Today was my last day in 1 Corinthians 1-5. In June, I will be reading chapters 6-11 every day, writing down my thoughts, insights, and questions in my journal and consulting commentaries and my CSB He Reads Truth Bible along the way. I do my first read-through in the NKJV MacArthur Study Bible, and the rest of the month is spent in my Legacy Standard Bible.
Before sharing my final thoughts, I wanted to share a paragraph from the introduction to First Corinthians from the MacArthur Study Bible. “The most serious problem of the Corinthian church was worldliness, an unwillingness to divorce the culture around them. Most of the believers could not consistently separate themselves from their old, selfish, immoral, and pagan ways. It became necessary for Paul to write to correct this, as well as to command the faithful Christians not only to break fellowship with the disobedient and unrepentant members, but to put those members out of the church (5:9-13).”
Growing up and even throughout the years being a part of the Pentecostal/Charismatic movement, the only teaching from First Corinthians I had ever heard was on chapters twelve through fourteen. We talked about tongues and gifts; that was it. I’ve read through the Bible a few times but never realized how corrective First Corinthians is. I had heard so much unbiblical teaching on tongues and gifts that I couldn’t see what Scripture was saying. So in 2018, when I finally allowed myself to study a differing view on those chapters, my world was turned upside down; many questions I had for years were answered and not in favor of the belief I grew up hearing. That’s one of the main reasons I decided to do this three-year New Testament study, which consists of reading a book or a chunk of a larger book every day for a month. Doing this has helped me grasp what the books are teaching.
The biggest thing that stuck out to me in these first five chapters is how the Corinthians got their focus off Jesus and onto other things, and you see that as you continue reading. Paul talks about how the gospel is the power of God. We have so many gimmicks in today’s church; we need to return to the gospel. The Corinthians were pursuing factions, gifts, and everything but Jesus. Two verses left a mark on my thinking.
1 Corinthians 2:2 LSB “For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.” With all of His knowledge, Paul didn’t want people looking to him or speaking of his education but Jesus Christ because that was Paul’s message.
The second verse is one I hadn’t noticed before. It blew me away and sent a torpedo through the prophetic stuff I had been around. 1 Corinthians 4:6 LSB “Now these things, brothers, I have applied to myself and Apollos for your sakes, so that in us you may learn not to go beyond what is written, so that no one of you will become puffed up on behalf of one against the other.”
All we need is Jesus Christ and Him crucified. We don’t need dreams, visions, prophecies, or any type of special revelation- The Word of God is sufficient. It is incredible what you can pick up on reading the same five chapters every day for thirty-one days. I encourage you to start your own deep dive into the New Testament; you will learn and grow in ways that you don’t expect.