1 Corinthians - Lesson 7
Background Information for the Teacher
1. The student can explain how Paul received the message he preached.
2. The student can relate the story of Apollos and his doctrinal change.
3. The student can list some of the points of doctrine on which the church should be steadfast today.
1. Each student should have a Bible
2. Each student should have a copy of the Worksheet and a pencil/pen.
3. Have ready a board on which to write key words and ideas.
4. Have verses to read ready to hand out before class.
5. Have Review Quiz over Lesson 6 ready to distribute at the first of class or as people enter.
Paul emphasizes the source of the message he preached and mentions that
through him and Apollos we should learn not to go beyond what is written.
Lesson Plan for Conducting the Class
Introduction: (about 10 minutes)
- Call the roll and introduce visitors.
- Make necessary announcements.
- Sing some songs if you wish and have a prayer. Songs related to the lesson would be “Thy Word,” “Give Me the Bible,” “How Shall the Young Secure Their Hearts,” “Break Thou the Bread of Life.” Give the answers to the Review Quiz as a way of reviewing the previous lesson. Encourage students to complete the worksheet on the lesson today so they can prepare for the Review Quiz next week.
Learning Experiences: (about 20 to 25 minutes)
- Read 1 Corinthians 2:1-8. (Teacher-a good place to write in two columns on the board.) Q: How does Paul contrast his message with the message of others? A:Not with eloquence or superior wisdom but the demonstration of the Spirit’s power. Not the wisdom of this age but a message of wisdom among the mature.God’s secret wisdom which has been hidden and which God destined for our glory before time began. The rulers of this age did not understand it. Q: To what does Paul likely refer when he speaks of a “demonstration of the Spirit’s power?A: Probably to miracles which he could do. Q: What were the purposes for the working of miracles in the early church? A: Some miracles were miracles of“revelation,” that is, they were to reveal of God’s message through some individual by prophecy, tongues, or special knowledge. Other miracles were miracles of “confirmation”-miracles such as healings, casting out demons, not being hurt by a poisonous snake, or raising someone from the dead, which were to confirm to those observing that the person’s message was from God. Read Mark16:20; John 3:2; 1 Peter 3:21; Hebrews 2:2-4. 1 Corinthians 2:4-5. In these last verses, Paul speaks of the miracles he could do as a “demonstration of the Spirit’s power” so their “faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power.”
- Q: To what does Paul refer when he speaks of God’s secret wisdom that was for our glory and which started before time began? A: The gospel message whichGod started developing before the world began and which has been our great blessing. (See also Ephesians 3:7-11.)
- Q: Read 1 Corinthians 2:10-13. Q: How had Paul received the message he had delivered to the Corinthians? A: It was revealed “to us” through the Holy Spirit.The “us” of verse 10 refers back to the “we” of verse 6 and, thus, to those who were empowered to speak the message from God. Q: To what extent had this message been revealed to these who passed it to others? A: To the level of the words used. Thus, the Spirit did not just give a person an idea and let him express it in his own way. The Spirit guided to the level of the selection of the words.This does not mean that the Spirit dictated every word. It means, rather, that theSpirit allowed writers to use their own knowledge, information, and writing style while guiding them so that their words conveyed exactly what He wanted to be taught.
- Q: If the Holy Spirit guided to that extent, then how should the Corinthians receive the message from Paul? A: They should give it high respect. Q: How does this relate to what Paul said earlier in the chapter? A: Paul did not come with men’s eloquence or men’s wisdom, but he came with both the demonstrations of the Holy Spirit and the message from the Holy Spirit. This should help the Corinthians decide whom to follow. Q: What would be the application to us today? A: No one today receives these direct revelations from the Holy Spirit, the apostles and their co-workers being gone, but we have the written record from those who did receive these revelations and we should give the written word high authority.
- Read 1 Corinthians 4:1-6. Q: To whom is Paul referring when he speaks of“us?” A: Those who had received the divine revelations. They were the ones entrusted with the message that once had been secret and was now made known.Q: What responsibility does Paul place on these inspired speakers and writers?A: They must be found faithful. Q: To whom does Paul feel primarily responsible for his work? A: To the Lord. Q: What judgment will God make at the final day? A: Bring to light the hidden things. Expose men’s motives. Give praise to whom it is due. Q: What does Paul say should be learned from him andApollos? A: Not to go beyond what is written. Q: If the Corinthians follow this admonition, what will they avoid? (verse 6b) A: Taking pride in one man(servant of God) over another man (servant of God.) Paul’s point is that since neither he nor Apollos was the originator of what they had taught, the glory goes to God and not to them personally. Q: How would love help this situation? A:They would not envy or judge or dwell in pride if they are loving each other.
- Q: What had happened to Apollos earlier? (Acts 18:24-28) A: He had been preaching without the full knowledge of the baptism of Jesus. After Priscilla and Aquila taught him privately, he corrected his teaching and went to Corinth where he was very helpful. Q: What had apparently happened when some found Aquila to be so outstanding? A: They had considered themselves followers of him while others said they followed Paul. Q: What is unusual about Paul’s speaking so highly of Apollos? A: Apollos was not an apostle, he had once not taught the full gospel and some were elevating him above Paul. Yet, Paul says they are both servants of God, working together, and neither should be considered above the other. This shows the very spirit of love which Paul is asking of theCorinthians.
Application: (about 10 to 15 minutes)
- Q: Looking back over the passages we have studied, how has Paul described what he has preached to the Corinthians? A: “The testimony about God,” “JesusChrist and him crucified,” “a message of wisdom among the mature,” “God’s secret wisdom” hidden through the ages, “revealed” from God “by his Spirit,”“words taught by the Holy Spirit expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words,”“the things that come from the Spirit of God,” “the secret things of God.”
- These descriptions tell us why we should be “steadfast” using what has come to us from the inspired writers.
- Q: (Teacher-you will have to judge whether the follow question is a good way to close the lesson where you are.) What are some teachings of scripture that some are in danger of leaving or changing?
- Use the Worksheet to prepare for the Review Quiz.
- For the next lesson read 1 Corinthians 10:1-14 and 15:33.
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