As I explained in my December 7, 2019 post, I am reading the entire Bible out loud over a one year period and proclaiming it over the land. I'm also writing down summaries of the chapters and books as I read. Here are the summaries for 1 Corinthians.
1 Corinthians Summaries
Paul wrote the letter to the saints at Corinth from Ephesus around 53-54 A.D. He thanks God for them, then exhorts them not to have divisions among them--such as quarrels over who baptized who. He's been called to preach the gospel, not with clever speech of man, but in the demonstration and power of God, so their faith is not in man's wisdom, but God's power. The word of the cross is foolishness to perishing men, but its the power of God for salvation to all who believe and are being saved. Yet they speak wisdom among the mature, not the wisdom of this age or these rulers, but the wisdom of God before the ages--spiritual thoughts and spiritual words, which the natural man doesn't understand, only the spiritual man appraises.
Paul hasn't been able to speak to them as spiritual for they've been infants, and still are as evidenced by the divisions among them--jealousy and strife. It doesn't matter who planted or watered, God gives the increase. The only foundation is Jesus Christ. Be careful how to build on it for whatever is built will be tried with fire to test the quality of it. You are His building. You are the temple of God. If anyone destroys you, God will destroy him.
Some are examining Paul, thinking they're wise. He says don't pass judgment before the time, God will bring all things to light--every man's motive. They may have many tutors, but he is their father in the gospel. Some are arrogantly saying he won't come visit, but he will come and will see whether they have power or just words. Shall he come with a rod, or in love and gentleness? He address a sexual sin of one having his father's wife and the church's response of boasting in it, rather than mourning. A little leaven leavens the whole lump. Don't associate with immoral people--not the immoral of the world--but the immoral of the church.
Paul says they haven't been able to settle their disputes among themselves, even taking their brother to court before unbelievers. They will judge the world and angels, can't they even settle the small things of this life? The unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God. You've been bought with a price, so glorify God in your body. He addresses marriage and says its better to marry than burn with passion. However it may be better not to marry, considering the current distress. Virgins may be better to remain unmarried, but if they do marry, they've not sinned. The married should not divorce and should not deprive each other except for times of prayer. It's best to remain in the condition you're in when called--married or not, circumcised or not, slave or free. He addresses eating meat sacrificed to idols. Idols are not real so its O.K. to eat unless your brother has a weak conscience and thinks its wrong. Don't cause him to stumble.
Back to those who are examining him, he defends his right as an apostle to eat, drink, marry a believer if he wanted, even to live of the gospel. Yet he doesn't, he makes the gospel free of charge. He becomes all things to all so he may win more. Run the race to get the prize. He disciplines his body so before preaching to others he won't be disqualified himself. Paul explains that the things which happened to Israel were for our example and instruction so we wouldn't crave evil things as they did. You can't drink the cup of the Lord and demons.
Paul addresses women wearing head coverings. Authority goes from God to Christ and then, in the natural, to man then woman so the practice in all Judea and churches is for women not to pray or prophesy without their head covered, and for men not to cover their head. If anyone disagrees, this is the common practice everywhere else. He addresses the Lord's supper and says if you're hungry, eat at home first. Wait for each other. When you partake, you're proclaiming His death until He comes. Don't eat unworthily, examine yourself. This is why many are weak, sick, and die. He talks about spiritual gifts. You can't curse Jesus by the Spirit of God and you can't confess Him as Lord without the Spirit of God. He explains different gifts, ministries, and effects--that we're all part of the same body but have different functions. God places us as it pleases Him.
He speaks of love and its importance. Whatever gifts we have--faith, knowledge, sacrifices we make--if we don't have love, we're nothing and it profits us nothing. So pursue love, yet desire spiritual gifts, especially prophecy. He says why its better to prophesy in the church than to speak in tongues without an interpretation. All can understand a known language and be exhorted and edified. Tongues alone will just edify the speaker. A spiritual person or a prophet must acknowledge Paul's writings are the commandment of the Lord or not be recognized.
He addresses those who think there is no resurrection. If that's true then Christ is not raised and their faith is in vain. As far as our physical bodies, its sown like a seed and raised a spiritual body. Its sown perishable, raised imperishable. Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God. At the last trump those who are alive will have their bodies changed into an imperishable body. Therefore, be steadfast, immovable, abound in His work, knowing your toil is not in vain. He gives his closing greetings and plans.
- Don't be impressed by man's wisdom, but God's power.
- Put off division--jealousy and strife--among you so you can receive the hidden mystery and wisdom of God, know the thoughts of God by His Spirit, be taught by His Spirit, and discover what He's freely given you.
- Learn these spiritual thoughts and words.
- Lay the foundation of Jesus Christ and build as a wise builder, that which will endure.
- Is there a wise man among you who can properly discern right from wrong within the church? Let him settle disputes.
- You will judge the world and angels, learn to properly judge among yourselves.
- Put immaturity away.
- The body is for the Lord.
- Care for each other and be kind.
- Watch that you don't cause another to stumble by your freedom.
- Run for the prize!
- Consider the conscience and customs of your brother and seek his good.
- We are all members of the same body and have a part and place with each other.
- Partake together of the Lord, but don't dishonor Him.
- Judge yourselves rightly.
- Don't partake of the Lord unworthily. You'll bring judgement, discipline, in yourself, so you won't be condemned with the world.
- By the Spirit, confess the Lord. By the Spirit, He can't be cursed.
- There's a time for personal edification in the Lord and a time to edify the church.
- When you gather, seek to edify the church in an orderly and proper way.
- Speak so all can understand and be edified, exhorted, and consoled.
- What you do now is not in vain.
- Your physical body is a seed sown that will be raised an imperishable, spiritual, body that bears the heavenly image, so be alert, strong, and do all in love.