:4.
        • B. The role of religious leaders show they are important but never the cause for boasting. 3:5 to 4:5.
        • C. An open rebuke by ironic comparison of the Corinthians’ pride with Paul’s foolishness. 4:6-21.
      • 2. The problem of internal church discipline brought on by a case of incest. 5:1-13.
      • 3. The problem of lawsuits between Christians before public courts. 6:1-11.
      • 4. The problem of a sexual misuse of the body from a misapplication of Paul’s ethical teaching. 6:12-20.
      • 5. The problem of the relationship between the secular sphere and the believer’s spiritual life, especially in the areas of sex, marriage, and slavery. 7:1-40.
      • 6. The problem of ethical differences between brethren caused by the eating of food offered to idols. 8:1 to 11:1.
        • A. The basic principle of love verses knowledge. 8:1-13.
        • B. Paul’s personal example in foregoing his rights. 9:1-27.
        • C. The application of the principle in attitude and action. 10:1 to 11:1.
      • 7. The problem of the role of the sexes in light of the removal of the veil. 11:2-16.
      • 8. The problem of desecrating the Lord’s Supper. 11:17-34.
      • 9. The problem of spiritual manifestations which arose from a misuse of the gift of tongues. 12:1-14 to 14:40.
        • The need for variety. 12:1-31.
        • The need for love. 13:1-13.
        • The need for control. 14:1-40.
      • 10. The problem of the resurrection of the dead. 15:1-58.
      • 11. Concluding personal remarks. 16:1-24.
  • Dr. Vernon McGee, Thru the Bible.
    • OUTLINE:
      • I. Salutation and thanksgiving, Chapter 1:1-9
      • II. Concerning conditions in the Corinthian church, Chapters1:10 — 16:9
        • A. Concerning DIVISIONS and party spirit, Chapters 1:10— 4:21
          • 1. Centrality of Christ crucified Corrects divisions, 1:10-31
          • 2. Clarity of Holy Spirit
            Corrects human wisdom, 2
          • 3. Correct conception of God
            Clarifies Christian service, 3
          • 4. Conditions of Christ’s servants
            Constrain Christian conduct, 4
        • B. Concerning SCANDALS in the Corinthian church,
          Chapters 5, 6
          • Impurity, 5
          • Lawsuits among members, 6
        • C. Concerning MARRIAGE, Chapter 7
        • D. Concerning CHRISTIAN LIBERTY, Chapters 8:1 —11
          • 1. Liberty of the minister, 9
          • 2. Liberty is not license, 10:1 — 11:1
        • E. Concerning WOMAN’S DRESS, Chapter 11:2-16
          F. Concerning the LORD’S TABLE, Chapter 11:17-34
          G. Concerning SPIRITUAL GIFTS, Chapters 12 — 14
          • 1. Endowment of gifts, 12
            • a. Gifts are given to maintain unity in diversity, vv. 1-11
            • b. Members of human body compared to gifts of Holy
              Spirit, vv. 12-31
          • 2. Energy of gifts — Love, 13
          • 3. Exercise of gifts, 14
            • a. Gift of prophecy is superior to gift of tongues, vv. 1-22
            • b. Order in local church for exercise of any gift, vv.
              23-40
        • H. Concerning the GOSPEL, Chapter 15
          • 1. Prominence of resurrection in the gospel, vv. 1-4
          • 2. Proofs of resurrection, vv. 5-19
          • 3. Parade of resurrection, vv. 20-28
            • a. Christ, the firstfruits
            • b. Those who are Christ’s (the church)
            • c. Old Testament saints, Tribulation saints
            • d. Kingdom set up, Christ reigning
            • e. Death destroyed
            • f. Christ returns to His place in the Trinity
          • 4. Program and pattern of resurrection, vv. 29-50
          • 5. Power of resurrection, vv. 51-58
        • I. Concerning COLLECTIONS, Chapter 16:1-9
      • III. Closing exhortations and benediction, Chapter 16:10-24

ESV Bible

Chapter One

AD 59 (Return to TOP)

Greeting

Paul, called by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus, and our brother Sosthenes,

  • Acts 13:9 But Saul—also called Paul—filled with the Holy Spirit, stared straight at Elymas
  • Romans 1:1 Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called as an apostle, and set apart for the gospel of God
  • Ephesians 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by God’s will
  • Colossians 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by God’s will, and Timothy our brother: 
  • 2 Timothy 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by God’s will, for the sake of the promise of life in Christ Jesus: 
  • Apostle. Strongs G652. Messenger, one who is sent. Officially a commissioner of Christ (with miraculous powers).
  • Acts 18:17 And they all seized Sosthenes, the leader of the synagogue, and beat him in front of the tribunal, but none of these things mattered to Gallio. 
    • Sosthenes – a Christian who joined Paul in writing to the Corinthian congregation. Paul affectionately identifies him as “the brother.” Sosthenes was living at Ephesus and perhaps served as Paul’s secretary when Paul wrote the Corinthian letter. Legends say that he was on the the Seventy, and later Bishop of Colophon.

2 To the church of God that is in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints together with all those who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours:

  • church = Strongs G1577. Ekklesia (ek-klay-see’-ah). a popular meeting, especially a religious congregation; assembly.
  • Acts 18:1 After this, he left Athens and went to Corinth
  • Acts 19:1 While Apollos was in Corinth, Paul traveled through the interior regions and came to Ephesus. He found some disciples
  • 2 Timothy 4:20 Erastus has remained at Corinth; I left Trophimus sick at Miletus. 
  • Sanctified. Strongs G37. hagiazo (hag-ee-ad’-zo). To make holy.
  • Acts 20:32 And now I commit you to God and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up and to give you an inheritance among all who are sanctified.
  • Acts 26:18 to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a share among those who are sanctified by faith in me.
  • 1 Corinthians 6:11 And some of you used to be like this. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
  • Romans 1:6-7 including yourselves who also belong to Jesus Christ by calling: To all who are in Rome, loved by God, called as saints. Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
  • Genesis 4:26 A son was born to Seth also, and he named him Enosh. At that time people began to call on the name of Yahweh.
  • Psalm 79:6 Pour out Your wrath on the nations that don’t acknowledge You, on the kingdoms that don’t call on Your name,
  • John 10:25 “I did tell you and you don’t believe,” Jesus answered them. “The works that I do in My Father’s name testify about Me.
  • Acts 9:14 And he has authority here from the chief priests to arrest all who call on Your name.”
  • Acts 15:14 Simeon has reported how God first intervened to take from the Gentiles a people for His name.
  • Revelation 14:1 Then I looked, and there on Mount Zion stood the Lamb, and with Him were 144,000 who had His name and His Father’s name written on their foreheads.

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

  • Romans 1:7 To all who are in Rome, loved by God, called as saints. Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
  • Grace = Strongs G5484. charis (khar’ece) unmerited favor.
  • Peace = Strongs G1515. eirene (i-ray’nay) inner wholeness and right relations with God.

Thanksgiving

4 I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that was given you in Christ Jesus,

  • Romans 1:8 First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you because the news of your faith is being reported in all the world.
  • give thanks. Even though this is a “letter of correction” … a letter of discipline… Paul is thankful at least that they are still in the body of believers, the church itself. Since they are still in the church, the Holy Spirit can still work on them, and through sanctification, can help the church grow and become more like Christ. Obviously, they have a long way to go here.

5 that in every way you were enriched in him in all speech and all knowledge

  • important to note these two areas of Spirit given enrichmentspeech and knowledge. These are two areas that showed that the Holy Spirit had indeed divinely touched them, and gave them speech and knowledge . BUT, as you will read further, Paul needed to guide them back to the correct path. Even though they had been given the Spirit, due to the local problems and confusion, they were starting to miss the mark. This letter will attempt to correct that and get them heading back in the right direction.
  • enriched. Strongs G4148. ploutizo (ploo-tid’-zo) to make wealthy, rich. Notice here is says “in all speech and knowledge.” Paul is mentioning two of the issues, speech and knowledge, that he will be addressing in this letter.

6 even as the testimony about Christ was confirmed among you—

  • 2 Timothy 1:8 So don’t be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, or of me His prisoner. Instead, share in suffering for the gospel, relying on the power of God.
  • testimony about Christ = confirmed. They started speaking in tongues and their knowledge demonstrated a testimony of the gospel.

7 so that you are not lacking in any gift, as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ,

  • Philippians 3:20 but our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.
  • Titus 2:13 while we wait for the blessed hope and appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.
  • gift = two inputs here for gift:
    • Strong’s Concordance = G5486. charisma (khar’-is-mah). a spiritual endowment; religious qualification, or miraculous faculty.
    • John MacArthur = “Gift” in Greek is specifically “a gift of grace.” While the blessings of speech and knowledge were primarily for evangelizing the lost, the spiritual gifts (chapters 12-14) edify (build up) the church. Because these gifts are given to each believer without regard for maturity or spirituality, the Corinthians, though sinful, had them in full.
  • revealing = Strongs G602. apokalupsis (ap-ok-al’-oop-sis). Appearing, coming, be revealed.
    • Revelation 4:11 “Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.”
    • Revelation 5:12 In a loud voice they were saying: “Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!”

8 who will sustain you to the end, guiltless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.

  • 1 Thessalonians 3:13 May He make your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all His saints. Amen.
  • Colossians 1:22 But now He has reconciled you by His physical body through His death, to present you holy, faultless, and blameless before Him—
  • day of our Lord Jesus Christ” = John MacArthur – This refers to the coming of the Lord for His church, the Rapture (see 1 Corinthians 5:5). This is different from the “day of the Lord” which is a term referring to the “judgment of the ungodly”.
    • “day of the Lord” (judgment of the ungodly)
      • 1 Thessalonians 5:2, 4 for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. 4 But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief.
      • 2 Thessalonians 2:2 not to be quickly shaken in mind or alarmed, either by a spirit or a spoken word, or a letter seeming to be from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come.

God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

  • Isaiah 49:7 This is what the Lord, the Redeemer of Israel, his Holy One, says to one who is despised, to one abhorred by people, to a servant of rulers: “Kings will see and stand up, and princes will bow down, because of the Lord, who is faithful, the Holy One of Israel—and He has chosen you.”
  • John 15:4 Remain in Me, and I in you. Just as a branch is unable to produce fruit by itself unless it remains on the vine, so neither can you unless you remain in Me.
  • Ephesians 5:26-27 so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless. 
  • God is faithful
    • Lamatations 3:22-23 The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; 23  they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
    • Psalms 119:89-90 Forever, O Lord, your word is firmly fixed in the heavens. 90  Your faithfulness endures to all generations; you have established the earth, and it stands fast.
    • Malachi 3:6 – For I the Lord do not change; therefore you, O children of Israel, are not consumed.
  • you were called – John MacArthur = God, who calls to salvation and heaven, will be faithful to give the grace needed to fulfill that call.
    • Romans 8:30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.

Vernon McGee: I. Salutation and thanksgiving, Chapter 1:1-9
In these first nine verses of the introduction, the Lord Jesus Christ is mentioned six times. This is a Christ-centered epistle of which v. 9 is the very heart: “God is faithful” — although men, including believers, are not.
“Ye were called” is the “high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:14). “Fellowship” (koinonian) is one of the most important and versatile words of Christian faith. It means anything that believers share together
concerning the things of Christ.

Koinonia is: (1) fellowship — Acts 2:42-44; (2) contribution — Romans 15:26; (3) communion (Lord’s Supper) — 1 Corinthians 10:16; (4) partnership — 1 Corinthians 1:9

Divisions in the Church

10 I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment.

  • 2 Corinthians 13:11 Finally, brothers, rejoice. Become mature, be encouraged, be of the same mind, be at peace, and the God of love and peace will be with you.
  • 1 Peter 3:8 Now finally, all of you should be like-minded and sympathetic, should love believers, and be compassionate and humble,
  • united – other texts use “joined together.” To put back something that was once joined, and now broken or separated, so that it is no longer divided. Strongs G2675, katartizo (Karen-ar-tid’-zo). to restore, repair, adjust, mend, make perfect.

11 For it has been reported to me by Chloe’s people that there is quarreling among you, my brothers. 12 What I mean is that each one of you says, “I follow Paul,” or “I follow Apollos,” or “I follow Cephas,” or “I follow Christ.”

  • Acts 18:24 A Jew named Apollos, a native Alexandrian, an eloquent man who was powerful in the use of the Scriptures, arrived in Ephesus.
  • John 1:42 and he brought Simon to Jesus. When Jesus saw him, He said, “You are Simon, son of John.[a] You will be called Cephas” (which means “Rock”).
  • Apollos. A Jew from Alexandria who was an eloquent speaker and knowledgeable in the Scriptures. He ministered in Corinth after Paul left.
  • Cephas. Aramaic name of Peter.

13 Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?

  • 2 Corinthians 11:4 For if a person comes and preaches another Jesus, whom we did not preach, or you receive a different spirit, which you had not received, or a different gospel, which you had not accepted, you put up with it splendidly!
  • Is Christ divided – Paul is speaking rhetorically. Obviously Christ is not divided. Christ died for all, for everyone. He is saying this because currently their congregation is divided.

14 I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius,

  • Acts 18:8 Crispus, the leader of the synagogue, believed the Lord, along with his whole household. Many of the Corinthians, when they heard, believed and were baptized.
  • Romans 16:23  Gaius, who is host to me and to the whole church, greets you. Erastus, the city treasurer, and our brother Quartus greet you.
  • Crispus – The leader of the synagogue in Corinth. Converted under Paul’s ministry.
    • Acts 18:8 Crispus, the leader of the synagogue, believed in the Lord, along with his whole household. Many of the Corinthians, when they heard, believed and were baptized. 
  • Gaius
    • Romans 16:23 Gaius, who is host to me and to the whole church, greets you. 

15 so that no one may say that you were baptized in my name. 16 (I did baptize also the household of Stephanas. Beyond that, I do not know whether I baptized anyone else.)

  • household of Stephanas – during this timeframe, it was customary for the household to follow the pattern set by the head of the household.

17 For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not with words of eloquent wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.

  • Paul did baptize a few individuals, but his primary mission was to preach the Gospel.
    • Acts 9:15 But the Lord said to him, “Go, for this man is my chosen instrument to take my name to Gentiles, kings, and Israelites.

Christ the Wisdom and Power of God

18 For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

  • 2 Corinthians 2:15 For to God we are the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.
  • Acts 17:18 Then also, some of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers argued with him. Some said, “What is this pseudo-intellectual trying to say?”
  • Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is God’s power for salvation to everyone who believes, first to the Jew, and also to the Greek.
  • Word of the cross – Faithlife Study Bible: The Greeks believed that the gods operated above the limitations of people and would not have allowed themselves to be treated as Jesus was. Jews regarded the cross as a shameful punishment and even a curse from God.
  • Folly – Strongs G3472. moria (mo-ree’-ah). Where we get our word moron from.

19 For it is written, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.”

  • Isaiah 29:14 therefore I will again confound these people with wonder after wonder. The wisdom of their wise men will vanish, and the understanding of the perceptive will be hidden.
  • Isaiah 29:1 therefore, behold, I will again do wonderful things with this people, with wonder upon wonder; and the wisdom of their wise men shall perish,  and the discernment of their discerning men shall be hidden.” 

20 Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?

  • Isaiah 33:18 Your mind will meditate on the past terror: “Where is the accountant? Where is the tribute collector? Where is the one who spied out our defenses?”
  • Job 12:17 He leads counselors away barefoot and makes judges go mad.
  • Isaiah 44:25 who destroys the omens of the false prophets and makes fools of diviners; who confounds the wise and makes their knowledge foolishness;
  • Isaiah 19:12 Where then are your wise men? Let them tell you that they might know what the Lord of hosts has purposed against Egypt. 
  • scribe – Strongs G1122. grammateus (gram-mat-yooce’). An expert is the Mosaic law. May also mean “city secretary”.
  • debater – Strongs G4804. suzetetes (sood-zay-tay-tace’). disputant. sophist: disputer. MacArthur says a person who argued philosophy.

21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. 22 For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom,

  • Matthew 12:38 Then some of the scribes and Pharisees said to Him, “Teacher, we want to see a sign from You.”
  • Mark 8:11 The Pharisees came out and began to argue with Him, demanding of Him a sign from heaven to test Him.
  • John 4:48 Jesus told him, “Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will not believe.”
  • The Jews “stumbled” over the signRomans 9:31-33 but Israel, pursuing a law of righteousness, did not arrive at that law. 32 Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as though it were by works. They stumbled over the stumbling stone 33 just as it is written, “BEHOLD, I LAY IN ZION A STONE OF STUMBLING AND A ROCK OF OFFENSE, AND HE WHO BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED.”

23 but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles,

  • Isaiah 8:14 He will be a sanctuary; but for the two houses of Israel, He will be a stone to stumble over and a rock to trip over, and a trap and a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem.
  • Luke 2:34 Then Simeon blessed them and told His mother Mary: “Indeed, this child is destined to cause the fall and rise of many in Israel and to be a sign that will be opposed
  • John 6:60 Therefore, when many of His disciples heard this, they said, “This teaching is hard! Who can accept it?”
  • Galatians 5:11 Now brothers, if I still preach circumcision, why am I still persecuted? In that case the offense of the cross has been abolished. 

24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.

  • Romans 1:4 and who has been declared to be the powerful Son of God by the resurrection from the dead according to the Spirit of holiness.
  • Colossians 2:8 Be careful that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deceit based on human tradition, based on the elemental forces of the world, and not based on Christ.

25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. 26 For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth.

  • John 7:48 Have any of the rulers or Pharisees believed in Him?

27 But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong;

  • Matthew 11:25 At that time Jesus said, “I praise You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because You have hidden these things from the wise and learned and revealed them to infants.

28 God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, 29 so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. 30 And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, 31 so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”

  • Jeremiah 9:23-24 This is what the Lord says: The wise man must not boast in his wisdom; the strong man must not boast in his strength; the wealthy man must not boast in his wealth but let the one who boasts boast about this: that they have the understanding to know me, that I am the LORD, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,” declares the LORD.
  • God uses ordinary people with an extraordinary message to do his work. You don’t have to be special, you just need to be faithful. (quote from Calvary Church, Skip Heitzig).

Chapter Two

Proclaiming Christ Crucified (Return to TOP)

And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. 2 For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.

  • Galatians 6:14 But as for me, I will never boast about anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. The world has been crucified to me through the cross, and I to the world.

3 And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling,

  • Acts 18:1 After this, he left Athens and went to Corinth,
  • 2 Corinthians 4:7 Now we have this treasure in clay jars, so that this extraordinary power may be from God and not from us.
  • 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. 10 Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.

4 and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power,

  • 2 Peter 1:16 For we did not follow cleverly contrived myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ;instead, we were eyewitnesses of His majesty.
  • Romans 15:19 by the power of signs and wonders, through the power of the Spirit of God. So from Jerusalem all the way around to Illyricum, I have fully proclaimed the gospel of Christ.

5 so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.

Wisdom from the Spirit

6 Yet among the mature we do impart wisdom, although it is not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are doomed to pass away.

  • Hebrews 6:1 Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God
  • Hebrews 10:14 For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified.

7 But we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glory.

  • Ephesians 3:4-5 by which, when you read, you may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ), 5 which in other ages was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to His holy apostles and prophets:
  • Ephesians 3:8-12 To me, the very least of all saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ, 9 and to bring to light what is the administration of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God who created all things; 10 so that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places. 11 This was in accordance with the eternal purpose which He carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord, 12 in whom we have boldness and confident access through faith in Him. 
  • Matthew 13:11 He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.

8 None of the rulers of this age understood this, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

  • Luke 23:34 Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.
  • 1 Timothy 1:12-13 I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service, 13 even though I was formerly a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent aggressor. Yet I was shown mercy because I acted ignorantly in unbelief; 

9 But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him”—

  • Isaiah 64:4 Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for him

10 these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God.

  • Matthew 13:11 He replied, “Because the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them.

11 For who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.

  • Romans 11:33 Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out!

12 Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God.

  • Romans 8:15 The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”
  • 2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,
  • 2 Peter 1:20-21 But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, 21 for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.

13 And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual. 14 The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.

  • Matthew 16:23 Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”
  • Psalms 119:18 Open my eyes, that I may see Wondrous things from Your law.
  • John 5:37-39 And the Father who sent Me, He has testified of Me. You have neither heard His voice at any time nor seen His form. 38 “You do not have His word abiding in you, for you do not believe Him whom He sent. 39 “You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me;
  • Deuteronomy 29:29 “The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.

15 The spiritual person judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one.

  • 1 John 4:1 Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.
  • Luke 24:45 And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures.

16 “For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.

  • Job 15:8 Do you listen in on God’s council? Do you have a monopoly on wisdom?
  • John 15:15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.
  • Isaiah 40:13 Who has directed the Spirit of the LORD, Or as His counselor has taught Him?

Chapter Three

Divisions in the Church (Return to TOP)

3 But I, brothers, could not address you as spiritual people, but as people of the flesh, as infants in Christ.

  • Hebrews 5:13 “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear.

2 I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it. And even now you are not yet ready,

  • Hebrews 5:12 Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness.
  • 1 Peter 2:2 Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation,
  • John 16:12 “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear.

3 for you are still of the flesh. For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a human way? 4 For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not being merely human? 5 What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, as the Lord assigned to each.

  • 2 Corinthians 3:3 You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.
  • Apollos? Paul? = “factionslism.” They were showing “carnality” (lack of spiritual understanding).

6 I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth.

  • Acts 18:4 Every Sabbath he reasoned in the synagogue, trying to persuade Jews and Greeks.
  • 2 Corinthians 10:14 We are not going too far in our boasting, as would be the case if we had not come to you, for we did get as far as you with the gospel of Christ.
  • Acts 18:24 Meanwhile a Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria, came to Ephesus. He was a learned man, with a thorough knowledge of the Scriptures.
  • 2 Corinthians 3:5 Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God.

7 So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth.

  • Psalms 62:12 and with you, Lord, is unfailing love”; and, “You reward everyone according to what they have done.”
  • Romans 2:6 God “will repay each person according to what they have done.”
  • Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.

8 He who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive his wages according to his labor.

  • Acts 15:4 When they came to Jerusalem, they were welcomed by the church and the apostles and elders, to whom they reported everything God had done through them.
  • 2 Corinthians 6:1 As God’s co-workers we urge you not to receive God’s grace in vain.

9 For we are God’s fellow workers. You are God’s field, God’s building.

  • Ephesians 2:20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone.
  • Colossians 2:7 rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.
  • Hebrews 3:3-4 For He has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses, by just so much as the builder of the house has more honor than the house. 4 For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God.

10 According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building upon it. Let each one take care how he builds upon it. Through him we received grace and apostleship to call all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith for his name’s sake.

  • Romans 15:18 For I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ has not accomplished through me, in word and deed, to make the Gentiles obedient—

11 For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw— 13 each one’s work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done.

  • 1 Peter 1:7 These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.
  • Zechariah 13:9 I will bring the one-third through the fire, Will refine them as silver is refined, And test them as gold is tested. They will call on My name, And I will answer them. I will say, ‘This is My people’; And each one will say, ‘The LORD is my God.’ ”
  • 1 Peter 1:17-18 if you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay on earth; 18 knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers,
  • Revelation 3:18 I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see.

14 If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward.

  • Matthew 25:21, 23 His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’ 23 His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’
  • Philippians 3:13-14 Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 
  • 2 Timothy 4:7-8 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; 8 in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.

15 If anyone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.

  • Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.

16 Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?

  • 2 Corinthians 6:16 What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.”

17 If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple. 18 Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you thinks that he is wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise.

  • Proverbs 3:7 Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil.

19 For the wisdom of this world is folly with God. For it is written, “He catches the wise in their craftiness,”

  • Job 5:13 He catches the wise in their craftiness, and the schemes of the wily are swept away.

20 and again, “The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are futile.”

  • Psalms 94:11 The LORD knows all human plans; he knows that they are futile

21 So let no one boast in men. For all things are yours,

  • 2 Corinthians 4:5 For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake.

22 whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future—all are yours, 23 and you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s.

  • Romans 14:8 If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.
  • 2 Corinthians 10:7 You are judging by appearances. If anyone is confident that they belong to Christ, they should consider again that we belong to Christ just as much as they do.
  • Galatians 3:29 If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

Chapter Four

AD 59

John MacArthur: Since the immature believers in Corinth were enamored by “personalities,” that is, high-profile Christian leaders, Paul took the opportunity to focus on the true nature and practice of godly servants. He emphasized the necessity of pure motives and genuine humility. Christ-honoring servants are not only identified as stewards (managers) of the mysteries of God, but also as caring and committed spiritual fathers.

The Ministry of Apostles (Return to TOP)

1 This is how one should regard us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God.

  • Matthew 24:45 “Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in charge of the servants in his household to give them their food at the proper time?
  • Colossians 1:25 I have become its servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness—
  • Luke 12:42 The Lord answered, “Who then is the faithful and wise manager, whom the master puts in charge of his servants to give them their food allowance at the proper time?
  • Titus 1:7 Since an overseer manages God’s household, he must be blameless—not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain.
  • mysteries of God (John MacArthur). “Mystery” is used in the New Testament to refer to divine revelation previously hidden. Here the word is used in its broadest sense as God’s full revealed truth in the New Testament. As God’s servant and steward, Paul had to oversee and dispense all scriptural truth.
    • Acts 20:20, 21, 27 – how I did not shrink from declaring to you anything that was profitable, and teaching you in public and from house to house, 21 testifying both to Jews and to Greeks of repentance toward God and of faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. 27 for I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God.
  • mysteries of GodThe Expositors Bible Commentary – indicates those mysteries of salvation God has revealed in his Word – the things man cannot discover by human wisdom. These truths of the cross have been entrusted to Christian workers to be carefully used and guarded.

2 Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found faithful. 3 But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by any human court. In fact, I do not even judge myself.

  • Paul is saying that a human court isn’t what matters, even if he is the one being judged. He isn’t being arrogant or flippant here.

4 For I am not aware of anything against myself, but I am not thereby acquitted. It is the Lord who judges me.

  • not thereby acquitted – even Paul recognizes that he is not perfect; even Paul has failed by sin and not being faithful.
  • Lord who judges me – God is the only person qualified to Judge mankind.
    • 2 Timothy 2:15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.
    • 2 Corinthians 5:9-10 Therefore we also have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.

5 Therefore do not pronounce judgment before the time, before the Lord comes, who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart. Then each one will receive his commendation from God.

  • The Expositors Bible Commentary – Paul is saying that the Corinthians were actually making a final judgment regarding his (Paul’s) faithfulness. His use of the “krino” word for “judge” indicates that the Corinthians were making a hasty and inappropriate judgement on their part.
  • Revelation 20:12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books.
  • Romans 2:29 No, a person is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a person’s praise is not from other people, but from God.
  • 2 Corinthians 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.
  • NOTE OF CAUTION HERE! You must keep reading to keep scripture in context. Judgment of believers will be covered in later verses, and in 2 Corinthians too. There is judgment of members in the body of Christ, like a Matthew 18 “church discipline” event. Also, God judges unbelievers, not us.

Note for upcoming verses, 6 to 13. The Expositors Bible Commentary. Paul describes the difference between himself and Apollos and some other Christian leaders. The Corinthians, he says, were proud and claimed to be spiritually rich. On the other hand, Paul and Apollos were considered weak and were despised and persecuted.

6 I have applied all these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, brothers, that you may learn by us not to go beyond what is written, that none of you may be puffed up in favor of one against another.

  • go beyond what is writtenThe Expositors Bible Commentary – If they learn not to go beyond the teaching of the Scripture about how they should treat God’s teachers and all of God’s people, then the result will be that they will not be conceited in taking a stand for one teacher or person against another.
  • puffed up
    • 1 Corinthians 4:18-19  Some are arrogant, as though I were not coming to you. 19 But I will come to you soon, if the Lord wills, and I will find out not the talk of these arrogant people but their power.
    • 1 Corinthians 5:2  And you are arrogant! Ought you not rather to mourn?
    • 1 Corinthians 8:1 Now concerning food offered to idols: we know that “all of us possess knowledge.” This “knowledge” puffs up, but love builds up.
    • 1 Corinthians 13:4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant.

7 For who sees anything different in you? What do you have that you did not receive? If then you received it, why do you boast as if you did not receive it?

  • What do you have that you did not receive – Some Corinthians were boasting about their spiritual gifts, so Paul is reminding them that it was God who gave them the gifts. They should not be boasting about something that was given to them.
  • boast:
    • John 3:27 To this John replied, “A person can receive only what is given them from heaven.
    • How can mankind boast about anything? His very breath, his mind, his spirit, is all given from God above.

8 Already you have all you want! Already you have become rich! Without us you have become kings! And would that you did reign, so that we might share the rule with you!

  • Revelation 3:17 You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.
  • John MacArthur – In a severe rebuke, Paul heaps on false praise, sarcastically suggesting that those Corinthians who were self-satisfied had already achieved spiritual greatness. They were similar to the Laodiceans mentioned in Revelation 3:17 above.
  • might share the rule [other bibles use “reign” here] – Paul truly wished that the Jesus had returned so that everyone could share in the glory of the Lord.

9 For I think that God has exhibited us apostles as last of all, like men sentenced to death, because we have become a spectacle to the world, to angels, and to men. 10 We are fools for Christ’s sake, but you are wise in Christ. We are weak, but you are strong. You are held in honor, but we in disrepute.

  • like men sentenced to deathJohn MacArthur – Like doomed gladiators, they were ridiculed, spit on, imprisoned, and beaten, yet God glorified His name through them as He used them to build His kingdom.
  • but you are wise in Christ. We are weak, but you are strongJohn MacArthur – Again, Paul using sarcasm, this time on himself as if mimicking the attitude of the proud Corinthians toward him, Paul rebukes them.
  • Acts 17:18 A group of Epicurean and Stoic philosophers began to debate with him. Some of them asked, “What is this babbler trying to say?” Others remarked, “He seems to be advocating foreign gods.” They said this because Paul was preaching the good news about Jesus and the resurrection.
  • 2 Corinthians 13:9 We are glad whenever we are weak but you are strong; and our prayer is that you may be fully restored.
  • Matthew 19:28 Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, in the new world, when the Son of Man will sit on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

11 To the present hour we hunger and thirst, we are poorly dressed and buffeted and homeless, 12 and we labor, working with our own hands. When reviled, we bless; when persecuted, we endure;

  • working with our own hands – some biblical commentaries say that the Corinthians thought that physical labor was beneath them.
  • Acts 18:3 and because he was a tentmaker as they were, he stayed and worked with them.
  • Matthew 5:44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,

13 when slandered, we entreat. We have become, and are still, like the scum of the world, the refuse of all things.

  • We have become, and are still, like the scum of the world, the refuse of all things. – John MacArthur – The Corinthians thought that they were Kings (verse 8 above), but Paul knew that he was a suffering slave. Paul and his fellow preachers were so designated – not in God’s sight, but in the world’s. What a rebuke of the proud, carnal Corinthians who saw themselves at the top, while the humble apostle considered himself at the bottom.
  • Lamentations 3:45 You have made us scum and refuse among the nations.

14 I do not write these things to make you ashamed, but to admonish you as my beloved children.

  • 1 Thessalonians 2:11 For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children,
  • admonish you – something is wrong here, and needs to be corrected.
    • Acts 20:31 Therefore be alert, remembering that for three years I did not cease night or day to admonish every one with tears.
  • children – just like a true loving parent, even when their children sin and disobey, a loving parent still loves and teaches their child.

15 For though you have countless guides in Christ, you do not have many fathers. For I became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel.

  • Acts 18:11 So Paul stayed in Corinth for a year and a half, teaching them the word of God.
  • Galatians 4:19 My dear children, for whom I am again in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you,
  • countless guides – in other words, nobody cared for them like Paul cared for them.

16 I urge you, then, be imitators of me.

  • 1 Thessalonians 1:6 You became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you welcomed the message in the midst of severe suffering with the joy given by the Holy Spirit.

17 That is why I sent you Timothy, my beloved and faithful child in the Lord, to remind you of my ways in Christ, as I teach them everywhere in every church.

  • Acts 19:22 He sent two of his helpers, Timothy and Erastus, to Macedonia, while he stayed in the province of Asia a little longer.
  • Philippians 2:19 I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, that I also may be cheered when I receive news about you.
  • 1 Timothy 1:2 To Timothy my true son in the faith: Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.
  • 2 Timothy 1:2 To Timothy, my dear son: Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.
  • Paul sent Timothy, who was highly trained in the gospel, in hopes that Timothy would help this church in Corinth to get straightened out; to get back on the correct path.

18 Some are arrogant, as though I were not coming to you.

  • arrogant. Some of them thought that they would never see Paul again. But, Lord willing, Paul now planned on returning. He would not let them continue in this incorrect behavior, for their own good as well as the Gospel.

19 But I will come to you soon, if the Lord wills, and I will find out not the talk of these arrogant people but their power.

  • Acts 19:21 After all this had happened, Paul decided to go to Jerusalem, passing through Macedonia and Achaia. “After I have been there,” he said, “I must visit Rome also.”
  • 2 Corinthians 1:15 Because I was confident of this, I wanted to visit you first so that you might benefit twice.
  • Acts 18:21 But as he left, he promised, “I will come back if it is God’s will.” Then he set sail from Ephesus.
  • Hebrews 6:3 And God permitting, we will do so.
  • James 4:15 Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.”

20 For the kingdom of God does not consist in talk but in power.

  • 1 Thessalonians 1:5 because our gospel came to you not simply with words but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake.

21 What do you wish? Shall I come to you with a rod, or with love in a spirit of gentleness?

  • 2 Corinthians 10:2 I beg you that when I come I may not have to be as bold as I expect to be toward some people who think that we live by the standards of this world.
  • rodJohn MacArthur – Spiritual leaders need to use the rod of correction if people persist in sin. The pattern for that correction is illustrated and explained in 5:1-13 (next chapter).

Chapter Five

Sexual Immorality Defiles the Church (Return to TOP)

It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that is not tolerated even among pagans, for a man has his father’s wife. 2 And you are arrogant! Ought you not rather to mourn? Let him who has done this be removed from among you. 3 For though absent in body, I am present in spirit; and as if present, I have already pronounced judgment on the one who did such a thing.

  • Colossians 2:5 For though I am absent from you in body, I am present with you in spirit and delight to see how disciplined you are and how firm your faith in Christ is.

4 When you are assembled in the name of the Lord Jesus and my spirit is present, with the power of our Lord Jesus,

  • Matthew 16:19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”
  • John 20:23 If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”

5 you are to deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord.

  • Psalms 109:6 Appoint someone evil to oppose my enemy; let an accuser stand at his right hand.
  • 1 Timothy 1:20 Among them are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan to be taught not to blaspheme.
  • Acts 26:18 to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’

6 Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump?

  • Galatians 5:9 “A little yeast works through the whole batch of dough.”
  • 2 Timothy 2:17 Their teaching will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus,

7 Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you really are unleavened. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed.

  • Exodus 13:3, 7 And Moses said to the people: “Remember this day in which you went out of Egypt, out of the house of bondage; for by strength of hand the LORD brought you out of this place. No leavened bread shall be eaten. 7 Unleavened bread shall be eaten seven days. And no leavened bread shall be seen among you, nor shall leaven be seen among you in all your quarters.
  • Isaiah 53:7 He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.
  • John 19:14 It was the day of Preparation of the Passover; it was about noon. “Here is your king,” Pilate said to the Jews.

8 Let us therefore celebrate the festival, not with the old leaven, the leaven of malice and evil, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

  • Exodus 12:15 For seven days you are to eat bread made without yeast. On the first day remove the yeast from your houses, for whoever eats anything with yeast in it from the first day through the seventh must be cut off from Israel.
  • Deuteronomy 16:3 Do not eat it with bread made with yeast, but for seven days eat unleavened bread, the bread of affliction, because you left Egypt in haste—so that all the days of your life you may remember the time of your departure from Egypt.
  • Matthew 16:6Be careful,” Jesus said to them. “Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”

9 I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people—

  • 2 Corinthians 6:14 Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?

10 not at all meaning the sexually immoral of this world, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world.

  • John 17:15 My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one.

11 But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one.

  • Matthew 18:17 If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector.
  • Galatians 2:12 For before certain men came from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles. But when they arrived, he began to draw back and separate himself from the Gentiles because he was afraid of those who belonged to the circumcision group.

12 For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge?

  • Mark 4:11 He told them, “The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you. But to those on the outside everything is said in parables

13 God judges those outside. “Purge the evil person from among you.”

  • Deuteronomy 13:5 That prophet or dreamer must be put to death for inciting rebellion against the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt and redeemed you from the land of slavery. That prophet or dreamer tried to turn you from the way the LORD your God commanded you to follow. You must purge the evil from among you.

Chapter Six

Lawsuits Against Believers (Return to TOP)

When one of you has a grievance against another, does he dare go to law before the unrighteous instead of the saints? 2 Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is to be judged by you, are you incompetent to try trivial cases?

  • Psalms 49:14 They are like sheep and are destined to die; death will be their shepherd (but the upright will prevail over them in the morning). Their forms will decay in the grave, far from their princely mansions.

3 Do you not know that we are to judge angels? How much more, then, matters pertaining to this life!

  • 2 Peter 2:4 For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell, putting them in chains of darkness to be held for judgment;

4 So if you have such cases, why do you lay them before those who have no standing in the church? 5 I say this to your shame. Can it be that there is no one among you wise enough to settle a dispute between the brothers, 6 but brother goes to law against brother, and that before unbelievers? 7 To have lawsuits at all with one another is already a defeat for you. Why not rather suffer wrong? Why not rather be defrauded?

  • Matthew 5:39-40 But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. 40 If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic, let him have your cloak also.
  • Matthew 18:21-22 Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” 22 Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.
  • Proverbs 20:22 Do not say, “I’ll pay you back for this wrong!” Wait for the LORD, and he will avenge you.

8 But you yourselves wrong and defraud—even your own brothers! 9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality,

  • Genesis 1:27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.
  • Genesis 18:20 And the LORD said, “Because the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grave,
  • Leviticus 18:22 You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination.
  • Romans 1:26-27 For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. 27 Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.
  • Galatians 5:21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
  • Ephesians 5:5 For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a person is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.
  • 1 Timothy 1:9 We also know that the law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers,

10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

  • 2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
  • John 3:3-8 Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” 4 Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” 5 Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ 8 The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
  • 2 Corinthians 5;17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
  • Romans 6:17-18, 22 But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered. 18 And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness. 22 But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life.
  • Hebrews 10:22 let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.
  • Romans 3:26 to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.
  • Romans 4:22-25 And therefore “it was accounted to him for righteousness.” 23 Now it was not written for his sake alone that it was imputed to him, 24 but also for us. It shall be imputed to us who believe in Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead, 25 who was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised because of our justification.
  • 2 Corinthians 5:21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
  • Philippians 3:8-9 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, 9 and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith;
  • 1 Peter 3:18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit,

Flee Sexual Immorality

12 “All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be dominated by anything.

  • Romans 7:6 But now we have been delivered from the law, having died to what we were held by, so that we should serve in the newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter.
  • Romans 8:13, 21 For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 21 because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.

13 “Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food”—and God will destroy both one and the other. The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.

  • Matthew 15:17 “Don’t you see that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then out of the body?
  • Romans 14:17 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit,
  • Colossians 2:22 These rules, which have to do with things that are all destined to perish with use, are based on merely human commands and teachings.
  • 1 Thessalonians 4:3 It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality;
  • Ephesians 5:23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior.
  • Ephesians 1:7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace

14 And God raised the Lord and will also raise us up by his power.

  • Romans 6:5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his.
  • Romans 6:8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him.
  • 2 Corinthians 4:14 because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you to himself.
  • Ephesians 1:19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength

15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Never!

  • Romans 12:5 so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.
  • Ephesians 1:22-23 And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, 23 which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.
  • John 7:38-39 He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” 39 But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.
  • Acts 1:8 But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
  • Romans 8:9 But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.

16 Or do you not know that he who is joined to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For, as it is written, “The two will become one flesh.”

  • Genesis 2:24 That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.

17 But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him.

  • John 15:4 Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.
  • John 17:20-23 “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: 23 I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.
  • Ephesians 4:4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called;

18 Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body.

  • Romans 6:12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires.
  • Hebrews 13:4 Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.
  • Romans 1:24 Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another.
  • 1 Thessalonians 4:4 that each of you should learn to control your own body in a way that is holy and honorable,

19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own,

  • 2 Corinthians 6:16 What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.”
  • Romans 14:7 For none of us lives for ourselves alone, and none of us dies for ourselves alone.

20 for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.

  • Acts 20:28 Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood.
  • Galatians 3:13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a pole.”
  • 1 Peter 1:18 For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors,
  • 2 Peter 2:1 But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves.

Chapter Seven

Principles for Marriage (Return to TOP)

Now concerning the matters about which you wrote: “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.” 2 But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband 3 The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband.

  • Exodus 21:10 If he marries another woman, he must not deprive the first one of her food, clothing and marital rights.

4 For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. 5 Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.

  • Joel 2:16 Gather the people, consecrate the assembly; bring together the elders, gather the children, those nursing at the breast. Let the bridegroom leave his room and the bride her chamber.
  • 1 Thessalonians 3:5 For this reason, when I could stand it no longer, I sent to find out about your faith. I was afraid that in some way the tempter had tempted you and that our labors might have been in vain.

6 Now as a concession, not a command, I say this.

  • 2 Corinthians 8:8 I am not commanding you, but I want to test the sincerity of your love by comparing it with the earnestness of others.

7 I wish that all were as I myself am. But each has his own gift from God, one of one kind and one of another.

  • Acts 26:29 Paul replied, “Short time or long—I pray to God that not only you but all who are listening to me today may become what I am, except for these chains.”

8 To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is good for them to remain single, as I am. 9 But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion.

  • 1 Timothy 5:14 So I counsel younger widows to marry, to have children, to manage their homes and to give the enemy no opportunity for slander.

10 To the married I give this charge (not I, but the Lord): the wife should not separate from her husband

  • Malachi 2:14 You ask, “Why?” It is because the LORD is the witness between you and the wife of your youth. You have been unfaithful to her, though she is your partner, the wife of your marriage covenant.
  • Matthew 5:32 But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, makes her the victim of adultery, and anyone who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.

11 (but if she does, she should remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband), and the husband should not divorce his wife. 12 To the rest I say (I, not the Lord) that if any brother has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she consents to live with him, he should not divorce her. 13 If any woman has a husband who is an unbeliever, and he consents to live with her, she should not divorce him. 14 For the unbelieving husband is made holy because of his wife, and the unbelieving wife is made holy because of her husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy.

  • Malachi 2:15 Has not the one God made you? You belong to him in body and spirit. And what does the one God seek? Godly offspring. So be on your guard, and do not be unfaithful to the wife of your youth.

15 But if the unbelieving partner separates, let it be so. In such cases the brother or sister is not enslaved. God has called you to peace.

  • Romans 12:18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.

16 For how do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife?

  • 1 Peter 3:1 Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives,

Live as You Are Called

17 Only let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him. This is my rule in all the churches. 18 Was anyone at the time of his call already circumcised? Let him not seek to remove the marks of circumcision. Was anyone at the time of his call uncircumcised? Let him not seek circumcision.

  • Acts 15:1 Certain people came down from Judea to Antioch and were teaching the believers: “Unless you are circumcised, according to the custom taught by Moses, you cannot be saved.”

19 For neither circumcision counts for anything nor uncircumcision, but keeping the commandments of God.

  • Galatians 5:6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.
  • John 15:14 You are my friends if you do what I command.

20 Each one should remain in the condition in which he was called. 21 Were you a bondservant when called? Do not be concerned about it. (But if you can gain your freedom, avail yourself of the opportunity.) 22 For he who was called in the Lord as a bondservant is a freedman of the Lord. Likewise he who was free when called is a bondservant of Christ.

  • John 8:36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.
  • Romans 6:18 You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.
  • Galatians 5:13 You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.
  • Ephesians 6:6 Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart.
  • 1 Peter 2:16 Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves.

23 You were bought with a price; do not become bondservants of men.

  • 1 Peter 1:18 For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors,
  • Leviticus 25:42 Because the Israelites are my servants, whom I brought out of Egypt, they must not be sold as slaves.

24 So, brothers, in whatever condition each was called, there let him remain with God.

The Unmarried and the Widowed

25 Now concerning the betrothed, I have no command from the Lord, but I give my judgment as one who by the Lord’s mercy is trustworthy.

  • 2 Corinthians 8:8 I am not commanding you, but I want to test the sincerity of your love by comparing it with the earnestness of others.
  • 1 Timothy 1:16 But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life.
  • 1 Timothy 1:12 I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me trustworthy, appointing me to his service.

26 I think that in view of the present distress it is good for a person to remain as he is. 27 Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be free. Are you free from a wife? Do not seek a wife. 28 But if you do marry, you have not sinned, and if a betrothed woman marries, she has not sinned. Yet those who marry will have worldly troubles, and I would spare you that. 29 This is what I mean, brothers: the appointed time has grown very short. From now on, let those who have wives live as though they had none,

  • Romans 13:11 And do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed.
  • 1 Peter 4:7 The end of all things is near. Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray.
  • 2 Peter 3:8, 9 But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day. 9The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.

30 and those who mourn as though they were not mourning, and those who rejoice as though they were not rejoicing, and those who buy as though they had no goods, 31 and those who deal with the world as though they had no dealings with it. For the present form of this world is passing away.

  • Psalm 39:6 “Surely everyone goes around like a mere phantom; in vain they rush about, heaping up wealth without knowing whose it will finally be.
  • James 1:10 But the rich should take pride in their humiliation—since they will pass away like a wild flower.
  • James 4:14 Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.
  • 1 Peter 1:24 For, “All people are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall,
  • 1 Peter 4:7 The end of all things is near. Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray.
  • 1 John 2:17 The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.

32 I want you to be free from anxieties. The unmarried man is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to please the Lord.

  • 1 Timothy 5:5 The widow who is really in need and left all alone puts her hope in God and continues night and day to pray and to ask God for help.

33 But the married man is anxious about worldly things, how to please his wife, 34 and his interests are divided. And the unmarried or betrothed woman is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to be holy in body and spirit. But the married woman is anxious about worldly things, how to please her husband.

  • Luke 10:40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”

35 I say this for your own benefit, not to lay any restraint upon you, but to promote good order and to secure your undivided devotion to the Lord. 36 If anyone thinks that he is not behaving properly toward his betrothed, if his passions are strong, and it has to be, let him do as he wishes: let them marry—it is no sin. 37 But whoever is firmly established in his heart, being under no necessity but having his desire under control, and has determined this in his heart, to keep her as his betrothed, he will do well. 38 So then he who marries his betrothed does well, and he who refrains from marriage will do even better.

  • Hebrews 13:4 Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.

39 A wife is bound to her husband as long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is free to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord.

  • Romans 7:2 For example, by law a married woman is bound to her husband as long as he is alive, but if her husband dies, she is released from the law that binds her to him.
  • 2 Corinthians 6:14 Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?

40 Yet in my judgment she is happier if she remains as she is. And I think that I too have the Spirit of God.

  • 1 Thessalonians 4:8 Therefore, anyone who rejects this instruction does not reject a human being but God, the very God who gives you his Holy Spirit.

Chapter Eight

Food Offered to Idols (Return to TOP)

8 Now concerning food offered to idols: we know that “all of us possess knowledge.” This “knowledge” puffs up, but love builds up.

  • Acts 15:20 Instead we should write to them, telling them to abstain from food polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from the meat of strangled animals and from blood.
  • Romans 14:14 I am convinced, being fully persuaded in the Lord Jesus, that nothing is unclean in itself. But if anyone regards something as unclean, then for that person it is unclean.
  • Romans 14:3 The one who eats everything must not treat with contempt the one who does not, and the one who does not eat everything must not judge the one who does, for God has accepted them.

2 If anyone imagines that he knows something, he does not yet know as he ought to know.

  • Galatians 6:3 If anyone thinks they are something when they are not, they deceive themselves.
  • 1 Timothy 6:4 they are conceited and understand nothing. They have an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions

3 But if anyone loves God, he is known by God. 4 Therefore, as to the eating of food offered to idols, we know that “an idol has no real existence,” and that “there is no God but one.”

  • Isaiah 41:24 But you are less than nothing and your works are utterly worthless; whoever chooses you is detestable.
  • Deuteronomy 4:39 Acknowledge and take to heart this day that the LORD is God in heaven above and on the earth below. There is no other.

5 For although there may be so-called gods in heaven or on earth—as indeed there are many “gods” and many “lords”—

  • John 10:34 Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your Law, ‘I have said you are “gods”’?

6 yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.

  • Malachi 2:10 Do we not all have one Father? Did not one God create us? Why do we profane the covenant of our ancestors by being unfaithful to one another?
  • Acts 17:28 For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’
  • John 13:13 “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am.
  • John 1:3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.
  • Ephesians 4:4-6 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you also were called in one hope of your calling; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

7 However, not all possess this knowledge. But some, through former association with idols, eat food as really offered to an idol, and their conscience, being weak, is defiled.

  • Romans 14:14 I am convinced, being fully persuaded in the Lord Jesus, that nothing is unclean in itself. But if anyone regards something as unclean, then for that person it is unclean.

8 Food will not commend us to God. We are no worse off if we do not eat, and no better off if we do.

  • Romans 14:17 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit,

9 But take care that this right of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak.

  • Galatians 5:13 You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.
  • Romans 14:13 Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister.

10 For if anyone sees you who have knowledge eating in an idol’s temple, will he not be encouraged, if his conscience is weak, to eat food offered to idols? 11 And so by your knowledge this weak person is destroyed, the brother for whom Christ died.

  • Romans 14:13 Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister.

12 Thus, sinning against your brothers and wounding their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ.

  • Matthew 25:40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

13 Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble.

  • Romans 14:21 It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or to do anything else that will cause your brother or sister to fall.

Chapter Nine

Paul Surrenders His Rights (Return to TOP)

Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord? Are not you my workmanship in the Lord?

  • Acts 9:5 “Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked. “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied.
  • 2 Corinthians 12:12 I persevered in demonstrating among you the marks of a true apostle, including signs, wonders and miracles.
  • Acts 9:3, 17 As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. 17 Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord—Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here—has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.”

2 If to others I am not an apostle, at least I am to you, for you are the seal of my apostleship in the Lord.

3 This is my defense to those who would examine me. 4 Do we not have the right to eat and drink?

  • 1 Thessalonians 2:6 We were not looking for praise from people, not from you or anyone else, even though as apostles of Christ we could have asserted our authority.

5 Do we not have the right to take along a believing wife, as do the other apostles and the brothers of the Lord and Cephas?

  • Matthew 13:55 “Isn’t this the carpenter’s son? Isn’t his mother’s name Mary, and aren’t his brothers James, Joseph, Simon and Judas?
  • Matthew 8:14 When Jesus came into Peter’s house, he saw Peter’s mother-in-law lying in bed with a fever.

6 Or is it only Barnabas and I who have no right to refrain from working for a living?

  • 2 Thessalonians 3:8 nor did we eat anyone’s food without paying for it. On the contrary, we worked night and day, laboring and toiling so that we would not be a burden to any of you.

7 Who serves as a soldier at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard without eating any of its fruit? Or who tends a flock without getting some of the milk?

  • 2 Corinthians 10:4 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.
  • Deuteronomy 20:6 Has anyone planted a vineyard and not begun to enjoy it? Let him go home, or he may die in battle and someone else enjoy it.

8 Do I say these things on human authority? Does not the Law say the same? 9 For it is written in the Law of Moses, “You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain.” Is it for oxen that God is concerned?

  • Deuteronomy 25:4 Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain.

10 Does he not certainly speak for our sake? It was written for our sake, because the plowman should plow in hope and the thresher thresh in hope of sharing in the crop.

  • 2 Timothy 2:6 The hardworking farmer should be the first to receive a share of the crops.

11 If we have sown spiritual things among you, is it too much if we reap material things from you?

  • Romans 15:27 They were pleased to do it, and indeed they owe it to them. For if the Gentiles have shared in the Jews’ spiritual blessings, they owe it to the Jews to share with them their material blessings.

12 If others share this rightful claim on you, do not we even more? Nevertheless, we have not made use of this right, but we endure anything rather than put an obstacle in the way of the gospel of Christ.

  • Acts 20:33 I have not coveted anyone’s silver or gold or clothing.
  • 2 Corinthians 11:12 And I will keep on doing what I am doing in order to cut the ground from under those who want an opportunity to be considered equal with us in the things they boast about.

13 Do you not know that those who are employed in the temple service get their food from the temple, and those who serve at the altar share in the sacrificial offerings?

  • Leviticus 6:16 Aaron and his sons shall eat the rest of it, but it is to be eaten without yeast in the sanctuary area; they are to eat it in the courtyard of the tent of meeting.

14 In the same way, the Lord commanded that those who proclaim the gospel should get their living by the gospel.

  • Matthew 10:10 no bag for the journey or extra shirt or sandals or a staff, for the worker is worth his keep.
  • Galatians 6:6 Nevertheless, the one who receives instruction in the word should share all good things with their instructor.

15 But I have made no use of any of these rights, nor am I writing these things to secure any such provision. For I would rather die than have anyone deprive me of my ground for boasting.

  • Acts 18:3 and because he was a tentmaker as they were, he stayed and worked with them.
  • 2 Corinthians 11:8-10 I robbed other churches, taking wages from them to minister to you. 9 And when I was present with you, and in need, I was a burden to no one, for what I lacked the brethren who came from Macedonia supplied. And in everything I kept myself from being burdensome to you, and so I will keep myself. 10 As surely as the truth of Christ is in me, nobody in the regions of Achaia will stop this boasting of mine.

16 For if I preach the gospel, that gives me no ground for boasting. For necessity is laid upon me. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!

  • Jeremiah 1:5; 20:9 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.” 20:9 Then I said, “I will not make mention of Him, Nor speak anymore in His name.” But His word was in my heart like a burning fire Shut up in my bones; I was weary of holding it back, And I could not.
  • Romans 1:14 I am obligated both to Greeks and non-Greeks, both to the wise and the foolish.
  • Acts 9:3-6, 15 As he journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven. 4 Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” 5 And he said, “Who are You, Lord?” Then the Lord said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. It is hard for you to kick against the goads.” 6 So he, trembling and astonished, said, “Lord, what do You want me to do?” Then the Lord said to him, “Arise and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.” 15 But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel.
  • Galatians 1:15 But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace,
  • Colossians 1:25 of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God which was given to me for you, to fulfill the word of God,
  • woe = Hebrews 13:17 Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you.

17 For if I do this of my own will, I have a reward, but if not of my own will, I am still entrusted with a stewardship.

  • Galatians 2:7 On the contrary, they recognized that I had been entrusted with the task of preaching the gospel to the uncircumcised, just as Peter had been to the circumcised.

18 What then is my reward? That in my preaching I may present the gospel free of charge, so as not to make full use of my right in the gospel. 19 For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them.

  • Galatians 5:13 You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.
  • Matthew 18:15 “If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over.
  • Proverbs 11:30 The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, And he who wins souls is wise.

20 To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though not being myself under the law) that I might win those under the law.

  • Romans 9:3 For I could wish that I myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my countrymen according to the flesh,
  • Romans 10:1 Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved.
  • Romans 11:14 if by any means I may provoke to jealousy those who are my flesh and save some of them.
  • Acts 16:3 Paul wanted to take him along on the journey, so he circumcised him because of the Jews who lived in that area, for they all knew that his father was a Greek.

21 To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (not being outside the law of God but under the law of Christ) that I might win those outside the law.

  • Galatians 3:2 I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by believing what you heard?
  • Romans 2:12 All who sin apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who sin under the law will be judged by the law.
  • James 1:25 But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.

22 To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some.

  • Romans 15:1 We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves.
  • Romans 11:14 in the hope that I may somehow arouse my own people to envy and save some of them.

23 I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings. 24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it.

  • Galatians 2:2 I went in response to a revelation and, meeting privately with those esteemed as leaders, I presented to them the gospel that I preach among the Gentiles. I wanted to be sure I was not running and had not been running my race in vain.

25 Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath [crown], but we an imperishable.

  • James 1:12 Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.
  • 2 Timothy 4:8 Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.

26 So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air.

  • 2 Timothy 2:5 Similarly, anyone who competes as an athlete does not receive the victor’s crown except by competing according to the rules.

27 But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.

  • Romans 8:13 For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.
  • Romans 6:18 You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.
  • Jeremiah 6:30 They are called rejected silver, because the LORD has rejected them.”
  • 2 Corinthians 13:5 Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test?

Chapter Ten

Warning Against Idolatry (Return to TOP)

10 For I do not want you to be unaware, brothers, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea,

  • Exodus 13:21 By day the LORD went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night.
  • Exodus 14:22 and the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with a wall of water on their right and on their left.

2 and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, 3 and all ate the same spiritual food,

  • Exodus 16:15 When the Israelites saw it, they said to each other, “What is it?” For they did not know what it was. Moses said to them, “It is the bread the LORD has given you to eat.

4 and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them, and the Rock was Christ. 5 Nevertheless, with most of them God was not pleased, for they were overthrown in the wilderness.

  • Numbers 20:8-12, 24 “Take the rod; you and your brother Aaron gather the congregation together. Speak to the rock before their eyes, and it will yield its water; thus you shall bring water for them out of the rock, and give drink to the congregation and their animals.” 9 So Moses took the rod from before the LORD as He commanded him. 10 And Moses and Aaron gathered the assembly together before the rock; and he said to them, “Hear now, you rebels! Must we bring water for you out of this rock?” 11 Then Moses lifted his hand and struck the rock twice with his rod; and water came out abundantly, and the congregation and their animals drank. 12 Then the LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not believe Me, to hallow Me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land which I have given them.” 24 “Aaron shall be gathered to his people, for he shall not enter the land which I have given to the children of Israel, because you rebelled against My word at the water of Meribah.

6 Now these things took place as examples for us, that we might not desire evil as they did.

  • Numbers 11:4 The rabble with them began to crave other food, and again the Israelites started wailing and said, “If only we had meat to eat!

7 Do not be idolaters as some of them were; as it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink and rose up to play.”

  • Exodus 32:28 So the sons of Levi did according to the word of Moses. And about three thousand men of the people fell that day.

8 We must not indulge in sexual immorality as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in a single day.

  • Exodus 32:35 So the LORD plagued the people because of what they did with the calf which Aaron made.
  • Revelation 2:14 Nevertheless, I have a few things against you: There are some among you who hold to the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to entice the Israelites to sin so that they ate food sacrificed to idols and committed sexual immorality.
  • Psalms 106:29 they aroused the LORD’s anger by their wicked deeds, and a plague broke out among them.

9 We must not put Christ to the test, as some of them did and were destroyed by serpents,

  • Exodus 17:2, 7 Therefore the people quarreled with Moses and said, “Give us water that we may drink.” And Moses said to them, “Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you test the LORD?” 7 He named the place Massah and Meribah because of the quarrel of the sons of Israel, and because they tested the LORD, saying, “Is the LORD among us, or not?”
  • Numbers 21:6 Then the LORD sent venomous snakes among them; they bit the people and many Israelites died.

10 nor grumble, as some of them did and were destroyed by the Destroyer.

  • Exodus 16:2 In the desert the whole community grumbled against Moses and Aaron.
  • Numbers 14:37 these men who were responsible for spreading the bad report about the land were struck down and died of a plague before the LORD.
  • Exodus 12:23 When the LORD goes through the land to strike down the Egyptians, he will see the blood on the top and sides of the doorframe and will pass over that doorway, and he will not permit the destroyer to enter your houses and strike you down.

11 Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come.

  • Romans 15:4 For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.
  • Philippians 4:5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.

12 Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall.

  • Isaiah 37:36-38 Then the angel of the LORD went out, and killed in the camp of the Assyrians one hundred and eighty-five thousand; and when people arose early in the morning, there were the corpses—all dead. 37 So Sennacherib king of Assyria departed and went away, returned home, and remained at Nineveh. 38 Now it came to pass, as he was worshiping in the house of Nisroch his god, that his sons Adrammelech and Sharezer struck him down with the sword; and they escaped into the land of Ararat. Then Esarhaddon his son reigned in his place.
  • Revelation 3:1-3, 17 “And to the angel of the church in Sardis write, ‘These things says He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars: “I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead. 2 Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die, for I have not found your works perfect before God. 3 Remember therefore how you have received and heard; hold fast and repent. Therefore if you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you. 17 Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked—
  • Romans 11:20 Granted. But they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but tremble.

13 No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

  • Matthew 6:13 And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.
  • Psalms 125:3 The scepter of the wicked will not remain over the land allotted to the righteous, for then the righteous might use their hands to do evil.

14 Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry.

  • 2 Corinthians 6:17 Therefore, “Come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.”

15 I speak as to sensible people; judge for yourselves what I say. 16 The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ?

  • Matthew 26:26 While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.”
  • Acts 2:42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.
  • Acts 20:28 Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.
  • Romans 3:25 whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed,
  • Ephesians 1:7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace
  • Colossians 1:20 and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross.
  • 1 Peter 1:19 but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.
  • 1 John 1:7 But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.
  • Revelation 1:5 and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood,

17 Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread. 18 Consider the people of Israel: are not those who eat the sacrifices participants in the altar?

  • Romans 4:12 And he is then also the father of the circumcised who not only are circumcised but who also follow in the footsteps of the faith that our father Abraham had before he was circumcised.
  • Romans 4:1 What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh, discovered in this matter?
  • Leviticus 3:3 From the fellowship offering you are to bring a food offering to the LORD: the internal organs and all the fat that is connected to them,
  • Israel
    • Leviticus 7:15-18 ‘Now as for the flesh of the sacrifice of his thanksgiving peace offerings, it shall be eaten on the day of his offering; he shall not leave any of it over until morning. 16 But if the sacrifice of his offering is a vow or a voluntary offering, it shall be eaten the same day that he offers his sacrifice; but on the next day the remainder of it also may be eaten; 17 the remainder of the flesh of the sacrifice on the third day must be burned with fire. 18 And if any of the flesh of the sacrifice of his peace offering is eaten at all on the third day, it shall not be accepted, nor shall it be imputed to him; it shall be an abomination to him who offers it, and the person who eats of it shall bear guilt.

19 What do I imply then? That food offered to idols is anything, or that an idol is anything? 20 No, I imply that what pagans sacrifice they offer to demons and not to God. I do not want you to be participants with demons.

  • Leviticus 17:7 They must no longer offer any of their sacrifices to the goat idols to whom they prostitute themselves. This is to be a lasting ordinance for them and for the generations to come.

21 You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons.

  • 2 Corinthians 6:15 What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? Or what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever?
  • Deuteronomy 32:38 the gods who ate the fat of their sacrifices and drank the wine of their drink offerings? Let them rise up to help you! Let them give you shelter!

22 Shall we provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than he?

  • jealousy:
    • Deuteronomy 32:21 They made me jealous by what is no god and angered me with their worthless idols. I will make them envious by those who are not a people; I will make them angry by a nation that has no understanding.
    • Jeremiah 25:6, 9 and do not follow other gods to serve them and to worship them, and do not provoke Me to anger with the work of your hands, then I will do you no harm.’ 9 behold, I will send and take all the families of the north,’ says the LORD, ‘and Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, My servant, and will bring them against this land, against its inhabitants, and against these nations all around, and will utterly destroy them, and make them an astonishment, a hissing, and perpetual desolations.
    • 1 Corinthians 11:30 For this reason many among you are weak and sick, and a number are asleep.
    • Ezekiel 22:14 Will your courage endure or your hands be strong in the day I deal with you? I the LORD have spoken, and I will do it.

Do All to the Glory of God

23 “All things are lawful,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful,” but not all things build up [edify].

  • build up / edify:
    • Acts 20:32 “So now, brethren, I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified.
    • 2 Corinthians 12:19 Again, do you think that we excuse ourselves to you? We speak before God in Christ. But we do all things, beloved, for your edification.
    • Ephesians 4:12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ,
    • 2 Timothy 3:16-17 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

24 Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor. 25 Eat whatever is sold in the meat market without raising any question on the ground of conscience.

  • 1 Timothy 4:4 For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving,

26 For “the earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof.”

  • Psalms 24:1 A Psalm of David. The earth is the LORD’s, and all its fullness, The world and those who dwell therein.
  • Exodus 19:5 Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine,

27 If one of the unbelievers invites you to dinner and you are disposed to go, eat whatever is set before you without raising any question on the ground of conscience.

  • Luke 10:7 Stay there, eating and drinking whatever they give you, for the worker deserves his wages. Do not move around from house to house.

28 But if someone says to you, “This has been offered in sacrifice,” then do not eat it, for the sake of the one who informed you, and for the sake of conscience—

  • Deuteronomy 10:14 To the LORD your God belong the heavens, even the highest heavens, the earth and everything in it.

29 I do not mean your conscience, but his. For why should my liberty be determined by someone else’s conscience?

  • Romans 14:6 Whoever regards one day as special does so to the Lord. Whoever eats meat does so to the Lord, for they give thanks to God; and whoever abstains does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God.

30 If I partake with thankfulness, why am I denounced because of that for which I give thanks?

  • Romans 14:6 Whoever regards one day as special does so to the Lord. Whoever eats meat does so to the Lord, for they give thanks to God; and whoever abstains does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God.

31 So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

  • Colossians 3:17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

32 Give no offense to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God,

  • Romans 14:13 Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister.

33 just as I try to please everyone in everything I do, not seeking my own advantage, but that of many, that they may be saved.

  • Romans 15:2 Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up.

Chapter Eleven

1 Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.

  • Ephesians 5:1 Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children

Head coverings. (Return to TOP)

2 Now I commend you because you remember me in everything and maintain the traditions even as I delivered them to you. 3 But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a wife is her husband, and the head of Christ is God.

  • Christ:
    • Ephesians 4:15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ
  • man / husband:
    • Isaiah 3:12 As for My people, children are their oppressors, And women rule over them. O My people! Those who lead you cause you to err, And destroy the way of your paths.”
    • Ephesians 5:23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior.
    • Genesis 3:16 To the woman he said, “I will make your pains in childbearing very severe; with painful labor you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.”
  • John 14:28 “You heard me say, ‘I am going away and I am coming back to you.’ If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I.
  • NIV STUDY BIBLE comments verse 3 “Submission”
    • Submission is a key element in the smooth functioning of any business, government, or family.
    • God ordained submission in certain relationships to prevent chaos. It is essential to understanding that submission is not surrender, withdrawal, or apathy.
    • It does NOT mean inferiority, because God created all people in his image and because all have equal value. 
    • Submission is mutual commitment and cooperation.
    • Thus, God calls for submission among EQUALS. He did not make man superior; he made a way for the man and woman to work together.
    • Jesus Christ, although equal with God the Father, submitted to him to carry out the plan for salvation.
    • Likewise, although equal to man under God, the wife should submit to her husband for the sake of their marriage and family.
    • Submission between equals is submission by choice, not force. We serve God in these relationships by willing submitting to others in our church, to our spouses, and to our government leaders. 

4 Every man who prays or prophesies with his head covered dishonors his head, 5 but every wife who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head, since it is the same as if her head were shaven.

  • NIV Life Application Bible – commentary on verses 2 to 16
    • In this section Paul’s main concern is irreverence in worship.  We need to read it in the context of the situation in Corinth. The matter of wearing hats or head coverings, although seemingly insignificant, had become a big problem because two cultural backgrounds were colliding. Jewish women always covered their heads in worship, for a woman to uncover her head in public was a sign of loose morals. On the other hand, Greek women may have been used to worshiping without head coverings. 
    • This section focuses primarily on “proper attitudes” and conduct in worship, NOT on the marriage relationship or on the role of women in the church. 
    • While Paul’s specific instructions may be cultural (women covering their heads in worship), the principles behind his specific instructions are timeless, principles like respect for spouse, reverence and appropriateness in worship, and focus of all life on God.
    • If anything you do can easily offend members and divide the church, then change your ways to promote church unity.
    • Thus Paul told the women who were not wearing head coverings to wear them, not because it was a Scriptural command, but because it kept the congregation from dividing over a petty issue that served only to take people’s mind off Christ. 
  • Matthew Henry commentary “HOW THE WOMAN DISHONORS HER HEAD”
    • The woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head, namely the man. She appears in the dress of her superior, and throws off the token of her subjection She might, with equal decency (or indecency), cut her hair short, or cut it close, which was the custom of the man in that age. This would be in a manner to declare that she was desirous of changing sexes, a manifest (striving after) that superiority which God had conferred on the other sex. The sexes should not strive to change places. The order in which divine wisdom has placed persons and things is best and fittest; to endeavor to amend it is to destroy all order, and introduce confusion. The woman should keep to the rank God has chosen for her, and not dishonor her head; for this, in the result, is to dishonor God. If she was made out of the man, and for the man, and made to be the glory of the man, she should do nothing, especially in public, that looks like a wish of having this order inverted. We should learn from all to behave in the public assemblies of divine worship so as to express a reverence for God, and a content and satisfaction with that rank in which He has placed us. 

6 For if a wife will not cover her head, then she should cut her hair short. But since it is disgraceful for a wife to cut off her hair or shave her head, let her cover her head.

  • Numbers 5:18 After the priest has had the woman stand before the LORD, he shall loosen her hair and place in her hands the reminder-offering, the grain offering for jealousy, while he himself holds the bitter water that brings a curse.

7 For a man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God, but woman is the glory of man.

  • Genesis 1:26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”

8 For man was not made from woman, but woman from man.

  • Matthew Henry commentary:
    • Another reason against this conduct is that the man is the representative of that glorious dominion and headship which God has over the world. It is the man, who is set at the head of this lower creation. Woman is the glory of the man: She is his representative. She, too, has dominion over the inferior creatures, and is God’s representative., too, but it is second-hand. She is the image of God, inasmuch as she is the image of the man. The man was made first, and made head of the reation here below, and in that, the image of the divine dominion. The woman was made out of the man, and shone with a reflection of his glory, but made superior to the other creatures, but in subjection to her husband, and deriving that honor from him out of whom she was made. She was naturally, therefore, made subject to him, because she was made for him, help and comfort. 
  • 1 Timothy 2:11-13 Let a woman learn in silence with all submission. 12 And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence. 13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve.

9 Neither was man created for woman, but woman for man. 10 That is why a wife ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels.

  • angels:
    • Matthew 18:10 “Take heed that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that in heaven their angels always see the face of My Father who is in heaven.
    • Ephesians 3:9-10 and to make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the ages has been hidden in God who created all things through Jesus Christ; 10 to the intent that now the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places,
    • Job 38:4, 7 “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding. 7 When the morning stars sang together, And all the sons of God shouted for joy?
  • Matthew Henry:
    • Some say, because of “evil angels.” The woman was first deceived by the devil, which increased her subjection to man. Evil angel (demonic spirits) will be sure to mix in all Christian assemblies.  
    • Some say, because of “good angels.” Jews and Christians have had an opinion that these ministering spirits are present in their assemblies. Their presence should restrain Christians from all indecencies in the worship of God. We should learn to behave in public assemblies of divine worship so as to express a reverence for God, and a content and satisfaction with that rank in which He has placed us. 

11 Nevertheless, in the Lord woman is not independent of man nor man of woman;

  • Galatians 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

12 for as woman was made from man, so man is now born of woman. And all things are from God.

  • Matthew Henry commentary: neither is the man without the woman:They were made for one another, Gen 2:18. They were made to be a mutual comfort and blessing, not one a slave and the other a tyrant. As the woman was first formed out of the man, the man is ever propagated by the woman. The authority and subjection should be no greater than are suitable to two in such near relationship and close union to each other. As it is the will of God that the woman know her place, so it is His will also that the man abuse NOT his power.
    • Genesis 2:18 Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.”
  • Galatians 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

13 Judge for yourselves: is it proper for a wife to pray to God with her head uncovered? 14 Does not nature itself teach you that if a man wears long hair it is a disgrace for him, 15 but if a woman has long hair, it is her glory? For her hair is given to her for a covering. 16 If anyone is inclined to be contentious, we have no such practice, nor do the churches of God.

  • 1 Timothy 6:4 they are conceited and understand nothing. They have an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions

Adam’s notes: For an EXCELLENT commentary on “head coverings”, please do yourself a favor and read the commentary on this 1 Corinthians’ chapter on “gotquestions.org

Additionally, if you want an excellent commentary on this chapter, see John MacArthur’s book entitled “1 Corinthians, Godly Solutions for Church Problems.” Lesson 7 discusses Chapter 11 and does a great job in breaking this down for us.

The Lord’s Supper (Return to TOP)

17 But in the following instructions I do not commend you, because when you come together it is not for the better but for the worse. 18 For, in the first place, when you come together as a church, I hear that there are divisions among you. And I believe it in part, 19 for there must be factions among you in order that those who are genuine among you may be recognized.

  • Matthew 18:7 Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to stumble! Such things must come, but woe to the person through whom they come!
  • Luke 17:1 Jesus said to his disciples: “Things that cause people to stumble are bound to come, but woe to anyone through whom they come.
  • 1 Timothy 4:1 The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.
  • Luke 2:35 so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.”
  • 1 John 2:19 They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us.

20 When you come together, it is not the Lord’s supper that you eat. 21 For in eating, each one goes ahead with his own meal. One goes hungry, another gets drunk.

  • 2 Peter 2:13 They will be paid back with harm for the harm they have done. Their idea of pleasure is to carouse in broad daylight. They are blots and blemishes, reveling in their pleasures while they feast with you.
  • Jude 1:12 These people are blemishes at your love feasts, eating with you without the slightest qualm—shepherds who feed only themselves. They are clouds without rain, blown along by the wind; autumn trees, without fruit and uprooted—twice dead.

22 What! Do you not have houses to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God and humiliate those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I commend you in this? No, I will not.

  • James 2:6 But you have dishonored the poor. Is it not the rich who are exploiting you? Are they not the ones who are dragging you into court?

23 For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread,

  • Matthew 26:26 While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.”
  • Luke 22:19 And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.”

24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body, which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” 25 In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.

  • John 14:3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.
  • Acts 1:11 “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”

27 Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty concerning the body and blood of the Lord.

  • John 6:51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.”

28 Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup.

  • 2 Corinthians 13:5 Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test?

29 For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself. 30 That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died. 31 But if we judged ourselves truly, we would not be judged.

  • Psalms 32:5 Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD.” And you forgave the guilt of my sin.
  • 1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

32 But when we are judged by the Lord, we are disciplined so that we may not be condemned along with the world.

  • Psalms 94:12 Blessed is the one you discipline, LORD, the one you teach from your law;

33 So then, my brothers, when you come together to eat, wait for one another— 34 if anyone is hungry, let him eat at home—so that when you come together it will not be for judgment. About the other things I will give directions when I come.

Chapter Twelve

Spiritual Gifts (Return to TOP)

12 Now concerning spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be uninformed. 2 You know that when you were pagans you were led astray to mute idols, however you were led.

  • Ephesians 2:11 Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called “uncircumcised” by those who call themselves “the circumcision” (which is done in the body by human hands)—
  • Psalms 115:5 They have mouths, but cannot speak, eyes, but cannot see.

3 Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking in the Spirit of God ever says “Jesus is accursed!” and no one can say “Jesus is Lord” except in the Holy Spirit.

  • Matthew 16:17 Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven.

4 Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit;

  • Romans 12:4 For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function,
  • Ephesians 4:4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called;

5 and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord;

  • Romans 12:6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith;

6 and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone.

  • Ephesians 1:23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.

7 To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. 8 For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit,

  • 2 Corinthians 8:7 But since you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in the love we have kindled in you —see that you also excel in this grace of giving.

9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit,

  • Matthew 17:19 Then the disciples came to Jesus in private and asked, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?”
  • 2 Corinthians 4:13 It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.” Since we have that same spirit of faith, we also believe and therefore speak,
  • Mark 16:18 they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”
  • James 5:14 Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord.

10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues.

  • Mark 16:17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues;
  • Romans 12:6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith;
  • Acts 2:4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.

11 All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills.

  • Romans 12:6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith;
  • 2 Corinthians 10:13 We, however, will not boast beyond proper limits, but will confine our boasting to the sphere of service God himself has assigned to us, a sphere that also includes you.
  • John 3:8 The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”

One Body with Many Members (Return to TOP)

12 For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ.

  • Romans 12:4-5 For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, 5 so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. 
  • Ephesians 4:4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called;
  • Galatians 3:16 The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. Scripture does not say “and to seeds,” meaning many people, but “and to your seed,” meaning one person, who is Christ.

13 For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit.

  • Romans 6:5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his.
  • Galatians 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
  • Colossians 3:11 Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in al
  • John 6:63 The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you—they are full of the Spirit and life.

14 For the body does not consist of one member but of many. 15 If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? 18 But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose.

  • Romans 12:3 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.

19 If all were a single member, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, yet one body. 21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” 22 On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23 and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, 24 which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, 25 that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. 26 If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together. 27 Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.

  • Romans 12:5 so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.
  • Ephesians 1:23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.
  • Ephesians 4:12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up
  • Ephesians 5:23, 30 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 30 for we are members of his body.
  • Colossians 1:24 Now I rejoice in what I am suffering for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church.

28 And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, helping, administrating, and various kinds of tongues.

  • Ephesians 4:11 So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers,
  • Ephesians 2:20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone.
  • Ephesians 3:5 which was not made known to people in other generations as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to God’s holy apostles and prophets.
  • Acts 13:1 Now in the church at Antioch there were prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen (who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch) and Saul.
  • Romans 12:6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith;
  • Numbers 11:17 I will come down and speak with you there, and I will take some of the power of the Spirit that is on you and put it on them. They will share the burden of the people with you so that you will not have to carry it alone.
  • Romans 12:8 if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.
  • 1 Timothy 5:17 The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honor, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching.
  • Hebrews 13:17, 24 Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with grief, for this would be unprofitable for you. 24 Greet all of your leaders and all the saints. Those from Italy greet you.

29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? 30 Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? 31 But earnestly desire the higher gifts. And I will show you a still more excellent way.

Chapter Thirteen

The Way of Love (Return to TOP)

13 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.

  • Matthew 7:22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’
  • Matthew 17:20 He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”
  • Mark 11:23 “Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them.
  • Luke 17:6 He replied, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you.

3 If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.

  • Matthew 6:1, 2 Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven. 2 “So when you give to the poor, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be honored by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. 

4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant

  • Proverbs 10:12 Hatred stirs up conflict, but love covers over all wrongs.
  • 1 Peter 4:8 Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.

5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;

  • Philippians 2:4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.

  • Psalms 10:3 He boasts about the cravings of his heart; he blesses the greedy and reviles the LORD.
  • Romans 1:32 Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.

7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

  • Romans 15:1 We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves.
  • Galatians 6:2 Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.
  • 2 Timothy 2:24 And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful.

8 Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. 11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. 12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.

  • 2 Corinthians 3:18 And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
  • 2 Corinthians 5:7 For we live by faith, not by sight.
  • Philippians 3:12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.
  • Matthew 8:10 When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, “Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith.
  • 1 John 3:2 Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.

13 So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

Chapter Fourteen

Prophecy and Tongues (Return to TOP)

1 Pursue love, and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy.

  • Numbers 11:25, 29 Then the LORD came down in the cloud and spoke to him; and He took of the Spirit who was upon him and placed Him upon the seventy elders. And when the Spirit rested upon them, they prophesied. But they did not do it again. 29 But Moses said to him, “Are you jealous for my sake? Would that all the LORD’S people were prophets, that the LORD would put His Spirit upon them!”
  • prophesy:
    • John MacArthur = Prophets were especially gifted men in the local churches, who preached God’s Word (Acts 11:21-28; 13:1) Any message preached by a prophet had to be judged by the word of the apostles.
  • prophecy:
    • John MacArthur = “speaking forth”, or “proclaiming publicly.” Prediction wasn’t added until sometime in the Middle Ages. Since the completion of Scripture, prophecy has not been a means of new revelation but is limited to proclaiming what has already been revealed in the written Word.
    • NIV Study bible = Prophecy may involve predicting future events, but its main purpose is to communicate God’s message to people, providing insight, warning, correction, and encouragement.

2 For one who speaks in a tongue speaks not to men but to God; for no one understands him, but he utters mysteries in the Spirit.

  • Acts 2:4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.
  • Acts 10:46 For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God. Then Peter said,

3 On the other hand, the one who prophesies speaks to people for their upbuilding and encouragement and consolation. 4 The one who speaks in a tongue builds up himself, but the one who prophesies builds up the church. 5 Now I want you all to speak in tongues, but even more to prophesy. The one who prophesies is greater than the one who speaks in tongues, unless someone interprets, so that the church may be built up. 6 Now, brothers, if I come to you speaking in tongues, how will I benefit you unless I bring you some revelation or knowledge or prophecy or teaching? 7 If even lifeless instruments, such as the flute or the harp, do not give distinct notes, how will anyone know what is played? 8 And if the bugle gives an indistinct sound, who will get ready for battle? 9 So with yourselves, if with your tongue you utter speech that is not intelligible, how will anyone know what is said? For you will be speaking into the air. 10 There are doubtless many different languages in the world, and none is without meaning, 11 but if I do not know the meaning of the language, I will be a foreigner to the speaker and the speaker a foreigner to me. 12 So with yourselves, since you are eager for manifestations of the Spirit, strive to excel in building up the church. 13 Therefore, one who speaks in a tongue should pray that he may interpret. 14 For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays but my mind is unfruitful. 15 What am I to do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will pray with my mind also; I will sing praise with my spirit, but I will sing with my mind also.

  • Ephesians 5:19 speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord,
  • Colossians 3:16 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.
  • Psalms 47:7 For God is the King of all the earth; sing to him a psalm of praise.

16 Otherwise, if you give thanks with your spirit, how can anyone in the position of an outsider say “Amen” to your thanksgiving when he does not know what you are saying? 17 For you may be giving thanks well enough, but the other person is not being built up. 18 I thank God that I speak in tongues more than all of you. 19 Nevertheless, in church I would rather speak five words with my mind in order to instruct others, than ten thousand words in a tongue. 20 Brothers, do not be children in your thinking. Be infants in evil, but in your thinking be mature.

  • Psalms 131:2 But I have calmed and quieted myself, I am like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child I am content.
  • Matthew 11:25 At that time Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children.
  • Matthew 18:3 And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
  • Matthew 19:14 Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”
  • Romans 16:19 Everyone has heard about your obedience, so I rejoice because of you; but I want you to be wise about what is good, and innocent about what is evil.
  • Ephesians 4:14 Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming.
  • Hebrews 5:12, 13 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food.  13 For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is an infant.
  • 1 Peter 2:2 Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation,

21 In the Law it is written, “By people of strange tongues and by the lips of foreigners will I speak to this people, and even then they will not listen to me, says the Lord.”

  • John 10:34 Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your Law, ‘I have said you are “gods”’?
  • Isaiah 28:11, 12 Indeed, He will speak to this people Through stammering lips and a foreign tongue, 12 He who said to them, “Here is rest, give rest to the weary,” And, “Here is repose,” but they would not listen.

22 Thus tongues are a sign not for believers but for unbelievers, while prophecy is a sign not for unbelievers but for believers. 23 If, therefore, the whole church comes together and all speak in tongues, and outsiders or unbelievers enter, will they not say that you are out of your minds?

  • Acts 2:13 Some, however, made fun of them and said, “They have had too much wine.”

24 But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or outsider enters, he is convicted by all, he is called to account by all, 25 the secrets of his heart are disclosed, and so, falling on his face, he will worship God and declare that God is really among you.

  • Isaiah 45:14 This is what the LORD says: “The products of Egypt and the merchandise of Cush, and those tall Sabeans— they will come over to you and will be yours; they will trudge behind you, coming over to you in chains. They will bow down before you and plead with you, saying, ‘Surely God is with you, and there is no other; there is no other god.’”
  • Zechariah 8:23 This is what the LORD Almighty says: “In those days ten people from all languages and nations will take firm hold of one Jew by the hem of his robe and say, ‘Let us go with you, because we have heard that God is with you.’”

Orderly Worship (Return to TOP)

26 What then, brothers? When you come together, each one has a hymn, a lesson, a revelation, a tongue, or an interpretation. Let all things be done for building up.

  • 2 Corinthians 12:19 Have you been thinking all along that we have been defending ourselves to you? We have been speaking in the sight of God as those in Christ; and everything we do, dear friends, is for your strengthening.
  • Ephesians 4:12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up

27 If any speak in a tongue, let there be only two or at most three, and each in turn, and let someone interpret. 28 But if there is no one to interpret, let each of them keep silent in church and speak to himself and to God. 29 Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others weigh what is said. 30 If a revelation is made to another sitting there, let the first be silent.

  • 1 Thessalonians 5:19, 20 Do not quench the Spirit;  20 do not despise prophetic utterances.

31 For you can all prophesy one by one, so that all may learn and all be encouraged, 32 and the spirits of prophets are subject to prophets.

  • 1 John 4:1 Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.

33 For God is not a God of confusion but of peace. As in all the churches of the saints, 34 the women should keep silent in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak, but should be in submission, as the Law also says.

  • 1 Timothy 2:11, 12 A woman must quietly receive instruction with entire submissiveness. 12 But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet.
  • Genesis 3:16 To the woman he said, “I will make your pains in childbearing very severe; with painful labor you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.”

35 If there is anything they desire to learn, let them ask their husbands at home. For it is shameful for a woman to speak in church. 36 Or was it from you that the word of God came? Or are you the only ones it has reached? 37 If anyone thinks that he is a prophet, or spiritual, he should acknowledge that the things I am writing to you are a command of the Lord.

  • 2 Corinthians 10:7 You are judging by appearances. If anyone is confident that they belong to Christ, they should consider again that we belong to Christ just as much as they do.
  • 1 John 4:6 We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood.

38 If anyone does not recognize this, he is not recognized. 39 So, my brothers, earnestly desire to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues.

  • 1 Thessalonians 5:20 Do not treat prophecies with contempt

40 But all things should be done decently and in order.

Chapter Fifteen

The Resurrection of Christ (Return to TOP)

1 Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand,

  • Galatians 1:11 I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that the gospel I preached is not of human origin.

2 and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.

  • Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.
  • Galatians 3:4 Have you experienced so much in vain—if it really was in vain?

3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures,

  • Galatians 1:12 I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ.
  • Psalms 22:15 My mouth is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth; you lay me in the dust of death.
  • Acts 3:18 But this is how God fulfilled what he had foretold through all the prophets, saying that his Messiah would suffer.
  • 1 Peter 1:11 trying to find out the time and circumstances to which the Spirit of Christ in them was pointing when he predicted the sufferings of the Messiah and the glories that would follow.

4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures,

  • Psalms 16:10 because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead, nor will you let your faithful one see decay.
  • Isaiah 53:10 Yet it was the LORD’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the LORD makes his life an offering for sin, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the LORD will prosper in his hand.
  • Luke 24:26 Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?”
  • Acts 2:25 David said about him: “’I saw the Lord always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.

5 and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve.

  • Luke 24:34 and saying, “It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.”
  • Matthew 28:17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted.

6 Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles.

  • Luke 24:50 When he had led them out to the vicinity of Bethany, he lifted up his hands and blessed them.
  • Acts 1:3, 4 To these He also presented Himself alive after His suffering, by many convincing proofs, appearing to them over a period of forty days and speaking of the things concerning the kingdom of God. 4 Gathering them together, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised, “Which,” He said, “you heard of from Me;

8 Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me.

  • Acts 9:4 He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”

9 For I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.

  • Ephesians 3:8Although I am less than the least of all the Lord’s people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the boundless riches of Christ,
  • Acts 8:3 But Saul began to destroy the church. Going from house to house, he dragged off both men and women and put them in prison.

10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me.

  • Ephesians 3:7, 8 of which I was made a minister, according to the gift of God’s grace which was given to me according to the working of His power. 8 To me, the very least of all saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ,
  • Matthew 28:17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted.
  • Romans 15:18 I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me in leading the Gentiles to obey God by what I have said and done
  • Galatians 2:8 For God, who was at work in Peter as an apostle to the circumcised, was also at work in me as an apostle to the Gentiles.
  • Philippians 2:13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.

11 Whether then it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.

The Resurrection of the Dead (Return to TOP)

12 Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised.

  • 1 Thessalonians 4:14 For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.

14 And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. 15 We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised.

  • Acts 2:4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.

16 For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins.

  • Romans 4:25 He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.

18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. 19 If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.

  • 2 Timothy 3:12 In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted,

20 But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.

  • 1 Peter 1:3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
  • Acts 26:23 that the Messiah would suffer and, as the first to rise from the dead, would bring the message of light to his own people and to the Gentiles.”

21 For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead.

  • Romans 5:12 Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned—
  • John 11:25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die;

22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. 23 But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ.

  • 1 Thessalonians 4:15 According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep.

24 Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power.

  • Daniel 7:14 He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all nations and peoples of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.

25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet.

  • Psalms 110:1 Of David. A psalm. The LORD says to my lord: “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.”

26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death.

  • 2 Timothy 1:10 but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.

27 For “God has put all things in subjection under his feet.” But when it says, “all things are put in subjection,” it is plain that he is excepted who put all things in subjection under him.

  • Psalms 8:6 You made them rulers over the works of your hands; you put everything under their feet:

28 When all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to him who put all things in subjection under him, that God may be all in all.

  • Philippians 3:21 who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.

29 Otherwise, what do people mean by being baptized on behalf of the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, why are people baptized on their behalf? 30 Why are we in danger every hour?

  • 2 Corinthians 11:26 I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my fellow Jews, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false believers.

31 I protest, brothers, by my pride in you, which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die every day!

  • 1 Thessalonians 2:19 For what is our hope, our joy, or the crown in which we will glory in the presence of our Lord Jesus when he comes? Is it not you?
  • Romans 8:36 As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”

32 What do I gain if, humanly speaking, I fought with beasts at Ephesus? If the dead are not raised, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.”

  • 2 Corinthians 1:18 But as surely as God is faithful, our message to you is not “Yes” and “No.”
  • Ecclesiastes 2:24 A person can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in their own toil. This too, I see, is from the hand of God,

33 Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.” 34 Wake up from your drunken stupor, as is right, and do not go on sinning. For some have no knowledge of God. I say this to your shame.

  • Romans 13:11 And do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed.
  • Ephesians 5:14 This is why it is said: “Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”
  • 1 Thessalonians 4:5 not in passionate lust like the pagans, who do not know God;

The Resurrection Body (Return to TOP)

35 But someone will ask, “How are the dead raised? With what kind of body do they come?”

  • Ezekiel 37:3 He asked me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” I said, “Sovereign LORD, you alone know.”

36 You foolish person! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies.

Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.

37 And what you sow is not the body that is to be, but a bare kernel, perhaps of wheat or of some other grain. 38 But God gives it a body as he has chosen, and to each kind of seed its own body. 39 For not all flesh is the same, but there is one kind for humans, another for animals, another for birds, and another for fish. 40 There are heavenly bodies and earthly bodies, but the glory of the heavenly is of one kind, and the glory of the earthly is of another. 41 There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for star differs from star in glory. 42 So is it with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable; what is raised is imperishable.

  • Daniel 12:3 Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever.
  • Matthew 13:43 Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears, let them hear.

43 It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power.

  • Philippians 3:21 who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.

44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. 45 Thus it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit.

  • Genesis 2:7 Then the LORD God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.
  • Romans 5:14 Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who is a pattern of the one to come.
  • John 5:21 For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son gives life to whom he is pleased to give it.
  • Philippians 3:21 who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.
  • Colossians 3:4 When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

46 But it is not the spiritual that is first but the natural, and then the spiritual. 47 The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven.

  • John 3:31 The one who comes from above is above all; the one who is from the earth belongs to the earth, and speaks as one from the earth. The one who comes from heaven is above all.
  • Genesis 3:19 By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.”
  • John 3:13 No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven—the Son of Man.

48 As was the man of dust, so also are those who are of the dust, and as is the man of heaven, so also are those who are of heaven.

  • Philippians 3:20 But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ,

49 Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven.

  • Genesis 5:3 When Adam had lived 130 years, he had a son in his own likeness, in his own image; and he named him Seth.
  • Romans 8:29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.
  • 2 Corinthians 3:18 And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
  • Philippians 3:21 who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.
  • 1 John 3:2 Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.

Mystery and Victory (Return to TOP)

50 I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.

  • Matthew 16:17 Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven.
  • John 3:3, 5 Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” 5 Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

51 Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,

  • 1 Thessalonians 4:15 According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep.
  • Philippians 3:21 who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.

52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed.

  • Zechariah 9:14 Then the LORD will appear over them; his arrow will flash like lightning. The Sovereign LORD will sound the trumpet; he will march in the storms of the south,
  • Matthew 24:31 And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.
  • John 5:25 Very truly I tell you, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live.

53 For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality.

  • 2 Corinthians 5:4 For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life.

54 When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.”

  • Isaiah 25:8 he will swallow up death forever. The Sovereign LORD will wipe away the tears from all faces; he will remove his people’s disgrace from all the earth. The LORD has spoken.
  • Revelation 20:14 Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death.

55  “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?”

  • Hosea 13:14 “I will deliver this people from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death. Where, O death, are your plagues? Where, O grave, is your destruction? “I will have no compassion,

56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.

  • Romans 4:15 because the law brings wrath. And where there is no law there is no transgression.

57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

  • Romans 7:25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.
  • 1 John 5:4 for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.

58 Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.

  • 2 Peter 3:14 So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him.

Chapter Sixteen

The Collection for the Saints (Return to TOP)

1 Now concerning the collection for the saints: as I directed the churches of Galatia, so you also are to do.

  • Acts 11:29 The disciples, as each one was able, decided to provide help for the brothers and sisters living in Judea.
  • Galatians 2:10 All they asked was that we should continue to remember the poor, the very thing I had been eager to do all along.

2 On the first day of every week, each of you is to put something aside and store it up, as he may prosper, so that there will be no collecting when I come.

  • Acts 20:7 On the first day of the week we came together to break bread. Paul spoke to the people and, because he intended to leave the next day, kept on talking until midnight.

3 And when I arrive, I will send those whom you accredit by letter to carry your gift to Jerusalem.

  • 2 Corinthians 8:19 What is more, he was chosen by the churches to accompany us as we carry the offering, which we administer in order to honor the Lord himself and to show our eagerness to help.

4 If it seems advisable that I should go also, they will accompany me.

  • 2 Corinthians 8:4, 19 begging us with much urging for the favor of participation in the support of the saints, 19 and not only this, but he has also been appointed by the churches to travel with us in this gracious work, which is being administered by us for the glory of the Lord Himself, and to show our readiness, 

Plans for Travel (Return to TOP)

5 I will visit you after passing through Macedonia, for I intend to pass through Macedonia,

  • Acts 19:21 After all this had happened, Paul decided to go to Jerusalem, passing through Macedonia and Achaia. “After I have been there,” he said, “I must visit Rome also.”
  • 2 Corinthians 1:16 I wanted to visit you on my way to Macedonia and to come back to you from Macedonia, and then to have you send me on my way to Judea.

6 and perhaps I will stay with you or even spend the winter, so that you may help me on my journey, wherever I go.

  • Acts 15:3 The church sent them on their way, and as they traveled through Phoenicia and Samaria, they told how the Gentiles had been converted. This news made all the believers very glad.
  • Romans 15:24 I plan to do so when I go to Spain. I hope to see you while passing through and to have you assist me on my journey there, after I have enjoyed your company for a while.

7 For I do not want to see you now just in passing. I hope to spend some time with you, if the Lord permits.

  • Acts 18:21 But as he left, he promised, “I will come back if it is God’s will.” Then he set sail from Ephesus.
  • James 4:15 Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.”

8 But I will stay in Ephesus until Pentecost, 9 for a wide door for effective work has opened to me, and there are many adversaries.

  • Acts 14:27 On arriving there, they gathered the church together and reported all that God had done through them and how he had opened a door of faith to the Gentiles.
  • 2 Corinthians 2:12 Now when I went to Troas to preach the gospel of Christ and found that the Lord had opened a door for me,
  • Colossians 4:3 And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains.
  • Acts 19:9 But some of them became obstinate; they refused to believe and publicly maligned the Way. So Paul left them. He took the disciples with him and had discussions daily in the lecture hall of Tyrannus.

10 When Timothy comes, see that you put him at ease among you, for he is doing the work of the Lord, as I am.

  • Acts 19:22 He sent two of his helpers, Timothy and Erastus, to Macedonia, while he stayed in the province of Asia a little longer.
  • Philippians 2:20 I have no one else like him, who will show genuine concern for your welfare.
  • 1 Thessalonians 3:2 We sent Timothy, who is our brother and co-worker in God’s service in spreading the gospel of Christ, to strengthen and encourage you in your faith,

11 So let no one despise him. Help him on his way in peace, that he may return to me, for I am expecting him with the brothers.

  • 1 Tim 4:12 Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.
  • Acts 15:33 After spending some time there, they were sent off by the believers with the blessing of peace to return to those who had sent them.

Final Instructions (Return to TOP)

12 Now concerning our brother Apollos, I strongly urged him to visit you with the other brothers, but it was not at all his will to come now. He will come when he has opportunity. 13 Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.

  • Matthew 24:42 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.
  • Philippians 1:27 Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in the one Spirit, striving together as one for the faith of the gospel
  • Ephesians 6:10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.

14 Let all that you do be done in love.

  • 1 Peter 4:8 Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.

15 Now I urge you, brothers—you know that the household of Stephanas were the first converts in Achaia, and that they have devoted themselves to the service of the saints—

  • Romans 16:5 Greet also the church that meets at their house. Greet my dear friend Epenetus, who was the first convert to Christ in the province of Asia.
  • 2 Corinthians 8:4 they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the Lord’s people.

16 be subject to such as these, and to every fellow worker and laborer.

  • Hebrews 13:17 Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account. Do this so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no benefit to you.
  • Hebrews 6:10 God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.

17 I rejoice at the coming of Stephanas and Fortunatus and Achaicus, because they have made up for your absence,

  • 2 Corinthians 11:9 And when I was with you and needed something, I was not a burden to anyone, for the brothers who came from Macedonia supplied what I needed. I have kept myself from being a burden to you in any way, and will continue to do so.

18 for they refreshed my spirit as well as yours. Give recognition to such people.

  • Colossians 4:8 I am sending him to you for the express purpose that you may know about our circumstances and that he may encourage your hearts.
  • Philippians 2:29 So then, welcome him in the Lord with great joy, and honor people like him,

It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or to do anything else that will cause your brother or sister to fall.

19 The churches of Asia send you greetings. Aquila and Prisca, together with the church in their house, send you hearty greetings in the Lord.

  • Romans 16:5 Greet also the church that meets at their house. Greet my dear friend Epenetus, who was the first convert to Christ in the province of Asia.

20 All the brothers send you greetings. Greet one another with a holy kiss.

  • Romans 16:16 Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the churches of Christ send greetings.

21 I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand.

  • Colossians 4:18 I, Paul, write this greeting in my own hand. Remember my chains. Grace be with you.

22 If anyone has no love for the Lord, let him be accursed. Our Lord, come!

  • Ephesians 6:24 Grace to all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with an undying love.
  • Galatians 1:8, 9 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! 9 As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed!
  • Jude 14, 15 It was also about these men that Enoch, in the seventh generation from Adam, prophesied, saying, “Behold, the Lord came with many thousands of His holy ones, 15t o execute judgment upon all, and to convict all the ungodly of all their ungodly deeds which they have done in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.” 

23 The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you.

  • Romans 16:20 The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.

24 My love be with you all in Christ Jesus. Amen.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. 2016. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles. (Return to TOP)

Videos on the Web:
















Powered by WordPress