The Apostle Paul: I Corinthians. Part 3.

The main thrust of I Corinthians is corrective rather than doctrinal, However, Paul gave seminal teaching on many doctrines that directly relate to the matters of sin and righteousness. In one way or another, wrong living always stems from wrong belief.

Sexual sins for example, including divorce, are inevitably related to disobeying God’s plan for marriage and the family (7:1–40). Proper worship is determined by such things as recognition of God’s holy character (3:17), the spiritual identity of the church (12:12–27), and the holy partaking of the Lord’s Supper (11:17–34).

Concurrently, it is not possible for the church to be edified faithfully and effectively unless believers understand and exercise their spiritual gifts (12:1–14:40). The importance of the doctrine of the resurrection is also emphasized (I Corinthians 15:13–14).

In addition to those themes, Paul briefly dealt with God’s judgment of believers, the right understanding of which will produce right motives for godly living (see 3:13–15). The right understanding of idols and of false gods, in general, was to help the immature Corinthians think about such things as eating meat that had been sacrificed to idols (8:1–11:1). The right understanding and expression of genuine, godly love was mandatory to right use of spiritual gifts and even to right knowledge about all the things of God (13:1–13).

Paul dealt with the cross, divine wisdom and human wisdom, the work of the Spirit in illumination, carnality, eternal rewards, the transformation of salvation, sanctification, the nature of Christ, union with him, the divine role for women, marriage and divorce, Spirit baptism, indwelling and gifting, the unity of the church in one body, the theology of love, and the doctrine of resurrection. All these establish foundational truth for godly behavior.

More to come.

Soli deo Gloria!

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