1&2 Corinthians

FREEDOM VERSES BOUNDARIES

These letters were written to a church that was having some boundary issues, Paul is passionate and strong in 1 Corinthians, loving and pastoral in 2 Corinthians. These letters are great to get to know what life was like in the 1st Century church, how do they live in a city that was wild, with 27 temples, with idolatry and sexual immorality a normal part of life. How do they balance their freedom in Christ with having boundaries in the Church? Find out in these incredible letters from Paul. Havingwalked through some difficult circumstances with the Corinthian church read the heart of Paul as their ‘father’ in 2 Corinthians as he directs and guides this church into maturity.

PART ONE | PART TWO | PART THREE | PART FOUR

 
 

 

Part One

IN HIM YOU HAVE BEEN ENRICHED IN EVERY WAY

1 C 1:5

Welcome to the first Snapshot video for the books of 1 & 2 Corinthians. Did you know that there are two letters missing that Paul wrote to the church in Corinth? Find out about these letters and what the city of Corinth looked like in the 1st Century.


DIVE

HE CAN'T TALK TO US LIKE THAT

This church is crazy, this church is out of control, how does a church that has more ‘worldy’ issues going on in its congregation stand up and make a difference in a community like Corinth! Its full of quarrelling, jealousy, sexual immorality, they are suing each other, someone is sleeping with his Fathers wife (eeww!) and they are proud of him (what!), they are fighting over who is the best preacher in the church (Paul, Peter or Apollos) they're abusing the Lord's supper, using it for their own advantage, they are yeling out in church, they no longer believe in the resurrection of the dead and that’s only the beginning, and Paul has found out. So he writes 1 Corinthians give them instructions on how to bring their church and all the mess within it back into right order. How good does your church sound right now?!

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DEEP DIVE

1 corinthians part one dr adam white

You might have heard it said by some well-meaning Christian (or, perhaps, you said it yourself at some point) that the Corinthians were the worst of the worst of Paul’s churches; that if you look up the definition of “immorality” in the dictionary, there’d be a picture of the Corinthians; that they made the practices in Sodom and Gomorrah look like the shenanigans on an unruly youth night. Or something to that effect. What I always find fun, however, is to show students how much we in the western church are like the Corinthians (yes, I have some serious pedagogical issues to address, but that’s not what we’re here to talk about). But before I hold up the mirror to our own stuff, we need to chat background, which will be the topic of this first blog.

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Part Two

if i have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, i am nothing

1 C 13:2

Our second Snapshot video takes us through the book of 1 Corinthians. Discover the letter that offended the Corinthian church and the teaching of Paul in this church specific letter, that teaches them about how to balance their freedom in Christ with boundaries in the Church.


DIVE

JUST BECAUSE YOU CAN DOESN’T MEAN YOU SHOULD

We are in the letter to the church in Corinth, and we learnt in the snapshot videos that this city was a large city with lots of idolatry and prostitution. The reputation of the Corinthians was unfortunately of a very low standard. So if I was writing a letter to this church, I’m not sure I would open it as Paul did. Look at what Paul calls the church in the second verse:

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DEEP DIVE

1 CORINTHIANS PART TWO DR ADAM WHITE

I suggested last time that in many ways we are like the Corinthians. I want to pick up that idea in this piece as we look at the letter of 1 Corinthians. But before we do, I need to finish telling the story of how the letter came about.

We saw already that when Paul arrived in Corinth, he was offered support by one of the wealthier members of the church. He refused it. For us today, this seems a bit strange, particularly given that he instead chose to make tents. But the issue for Paul was that it would put him under obligation to one person, rather than Christ. It’s a bit like the person who says to the pastor, “Hey, I’ll be your biggest giver, but I expect special treatment.” Quite clearly, Paul couldn’t be part of such an arrangement.

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Part Three

HAVING NOTHING, AND YET POSSESSING EVERYTHING

2 C 6:4

The relationship between Paul and the Corinthian church was not smooth sailing. In this Snapshot video, learn how Paul walked through the bad times in their relationship to gain their trust again


DIVE

BE A YET CHRISTIAN

Paul addresses something in 2 Corinthians that I am very passionate about. What does a life, blessed by God look like? Most of us would say, married, two kids and a cute dog, perfect car, gorgeous house that God gave you at a bargain price, no sickness, blessed to be a blessing financially and nothing ever going wrong because if it does go wrong, you have done something wrong.

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DEEP DIVE

2 CORINTHIANS PART ONE DR ADAM WHITE

In the last blog, we finished with Paul sending what is known to us as 1 Corinthians. I say “known to us” because there was a previous letter to which he refers in 1 Cor 5:9. There isn’t space to comment on it as we actually don’t know anything about it. So, let’s pick it up from where Paul sent the second letter (our 1 Corinthians) to deal with a whole list of issues. He delivered this—most likely—with Sosthenes, and it would be followed up by a subsequent visit from Timothy, who had the unenviable task of making sure it worked (1 Cor 16:10). But as I said last time, it didn’t; in fact, it seems to have caused a further breakout of conflict led by a particular opponent of Paul. Somebody in the church had issues with Paul already (perhaps the head of the “I follow Apollos” group in the previous blog) but was now making some serious accusations about the apostle over his handling of the offering for Jerusalem.

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Part Four

GOD IS ABLE TO BLESS TO ABUNDANTLY

2 C 1:11

2 Corinthians is Paul back at his apostolic best. Watch this video as Katie takes us through the purpose of this letter and how Paul refutes the 'false apostles' claims against him. And it's not in the way you would think.


DIVE

YOU’RE GOING TO BRING UP MONEY NOW – ARE YOU CRAZY?

Have you ever brought a friend to church and that is the day that Brother Bob decides to go all out on the guilt of giving your tithe and you are cringing in your seat, praying that your friend has switched off or been sidetracked by something else and doesn’t hear it? You are now wondering why you brought them to church today, couldn’t it have been last week when the tithing message wasn’t so intense?

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DEEP DIVE

2 corinthians part two dr adam white

In the last blog, we saw that Paul and the Corinthians had had a major falling out, to the extent that Paul felt the only solution was to depart from the church. He had been accused of embezzlement over his handling of the offering for Jerusalem and general doubts had been raised over his status as an apostle. He dealt with the issue through a painful letter delivered by Titus. The letter was mostly successful in that it brought about repentance, reconciliation, and punishment of the wrongdoer. But there were still some lingering doubts about Paul’s choice to send a letter instead of visiting as he had originally promised. These issues were being exacerbated by some self-styled “super-apostles”. Replacements that had been brought in to the church who were actively undermining Paul’s authority and no doubt eroding the newly reached reconciliation. In response to this news, Paul writes a fourth letter, our 2 Corinthians.  

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