Walking down the street in the ancient world would be an eye opening experience for anyone. Using the video lectures from Professor Joel Fredrich’s seminary class on 1 Corinthians we will walk through the ancient world and use Paul’s pen as our eyes and ears. Paul offers encouragement and rebuke to a young congregation that had so many blessings and so many struggles. The parallels to our modern age are striking. Check out the introduction to the series below. Our first lesson will be on 4/14. The class will be offered at 9 am every Sunday.
What topics are covered in 1 Corinthians? If you are drawing a blank this next lesson is for you. Our second lesson of our video study of 1 Corinthians will wet your appetite for some Bible study. The topics are incredibly useful and timely.
“Dear, mom, camp is great! Love, Timmy” We don’t write letters too often these days, do we? Communication is instantaneous. Email, texting, and free VOIP around the world has made communication free and easy, but in the ancient world people still wrote letters. In fact, we could marvel that God picked that time and not the present as the fulfillment of the ages to spread his message of forgiveness in Jesus. We jump into the first 12 verses of Paul’s letter to the Corinthians in this lesson.
What does it mean to be baptized into someone’s name? Was there a danger that people though Paul was whom they were being baptized into?! What about the wisdom of God? How can it be a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles? We’ll consider what the Apostle Paul has to say on the matter and look at a few different angles before we settle on what it is that our God is communicating to us in 1 Corinthians 1:12-25
Professor Fredrich sends some time on the extended reading offered in the previous lesson. Where do the different branches of Christianity find their authority? The easy answer to the Christian might seem to be the Bible, but as you will see, it’s not so simple for many. What roll does wisdom play in the gospel? Specifically, what about wise speech? The Greeks loved their orators. It sounds like Paul didn’t hold a candle to them. And that’s ok.
Where can we find the gospel? Can we find the secret things of God at the top of a mountain? How about the bottom of the sea? Where would God hide his secret truths of love and forgiveness? He didn’t! The are found in the Bible. Anyone can read it at any time. That said, some people believe that it is “hidden” there because you can’t find it in nature or in the sinful heart of man.
Wait a minute… Paul’s said there was rewards for faithful service to God? How is that possible? I thought everything was a gift of God’s grace. We’re saved by grace alone. In this lesson we’ll sort out the difference between justification and sanctification AND what it all means for the faithful builder of the church. Will your work stand the test of fire on the last day?
Servants can have great responsibility. With that comes accountability! This is true for servants of the Gospel too. Paul is finishing up a section where he talks about how he is worried only what God thinks of his ministry. Does the servant care if his master is pleased with his work and the neighbors complain? Not really. Does the master care if the servant thinks he is doing a good job, but really isn’t (not, at least, to the master). There were complaints about Paul’s work. Watch how he defends his ministry and gives all of us a great way to see if what we are doing is pleasing to God.
The life of the Apostles was not glamorous. When Paul wrote to the Corinthian churches he speaks of the hardships he endured happily for the sake of the gospel and God’s people who were blessed by his work. He went hungry and thirsty, lived in rags, treated brutally, and was homeless. God does not call us to that ministry today, but Paul’s defense is instructive to us.
The pride of the Corinthian Christians was a source of trouble. They became blind to sins that made even the pagan world around them blush. Paul uses the opportunity to apply Matthew 18 to the church in a very public way. Join us this Sunday – a little early – at 9 AM for this video Bible study and a window into an ancient world that isn’t so different from the one we live in today.