1 Corinthians – Introduction

This study was given by pastor Barry on 24th September 2023 at Calvary Portsmouth.

We are beginning a verse-by-verse study of Paul’s first letter to the Christians in Corinth.

Paul visited three times, and in all wrote to the Christians there on four occasions – our book of ‘first Corinthians’ was actualy the second letter Paul wrote to them.

The church at Corinth was close to Paul’s heart. He had founded it, and continued to have a pastor’s heart toward it, and so is stern when he needs to be, correcting and purging out error so that is does not fester and affect the whole body.

Dr J Vernon McGee gives the following useful breakdown of the book:

OUTLINE: (Three Main Sections)

  1. Chapter 1:1-9  Salutation and thanksgiving,
  2. Chapters 1:10—16:9  Concerning conditions in the Corinthian church,
  3. Chapter 16:10-24  Closing exhortations and benediction,



Chapters 1:10—4:21  – Concerning DIVISIONS and party spirit,

  • 1Cor 1:10-31  Centrality of Christ crucified Corrects divisions,
  • 1Cor 2  Clarity of Holy Spirit Corrects human wisdom,
  • 1Cor 3  Correct conception of God Clarifies Christian service,
  • 1Cor 4   Conditions of Christ’s servants Constrain Christian conduct,

Chapters 5, 6 – Concerning SCANDALS in the Corinthian church,

  • 1 Cor 5 Impurity addressed,
  • 1 Cor 6 Handling of internal grievances among members of the church

Chapter 7 – Concerning MARRIAGE,

Chapters 8:1—11:1 – Concerning CHRISTIAN LIBERTY

  • 1Cor 9 Liberty of the minister,
  • 1Cor 10:1—11:1 Liberty is not license,

Chapter 11:2-16 – Concerning AUTHORITY

Chapter 11:17-34 – Concerning the LORD’S TABLE

Chapters 12—14 – Concerning SPIRITUAL GIFTS

 – Endowment of gifts, 

  • 1 Cor 12 1-11 Gifts are given to maintain unity in diversity,
  • 1 Cor 12:12-31 Members of human body compared to gifts of Holy Spirit,

 – Energy of gifts — Love, 

  • 1Cor 13 The greatest of the gifts

 – Exercise of gifts,

  • 1Co 14:1-22 Gift of prophecy is superior to gift of tongues,
  • 1Co 14:23-40 Order in local church for exercise of any gift,

Chapter 15 – Concerning the GOSPEL,Chapter 15

  • 1 Cor 15:1-4 Prominence of resurrection in the gospel,
  • 1 Cor 15:5-19 Proofs of resurrection,
  • 1 Cor 15:20-28 Parade of resurrection,
    • a. Christ, the firstfruits
    • b. Those who are Christ’s (the church)
    • c. Old Testament saints, Tribulation saints
    • d. Kingdom set up, Christ reigning
    • e. Death destroyed
    • f. Christ returns to His place in the Trinity
  • 1 Cor 15:29-50. Program and pattern of resurrection,
  • 1 Cor 15:51-58. Power of resurrection,

Chapter 16:1-9 – Concerning COLLECTIONS

May you be blessed and encourages as we study through this book.


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