By Keith Leroy Brooks
Contents: Christians' position in grace. The unspiritual condition of the Corinthian saints. Danger of following human leaders and exulting in human wisdom.
Characters: God, Jesus, Paul, Sosthenes, Apollos, Cephas, Chloe, Crispus, Gaius, Stephanas.
Conclusion: The consideration of being agreed in the great fundamentals of the faith should have extinguished all feuds and divisions about unessential points. Though there is not unity of sentiment, let there ever be unity of affection in the Church.
It is just with God to leave those to themselves who pour proud contempt on divine wisdom and grace. The way to divine light is to put out your own candle.
Key Word: Human wisdom, vv. 17, 18. Contentions, v. 11.
Strong Verses: 9, 18, 21, 27, 28, 30.
Striking Facts: v. 23. The plain preaching of a crucified Jesus is more powerful than all the oratory and philosophy of an unbelieving world. All the boasted science of the world cannot do for souls what "Christ crucified" does. All one needs, or can desire, they may have in Him (vv. 30-31). He is made wisdom to the foolish, righteousness to the guilty, sanctification to the corrupt, and redemption to those who are in bonds.
Contents: Christian revelation not indebted to human wisdom. Spiritual verities not discoverable to human wisdom.
Characters: God, Christ, Holy Spirit, Paul.
Conclusion: The Christian on his knees can see farther than the philosopher on his tiptoes, for spiritual truth can be perceived only by the spiritually prepared mind. The truths of God are foolishness and trifling to a carnal mind. The only way to understand spiritual truth is to yield to the Author of it, the Holy Spirit.
Key Word: Spiritual wisdom, v. 10.
Strong Verses: 2, 9, 10, 11, 14.
Striking Facts: v. 2. "Christ and Him crucified" is the sum and substance of the Gospel. To display the banner of the cross and invite people under it should be the principal business of the ministers.
Contents: Hindrance of a carnal state to spiritual growth. Christian service and its reward.
Characters: God, Christ, Holy Spirit, Paul, Apollos, Cephas.
Conclusion: Our salvation rests solely upon the completed work of Jesus Christ, but rewards are to be earned by spiritual service for God, and will be according to the quality of our works. True service done in the power of the indwelling Spirit, is of eternal standing, but fleshly service is perishable and will bring the Christian loss of reward at the final day.
Key Word: Labor, reward, v. 8.
Strong Verses: 9, 11, 13, 16, 19, 23.
Striking Facts: v. 11. The doctrine of Jesus Christ and His mediation is the principal doctrine of Christianity. Those who build hopes of heaven on any other foundation build upon sinking sands, v. 23. Those who would be safe for time and happy for eternity, must be Christ's.
Contents: Judgment of Christ's servants not committed to man. Apostolic example of patience and humility.
Characters: God, Christ, Paul, Apollos, Timothy.
Conclusion: God's steward awaits no judgment of man, but stands or falls by his Master's judgment his standard being fidelity to God, not popularity with men.
Key Word: Judging, v. 3.
Strong Verses: 2, 5, 20.
Contents: Immorality rebuked and discipline enjoined.
Characters: Christ, Paul, Satan.
Conclusion: The heinous sins of professed Christians are quickly noted and noised abroad to the injury of Christ's cause. Let the believer walk circumspectly, for many eyes are upon him, and if he will not do so let the Church have no fellowship with him.
Key Word: Fornication, v. 1.
Strong Verses: 7, 8.
Striking Facts: vv. 7-8. Christ was the fulfillment of the Jewish Passover. After the lamb was killed they kept the feast of unleavened bread. So must we, not only seven days, but all our days. The world life of the Christian must be one of "unleavened bread" sincerity and truth.
Contents: Saints forbidden to go to law with each other. Sanctity of the body. The body the Lord's temple.
Characters: God, Christ, Holy Spirit.
Conclusion: Contention of Christians before the law is much to the reproach of Christianity. It is a forgetting of their real dignity as Christians to carry little matters about the things of life before heathen magistrates.
The question of a life of victory over sin that will glorify God will be settled by the believer recognizing to Whom he belongs and yielding to the Divine Guest Who resides within him. Consecration is letting Christ and the Holy Spirit have what belongs to them.
Key Word: Going to law, v. 1. The Body, v. 15.
Strong Verses: 2, 11, 12, 15, 17, 19, 20.
Striking Facts: v. 20. Christ has purchased the believer, body, soul and spirit by His own blood. Let, us therefore, be careful what we do with another's property. Let our bodies be kept as His whose they are and fit for His use and residence.
Contents: Sanctity of marriage. Regulation of marriage among Gentile believers.
Characters: God, Christ, Holy Spirit, Paul.
Conclusion: Marriage is by divine wisdom prescribed for the preventing of fornication. Man and wife cannot separate at pleasure, nor for any other cause than what Christ allows, for it is a divine institution and is a compact for life by God's appointment. Even though a Christian has been united to an unbeliever, before having accepted Christ, they are one flesh, they are to abide together and the believing one is to be sanctified for the sake of the unbelieving one.
Key Word: Marriage, v. 9.
Strong Verses: 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 39.
Contents: Meats offered to idols, and the limitations of Christians' liberty.
Characters: God, Christ, Paul.
Conclusion: There is nothing in the distinction of food that will make any distinction between men in God's account, and the Christian is free to eat that which the conscience allows. Nevertheless he must be careful how he uses this liberty, lest it be the occasion of stumbling or hazzard the ruin of one younger and weaker in the faith.
Key Word: Christian liberty, v. 9.
Strong Verses: 2, 3, 6, 9, 13.
Striking Facts: v. 12. Injuries done to Christians are injuries done to Christ especially to babes in Christ weak Christians.
Contents: Paul vindicates his apostleship. The method and reward of true ministry and the support of the ministry.
Characters: God, Jesus, Cephas, Barnabas, Moses.
Conclusion: It is no new thing for ministers of Christ to meet with the worst treatment where they might expect the best. Those who enjoy benefits by the ministry of the Word should not grudge the maintenance of those who are employed in this work. It is to the praise of a minister, nevertheless, to prefer the success of his ministry and the salvation of souls, to his own interest and to deny himself that he may serve Christ.
Key Word: Ministry, v. 2.
Strong Verses: 14, 19, 22, 24.
Striking Facts: v. 27. The word "castaway" is literally "disapproved," and so translated in other places. He is not expressing fear that he may fail of salvation but is speaking of service, and the possibility through unfaithfulness, of being laid on the shelf.
Contents: Israel in the wilderness, a warning example. Fellowship of the Lord's table demands separation. Law of love in relation to eating and drinking.
Characters: God, Christ, Paul, Moses.
Conclusion: We should take warning from those who have gone before us, that carnal desires are the source and root of much sin and if not checked we know not whither they will carry us.
To partake of the Lord's table is to profess to be in friendship and fellowship with Him, and communion with Christ and communion with Satan can never be had at once. Therefore let us aim in eating, drinking and in all we do, to glorify God.
Key Word: Temptation, v. 13. Communion, vv. 16, 21.
Strong Verses: 11, 12, 13, 16, 20, 23, 31, 33.
Striking Facts: v. 16. The ceremony of the Lord's supper is a token whereby we professedly hold communion with Him whose body was broken and blood shed to procure remission of our sins and the favor of God. vv. 3, 4. He is that Bread which came down from heaven. He is the Rock out of which refreshing streams come to the believer. It is impossible to be in alliance with Him without being devoted to Him.
Contents: Christian order and the Lord's supper. Meaning of the Lord's table.
Characters: God, Christ, Paul.
Conclusion: The Lord's supper is a memorial of His finished atonement, a parable of His present fellowship with His own and a prophecy of His second coming. The ordinances of Christ are very solemn and if they do not do our souls good, will do us harm. Let it not be eaten carelessly or with an insincere heart for it will turn to no account, but to increase guilt and bring condemnation.
Key Word: Covered heads, v. 4. Lord's supper, v. 20.
Strong Verses: 3, 19, 23-27, 31, 32.
Striking Facts: v. 25. New covenant. These outward signs express the new covenant in Christ His body broken, His blood shed, the benefits which flow from His death and sacrifice. His blood is the seal and sanction of all the privileges of the new covenant.
Contents: Spiritual gifts in the Body of Christ, for ministry and worship.
Characters: God, Jesus, Holy Spirit, Paul.
Conclusion: The Body of Christ in the world is for the service for, and manifestation of Christ, and the Body is to serve the Head, whose Body we are. The gifts and graces of the members of the Body greatly differ, but are freely given of God through the Holy Spirit. Since all powers in the members proceed from the Holy Ghost, no member may boast against another, and no member, however insignificant, may consider himself unessential, but is equally obligated to be yielded to the Spirit.
Key Word: Gifts, vv. 1, 30.
Strong Verses: 3, 7, 13, 20, 21, 22, 26, 27.
Striking Facts: v. 13. The baptism with the Spirit forms the Body by uniting believers to Christ, the risen and glorified Head, and to each other. Regeneration is a participation in the baptism of Pentecost when the Body of Christ was first organized.
Contents: Love, the supreme gift of the Spirit, and its governing power over other gifts.
Conclusion: Love alone can give value to any service rendered in Christ's name, and it is therefore the supreme gift of the Spirit, to be coveted and prayed for above all others. Faith trusts and appropriates, hope expects, but love expresses Christ and blesses men.
Key Word: Love, v. 1 (charity).
Strong Verses: 1-3, 12, 13.
Striking Facts: Jesus Christ was the supreme expression of the love of God and His divine love and compassion is the gift of the Spirit to believers who will be yielded to Him. Thinking of Jesus as "love" (for God is love) substitute the name Jesus in place of "charity" and notice the force of the text. Can you say "Christ liveth in me?"
Contents: Prophecy and speaking in tongues. The order of the ministry of this gift in the church.
Characters: God, Holy Spirit, Paul.
Conclusion: That is the best and most eligible gift which best answers the purposes of charity and edifies the church. That which cannot be understood cannot edify, and such confusion is to be avoided in the church. No gift of the Spirit is to be despised, and if the gift of tongues is bestowed, it will be with interpretation among two or three brethren, and will result in their blessing.
Key Word: Gift of tongues, v. 2.
Strong Verses: 2, 8, 9, 12, 19, 33.
Striking Facts: All believers have the Holy Spirit 1 Cor. 6:19-20, not all were to have tongues 12:28-30. All public display of the gift, if it is given by the Spirit, is for edification, 14:5-28, always accompanied by interpretation, 14:13, 23-26, 28, always under control, 14:27. If accompanied by confusion, it is not of the Spirit, 14:33-40.
Contents: The resurrection of Christ and the resurrection of believers resulting from it.
Characters: God, Christ, Paul, Cephas, James, Adam.
Conclusion: The resurrection of Christ, together with His atoning work is the cornerstone of all Christian doctrine. It is the evidence that sin has been effectually put away, the ground for saving faith and the promise that all united to the Body of Christ shall be raised at His coming to receive a glorious body like unto His own, and to bear forever the image of the heavenly.
Key Word: Resurrection, v. 12.
Strong Verses: 3, 14, 17, 20, 22, 23, 42, 43, 44, 47, 49, 51, 58.
Striking Facts: If Christ's body lies in some nameless grave, there is no hope for the believer, and the Gospel is nothing but emptiness. How do we know His sacrifice for sin was accepted? How can we hope for our own resurrection and immortality? "In Christ shall all be made alive" (v. 22), but notice that the word "all" is defined "they that are Christ's" (v. 23).
Contents: Closing instructions and greetings of Paul.
Characters: Christ, Paul, Timothy, Apollos, Aquila, Priscilla, Stephanas, Fortunatus, Achaicus.
Conclusion: The Christian should lay by money in store for good uses, having a treasury for this purpose a stock for others as well as for themselves. They should be ready to every good work as opportunity offers, whether it be in giving or in assisting in some other way the servants of Christ.
Key Word: Instruction.
Strong Verses: 2, 13.