Striving for Unity — 1 Corinthians Introduction

By Jenny Fulton

~1 Corinthians Bible Study~

For the last couple of months, the book of 1 Corinthians has weighed heavy upon my heart. In May, I joined a women’s online fellowship site, Bloom.com, and decided to lead a Bible study on this book. These musings are a summary of my findings and the relevance/application I see surrounding us today. If you’re a woman and would like to participate in the study, head on over to bloomladies.com and join the 1 Corinthians Bible Study group where you’ll find study guides to follow and discussion threads to participate in.  If you don’t fit that description but still want to hear my thoughts and findings, subscribe to this blog and get notified when I post a new part to this series.

Introduction

To my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ,

We are a people divided. Our opinions are as varied as our personalities. Heated debates rage unhindered on almost any social media platform. We argue about politics, race/racism, economics, education, rights, proper Christian behavior, the right theology… The list of “safe” dinner-table conversations grows ever smaller.

How do we bridge these gaps? Does unity require that we must agree on every particular? Is there a way to be in unity while simultaneously holding different views and opinions?

One thing the Bible tells us is that “there is nothing new under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 1:9). The divisions we are seeing today are not novel occurrences. What is happening now has happened before. It happened among the Christians in the city of Corinth. The quarrels and divisions there became so intense that Paul was prompted to write them a letter. What did he, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, tell them? How did God encourage them toward unity? Is all that stuff in 1 Corinthians merely time-specific cultural issues or is there something we can learn about the nature and ability to be unified? These are some of the questions I am searching out as I go through this study.

Process

I began by searching out some background information about the city and its church, moved on to looking at the letter as a whole, and am now progressing chapter by chapter through the book. My goal is to gain insight about what Paul was saying to the church at that time and to apply the message then to our situation now.

Reference Materials

For this study, I have been using the following resources

  • NASB Bible
  • NIV Study Bible
  • NIV Archeological Study Bible
  • LOGOS Bible Software
  • The Theological Dictionary of the New Testament
  • Greek English Lexicon of the New Testament based on Semantic Domains  

In this Series

Introduction

The Church in Acts 18

Overview: A Prominent City

Chapter 1: Where Unity Begins

Chapter 2: In Demonstration of the Spirit

Chapter 3: “Let No One Boast in Men”

Chapter 4: Traits of a Godly Servant Leader

Chapter 5: Addressing Immorality in the Church

Chapter 6: Concerning Lawsuits and the Body

Chapter 7: Married or Single?

Chapter 8: Disagreements, Freedom, and Stumbling

Chapter 9: Equally Allowable Differences

Chapter 10: Take Heed How You Live

Chapter 11: Headship, Coverings, and the Lord’s Supper

Chapter 12: Spiritual Gifts

Chapter 13: Love Is…

Chapter 14: Edification and Order in the Church

Chapter 15: All About the Gospel

Chapter 16: Paul’s Closing Thoughts

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