1 Corinthians 1:1-25 - Christ the Wisdom and Power of God

This is the fourth letter in the Bible written by Paul (earlier ones are Galatians and 1st and 2nd Thessalonians). He also wrote an earlier letter to the Corinthians (not in the Bible), to which they responded. 1 Corinthians, written from Ephesus, is Paul’s response to questions in that letter about marriage and singleness, food sacrificed to idols, spiritual gifts, and special contributions which the Corinthians were making. The letter also addresses concerns Paul had about divisions among the Corinthians, and problems of sexual morality and modesty in the pagan city of Corinth. He also talk about fellowship with the pagans.

In the first three verses, Paul opens his letter with a greeting to the Corinthians. In verses 4 to 9, he expresses thanksgiving for the believers at Corinth and for the never-ending faithfulness of God and his son Jesus Christ. In verses 10 to 17, he sets out the facts of the divisions in the church at Corinth and emphasizes that such divisions are harmful to the church just as they are to a family or household.

1. Given the topics of the letter and the circumstances under which it was written, do you think it applies to us today?

2. Before Paul answers the Corinthians questions (Ch 7 to 16) he takes a lot of time to deal with lapses that have occurred in Corinth: Congregational factions (Ch 1 to 4), immorality (Ch 5) and lawsuits among Christians (Ch 6). Why do you think he put these matters first?

3. In verses 18 and 19, Paul paraphrases Isaiah 29:14. If someone asked you what verses 18 and 19 mean, what would you tell the person? (See Isaiah 55:8-9)

4. When, in your estimation, did your parents suddenly become wiser than you?

5. Does this anti-wisdom section (verses 18 to 25) conflict with the teachings of Solomon in the first five chapters of Proverbs? (Proverbs 2:10-11, 3:13-14, 4:5-7)

6. What did Paul mean in Verse 22 saying “Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom?”

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