February 13, 2016
This week’s study is the second in a series titled “Be Holy For I Am Holy” looking at 1 Corinthians.
Read 1 Corinthians 1:1-9 as a reminder of the position of believers ‘In Christ’ in the church at Corinth before God as His holy people.
Now Paul begins to address their weaknesses.
Read George’s summary of the areas they needed to change that the apostle Paul highlights in 1 Corinthians.
‘There was immorality in the Church, disorderly conduct at the Lord’s Table, drunkenness, abuse of spiritual gifts, disregard for the welfare of others, marital irregularities & lawsuits between members. Paul writes to the Corinthians and says, “What’s going on Corinthians? This is not what holiness looks like for people who are the Church of God… sanctified in Christ Jesus … called to be saints.
But, as serious as these issues were, none of them was as serious to Paul as the issue that he first addressed with the believers at Corinth. That issue was the reported disunity, divisions, discord & disharmony amongst them.’
2. Divisions in the Church.
Read 1 Corinthians 1:10-17.
Discuss in your group how this division could have come about.
Try to remember George’s explanation on Sunday. (Afterwards read the foot note at the end of this study and discuss further)
Is this something believers need to be careful not to do the same today? What about us at church@paravista?
Who is to be always to be central and the focus? Be reminded from last week’s study. 1 Corinthians 1:1-9, Ephesians 1:1-8.
Read and discuss Paul’s answer to their ‘divisions’ problem under the following three points.
A. ‘The Person of Christ’…. Who is Paul, Apollos and Peter compared to Him?
B. ‘The Provision of Christ’…. His work on the cross.
C. ‘The Practice of Christ’…. His teachings/commands on baptism….see Matthew 28:19.
In Whose Name is the believer baptised in? (definitely not Paul, Apollos or Peter!)
What does a believer declare by being baptised? Consider communion as well. See 1 Corinthians 11:26.
3. Who is the Source of the Church’s Unity?
Read John 17:11,21.
Read what Jesus did to bring unity. Ephesians 2:13-18.
Read Ephesians 4:4-6. Discuss the unity believers have with each other belonging to the Body of Christ.
What is the source of disunity? Galatians 5:19-21. Discuss how the devil uses this.
Who will help us overcome disunity? See Galatians 5:16-17, 22-26.
If you have time consider these other key passages….Philippians 2:1-5, Romans 14:19, 12:9-10, 1Peter 3:8-12, 5:5, Colossians 3:12-15. Ephesians 4:1-3.
Read again 1 Corinthians 1:10.
Is there a brother or sister in Christ you are not living in harmony and at peace with? Share with others in your group and discuss ways to make things right.
What practical steps could you take to restore unity?
Pray together for God’s guiding and power to do this.
‘In this large and diverse Corinthian church, the believers favoured different preaches. Because there was as yet no written New Testament, the believers depended heavily on preaching end teaching for spiritual insight into the meaning of the Old Testament. Some followed Paul, who had founded their church: some who had heard Peter in Jerusalem followed him: others listened only to Apollos, an eloquent and popular preacher who had a dynamic ministry in Corinth (Acts 18:24, 19:1). Although these preachers were united in their message, their personalities attracted different people. At this time the church was in danger of dividing….’ (Taken from ‘Life Application Study Bible’)