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I.              AUTHOR – Paul
A.    Born in Tarsus, Acts 21:39; 22:3
1.      Noted trading center
2.      Known for its manufacture of goat’s hair cloth
3.      Paul learned tent making trade in Tarsus
4.      Famous university there
B.     Roman citizen
1.      Used as a shield against magistrates
2.      Used to advance Christianity
C.    Jewish heritage, Php 3:5; Ro 9:1-2
1.      Son of a Pharisee, Acts 23:6
2.      Cradled in Orthodox Judaism
D.    Education
Paul began his studies at age 13 under the famous scholar Gamaliel (Acts 22:3; 26:4-5). 
E.     First appearance, Ac 7:58.
1.      Paul at least 30 years old
2.      Acknowledged leader in Judaism (Acts 7:58-8:3; 9:1-2; cf. 26:10-11; 1 Ti 1:12f)
F.     Conversion by direct appearance of Jesus, Acts 9:1ff.
G.    Paul was the greatest missionary of the first century.
H.    Paul’s character
Labors, burning zeal, untiring industry, singleness of aim, patient, suffering, sublime courage, fearless independence (Ga 2:11)
I.       Importance of Paul’s life
1.      Conversion a testimony for truth
2.      Academic activity is of utmost importance to the doctrinal foundation of Christianity
3.      Missionary activity – to almost all the civilized world at that time (Ro 15:24; Eph 2:14)
J.      1 Corinthians accepted as canonical historically:
1.      Clement of Rome (A.D. 95)
2.      Ignatius (A.D. 110)
3.      Polycarp (A.D. 135)
4.      Tertullian (A.D. 200)
II.            DATE OF WRITING – A.D. 56
III.           PLACE OF WRITING – Ephesus, 1 Co 16:8,19; 15:32
A.    Two reports of divisions:
1.      Report from Apollos, 1 Co 16:12
2.      Report from the house of Chloe, 1 Co 1:1-2
B.     1 Corinthians is an answer to a letter of inquiry by the Corinthians (1 Co 7:1; 16:17; cf. “now concerning” in 1 Co 7:1, 25; 8:1, 12:1; 16:1,12)
C.    Instability of the church
1.      Culture of the city of Corinth negatively influenced the Corinthian church by the rhetoric of philosophical speculation, immorality and litigation
2.      No training in the Old Testament except for the Jews
3.      Much training was necessary to bring them up to the place of spiritual maturity (1 Co 3:1-3)
D.    The church broke into four factions: followers of Paul, Apollos, Peter and Christ (1 Co 1:10-13; 3:1-9)
V.           THE CITY
A.    Destroyed in 146 B.C. but rebuilt by Julius Caesar 100 years later in 46 B.C.
B.    Corinth in Paul’s day was the commercial metropolis of Greece
C.    One of the largest, richest and most important cities of the Roman Empire.
D.    Roman colony and capital of province of Achaia
E.     Population – 600,000, surpassed only by Rome, Alexandria and Antioch of Syria
F.     Corinth located in southern Greece
G.    Southern Greece (the Peloponnesus) separated from northern Greece by a four mile wide isthmus. 
H.    Situated on the principal trade route for land (north and south) and located near two ports (east and west)
I.       Land traffic from north to south had to pass through Corinth
J.      Two main harbors:
·         On the west — the port city of Lechaeum.
·         On the east — the Saronic Gulf and the port city of Cenchreae.
K.    Sailors dreaded sailing over 200 miles around the southern capes of the Peloponnesus because of natural dangers so they rolled ships and cargo across the peninsula:
1.      Saved time
2.      Dangerous to sail around Peloponnesus
3.      Smaller ships and cargos hauled across the Isthmus on rollers (4 miles)
4.      Corinth was a natural resting place during trans-shipment
L.     Temple of Aphrodite (goddess of sex) stood on 1900 foot mountain near Corinth with hundreds of female and male prostitutes
M.   Jews flocked to Corinth: Acts 18:1-18; 1 Co 9:20
N.    Cosmopolitan city
O.    Derogatory term “Corinthanize” equivalent to “Paris of Antiquity”
P.     Unique history
Q.    Host for Isthmus games
R.    The Acrocorinth was an acropolis (high city).
1.      A place of defense and pagan worship
2.      The Acrocorinth was big enough to hold the entire population of Corinth
3.      The Acrocorinth held the temple of Aphrodite holding 1000 ritual prostitutes
S.      The importance of the city was strategic in Paul’s world mission strategy:
1.      Hub of commerce
2.      Cosmopolitan population of Greek, Roman and Oriental
3.      Strategic location
4.      Travelers from around the world came to Corinth
VI.          FOUNDING OF THE CHURCH (Acts 18:1-18,27; 19:1,21,22; 20:1,2)
A.    Luke records the founding of the church in Acts 18:1-18
B.     Church established during second missionary journey; Paul stayed 18 months (Acts 18:18-28)
C.    Paul founded the church with fellow tent makers Aquila and Pricilla in A.D. 51 and left Corinth in a year and a half later in A.D. 52
D.    The leader of the synagogue (Crispus) became a believer (Acts 18:8)
E.     Opposition came from the Jews but the Roman Gallio refused to hear the case because of its religious nature
F.     Paul left Corinth in A.D. 52 with Aquila and Priscilla for Ephesus en route to Jerusalem (Acts 18:12-22)
G.    Apollos became the next leader of the Corinthian church (Acts 18:24-19:1) 
H.    Paul returned to Ephesus for two and one-half years on his 3rd missionary journey in the fall of A.D. 53 from which he wrote 1 Corinthians
I.       Paul wrote a non-canonical letter to the Corinthian church in his early stay in Ephesus before he wrote 1 Corinthians (1 Co 5:9)
J.      Sending of Timothy to Corinth (1 Co 4:17; 16:10-11; Acts 19:22 (future); 2 Co 1:1Timothy with Paul)
K.    Response to first letter [lost letter] was quite unsatisfactory
L.     Paul learned of divisions in the Corinthian church from the household of Chloe (1 Co 1:11) and then by an official delegation (Stephanas, Fortunatus, and Achaicus (1 Co 16:17)
M.   Paul wrote 1 Corinthians from Ephesus to correct church problems
A.    16 chapters
B.     437 verses
C.    9,489 words in KJV
D.    Paul’s longest and most diversified epistle
E.     A corrective epistle
F.     Every literary device used: logic, sarcasm entreaty, scolding, poetry, narration, exposition
G.    Informal style
H.    1 Corinthians is partly an answer to a letter of inquiry sent to Paul by the Corinthian church (1 Co 16:17)
I.       Chloe and her relative informed Paul personally of conditions in the Corinthian church (1 Co 1:11). Apollos also gave a report (1 Co 16:12)
J.      Titus carried 1 Corinthians to Corinth (1 Co 2:12,13; 7:5-8; 8:16-18; 12:17,18)
K.    Best picture of life and problems of a New Testament church.
A.    To correct the problems they did not mention
1.      Party spirit
2.      Immorality
3.      Law suits
B.     To answer questions about:
1.      Marriage
2.      False ideas on liberty
3.      Distortions at the Lord’s table
4.      Misuse of spiritual gifts
5.      Resurrection
6.      Giving
IX.          OUTLINE
I.          Introduction, 1:1-9
A. Greetings, 1:1-3
1. Authors, 1:1
2. Recipients, 1:2
3. Salutation, 1:3
B. Thanksgiving for Corinthian status in Christ, 1:4-9
1. A gifted church, 1:4-7
2. Identity of positional truth and its prerogatives, 1:8-9
A. Divisions in the church, 1:10-4:21
1. Fraction over elevating church leaders, 1:10-13
a. Divisions, 1:10
b. Contentions, 1:11
c. Four parties, 1:12-13
1) Paul’s party
2) Apollos’ party
3) Peter party
4) Christ’s party
2. Fraction over baptism, 1:14-16
3. The challenge to focus on the right issue, 1:17
4. Divine wisdom opposes exaltation of human wisdom, 1:18-25
5. Character of Christ opposes party spirit, 1:26-31
6. Divine wisdom opposes party spirit, 2:1-16
a. Priority of messages opposes the party spirit, 2:1-5
1) Paul does not depend on human wisdom, 2:1
2) Paul depends on the demonstration of the Spirit, 2:2-5
b. Supernatural wisdom itself opposes party spirit, 2:6-16
1) Divine wisdom concealed from human wisdom, 2:6-9
2) Divine wisdom revealed by the Spirit, 2:10-16
a) God reveals Himself, 2:10-12
b) God reveals Himself through the Word of God, 2:13-16
7. Party spirit comes from carnal view of leaders, 3:1-4
8. Party spirit misapprehends nature of biblical leadership, 3:5-10
a. Leaders can merely sow and water the seed, 3:5-6a
b. God alone causes the crop to grow, 3:6b-10
9. Disunity in light of the Judgment Seat, 3:11-23
a. Two categories of tests, 3:11-15
b. Warning not to depend on human leaders, 3:16-23
10. Appeal to unity, 4:1-21
a.       Ministers answerable to God, 4:1-5
b.      Pride is a problem in ministry, 4:6-13
c.       Paul’s model of compassion in ministry, 4:14-17
d.      Paul’s future plan to deal with the problem personally, 4:18-21
B. Discipline in the church, 5:1-6:20
1. Incest in the church, 5:1-13
a. Corinthian church did not discipline incest, 5:1-2
b. Command to discipline, 5:3-5
c. Purpose for discipline, 5:6-8
1) Restore offender, 5:5
2) Prohibit sin from spreading in the church, 5:6-7
3) Focus on celebration of Christ, 5:8
d. Extent of discipline, 5:9-13
1) Discipline within the church exclusively, 5:9-11
2) Discipline includes all church members, 5:12-13
2. Litigation in the church, 6:1-11
a. Fitness of church to judge legal cases, 6:1-8
b. Unfitness of unbelieving judges to judge the church, 6:9-10
c. Outfitting of the believer to judge, 6:11
3. Libertarianism in the church, 6:12-20
a.    All things lawful but limitations expedient, 6:12
b.    Principle — body is the Lord’s, 6:13-20
A. Marriage and single life, 7:1-40
1. Advice to married, 7:1-7
2. Advice about celibacy, 7:8-9
3. Advice to the divorced, 7:10-24
a. Continue to live with non-Christian, 7:10-13
b. Salvation of non-Christian a possibility, 7:14
c. Christian should divorce non-Christian if the situation is irreconcilable, 7:15-16
4. Advice to singles, 7:25-40
a. Advice to virgins, 7:25-38
b. Advice to widows, 7:39-40
B. Scrupulousness verses liberty, 8:1-11:1
1. Liberty’s priority, 8:1-13
a. Love edifies, 8:1-4
b. Liberty governed by love, 8:5-13
2. Limits to liberty, 9:1-23
a. Base of Paul’s rights, 9:1-3
1) Right of an apostle, 9:1
2) Right of fruit of ministry, 9:2-3
b. Scope of Paul’s rights, 9:4-11
1) Right of hospitality, 9:4
2) Right to travel with family, 9:5-6
3) Right of financial support, 9:7-14
a) Soldier paid for services, 9:7
b) Vineyard owner has rights over own products, 9:7b
c) Shepherd drinks the milk of his own flock, 9:7c
d) Farmer has rights over his own crops, 9:8-12
e) Priest has right to eat animal sacrifices, 9:13-14
c. Paul’s use of his rights, 9:12-23
1) Paul does not use rights for personal ends, 9:12-18
2) Paul uses his rights in a flexible way, 9:19-22
a) To the Jew, he becomes a Jew, 9:19-20
b) To the Gentile, he becomes a Gentile, 9:21
c) To the weak, he becomes weak, 9:22
3) Purpose of Paul’s service — to save some, 9:23
            d. Condition to limit liberty, 9:24-27
1) Self control gives success in ministry, 9:24-25
2) Goal limit liberty, 9:26
3) Discipline keeps one from disqualification in ministry, 9:27
3. Abuse of liberty, 10:1-22
a. Advantages of Israel, 10:1-4
1) Led by God’s glory, 10:1
2) Red Sea parted for them, 10:2
3) Supernatural provisions, 10:3-4a
4) Presence of Christ, 10:4b
b. Harmful use of liberty, 10:5-10
1) Idolatry, 10:5-7
2) Immorality, 10:8
3) Impurity, 10:9
4) Ungratefulness, 10:10
c. God’s faithfulness to preserve us in temptation, 10:11-13
1) Temptation is common to all, 10:11-12
2) God’s promise of deliverance, 10:13
d. Mutual exclusiveness of divine fellowship, 10:14-22
1) Fellowship with God, 10:14-18
2) Fellowship with demons, 10:19-22
4. The issue of freedom to dine at pagan temples, 10:23-11:1
a. Principle of doing what is best for the other person, 10:23-30
1) Nothing intrinsically wrong in dining at pagan temples, 10:23
2) Do best for weak believer, 10:24-33
b. Principle of glorifying God, 10:31
c. Pattern to follow, 11:1
C. Roles in worship, 11:2-16
1. Argument from theology of role, 11:2-6
a. Past principles about roles, 11:2
b. Head of man is Christ in role, 11:3a
c. Head of woman is the man in role, 11:3b
d. Head of the Son is the Father in role, 11:3c
e. Masculinity demonstrates role of leadership, 11:4
f. Femininity demonstrates role of response, 11:5-6
2. Argument from roles in creation, 11:7-12
a. Man’s role over woman reflects his image of the Father, 11:7a
b. Woman is the glory of man, 11:7b
c. Woman created from man, 11:8-9
d. Reason for femininity in women, 11:10
e. Woman not independent from man, 11:11
f. Man not independent from woman, 11:12
3. Argument from propriety, 11:13-16
D. The Lord’s Supper, 11:17-34
1. Abuses of Lord’s Supper, 11:17-22
a. Cliques at Agape feast, 11:17-20
b. Share food only with elite, 11:21-22
2. Institution of Lord’s Supper, 11:23-26
3. Correctives to violating Lord’s Supper, 11:27-30
a. Bring divine discipline on self, 11:27-29
b. Nature of discipline, 11:30
4. Advantages of Lord’s supper, 11:31-34
a. Judge self, 11:31-32
b. Give self, 11:33-34
E. Spiritual gifts, 12:1-14:40
1. Authority behind gifts, 12:1-3
2. Diversity in spiritual gifts, 12:4-11
·         Every believer has supernatural endowment to serve, 12:7ff
3. Unity in diversity in organic spiritual gifts, 12:12-27
a. Every believer important to the body, 12:12-13
b. No gift is independent of other gifts, 12:14-18
c. Each gift to possess sympathy with other gifts, 12:19-27
4. Work of God in gifts, 12:28-31
a.    God places gifts in the body, 12:28
b.    No believer has all the gifts, 12:29-30
c.    Put priority on greater gifts, 12:31
5. Supremacy of love in use of gifts, 13
a. Gifts futile without love, 13:1-3
b. Characteristics of love, 13:4-8
c. Permanence of love, 13:8-13
1) Permanence of love over temporary gifts, 13:8
a) Gift of prophecy will be rendered inoperative, 13:8a
b) Gift of tongues will come to cessation, 13:8b
c) Gift of knowledge will be rendered inoperative, 13:8c
2) Illustrations of permanence of love, 13:9-12
a) Gifts without love is like an immature child, 13:9-11
b) Gifts without love is like a mirror, 13:12a
d. Supremacy of love, 13:13
6. Need for priority in gifts, 14:1-25
a. Prophecy is more important than tongues because it edifies the entire church, 14:1-6
b. 3 analogies to gift of prophecy, 14:7-12
1) Music, 14:7
2) Military, 14:8
3) Daily dealings, 14:9-12
c. Admonitions about prophecy and tongues, 14:13-25
1) Need for translator of tongues, 14:13-14
2) Reason is important in use of gifts, 14:15-17
3) Priority of understanding over process, 14:18-19
4) Use gift with innocence of a child, 14:20-21
5) Keep non-Christians in view, 14:22-25
a) Tongues a sign of judgment for unbelievers, 14:22
b) Tongues has the appearance of insanity, 14:23
c) Purpose of order is to influence non-Christians, 14:24-25
7. Need for order in gifts, 14:26-40
a. Purpose of gift is for edification of others, 14:26
b. No more than 2 or 3 should speak in tongues in one service, 14:27a
c. Speak one at a time, 14:27b
d. An interpreter must be present, 14:27c-28
e. Only 2 or 3 should prophesy in one service, 14:29
f. The first person should allow the second person to evaluate the prophecy, 14:30-31
g. Wait in turn to speak, 14:32-33
h. Women are not to speak in church services, 14:34-35
i. Paul’s commands are God’s commands, 14:36-38
j. Do everything in order, 14:39-40
F. Resurrection of believers, 15:1-58
1. Basis of resurrection of believer’s body is the certainty of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 15:1-11
a. Importance of resurrection of Christ, 15:1-4
1) Christ’s resurrection and the gospel, 15:1-2
2) Christ’s resurrection and Scripture, 15:3-4
b. Certainty of Christ’s resurrection, 15:5-11
1) Appearance to Peter, 15:5a
2) Appearance to apostles, 15:5b
3) Appearance to 500 disciples, 15:6
4) Appearance to James, 15:7a
5) Appears to Thomas, 15:7b
6) Appearance to Paul, 15:8-11
2. Certainty of the believer’s resurrection rests on the pledge of Christ’s resurrection, 15:12-34
a. Denial of resurrection, 15:12
b. Consequences of denying the bodily resurrection, 15:13-19
1) Impact on Christ, 15:13
2) Impact on the gospel, 15:14
3) Impact on preachers, 15:15
4) Impact on believers, 15:16-19
c. Assurance of resurrection of believers, 15:20-34
1) Two Adams, 15:21-22
2) Three resurrections, 15:23-24a
a) Resurrection of Christ, 15:23a
b) Rapture, 15:23b
c) Resurrection of Old Testament and Tribulation saints, 15:24a
3) Millennial Kingdom, 15:24b-28
4) Assurance drawn from Paul’s willingness to risk death, 15:29-34
3. Difference between natural body and resurrected body, 15:35-49
a. Dissimilarity between planted seed and harvested seed, 15:35-38
b. Dissimilarity between other flesh and human flesh, 15:39
c. Dissimilarity between moon and sun, 15:40-41
d. Dissimilarity between temporary body and resurrection body, 15:42-49
1) Sown perishable but raised imperishable, 15:42
2) Sown in dishonor but raised in glory, 15:43a-b
3) Sown in weakness but raised in power, 15:43c-d
4) Sown a natural body but raised a spiritual body, 15:44a-48b
5) Likeness of first Adam but will bear the likeness of the Second Adam, 15:49a-b
4. Assurance of victory over death, 15:50-58
a. Flesh and blood cannot inherit eternal life, 15:50
b. Those alive at Christ’s coming will not die, 15:51
c. Resurrection of the body is instant and incorruptibile, 15:52
d. Swap of mortal for immortal bodies, 15:53
e. New body guaranteed by Scripture, 15:54-57
f. All service has eternal purpose because of the resurrection, 15:58
IV.       Conclusion 16:1-24
A.  Arrangements for collection for the poor, 16:1-4
1. Gift for helpless believers in Jerusalem, 16:1
2. Taken on first day of the week, 16:2a
3. Amount of gift depends on income, 16:2b
4. Credible people to deliver the money, 16:3-4
B.  Travel plans of Paul and his fellow apostles, 16:5-9
C. Paul’s colleagues, 16:10-20
1. Timothy, 16:10-11
2. Apollos, 16:12
a. Stand true to beliefs until Apollos comes, 16:13
b. Do everything with love until Apollos comes, 16:14
3. Stephanas, 16:15-16
4. Fortunatus and Achaicus, 16:17-18
5. Aquila and Priscilla, 16:19-20
D. Closing assertions, 16:21-24
1. Anathema of those not loving the Lord, 16:22a
2.  Blessing for those who expect the Lord’s coming, 16:22b-24