1 Corinthians 1 “We Preach Christ”
Corinth (in modern-day Greece) was known as a wicked place in Paul’s day, yet during his second missionary journey he had great success there, bringing many into the church (he had previously been rejected in Athens, about 40 miles away). His first epistle to the Corinthian saints was written in about 57 A.D.
- As in so many others of his epistles, we see Paul’s zeal for Christ and His gospel. What evidence of this do you see in 1 Corinthians 1:1-9?
- According to verses 10-13, what was going on in the church at Corinth? What counsel of Paul in these verses seems most helpful to you in your life?
- Do you think it can be appropriate to inform a priesthood leader of others’ misbehavior (as indicated in verse 11)? In what circumstances may it be appropriate?
- According to verses 17-27, how are the gospel and those who embrace it and teach it, different from the world and its ways?
- Many religions send out missionaries to share their message. As highlighted in verse 27, what is unique about those called as missionaries from our Church today?
- What examples have you seen of the “weak” being able to “confound” the mighty? Read also Doctrine and Covenants 1:17-23.
1 Corinthians 2 “The Hidden Wisdom”
Read the continuation of Paul’s theme of the Lord’s ways versus the ways of the world, in 1 Corinthians 2:1-8, 14 (see also 1 Corinthians 3:18-20).
- Read again 2 Corinthians 2:4-5 and consider the difference between a sermon that contains “enticing words of man’s wisdom,” in comparison to a message that is “in demonstration of the Spirit and of power.”
- What will be the reward of those who choose Christ? Read 1 Corinthians 2:9, along with Doctrine and Covenants 76:92-95.
- What are some of the things of God that may appear “foolish” to those who are of the world?
1 Corinthians 3-4 “I Have Fed You”
- What leadership and ministering principles do you see in 1 Corinthians 3:1-9?
- What kinds of things would you never do inside a temple? Read verses 16-17, and consider these teachings in relation to our mortal bodies.
- In our day our modern apostles are beloved of Church members. Look in 1 Corinthians 4:1-4, 9-13 for things Paul says about his life and ministry, as well as about other ministering leaders of his day.
- How might missionaries in our day relate to Paul’s statements in verses 10-13?
- What does Paul say in verse 5 about the Second Coming?
1 Corinthians 5 Loving Rebuke
True ministers of Christ are not afraid to point out weakness in the church and its members. How did Paul counsel them regarding sexual and other serious sin among some of the Corinthians, in verses 1-2, 6-7, 9-11?
Note what Paul said about the importance and sanctity of the ordinance of the sacrament (“the feast”) in verse 8.
1 Corinthians 6 Resolving Differences
- In verse 1 Paul counseled church members who had a matter against another member to take it “before the saints” and not “to law” (before a civil court). In verses 5-6, Paul makes it clear that he’d rather not have to address such things.
- What is the higher road Paul suggests in verse 7? (see also Jesus’s teachings in Luke 6:29-30).
- Note that verse 9 is another Bible verse that teaches against homosexuality.
- Identify the gospel doctrine and principles that Paul taught in verses 13-20.
- Joseph of Egypt is an example of how to “flee fornication” (verse 18; see Genesis 39:7-12).
1 Corinthians 7 On Marriage
A key to understanding this chapter is found in the chapter heading, which says: “Paul answers special questions about marriage among those called on missions.” We may draw the following conclusions:
- Verse 1—someone from among the Corinthian saints had written to Paul, suggesting that a married man serving as a missionary should “not touch a woman” (presumably including his wife).
- Verse 2—Paul’s reply to the suggestion in verse 1.
- Verses 3-5—Paul’s counsel that spouses should not withhold intimacy from each other; note the JST change in verse 5.
- Verses 8-9—Paul’s counsel to the unmarried; teaching them that they should be as Paul, meaning celibate (either Paul was unmarried or he was away from his wife). Again, note the JST change in verse 9.
- Verses 10-11—in many circumstances, divorce is contrary to the ways of the Lord.
- Verses 18-19—Paul is still dealing with issues from the now-fulfilled law of Moses; in this case as related to the practice of circumcision. How would you re-word these two verses to make them more clear?
Like today’s members of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve, the apostle Paul addressed an assortment of issues related to the world in which his readers lived, along with timeless teachings that pertain to every dispensation. Think about our modern prophets and how they respond to society’s trends, as they teach and lead us.