READ: “On the first day of the week, each of you should set aside some income and save it to the extent that God has blessed you …” 1 Cor 16.2.

THINK: The offering supplies needs of the family of God and supports the preaching of the Good News. Instructions have been given on how to do it on the first day as well as examples among the congregations of the first century. We ought to give generously and sacrifically, 2 Cor 8—9. Jesus received offerings from his followers, Lk 8.1-4. Continue reading

As students of the Way, we have parsed every sentence in which the terms “Scripture,” “Word,” and “commandment” occur. The referent of the terms is easy to point to, a Bible in our hands. I suspect we have not paid as much attention to the terms about power.

But I will come to you soon, if the Lord is willing, and I will find out not only the talk of these arrogant people, but also their power. For the kingdom of God is demonstrated not in idle talk but with power.
1 Corinthians 4.19-20 NET Continue reading

Remember the ire of the Jews when Jesus spoke of destroying the temple, and they thought he was referring to the physical temple in Jerusalem?

Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you? If someone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, which is what you are.
1 Corinthians 3.16-17 NET Continue reading

People trust in what is offered in order to bring them into the church. If it is the message of Christ, that message will inspire faith and faithfulness (same word in the Greek New Testament). If it is the fancy style of a preacher, or attractions of a program, those are the things that will hold them — until a more glib preacher appears elsewhere or a better organized program comes along in another place.

My conversation and my preaching were not with persuasive words of wisdom, but with a demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith would not be based on human wisdom but on the power of God.
1 Corinthians 2:4-5 NET Continue reading

Israel's exampleSome have said it jokingly, but it’s no joke: The only positive thing that you can derive from some people’s lives is an example of how not to live. Paul basically says this about Israel:

These things happened as examples for us, so that we will not crave evil things as they did.
1 Corinthians 10:6 NET

Israel’s history is the narrative of how not to serve God.

All you need is to see the volume that the Prophets make up in the Bible in order to have an idea of the constant departure of God’s people under Moses’ law. The prophets were sent by God to call the nation back to the old paths. Continue reading

A sermon based on 1 Corinthians 1:1-9


A. Of all the problems in the Corinthian church, the greatest one, behind all the others, was selfishness and pride (3:21; 4:6, 18-19; 5:2, 6; 8:1-2).

B.The solution is to recognize Jesus as Lord and act according to the truth of his Lordship.

C. In the first chapter of 1 Corinthians, the term “Lord” is used 7 times; in the letter, a total of 66 times.

D. In the first 9 verses of the first chapter, Paul declares Jesus as Lord of —


#1. Standardized Things (1:2). The phrase, “in every place,” refers to Christians who worship and serve “our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours,” wherever they meet. The Corinthians wanted to innovate. Paul wanted them to be faithful to the standard followed by all, to the apostolic “tradition” he had handed down to them (see, for example, 11:23). Unity means that Christ’s followers do the same things, because they obey God’s commandments (see 4:17; Matthew 7:21; John 12:50). Continue reading

  • After the BP petroleum platform disaster came cries to shut down oil exploration.
  • When serious problems arise in the church some cry it’s time to close the doors.
    • The apostle Paul didn’t think like that. Problems were to be fixed in order that souls might be saved.
  • The verb “save” is used 9 times in 7 contexts in 1 Corinthians.
    • The words “salvation” and “Savior” are not used in the letter.
    • Its appearance in strategic texts suggests that a main concern of Paul’s in the correction of problems is to save people’s souls.
    • The first passage (1:18, 21) and the last (15:1-2) appear to frame the collection with the mention of the preaching of the gospel. Continue reading

Some days ago, I was looking through the book by our brother Jack Wilhelm, Paul’s Conversion and Missionary Journeys, and noticed a list of the five acts of worship in 1 Corinthians.

I’ve since loaned out the book, so I can’t reproduce his list exactly, but it wasn’t difficult to open Paul’s letter and find several passages that show how the Corinthian church, in spite of its errors, still practiced all the essential acts in its meetings, as we do today. Continue reading