Summary: This letter was sent to the church at Corinth but everything about this letter is relevant to the church today
PAUL AND THE CORINTHIANS
A. This letter was sent to the church at Corinth.
1. Everything about this letter is relevant to the church today.
2. This church had many problems even though it seemed to have all the spiritual gifts (v. 7).
B. Most of the attitudes and problems that cause trouble in today’s church are addressed in this letter.
I. The Author.
B. He is an apostle. He met the resurrected Christ. The word “apostle” means “one sent.” Paul was sent, or commissioned, by Christ in Acts 9:15.
C. Much of the book of Acts is a record of Paul’s activities.
D. Paul wrote a major part of our New Testament.
II. The Corinthians.
A. A record of the establishment of this church is found in Acts 18.
B. In spite of their problems, Paul said they were “called to be holy” (v. 2).
1. There is positional holiness. We are set apart and positioned in Christ when we accept him as Savior. The Corinthians had this positional holiness.
2. There is practical holiness. This applies to our Christian growth and lifestyle. The Corinthians were not doing well with this aspect of holiness.
3. Positional holiness must come first. We must be in Christ before we can grow in Christ.
4. This phrase, “called to be holy,” is translated “saints” in other translations. A Christian is a saint, one set apart to one. It originally referred to a committed marriage relationship.
III. Paul’s Greeting to the Corinthians (vv. 3-9).
A. “Grace and peace” (v. 3).
1. “Grace” was the popular Gentile Christian greeting.
2. “Peace” was the most used Jewish Christian greeting.
B. Paul expresses thanksgiving (vv. 4-7).
1. He thanks God for grace (v. 4).
a. We need to emphasize grace (Ephesians 2:1-10).
b. This grace comes through Christ.
c. The biblical plan of salvation is the means of appropriating this grace.
2. He thanks God that they have been “enriched” (v. 5).
a. “in every way—in all your speaking and in all your knowledge
b. The testimony about Christ was confirmed in them.
c. They had all of the spiritual gifts.
C. Paul mentions the second coming of Christ (vv. 7-8).
1. This motivates us toward the future.
2. There is strength to be received from a knowledge of the second coming.
3. We will be blameless when he comes (Ephesians 5:25-27).
A. Paul reminds them that they are in fellowship with Jesus Christ (v. 9).
B. This is the real basis of unity.
I heard this story of this preacher and song leader – They were conducting an evangelistic During the Invitation. They used the song, “Where He Leads Me I Will Follow,” as an invitation hymn. The Song Leader interrupted the invitation in a gracious way and said, “The next verse begins with the words, ‘He will give me grace and glory.’ Remember, you must receive the grace before you can have the glory.” How true! I have never forgotten that story.