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Day 301 – Thru the Bible
Today we start 1 Corinthians. Here’s the video for 1 Corinthians.
Video – Read Scripture: 1 Corinthians
How does this video help you understand 1 Corinthians better?
1 Corinthians 1 & 2 – In , Paul addresses a church that, like many in our day, is both deeply flawed and greatly loved. To prepare his readers to confront the many challenges to their spiritual maturity, he reminds them that God’s people possess the resources needed for spiritual growth and transformation. We are united to Jesus (“in Christ Jesus”). We share fellowship with Him and with God as our Father. As a result, we receive the blessings of grace, peace, and the gifts of the Spirit. Though we were once defiled by sin, God has now cleansed us and made us His holy people through Jesus’ perfect sacrifice (“sanctified,” “saints,” v. ; “guiltless,” v. ). Confidence that we can grow in holiness rests not on ourselves but on the faithfulness of God and of His Son Jesus, who will “sustain [us] to the end.”
The logic of the epistle is therefore clear: the kind of repentance, holy living, and self-sacrificial love that characterizes Believers in Jesus can be realized only by the supply of, and dependence upon, gospel provisions.
Among the problems that have been reported to Paul about the church in Corinth is that of division, as factions are forming around various leaders. His response in 1:10–2:16 exposes two powerful temptations that face the church in every era, and the ways he confronts the temptations provide some of the most moving summaries of the Gospel in all of Scripture (1:18–25, 30; 2:1–4).
The first temptation involved boasting in leaders whose speech is eloquent (1:17; 2:1, 4), putting confidence in human wisdom and strength. But the Gospel teaches us to boast only “in the Lord” (1:31), and particularly in “Christ crucified,” who is “the power of God and the wisdom of God” (1:23–24). We rely not on human accomplishment but on that of Jesus, who has become our “righteousness” (giving us right standing with God), our “sanctification” (cleansing us from the impurity of disobedience), and our “redemption” (liberating us from bondage to sin) (1:30). To access God’s transforming power, Believers therefore do not need to focus on worldly measures of success (1:26–28); instead, we need only to keep “the word of the cross” at the heart of our faith and practice (1:17–18).
The second temptation involved Believers trying to separate the beginning of the Christian life from the living of the Christian life. As Paul reminds the Corinthians, our lives as Believers begin with absolute dependence on God’s powerful, saving work. We hear the gospel of Jesus crucified and respond to it in faith (1:17; 2:1–5). This response is the result of the Spirit’s work, who gives us true wisdom so that we can understand, rather than reject, the Gospel (2:12–14). We are also baptized in the name of Jesus, the only Savior and Lord (1:12–15). Yet this dependence on God’s provision is not a temporary stage in our spiritual development, for the Gospel is both the gracious gift by which we begin the Christian life and the source of ongoing power for living the Christian life (see 15:1–4). The truth about “Jesus Christ and him crucified” (2:2) is therefore not a basic teaching to be left behind as we mature but a lens through which to view all of Scripture (1:19, 31; 2:9, 16) and all of life.
How is the Gospel that saved you now sustaining you?
What other thoughts or questions does today’s video and reading bring up?
Some of these notes are from the ESV Gospel Transformation Bible study notes. We highly recommend this study Bible.
Videos produced by www.TheGospelProject.com.
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