Lecture 9: 2 Thessalonians and 1 Corinthians
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A major theme in Second Thessalonians is "the Day of the Lord." There are common themes and teachings in First and Second Thessalonians. First Corinthians emphasizes the themes of Jesus' death and resurrection, as well as the importance and use of spiritual gifts, and how we conduct ourselves in relation to those who are pursuing Christ and those who are not. (45 min.)
I. 2 Thessalonians
A. Debated Theme: The Day of the Lord (2:1-2)
1. The Fear of Missing the Day of the Lord
2. The Problem of Laziness
B. Signs that the Day of the Lord Approaches
1. The Man of Lawlessness (2:3-4)
2. The Restrainer (2:6-8)
C. Key Theological Themes in 1 and 2 Thessalonians
1. The return of Christ is certain despite apparent delays.
2. We do not need to fear that we have missed the Day of the Lord.
D. Key Applications from 1 and 2 Thessalonians
1. All believers must stay alert for the end.
2. Do not presume that there is still a lot of time before the end.
3. Do not presume that the coming end means you do not need to plan for the future.
4. Do not misjudge the direction of human history.
5. We can be confident that God’s causes and people will triumph.
II. 1 Corinthians
A. Historical Background
1. The Reason for Writing the Letter
2. Date: A.D. 54-55
3. Location: Ephesus
B. An Outline of 1 Corinthians
1. Greeting and Thanksgiving (1:1-9)
2. Divisions in the Church (1:10–4:21)
3. Three Topics of Concern (5:1–6:20)
4. Responding to the Principle of Celibacy (7:1-40)
5. Food Sacrificed to Idols (8:1–10:33)
6. Head Coverings (11:1-16)
7. The Lord’s Supper (11:17-34)
8. Spiritual Gifts (12:1–14:28)
9. The Resurrection (15:1-58)
10. The Collection for the Saints (16:1-24)
C. Key Theological Themes of 1 Corinthians
1. The Centrality of the Cross (2:2)
2. The Significance of the Resurrection (15:1-58)
3. Love and Unity as the Ground of Christian Behavior (13:1-13)
4. The Mark of Christian Community: Service Not Competition (3:1-23)
D. Key Applications from 1 Corinthians
1. The Balanced Christian Life
2. Principles for the Right Use of Certain Practices
3. The Importance of “Yes, But” Logic
- Paul gives several reasons why the Corinthian church was divided. Do you see any of these in your church today? Of the ways in which Paul deals with divisions inside the church, which do you think is the most important? How would you deal with divisions in your church?
- How should “stronger” members in the faith deal with “weaker” members in the faith concerning morally neutral practices? What are principles that Paul gives to help the church in this area? What are some examples of modern day activities that are not sin, but should possibly be restrained from if they would cause others to stumble?
- Do all believers have at least one spiritual gift according to 1 Cor. 12:4-11? Why has God given spiritual gifts to believers? What are your spiritual gifts? If you don’t know, how would you find out what your gift is? Are you being a faithful steward of your spiritual gift, using it for its intended purposes?
- Why is the resurrection so central to the Christian message? What arguments does Paul give in 1 Cor. 15?