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Welcome to our Mailbox Bible Study Course. We trust you will enjoy these lessons as much as we did composing them. We are glad to be able to serve the Lord and you in this way. Many are being saved and helped through these simple Bible lessons. We suggest that you try to do one lesson each week; this will keep your interest in them active. This particular course contains seventeen lessons on Christian Living Bible Study, First Corinthians. Read through this lesson carefully and complete the answers to the lesson by clicking on this word here "TEST IN MICROSOFT WORD FORMAT" and then save it to your computer. Once you have answered all the questions in the test, attach the test questions or copy and paste them into an email addressed to email.bible.lessons@gmail.com with your name and email address and send it to us. We will then evaluate and return any corrections to you with your next lesson. On completion of the full course you will receive a beautifully presented certificate. Should you have difficulty opening these files or sending the email please let us know by return email. We suggest that you print these lessons and put them in a binder for future studies.

May God richly bless you as you proceed.
Your Instructor
Harold Smith

All Courses are copyright and may not be used as Courses without permission, I gratefully acknowledge the permission to the author R.E.Harlow. Copyright 1982




Introduction and thanksgiving, 1:1-9

Introduction, vs. 1-3



Paul's thanksgiving, vs. 4-9





Division in the church, 1:10-21

Following man, 1:10-17





Wisdom arid power of God, 1:18-31

Wisdom of the world, vs. 18-20



Wisdom of God, vs. 21-25



Wisdom in Christ, vs. 26-31





Paul's message to the Corinthians, 2:1-16

Paul's visit to Corinth, vs. 1-5



Revelation of deeper truth, vs. 6-16



Not revealed to the world leaders, vs. 6-9



Now revealed through the Holy Spirit, vs. 10-12



Received by believers, vs. 13-16





More about divisions in the church, 3:1-23

Babes in Christ, vs. 1-4



Servants of the lord, vs. 5-9



Rewards, vs. 10-17



Worldly wisdom and human leaders, vs. 18-23





Who are the Apostles? 4:1-21

Do not judge God's servants, vs. 1-5



Do not boast about men, vs. 6-7



Do not live like kings, vs. 8-13



Follow Me, vs. 14-17



I am coming, vs. 18-21





Sin in the church, 5:1-13

The condition in Corinth, vs. 1-5



Sin will spread, vs. 6-8



Sin must be judged, vs. 9-13





Taking another christian to court, 6:1-11

Better to ask believers to judge, vs. 1-6



Better to accept loss, vs. 7-11





Fornication and married life, 6:12 and 7:40

Fornication, 6:12-20  



Our bodies belong to the Lord, vs. 12-14



Joining bodies, vs. 15-17



The body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, vs. 18-20





Married people, 7:1-40

Instructions about married life, vs. 1-16



How married people should act, vs. 1-5



Should a Christian get married? Vs. 6-9



May married Christians get divorced? Vs. 10-11



Separation if one partner is converted, vs. 12-16



We should remain as we are, vs. 17-28



Jew or Gentile, vs. 17-20



Slave or free, vs. 21-24



Married or unmarried, vs. 25-28



Reasons for this command, vs. 29-35



Time is short, vs. 29-31



We should be concerned about the things of the Lord, vs. 32-35



Summary, vs. 36-40.





Christian liberty, 8:1 - 11:1

Meat offered to idols, 8:1-13



Love is better than knowledge, vs. 1-3



There is one God and idols are nothing, vs. 4-6



Should believers eat meat offered to an idol? Vs. 7-13





Paul did not demand his rights, 9:1-27

The rights of an apostle, vs. 1-14



Paul a true apostle, vs. 1-2



The other apostles, vs. 3-7



The teaching of the Old Testament, vs. 8-14



Paul did not insist on everything, vs. 15-27



Paul's reasons, vs. 15-18



Paul's desire to win some for Christ, vs. 19-22



Paul gave up everything to serve the Lord better, vs. 23-27





Fellowship, 10:1 - 11:1

Fellowship with idols, vs. 1-14



God's blessing on Israel, vs. 1-5



Sin of Israel, vs. 6-10



A warning, vs. 11-14



Fellowship with Christ, vs. 15-22



The Lord’s table, vs. 15-18



The table of demons, vs. 19-22



Fellowship with God’s people, 10:23 11:1



How to show fellowship, vs. 23:24



Food offered to idols, vs. 25-30



Summary of Paul’s teaching, 10:31 11:1





Head covering, 11:2-16

When should we cover our heads? Vs. 2-6



The Old Testament proves this teaching, vs. 7-12



Nature teaches us the same thing, vs. 13-15



The practice of other churches, v. 16





The lord’s supper, 11:17-34

What the Corinthians did when they came together, vs. 17-22



A revelation to Paul, vs. 23-25



Paul’s warning, vs. 26-32



The importance, v. 26



Eating and drinking unworthily, vs. 27-32



Summary, vs.33-34





Spiritual gifts, 12:1 - 14:40

The Holy Spirit and His gifts, 12:1-31



Gifts to every believer, vs. 1-11



Holy Spirit greater than all spirits, vs. 1-3



Different gifts to different believers, vs. 11



The church is like a body, vs. 12-31



The body is a picture of the church, vs. 12-13



Different parts of the body are all necessary, vs. 14-26



The church is a body of Christ, vs. 27-31





Love is the more excellent way, 13:1-13

Gifts without love are useless, vs. 1-3



What does love do? Vs. 4-7



Love is greater than the gifts, vs. 8-13





Prophecy is greater than tongues, 14:1-25

Prophecy builds up the assembly, vs. 1-6



Prophecy can be easily understood, vs. 7-12



We should speak in the assembly for the benefit of all, vs. 13-25



Untaught believers, vs. 13-17



We should think of all the others in the meeting, vs. 18-19



Tongues are for a sign, prophecy for building up, vs. 20-25



God’s order in the churches, vs. 26-40



General rule, v. 26



Limits on speaking in the assembly, vs. 27-35



Tongues, vs. 27-28



Prophecy, vs. 29-33



Women, vs. 34-35



Summary, vs. 36-40





The resurrection, 15:1-58

Christ rose from death, 15:1-11



The Gospel, vs. 1-4



Many people saw the Lord after He rose from death, vs. 5-11



Believers will rise from death, 15:12-34



What if there is no resurrection? Vs. 12-16



What if Christ did not rise from death? Vs. 17-19



What are the results of Christ’s resurrection? Vs. 20-28



All will rise, vs. 20-23



All will be subject to God, vs. 24-28



Why should we suffer if there is no resurrection? Vs. 29-34



How will dead people rise? 15:35-50



Pictures of life and glory, vs. 35-41



Explaining the resurrection, vs. 42-50



What will happen to believers still alive when the Lord comes? 15:51-58





The offering on Sunday, 16:1-14

Plans and greetings, 16:5-24



Paul’s plans, vs. 5-12



Final commands, vs. 13-18



Greetings and a blessing, vs. 19-24



Paul the apostle wrote thirteen of the 21 letters in the New Testament. The two longest epistles are Romans and 1 Corinthians. Paul's great work was to preach the Gospel, and to build up local churches or assemblies. Romans explain in detail the Gospel which Paul preached, and 1 Corinthians tells us how to act in the assembly. Paul also wrote Ephesians, which teaches us great truths about the Church and shows how important it is in God’s sight. There are many verses and chapters in the New Testament telling us how the assembly should act, and Paul wrote to Timothy so that we would know how we should conduct ourselves in God’s family, in the church of the living God, 1 Timothy 3:15. 1 Corinthians is the most important epistle on the subject of how to conduct our churches. It gives the Spirit’s answers to many problems in the church at Corinth. We have some of these problems in our churches today, and we can find God’s answers in 1 Corinthians. The word church is found 22 times in 1 Corinthians, more than in any other book of the New Testament. It also occurs 21 times in Acts, nine times in 2 Corinthians, nine times in Ephesians, and 19 times in Revelation 1, 2 and 3. These books are important and help us to understand the Church of God, but almost all the epistles say something about the church. The word God is found 103 times in 1 Corinthians and the Lord Jesus Christ is mentioned 119 times. This book tells us about God and Christ and the Church of God. God expects us to obey Him in our church life, as at all times and in everything else. God the Spirit led Paul to write this letter and show us God’s way in the Church.


Saul was born in Tarsus, a city of Cilicia in the Roman province of Asia Minor. He received his education from Gamaliel, an outstanding Jewish teacher and a Pharisee,  Acts 5:34 and Acts 22:3. Saul was very zealous for the Jewish law and thought at first that he should do everything he could to stop his people from believing in the Lord Jesus Christ. That all changed when Saul met the Lord on the road to Damascus. At once, the Lord called him to take the Gospel to both Jews and Gentiles and he began to preach that Christ is the Son of God, Acts 9:15 and Acts 9:20. The book of Acts, tells us about his three great missionary journeys:

(1) Saul and Barnabas went out from Antioch and returned to Antioch, Acts 13:3 to Acts 14:26. During this time, Saul's name was changed to Paul, Acts 13:9.

(2) Paul and Silas started out from Antioch and Paul returned to that city later on. Timothy was with them most of this time, Acts 15:40; Acts 16:3 and Acts 18:22, and Luke went with them from Troas to Philippi. (Luke wrote the book of Acts,, and in chapter 16, verses 10 to 40, we read the word we, including Luke, but after 16:40, the word they, Luke was missing during that time).

(3) The third journey started in Acts 18:23, but we do not read that Paul ever got back to Antioch. The book of Acts, ends with Paul in prison at Rome, but we learn a little of his travels after that from his letters to Timothy and Titus. On the second missionary journey, Paul went to Corinth and preached the Gospel, at first in the Jewish synagogue. Some of the Jews believed but the rest forced Paul to leave the synagogue, so he met with the believers in a house. Paul also worked at his trade in the daytime and Silas and Timothy joined him in preaching. The Lord Jesus encouraged Paul and he stayed one and a half years in Corinth, Acts 18:1-11. On the third journey, Paul went to Greece and stayed there three months, Acts 20:2-3. Corinth was the largest city in Achaia or Greece, and we can be sure Paul visited the assembly there when he went to Greece. There were two other cities in Greece mentioned in the Bible. Paul had been in Athens before he went to Corinth, and some people believed, but we do not read about a church in Athens, Acts 17:16 and Acts 17:34. There was also an assembly in Cenchrea, a seaport near Corinth, Romans 16:1. The book of Acts, does not tell us that Paul was ever again in Corinth, but we see in his letters that he planned to return, 1 Corinthians 4:19; 1 Corinthians 11:34; 1 Corinthians 16:4; 2 Corinthians 1:15 and 2 Corinthians 13:1. Paul heard from others that there were problems in the church of Corinth, and the believers wrote to him about other questions.

What were these problems? The epistle tells us about these problems and gives the answers.

1. Introduction and thanksgiving, 1:1-9.
2. Divisions in the church, 1:10; 4:21.
3. Sin in the church, 5:1-13.
4. Taking another Christian to court, 6:1-11.
5. Fornication and married life, 6:12 and 7:40
6. Christian liberty, 8:1 and 11:1.
7. Head Covering, 11:2-16.
8. The Lord's Supper, 11:17-34.
9. Spiritual gifts, 12:1 and 14:40.
10. Resurrection, 15:1-58.
11. The offering on Sunday, 16:1-4.
12. Plans and greetings, 16:5-24.

The believers had written to Paul about some of these matters and Paul had heard about some of them from others.


Believers asked questions about

Paul heard from others about

Married life 7:1

Division in the church 1:11

Christian liberty 8:1

Sin in the church 5:1

Spiritual gifts 12:1

Lords Supper 11:18

The offering 16:1

Resurrection 15:12

The Holy Spirit through Paul gave the answers to the Corinthian church, and through the Holy Scriptures, to us. Paul wrote the first letter to the Corinthians while he was in Ephesus, 1 Corinthians 16:8. This was on his third missionary journey, Acts 19:10. Paul and the apostles could teach the same truth in other churches, and so the believers soon came to know these answers to their problems. Churches today have the same problems from time to time. God has preserved for us the letter to the Corinthians. He expects us to know His Word and to do His will. This means we should build up churches according to the teaching of the Holy Spirit in the New Testament.

Paul first wrote that he was the author dressed to the Corinthians. He asked God why he praised God for them.

Introduction, 1:1-3
Paul called himself an apostle, and the Corinthians, saints. He asked God to give them grace and peace.Paul first of all declared that he had (Romans 1:1) also he said he was called to be an apostle and on most of his letters he stated that he was an apostle same in both of his letters. (James and Jude were not apostles. And we do not know for sure who wrote the book of the elder in his second and third letters.) It was important that the Corinthians should accept Paul's authority as an apostle. He had to tell them some hard things and commanded them to do what was right.

An apostle

Called to be an apostle

By the will of God

Galatians 1:1

1 Corinthians 1:1

Ephesians 1:1


Romans 1:1

2 Corinthians 1:1

1 Timothy 1:1

Colossians 1:1


Titus 1:1

2 Timothy 1:1


Paul was an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God. In Galatians 1:1, he said that no man had made him an apostle, only God. We see that Paul is an apostle by God's will also in 2 Corinthians, Colossians, Ephesians and 2 Timothy. Who was Sosthenes? Sosthenes had been the leader of the Jewish synagogue at Corinth, and opposed to Paul Lord, Acts 18:17. Now he was converted to Christ and was with Paul in Ephesus. Sosthenes was well known to the Corinthians and was willing to have Paul use his name in this strong letter. Paul called him a brother in the Lord but we do not know anything else about him.

Paul wrote this letter to the church of God at Corinth. The word church means an assembly of people. In 1 Corinthians, it is used of the whole Church in the world, including all believers, and of Christians who meet together in one town. The word churches are found six times.

Church in Corinthians:

whole body of christ

local church

local churches











14:4, 5, 12, 23, 28 & 35

14:33 & 34

Corinth was one of the worst cities in the Roman Empire. The believers had to live in the world in a very wicked city, but the church belonged to God, it was His. The Church of God included all who were sanctified in Christ Jesus. They were set apart from the evil world around them, and called saints, Gods holy people. But this letter is for others outside of Corinth. The believers in Corinth were united with all who call on the name of the Lord Jesus in every place. This means all who are saved, ' Acts 2:21 and Romans 10:12-14. He is their Lord as well as ours. We have called on the Lord to help us, and now we are called by His name, we are Christians, Acts 11:26. Today some Christians reject the teaching of 1 Corinthians because they say it was written to one church long ago and we don't have to obey. It is important to see that Corinthians is for all believers in the world today, it is for us.

Verse 3 is Paul's greeting to the church in Corinth. He used the same words in writing to the Galatians, Thessalonians, Romans, Colossians, Ephesians, Philippians, and to Philemon and Titus. To Timothy he added mercy. The words grace and peace were common words of greeting, but here they are in the form of a prayer. Paul asked again at the end of the letter that the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ might be theirs, 1 Corinthians 16:23. God's grace is the basis of all that He does for us. Grace came by Jesus Christ and we are saved by His grace, John 1:17 and Ephesians 2:8. Grace brings salvation through faith, and peace is the result of faith, Romans 5:1. Here both grace and peace come from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ. These great gifts, grace and peace, can only come from God, so the Holy Spirit teaches here that the Lord Jesus Christ is equal with God. He is called the Son in 1 Corinthians 1:9 and 1 Corinthians 15:28, but Colossians and Hebrews give us much more teaching on the deity of Christ.


Letter from

Paul and Sosthenes

Letter to

Church in Corinth and all Saints

Blessing from

God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ

Blessing is

Grace and Peace

Paul's thanksgiving 1 Corinthians 1:4-9
In Verse 3, Paul prayed that God’s grace would be with the believers and at once, he thanked God for the grace which was given to them. In Verse 3, Grace came from the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ; in verse 4 Grace came through or by Christ Jesus. Verse 3, refers to Christ as to His Person, He is God the Son; verse 4 refers to His Work, because the Grace of God could come to us only through the death of Christ on the cross. This Grace is given to all who are in Christ Jesus. Paul could always be thankful for this. We will soon see some of the things in Corinth which made Paul very sorry.

The grace of God gives us more than salvation. The church at Corinth was rich in spiritual gifts, especially in speech and knowledge. The Greeks loved to hear good speakers, and some of the Christians in Corinth had the gift of speaking, as mentioned by Peter, 1 Peter 4:10-11. Others had the special gift of knowledge, 1 Corinthians 12:8 and 1 Corinthians 13:8.

Paul and Timothy and Silas preached the Gospel in Corinth and gave their testimony that Jesus is the Christ, Acts 18:5. God confirmed their witness by giving gifts to those who believed. In Ephesus God honoured the message of His servants by miracles, Acts 19:6 and Acts 19:11; the same in Jerusalem (Hebrews 2:4). In Corinth He confirmed their witness by gifts to the church.

The result was that the church really did not come short in any spiritual gift. Paul wanted to go to Rome so that he could give the believers some spiritual gift, Romans 1:11, but that was not necessary at Corinth. There they had spiritual gifts but they were not using them properly. In this letter, Paul taught them (and us) how to use our gifts for the Lord.

Paul had also taught the new believers that Christ would come back again, as he had done in Thessalonica a short time before. On the second missionary journey, Paul went from Thessalonica to Berea, to Athens, to Corinth. He was only two or three weeks in Thessalonica, but he told them about Christ's return, 1 Thessalonians 1:10. Paul taught the Thessalonians in his letters that Christ will come to the clouds and take His Church up to heaven, 1 Thessalonians 4:17; and then He will come to earth to judge sinful men, 2 Thessalonians 1:7-10. Paul received from the Lord this truth about the Rapture of the Church, 1 Thessalonians 4:15. We believe that Paul wrote to the Thessalonians while he was in Corinth, and we can be sure that he taught the Corinthians these wonderful things also. In chapter 15, verses 51 and 52, we will learn more about the Rapture. Many people know the Bible but they do not love the Lord. Those who love the Lord are waiting with great joy for the day when He will return.

Some people may be afraid they will fall into sin before the Lord comes back. So the Lord promised that He would keep us strong and steady until the end. Only God can do this, Jude 1:24. The Lord Jesus has cleansed us from our sins and is washing us daily by His Word, 1 John 1:7 and Ephesians 5:26-27. His desire is to present us to Himself as a faultless Bride, Colossians 1:22 and Philippians 1:6. That will be a happy day for Him, and for us.

God has promised to keep us and He is faithful, He always keeps His promises, 1 Corinthians 10:13; 1 Thessalonians 5:24 and 2 Thessalonians 3:3. It is God who has called us into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. We have fellowship with the Father and the Son, 1 John 1:3; with the Holy Spirit, 2 Corinthians 13:14; Philippians 2:1; and with one another, 1 John 1:7. We should remember at this time we have fellowship with Christ in His sufferings, Philippians 3:10.

We are called to share in His sufferings, 1 Peter 2:21, but mostly we are called to have joy, not sorrow. We are also called to:



1 Corinthians 7:15


Romans 8:30


1 Peter 1:15


1 Peter 2:9


1 Peter 3:9

Eternal Blessing

Hebrews 9:15





1. Corinthians has the answer to many church problems of our day - True OR False

2. Paul went to Corinth on his second missionary journey.- True OR False

3. Paul never heard of the problems at Corinth until he wrote to them.- True OR False

4. Paul first praised them in spite of their many faults - True OR False

5. The word “church” was the building they met in - True OR False


6. ......................... was one of the ..........................  cities in the ...........................  .............................
7. The words ............... and ............................ are common ............................ in greeting people.
8. Paul ........................... that God's ............................ would be ......................... the  ............................
9. Paul, ............................ and ............................preached the ............................ at Corinth.
10. God has ............................ to ............................ us and He is .............................


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Updated May 2013 by Shelly Allen