BibleProject New Testament Series - Lesson 13

1 Corinthians - BibleProject

In this lesson on 1 Corinthians, the instructor begins by providing some background on the city of Corinth and the purpose of Paul's letter. He then outlines the five main problems in Corinth: divisions in the church, sexual misconduct, meat sacrificed to idols, problems in worship gatherings, and denial of the resurrection. The instructor explains that in each case, Paul responds to the problem by presenting the gospel as the solution. In the first section, Paul emphasizes unity in Christ as the solution to divisions in the church. In the second section, he stresses the importance of sexual integrity as a response to the gospel. In the third section, Paul encourages the Corinthians to prioritize love as the core principle in their lives. In the fourth section, Paul addresses issues in worship gatherings by emphasizing the importance of order and unity. Finally, Paul defends the resurrection as an indispensable part of the gospel and the foundation for hope in the future.

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BibleProject New Testament Series
Lesson 13
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1 Corinthians - BibleProject

BP150-13: 1 Corinthians

I. Introduction

A. Background and Context of Corinth

B. Purpose of the Letter

II. Five Main Problems in Corinth

A. Divisions in the Church

B. Sexual Misconduct

C. Meat Sacrificed to Idols

D. Worship Gatherings

E. Denial of Resurrection

III. Paul's Response Through the Gospel

A. Unity in Christ

B. Sexual Integrity

C. Love as the Core Principle

D. Purpose of Worship Gatherings

E. Resurrection and Future Hope

  • You will gain a comprehensive understanding of the literary design, purpose, themes, and messages of each book in the New Testament, including the four Gospels, Acts of the Apostles, epistles of Paul, general epistles, and the book of Revelation.
  • You will gain a comprehensive understanding of the book of Matthew 1-13 through this lesson, including the literary design of the book, the flow of thought in each chapter, and the key themes and events. The lesson highlights the importance of Jesus' role in bringing God's kingdom to earth and inviting his disciples into a new way of life.
  • You will gain knowledge and insight into the Gospel book of Matthew through an overview of the first 13 chapters. You will learn how Matthew presents Jesus as the king who brings God's kingdom to earth, and how his disciples are invited to participate in this new way of life through his death and resurrection. You will also discover the central theme of the kingdom of God in Matthew, its relationship with the Church, and the call to discipleship and obedience.
  • Gain insight into the book of Mark's literary design and flow of thought, as well as Jesus' role as Israel's Messiah, inaugurating God's kingdom through his suffering, death, and resurrection.
  • By studying the Gospel of Luke, you will gain knowledge of the authorship, purpose, themes, and literary features of the Gospel, as well as a deep understanding of Luke 1-2, which narrates the miraculous births of John the Baptist and Jesus and provides models of faith and obedience. You will discover how Luke emphasizes the universality of God's love and the role of the Holy Spirit in empowering Jesus and his followers.
  • Luke's Gospel portrays Jesus as the fulfillment of God's promises told in the Old Testament, bringing the good news of God's kingdom to the poor, teaching his disciples about prayer, trust, and generosity, continuing his mission to the poor and social outsiders, celebrating God's mercy for the lost and the tragic resistance of Israel's leaders, and ultimately dying on the cross as an embodiment of God's love and mercy.
  • In the Gospel of John, the first half of the book tells stories of Jesus performing miraculous signs that lead to controversy, culminating in the raising of Lazarus and his rejection by Israel's leaders, all of which prepare us to understand Jesus as the Messiah, teacher of Israel, and Son of God who offers a new quality of life through belief in Him.
  • You will gain insights into Jesus' ministry and teachings, including the seven signs of Jesus' public ministry and his private ministry, which include the washing of the disciples' feet, farewell discourse, and high priestly prayer.
  • This lesson provides comprehensive insight into the introduction and context of the book of Acts, the early church in Jerusalem, and the gospel going to the Gentiles.
  • You will learn about the book of Acts, covering chapters 13-28, which includes Paul's missionary journeys, the Jerusalem Council, and his journey to Rome, and learn about the debates and decisions made by the apostles and elders, as well as gain insights into Paul's ministry and travels.
  • In Paul's Letter to the Romans, he explains how the gospel reveals God's righteousness, creates a new humanity fulfilling God's promise to Israel, and unifies the church, with chapters one through four laying the foundation for understanding the rest of the letter, which emphasizes that all humanity is hopelessly trapped in sin and needs to be rescued through faith in Jesus.
  • In Paul's letter to the Romans, he explores the idea that all humanity is trapped in sin and needs to be rescued through Jesus' death and resurrection, and that being in the family of Abraham means being a part of a new humanity that God is creating through Jesus and the Spirit, with the purpose of rescuing and renewing all of creation.
  • Explore 1 Corinthians to gain insights into complex problems faced by the church and how Paul responds through the gospel. Learn about unity, sexual integrity, love, worship order, and the resurrection as the foundation of hope in the future. Understand the gospel's application to all aspects of life.
  • In 2 Corinthians, you will learn about Paul's efforts to reconcile with the Corinthians, address their forgotten generosity, and confront the "super apostles" who undermine his authority, revealing the paradox of the cross and its implications for a transformed life.
  • You will gain an understanding of the background, context, and content of Galatians, including the false teaching that prompted Paul's letter, his defense of his gospel and authority, the role of the law in God's promise to Abraham, and the importance of living by the Spirit and bearing the fruit of the Spirit.
  • Gain insights into the book of Ephesians, which emphasizes the creation of unified, ethnically diverse communities through devotion to Jesus and each other.
  • This lesson on Philippians will provide you with a comprehensive understanding of its background, authorship, themes, literary features, detailed analysis of each chapter, and significance in Christian theology and impact on the church.
  • By studying Colossians, you will gain understanding of the book's authorship, background, and theological themes such as Christology, spiritual maturity, and the new humanity in Christ and how to practically apply the teachings of Colossians to the church and daily life.
  • By studying this lesson on the book of 1 Thessalonians, you will gain understanding of its background, themes, purpose, literary features, and application. You will learn about the historical and cultural relevance of the book and its personal and spiritual significance for us today.
  • You will gain an understanding of the background, purpose, and themes of 2 Thessalonians, as well as an in-depth exegesis of the text. The application of the book to historical and cultural contexts, as well as its relevance for today, is also explored.
  • This lesson provides comprehensive insights into the book of 1 Timothy, including its background, themes, and significance in the New Testament, such as its contribution to understanding church leadership and worship, the historical context of the early church, and its application for modern church life.
  • In 2 Timothy, Paul writes to Timothy from prison, urging him to stay strong in the face of persecution and to confront corrupt teachers who are causing problems in the church in Ephesus.
  • This lesson on the book of Titus provides a comprehensive understanding of its background, authorship, purpose, structure, themes, and significance, enabling you to appreciate its contributions to the New Testament, its impact on the original audience, and its relevance to the Church today.
  • Gain insights into Paul's letter to Philemon about forgiveness and reconciliation with his runaway slave, challenging assumptions about social justice and inequality, and highlighting Paul's commitment to pastoral care and reconciliation.
  • This lesson on Hebrews covers the authorship, purpose, literary genre, Christology, eschatology, and theology of the book, providing insights into Jesus as the Son of God, High Priest, and Perfect Sacrifice, the concept of Rest, Warning Passages, and the Superiority of Christ and the New Covenant, the Importance of Faith and Obedience, and the Perseverance of the Saints.
  • In the Book of James, you will explore the wisdom of Jesus' teachings and the Book of Proverbs, examining themes such as faith and works, the power of words, wealth, poverty, and wisdom, ultimately learning to live according to the "Perfect Torah of Freedom."
  • Through participating in this lesson, you will learn about 1 Peter, including information on its authorship and date, recipients and purpose, theological themes, literary features, and application. The lesson covers the book's historical and cultural context, as well as its contemporary relevance, and provides insights into how it speaks to topics such as suffering and glory, holiness and ethics, and Christology and salvation.
  • You will gain understanding of the book of 2 Peter, including its authorship, date, and literary context, as well as its theological themes, interpretation, and application. By studying 2 Peter, you will learn about false teachers and their destruction, the day of the Lord, the second coming of Christ, the certainty of God's promises, and the importance of godly living in contemporary Christian life.
  • You will gain knowledge and insight into the letters of John, including their historical and cultural context, authorship, purpose, literary features, themes, and messages, as well as their significance in the New Testament.
  • The book of Jude emphasizes the importance of contending for the Christian faith and exposes corrupt teachers, using both biblical and non-biblical Jewish texts as examples, ultimately highlighting that obedience to Jesus is the true indicator of genuine belief.
  • You will gain a deeper understanding of the book of Revelation, including its historical and literary context, authorship, purpose, and genre, as well as its structure, themes, and images. Additionally, you will be introduced to different interpretive approaches and learn how to apply the book to your personal life, the church, and culture.
  • This lesson provides an understanding of the book of Revelation, including its structure, content, symbolism, interpretive approaches, message, and relevance, helping you to gain insight into the nature of God, the victory of Christ, the role of the church, and the end of history.

BP150-13 - 1 Corinthians

Paul's first letter to the Corinthians written to a church community that Paul knew really well. Corinth was a major port city in the ancient world and had lots of temples to Greek and Roman gods. It was a big economic center. And so Paul strategically came here as a missionary. He spent a year and a half there getting to know people, talking to them about Jesus, and a whole bunch of people became followers of Jesus and formed a church community. You can read about all of this in Acts chapter 18. So after a while, Paul moved on to start churches in other cities, and he started getting reports that things were not going well at all. Back at the church in Corinth, it was plagued by all kinds of problems. And that's why he wrote this letter. It's broken up into five main parts, along with a final greeting, and these five sections correspond to five main problems that Paul is addressing. And so the letter reads like a collection of short essays on different topics. But there are these core ideas that unite all of the pieces together. So here's what he does in each section. He describes the problem, but then he always responds to that problem with some part of the story of the gospel, which is the good news about Jesus. And he shows how they're actually not living out what they say they believe. And so this letter is all about learning to think about every area of life through the lens of the gospel. So let's dive in and see how he does it in chapters one through four. The problem is that there are these divisions in the church. There's some other teachers who had come through town since Paul left, a guy named Apollos and then Peter, and people had picked their favorite teacher and then became groupies around that leader and then started to talk bad and disrespect people who favored another leader or teacher. And so, Paul, his response to this is kind of sarcastic and sharp. He says, You have to be kidding me, right? The church is not a popularity contest. The church is a community of people who are centered around Jesus. It's leaders, and its teachers are simply servants of Jesus. So while you might prefer one leader more than another, it's not worth dividing over and certainly not speaking poorly about each other. The center of the church is Jesus and the good news about who He is and what he's done. In chapters five through seven, Paul addresses some problems related to sex. There were a number of people sleeping around in the church. One guy with a stepmother. A number of other people still worshiping at the local temples to Greek gods and sleeping with the prostitutes who worked there. Not only that, but there were people in the church who were saying that this was all just fine. They said, Hey, we're free and Christ, God's grace is bottomless, right? It's fine. Paul says it's not fine. And with the gospel in hand, he shows just how wrongheaded this kind of thinking is. He says, Remember, first of all, Jesus died for your sins, including the ruin of broken relationships that's caused by sexual misconduct. And so if you're a Christian, sexual integrity is one of the main ways that we respond to Jesus as love and grace. Paul also reminds them that just as Jesus was physically raised from the dead, so our bodies will be raised from the dead, which means this if your body is being redeemed by Jesus now and in the future, then what you do with your body matters. It matters a lot and it's not yours to do whatever you want. With Paul's being super clear, being a follower of Jesus involves no compromise when it comes to sexual integrity. In chapters eight 310. The issue is about food, but not just food preferences. Like do you like or dislike a certain food? The issue the Corinthians were divided over is meat that came from animals sacrificed in the local temples to Greek and Roman gods. And there was a split between the Jewish and non-Jewish Christians about how to respond to this issue. And once again, Paul appeals to some core ideas from the gospel. He says, Our allegiance, first and foremost, is to Jesus as Lord, not to any other gods. And so if you're in a situation where there's meat that's been dedicated to another God and there are people around who might watch you and conclude, Oh, look, hey, Christians worship Jesus, and they can worship other gods, too. Paul says, If that's the scenario, don't eat the meat. Your loyalty is to Jesus, and you should love those people more than yourself and not mislead them. But Paul quickly qualifies this and says, Listen, as Christians, we believe God is the creator of all things, including that animal. And the temple idols we believe are just pieces of wood and stone. So if there's no one around who's going to misunderstand your actions and you're hungry, eat up. You're free as a new human in Christ to follow your conscience. And these kind of debatable matters. So what makes it okay in one situation to eat, but not in the other? The core principle is love. Love will deny itself and look out for the well-being of other people and love. God's love is at the core of the gospel. It's what Jesus did when He died for us. And so Paul says it's what Christians should do for other people. In chapters 11 through 14. Paul moves on and addresses problems in their weekly worship gathering. There were some people who were having really powerful spiritual experiences in the gathering, and so they would start praying out loud in unknown languages. There were other people who might start sharing a teaching or a word from God, and then someone would get up and interrupt them because they wanted to share. And it all was really chaotic and it was distracting people, especially visitors, from hearing the gospel. So in these chapters, Paul helps them think, first of all about the purpose of this gathering, to help them see what kind of behaviors are appropriate. He says the gathering is a place where God's spirit should be working through everybody, and it should happen in a unified way. So he develops this cool metaphor about the church as a human body. It's one, but it has all these different parts, and each part serves a unique and important role. So he goes on to name a whole bunch of things that the Spirit does through all these different people, all for the building up of the church. That's the key phrase in these chapters. And Paul concludes that the highest value in the gathering should be a concept central to the gospel. God's love and love is the key word in these chapters. To love will compel each person in the gathering to use their role to serve and seek the well-being of others. So Paul applies all this to the Corinthians problems. Some people think the purpose of the gathering is to have intense spiritual experiences or to get a chance to speak their mind. And Paul says, Listen, I'm a big fan of powerful experiences of prayer, but if it distracts other people or freaks them out, I should stop it because I'm loving myself more than I'm loving those people. The gathering around Jesus should be orderly so everybody can learn and sing and worship and hear God speaking to them. The last problem Paul addresses is the issue of Jesus resurrection and the future hope of Jesus's followers. There were some people in the church who were saying that the idea of resurrection is ridiculous and doesn't really matter to being a Christian. And Paul reacts to this big time. He begins by saying that the resurrection is an indispensable part of the gospel. We believe in it because of the hundreds of eyewitnesses that saw Jesus alive in a physical body. After being publicly executed by the Romans. If Jesus didn't rise from the dead, Paul says, then his death was meaningless. We are all still lost in our sin and selfishness. We should just stop being Christians. Paul then shows in detail how the resurrection was Jesus as victory over death and evil, how it's a source of life and power for us now in the present, and how it's a promise of future hope for the whole world. It's because of the resurrection that we have a reason to be unified around Jesus. It's the reason we have motivation for sexual integrity. It's the source of power for loving other people more than ourselves. And ultimately, it's our hope for victory over death. And so Paul concludes, We do believe Jesus was raised from the dead, which means this The gospel is not just moral advice or a recipe for private spirituality. It's an announcement about Jesus that opens up a whole new reality. And that's what First Corinthians is all about. Seeing every part of life through the lens of that gospel.