The church at Corinth faced a number of problems which the apostle Paul addresses. The fact
that Paul addresses them as “the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified
in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus
Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours:” (1 Corinthians 1:2 KJV) has perplexed many people.
Others see this as reason to open fellowship to those who teach a variety of doctrines in a
plethora of areas.
The truth of the matter is there is no congregation of people who are totally homogenous, and
who are without problems. The difference between a good congregation and a bad
congregation is not whether they have problems, but rather do they acknowledge their problems
and are they willing to work (or do what they are supposed to) to correct the problems. If
someone is looking for a congregation without problems, they will be constantly disappointed
and will be forever looking.
In short, it is all about attitude. Are they wanting to hide or ignor their problems? Or are they
willing to acknowledge and deal with them?
A Troubled Church
Fools for Christ 4:1-13
Fornication 4:14-5:13; 6:12-20
Suing Brethren 5:1-11
Offerings to Idols 8:1-13
All things to all men 9:19-27
Order of authority 11:1-16
Lord’s Supper 11:17-34
Spiritual Gifts 12:1-14:25
Confusion in Worship 14:36-39
… acknowledge that the things which I write to you
are the commandments of the Lord.
Brief comments on the problems of Corinth and their application to us today.
Division 1:20-17 – If it was wrong to call themselves after inspired teachers, how much
more is it wrong to call ourselves after uninspired men and methods? Unity is to be found in our
agreement with inspiration.
Authority 1:18-2:16 – Inspiration, revelation from God, is the source of our direction, and
the foundation of our faith. The power is in the Word.
Preacheritis 3:1-15 – Although men of God ought to be respected and honored for what
they are, they should not be elevated above what they are. It matters not who taught you, it only
matters what they taught you.
Carnality 3:16-22 – It is easy to be distracted by the lusts of the flesh, the lusts of the eye,
and the pride of life. Do not take your eye off the prize.
Fools for Christ 4:1-13 – Leave the egos at the door. If someone wishes to perceive me
as a fool, as long as they follow Christ, let them think what they wish.
Fornication 4:14-5:13; 6:12-20 – Sexual transgressions, whether premarital, adultery,
homosexuality or beastiality, separate one from God. No amount of explanation changes wrong
Suing Brethren 5:1-11 – It is better to suffer mistreatment than to expose the church to
Marriage 7:1-40 – Marriage is not slavery. If someone wishes to leave, there is nothing
you can do about that. However, if they leave, either remain unmarried or be reconciled.
Offerings to Idols 8:1-13 – Idols are nothing, but your brethren are everything. Stop and
think about how what you do affects others.
Support 9:1-18 – There is nothing wrong and everything right about supporting a man to
preach; but, there is also nothing wrong and everything right about working as you preach.
All things to all men 9:19-27 – Change your approach to fit those whom you are
addressing. Never change the gospel; what you teach.
Idolatry 10:1-33 – Anything which comes between a man and God becomes an idol.
There is nothing which should come between man and God.
Order of authority 11:1-16 – God, Christ, man, woman is the order of authority. Worship
God. Serve Christ. Honor man. Cherish woman. As Christ does not contradict God, so man
should not contradict Christ. Do not follow man if he contradicts Christ. However, woman is to
be subject to man.
Lord’s Supper 11:17-34 – Do not make the Lord’s Supper into a mid-morning snack to fill
the belly. There is another time and place to do that; not in the assembly.
Spiritual Gifts 12:1-14:25 – Spiritual gifts are subject to the user. If they cannot control
themselves (whether in tongues, exercises, etc.), it is not from God.
Confusion in Worship 14:36-39 – No interruption of services is to be tolerated, neither any
confusion. Everything is to be done decently and in order.
Resurrection 15:1-58 – The resurrection of Jesus is the central fact of Christianity. Our
resurrection is the hope of the gospel. Those who deny a resurrection to come, deny the hope of
Collection 16:1-4 – The collection was the only means of financing the church in the New
Testament. It was taken once each Sunday. By implication, all other means are eliminated.
Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong. (1 Corinthians 16:13 KJV)
Vigilance is the price of liberty, and it is the necessity of salvation. We must watch out for false
teachers and false doctrine. We must watch for the pitfalls of human frailty and the fireballs of
We need to be permanently planted in the faith, deeply rooted in the teachings of Jesus and the
apostles. We are to be unmovable from the truth.
We are to have the courage of the soldier, the boldness of the warrior, and the undeterred
purpose of the martyr. We are to acts like men, not foolish and unlearned children. We are to be
We are to rely upon the strength of the Lord. As Samson withstood the Philistines we are to
withstand the enemies of the cross, both physical and spiritual, whether personal or corporate.
Grow up. Act like adults.