1st Corinthians Chapter 1

Hey friends, let me invite you to follow this link for a great overview of 1st Corinthians by the staff from the Bible Project. Once you watch the video, flip back over here and let’s dig into 1st Corinthians 1 (or skip the video and dig in!) You can also catch up with the sermon right here: The Beautiful Mess Week 1: Kingdom Unity. (Teaching begins at the 11:07 mark).

As Chapter 1 opens, Paul makes it very clear that the church is bigger than we think. He greets these Corinthians and immediately connects them to every person who calls Jesus, “King”! when we think of church today, most of us think of a place where we go. Paul takes these Corinthians from a location to a population. The church is every person who believes in Jesus, locally, globally and historically!

  • When you read that last statement, does that make you feel more or less significant in God’s love and plan for the world?

Many times, hearing or understanding a grander perspective makes individuals feel less a part of something than more connected. We tend to look for places to blend in and be part of the crowd—hoping that someone else will do better for us and by us rather than experiencing something greater because of us. Strangely, we are often caught between this longing for significance and purpose and this convincing-ourselves-and-others pursuit to not matter much. We believe that other people are more talented, gifted, resourced and competent than I might express in life. In that belief I disengage and shrink back.

  • Where do you feel the least qualified to represent God to others?

Paul reminds us through the Corinthian letter, that God has enriched each and every believer in Jesus with all speech and knowledge (1:5) and that, as believers in Jesus, we are not lacking in any spiritual gift (1:7). More so, not only are we completely equipped and empowered by God, we are fully sustained by God for His work in the world (1:8).

  • When you read that God has enriched you and gifted you how does that make you feel?
In all of this, we struggle to believe that God could or would ever use us. Yet, Paul affirms that ancient church, that God uses what seems foolish to confound the wise; what is weak to overcome the strong; and the humble to lower the proud. (vv: 26-30) All of this is so the grace and glory of God might be seen more clearly in the world.

  • What challenges your belief most that God has already prepared you to best represent Him in the world?

Yet, we struggle to believe that God could ever use “someone like me” to extend His Kingdom grace in the world. By God’s own inspired words to the Corinthians, you and I, are just the kind of people God uses to display His love towards others.

  • Do you believe this? How does 1st Corinthians chapter 1 challenge your faith today? What do you think God is inviting you to as you read this?

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