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1 Corinthians 2




Jeremy Witt



The Church in Corinth was messed up.   They were at odds with each other.  They had their own ways of doing things.  They had become engaged in some arguments and ideas that were hurting the church.  The people had their favorite leaders (1 Cor. 1:12-17).  Before we start looking down on these folks, let’s remind ourselves how easily it is for us to do this.  We all have our favorites.  It may be your favorite Bible teacher, a worship leader, a Sunday school teacher, or it may be how much you love the LIFE pastor more than everyone else.  Okay, quit laughing!  But we do this ourselves, don’t we?

In verses 1-5, Paul points out that when he first went to Corinth that he didn’t use impressive words and wisdom to speak to them.  He simply told them of the Good News or Gospel.  Two things jump out to me when I read this.  First, we do not have to have all the answers to share the hope of Jesus.  We do not have to be the smartest or best speaker.  We must simply speak Jesus and point people to Him.  This is Paul’s focus in verse 4.  Second, it is really easy for us to lose sight of the main thing.  The people in Corinth were surrounded by distractions just as we are today.  When we lose sight of God and become entangled in the world and its ways of thinking, we lose sight of Jesus and can get caught up in silly arguments as it appears the Corinthian church.

In verses 6-16, Paul speaks of the wisdom of the world (or man) and the wisdom of God.  These two are at war.  I am sure that you have experienced this or seen this firsthand.  How many times have you heard people making fun of the Bible or Christ-followers?  Our faith and the wisdom of God do not make sense to the world.  Skip ahead to verse 14.  The “natural” man or “people who are not spiritual” in Greek literally means “one who is governed only by his environment, by his natural or animal instincts, by his sinful nature.”  We are not capable of understanding God apart from the Spirit!  This helps explains the struggle.  Even for a Christ follower, we struggle with God’s ways because we are in this world.  This is what the Corinthians were struggling with.

From a worldly point of view, Jesus doesn’t make sense.  Jesus was born of a virgin.  He performed miracles that didn’t make sense or can be explained by man.  He never sinned.  He rose from the dead!  Man has come up with so many explanations trying to prove that Jesus didn’t do these things.  Read verses 7-8.  The wisdom of God appears as a mystery or is hidden to the wisdom of man.  Wondering what that mystery is?  It is God’s plan of salvation.  God sent Jesus to be the sacrifice for man’s sins. 

This baffles our minds, because we cannot fathom that love and grace that God offers without the Holy Spirit.  Paul wanted to remind the church of this.  The people had heard of this mystery and believed in the power of Jesus.  Yet now, they find themselves struggling because their focus and thinking had been impacted by the wisdom of man and this world.  Paul was trying to readjust their focus and way of thinking back to the LORD God.

Verse 9 comes from two passages in Isaiah, a book in the Old Testament.  Isaiah 64:4 and Isaiah 65:17.  Simply put, we do not have a clue what God has in store for those who live life God’s way. 

Don’t lose focus!  We have to keep our eyes on Jesus.  It is really easy to focus on others or what they think is right.  The people in the Corinthian church had lost this focus.  Maybe you have also.  Paul is calling the church and us to remember what the LORD God has done and to live by the Spirit.  For we are called to live by the Spirit and to have to mind of Christ (verse 16). 

How are we to do this?  Live by the Spirit for we have the mind of Christ.  Need to do this better?  Get His Word into your heart and life and start living it out.

Posted by Jeremy Witt with

1 Corinthians 1





After several weeks in the Old Testament, today we make our way back to the New Testament.  We are going to tackle 1 Corinthians.

The church at Corinth couldn’t have had a more promising start.  Their founding pastor was none other than the great missionary, Paul.  After starting the church, Paul moved on and the church had Apollos, a great and eloquent speaker, take on the pastor’s responsibilities.  Even in the midst of a very wicked city like Corinth, the church seemed to have great freedom not only to meet to worship but also to share their faith.  And they were wonderfully gifted by the Holy Spirit.

Despite having so much going their way, the church seemed to squander so much of her potential.  The church was divided and could not get along.  There were rumors that the church was going to split.  There were some questioning their current leadership.  And others were questioning Paul’s integrity and authority.  It is scary when you think about how easy it is for a church who had so much going for to become such a mess.

It is to this mess that Paul writes this letter.  He begins with a very strong statement that he was called by the will of God to be an apostle.  In other words he is not writing simply as a friend or even a former associate.  He is claiming his authority by virtue of his calling that came from God.

In verse 2 Paul calls out the believers in the Corinthian church and then calls them together.  The Greek word for church, ekklesia literally means the called out ones.  When we are saved, we are called out of this culture that we live in so that we can live differently, vibrantly, and righteously.  This calling out is ultimately fulfilled in going to heaven. 

But these Christ followers who were called out were left “in Corinth”.  They were in that city to evangelize the people and represent Jesus as His royal ambassador.  God leaves His children on this earth for a season for a purpose.  We are not here by accident or coincidence.  We are left here by Divine providence and purpose to fulfill His great will.

But it is not just about us.  Paul reminds the church at Corinth that they are a part of something much bigger than themselves.  They are a part of a body of people who have been saved who are scattered all over the place.  In other words, the church at Corinth existed as a local church.  But the people in the church at Corinth were also a part of the universal church.  The same can be said about us today.  We should be actively involved in a local church.  But we are also part of the universal church that consists of Christ followers everywhere.  This is often evidenced by the connection we immediately have with other Christ followers wherever we meet them, even in foreign lands. 

In verse 3, Paul extends his regular greeting: “Grace and peace”. 

From there Paul offers thanksgiving that God saved them.  He also mentions that they lack no spiritual gift.  In other words, God had equipped them in every possible way to serve and witness.  And then he gets right to one of the problems in that church.  People were choosing up sides.  And that was not only destroying the church, it was also killing their testimony in the community. 

The chapter ends with a great passage on the “foolishness of the cross” and God’s ability to use that which is weak to confound that which is strong.  God really does really unexpected stuff.  That should prevent us from taking the credit and should drive us to giving Him the glory.

Posted by Joe Ligon with

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