1 Corinthians | A LISTEN UP! Bible Study (Robinson and de Jong)

1 Corinthians | A LISTEN UP! Bible Study (Robinson and de Jong)

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What's a LISTEN UP! Bible Study, and why is it unique?
God's word is alive. God will always have something new to say to us. That's why the purpose of the Listen Up! Bible Study series is not simply learning information about the Bible. It is hearing God speak. There is a difference. In these Bible studies, you will be encouraged to listen: listen to the Bible, listen to your own questions and responses, and listen to the honest sharing among participants in your study group. Trusting in the power of the Holy Spirit, we believe that in that mix of biblical text, personal engagement, and honest speaking and listening, God's word may be heard, speaking words of challenge and words of comfort.

1 Corinthians LISTEN UP! Bible Study
Whether or not your congregation has experienced some form of conflict and division, you will find in this study of 1 Corinthians a rich reflection on what it means to be the church, as well as analysis of some of the chronic ways in which church health and vitality are undermined from within. The brilliance of Paul's letter is that all of this is grounded theologically and in the gospel. He doesn't simply say, "Now, now, can't we just all get along? His argument is a much deeper one. It is based on what God has done in Jesus Christ.

Paul's first letter to the Corinthians hits on a number of sub-themes that bear on life together in the church: sexual morality, the place of the human body for Christians, food and diet, spiritual gifts and their use, including speaking in tongues, the meaning and celebration of Holy Communion, and famously, in 1 Corinthians 13, love.

The six lessons in this study cannot cover all of this wonderful letter to a church struggling with serious conflict, but here is a brief overview of the letter as a whole:

  • Chapters 1 - 4 provide Paul's introduction and thanksgiving for the church at Corinth and elaborate on the core issue of conflict and spiritual arrogance.
  • Chapters 5 - 14 take up a number of specific issues and questions that trouble the life of the Corinthian church, including sexual morality, marriage, eating, the Lord's Supper and spiritual gifts.
  • Chapters 15 - 16 bring the letter to conclusion with an exploration of the heart of the gospel message and Paul's closing words and blessing.

Leader's Guide included in this workbook.

Anthony B. Robinson
is a Seattle-based speaker, teacher, writer and consultant and an ordained United Church of Christ minister.

Patricia de Jong is Senior Minister at First Congregational United Church of Christ in Berkeley, California.

Click here for all titles in the LISTEN UP! Bible Study series.