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The words, DIVISION, CONTENTIONS OR STRIFE, and JEALOUSY (1:10,11; 3:3) set the tone for the first four chapters of I Corinthians. Division is apparent, and needs correcting for the sake of the Lord’s church in Corinth. This division is centered in man glorying in man and his wisdom, coupled with man welcoming the glory from others (1:29, 31; 3:18, 21, 4:6-7).

Paul, guided by the Holy Spirit, sets forth the remedy for such division by first reminding the people of the nature of their calling in contrast to the wisdom of man (1:13-17, 21-24, 30-31), and then setting forth the character of the true minister of God’s wisdom (1:23-29; 2:4-5,10-13; 3:7; 4:9-13).


A. The Problem Manifested (1:10-12).

B. The Solution: Consider Christ and Him Crucified (1:13-31).

1. As the basis for the Corinthians’ salvation (1:13-17)

2. As the theme for the saving word (1:18-25)

3. As the only true object of the Corinthians’ glory (1:26-31)

C. God’s Wisdom Vs. Man’s Wisdom (2:1-16)

1. The manner of Paul in presenting God’s wisdom (2:1-5)

2. The manner in which Paul received God’s wisdom (2:6-13)

3. The manner in which man reacts to God’s wisdom (2:14-16)

D. The Role Of The Minister Of God’s Wisdom (3:1-4:21)

1. Glorying in men robbed people of receiving the meat of God’s word (3:1-5)

2. The minister working together with God (3:6-23)

3. The minister and his responsibility before God (4:1-6)

4. The minister and his suffering (4:7-13)

5. Paul as the true minister (4:14-21)


1. Describe the “perfecting together” than God wants to see in his church.

2. What was the nature of the division in Corinth?

3. Paul appeals to what facts in order to solve this division?

4. What kind of wisdom hinders the progress of the gospel and unity?

5. How is man ever going to know God?

6. How was the preaching of Christ crucified:

(a). a stumbling block to the Jews?

(b). foolishness to the Gentiles?

7. Why are many of the wise after the flesh, mighty and noble left out of the calling?

8. Who deserves our glory? Why?

9. What was the theme of Paul’s preaching? Why?

10. In what TWO WAYS does Paul show that his speech originated NOT from man?

11. Describe the “natural man”?

12. What conditions must be eliminated before spiritual growth can begin?

13. What factors determine a successful spiritual building?

14. What is the temple of God, and who can destroy it?

15. How does Paul want to be viewed by the Corinthians?

16. Whom does the true minister of God seek to please?

17. What was the purpose for Paul using himself and Apollos as examples?

18. The apostles were made a _______________ unto the __________________.   How?

19. What was the spirit of Paul’s rebuke?   What does this teach us about the goal of our rebukes?

20. What was Paul’s relationship with the Corinthians?

21. Paul beseeched the Corinthians to “be _____________ of ___________.”   Why is such request on safe ground?

22. Why would some be puffed up over Paul not coming to Corinth?

23. The Kingdom of God is not in ________________ but in ________________.   Explain the contrast:

24. Who was to determine whether Paul would come to Corinth with a “rod” or “in love and spirit of gentleness”?



Carnal thinking leads to carnal living. Such was the case with the church in Corinth. Paul has dealt extensively and forcefully with their carnal thinking. Now, we will examine how Paul handled their problem of carnal living.

Fornication and lawsuits were two problems that manifested the Corinthians’ carnality. Paul first addressed a specific case of fornication emphasizing their wrong in not disciplining a fornicating brother (5:1-13). He then condemns the brethren for going to law against one another before the pagan judges (6:1-11). Finally, Paul addresses the sin of fornication by emphasizing the need for sexual purity (6:11-20).


A. The Problem of Fornication in the church (5:1)

1. The sin was well known.

2. The sin specified: “…one hath his father’s wife.”

B. The Attitude of the Church toward the Sin (5:2)

1. Boastful pride

2. Lack of mourning

3. Lack of church discipline

C. The Attitude of Paul toward the Sin (5:3-5)

1. Made judgment though absent

2. Action to be taken: deliver sinner unto Satan

D. The Appeal of Paul (5:6-13)

1. Do not glory

2. Purge out the old leaven – keep the feast

3. Have no company with the fornicating brother

4. Put away the wicked brother

E. The Problem of law suits in the church (6:1)

1. Brother going to law against another brother

2. Doing so before pagan judges

F. Ignorance Exposed (6:2-6)

1. Saints shall judge the world.

2. Saints will judge angels.

3. Saints should judge themselves.

G. The Solution Expressed (6:7-11)

1. Eliminate the “get even” spirit

2. Recognize the condition of the unrighteous

3. Understand the condition of the Christian

H. Paul Calls For Sexual Purity (6:12-20)

1. False assumptions exposed

2. Our bodies are members of Christ.

3. One joined to a harlot has become one body with the harlot – One joined to the Lord has become one spirit with the Lord.

4. Flee fornication.

5. The body is the sanctuary of the Holy Spirit.

6. Glorify God in your body.


1. Define: Fornication.

2. What two statements in this lesson describe the actions of “withdrawing”?

3. In this lesson, give all the purposes for withdrawing from the sinning brother:

4. What is the background for Paul’s comments in verses 7-8?

5. Was this the first time Paul admonished the Corinthians to have no company with the fornicator?

6. What action did Paul encourage the church to take that manifests “judging”?

7. What two points does Paul stress, showing that Christians should be able to make equitable judgments among themselves?

8. What statement shows that the life of the Christian demands a change from that of the world?

9. Is it ever right to appeal to the courts of the land over a dispute with brethren?   Explain your answer:

10. What two points does Paul make in 6:12-14 that expose the Corinthians’ false assumption regarding sexual impurity?

11. Give three reasons why we should keep our bodies sexually pure?