Week 50: 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians

Prepare these questions for Sunday, March 23, 2014.

The books of 1 and 2 Corinthians were letters written by the apostle Paul to the early church in the Greek city of Corinth. Paul had stayed for over a year in Corinth teaching and founding the early church, but then moved on to other cities, especially Ephesus. While in Ephesus Paul heard about quite a lot of turmoil and difficulty going on in the Corinthian church. They were judgmental of non believers, but oddly tolerant of their own sins. They fought over which teacher they liked best-Paul, Apollos, or Cephas (Peter). These letters are Paul's answers to many of their arguments added with his own advice and judgement about their behavior.

1. What were some of the problems facing the church in Corinth? How do these types of distractions compare to problems in the modern American church?

2. Paul speaks a lot about sexual immorality and the role of marriage in this letter. Read 1 Corinthians, chapters 6 and 7. What is Paul's advice concerning these important topics?

3. Read 1 Corinthians, chapter 12. What does Paul say about spiritual gifts and the roles of different believers in the "body of Christ"?

4. Chapter 13 of 1 Corinthians is one of the most famous passages of the New Testament, largely because it is often read at weddings. Do your best to memorize this passage. What is Paul's advice about what love really is?

5. In 2 Corinthians Paul continues his advice to Corinth and focuses a great deal on false teachers and so-called "apostles" that have come after him. The people of Corinth were being led astray by teachers who said things they wanted to hear, but not necessarily things that fit with Jesus and his teachings. In Chapter 4 Paul attempts to encourage the Corinthians and remind them that they are one in a spirit of faith. Read this chapter and write down any words or phrases that you would find encouraging.

6. In chapter 12 of 2 Corinthians Paul talks about the benefit of being weak. What does Paul say about this topic and what do you think that means for your own everyday life?

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