1 Corinthians 8-11
October – November 2016
1 Corinthians 8
- Recap what you know about the Corinthian context.
- Based on 1 Corinthians 8:1-3, is knowledge good or bad? How do you know whether your knowledge is good or bad? Why do we need love as well as knowledge?
- What is the imaginary knowledge in 1 Corinthians 8:2?
- What do Christians know about God (vv 4, 6)? What does this mean about any other gods that people worship?
- What point is Paul making to Christians who know its fine to eat meat sacrificed to idols (vv 9, 13)?
- What principle is Paul establishing as he talks about whether to eat meat sacrificed to idols?
- Think of some situations today where Christians need to be careful that our freedom does not become a stumbling block.
1 Corinthians 9:1-23
“Giving up rights for the Gospel”
- What rights does Paul have as an apostle (vv. 3-14) ?
- Why doesn’t Paul claim this right (vv. 12-18)?
- How has Paul used his freedom in Christ (vv. 19-23)?
- What does it mean to share in the blessings of the gospel (v23)?
- What rights do we find hardest to be willing to give up for the sake of the spread of the gospel?
- What groups of people in our community are not currently being ministered to?
- What would it mean for you to apply the principle of vv. 19-23 in order to communicate the gospel to these unreached people?
For further thought…
What rights do you struggle to be willing to give up for the sake of others?
Verse of the week
‘Though I am free and belong to no man, I make myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible.’ 1 Cor 9:19
1 Corinthians 9:24-27
“Run to win”
Why do you think Paul introduces the image of an athlete, at this point in his letter? (re-read vv. 19-23)
- What is our “prize” or “crown”? (Read Philemon 3:14; James 1:12; 1 Peter 5:4)
- In comparing “the crown that will not last” and our “crown that will last forever”, what is Paul getting at?
- What does Paul mean by not being “disqualified for the prize”? (Compare 1 Corinthians 3:10-15)
- The very next chapter, Paul goes on to support what he’s been saying in 9:24-27 (beginning with “For…”, 10:1). He even revisits running imagery (10:14). How does 10:1-14 further explain 9:24-27?
What would it look like to “run aimlessly” or “fight like a man beating the air” in the Christian life? What would the opposite look like?
Verse of the week
‘Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training… to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.’ 1 Cor 9:25
1 Corinthians 10:1-13
- Read 10:1-13. Why does Paul mention the history of Israel?
- What’s the relationship between the baptism into Moses, and ours and the Corinthians baptism into Christ? (1-4)
- What are the implications of verse 5 for the Corinthians?
- Paul quotes Ex 32:6 (read 32:1-10) and references Nu 21:4-9 and Nu 25:1-9. How are these examples for us today?
- How does vs 12 encourage us to a humble walk, and not to arrogance?
- If the followers of Moses had been so blessed by God and yet fell in many ways, the Corinthians and us don’t stand immune to sin. How then does vs 13 encourage us?
- When have you seen God provide a way to escape temptation?
1 Corinthians 10:14-11:1
- What expectations can Christians lay on each other which are not found in the Bible?
- What issues that the Bible is clear on can Christians often ignore?
- What is Paul’s clear command in v14? How do you take that seriously in your life?
- What is the point of Paul’s contrast between the Lord’s Supper and pagan sacrifices (vv16-22)?
- Paul condemns eating meat in a pagan ritual (v20), he permits eating meat offers to idols (vv25-27), and in 10:27-30 he again discourages the eating of this meat. What are the different contexts here, and what is the principle?
- What are the most worshipped idols in your culture? Why are they attractive?
- What final overall principles does Paul conclude with, in 10:31-11:1, to guide Christian behaviour in gray areas?