We’ve been reading through 1 Corinthians as a church for about 9 months.
The church there in the Greek city of Corinth was, morally and spiritually speaking, jacked up. Illicit and sinful sex, envy and pride, obsessions with being smart and wise, drunkenness during the Lord’s Supper…
It was a wreck.
But Paul still calls them, at least some of them, Christians. And pleads with them. And rebukes them. Reminds them of eternal reward and punishment. And closes his letter in love for them.
These are some of the truths he expounds for them on the way through his letter:
A true Christian’s identity is in Christ (1:1-9).
A church should agree on the big things in Christ (1:10-17).
God’s wisdom is not necessarily man’s wisdom (1:18-2:15).
Christians should be mature and should work for a reward (3:1-17).
We should want to be seen as wise and faithful by God’s standards (3:18-4:5).
We should be mature and sacrifice for God (4:6-21).
Truly Christian churches should put out unrepentantly sinning members (5:1-13).
The church should be unified and self-sacrificing and holy (6:1-20).
God calls some Christians to God-honoring marriage and other Christians to God-used singleness (7:1-40).
The church should want to lovingly sacrifice for one another (8:1-13).
We should be willing to sacrifice for the Gospel (9:1-18).
We should passionately want to spread the Gospel (9:19-27).
God is jealous for His people’s hearts (10:1-22).
Every action should be aimed towards God (10:23-11:1).
God made them male and female, and what God makes is good. He has roles for the male and female genders (11:2-16).
In the Lord’s Supper, true Christians remember together Jesus’ sacrificial and atoning body and blood (11:17-34).
The Spirit of God gives gifts to the body for the body. The body of Christ, by the way, is the church (12:1-11).
God baptizes Christians into the body of Christ (12:12-31).
Without Godly love, we have nothing (13:1-13).
God wants orderly upbuilding in His churches, and He wants it done under His Word (14:1-40).
God raised Jesus from the dead, and that is very Good News (15:1-11).
Jesus was Himself raised from the dead, and He will also raise from the dead those who put their trust in Him (15:12-28).
Jesus has given true Christians victory over the death they deserve (15:29-58).
Churches need grace and love in Christ (16:1-24).
There are jacked up churches out there. Maybe we’ll each be a part of one at some point in our lives. But whether from the inside of one or from down the street, whether from the pew or the blogosphere, pull a Paul:
Plead with, pray for, rebuke, communicate with, call out, and love Christian churches.
Even Corinthian ones.