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The Apostle Paul’s letter to the church in the Greek city of Corinth is like a menu for every type of dysfunction a church could experience. It might be surprising, then, how Paul begins that letter: by giving thanks for how God had blessed the church. Pastor Luke teaches from 1 Corinthians 1:1–10 in “I Give Thanks,” the first message in a new series “1 Corinthians 1.”
Talk It Over
OPEN. 1. Take a moment and try to remember what you were doing 2 1/2 years ago. How much did you remember from that day / week / month?
OBSERVE. Read 1 Corinthians 1: 1-9.
2. Paul calls himself an apostle. What does that word mean? Why would he use that title instead of mentioning his relationship as the founder of the church 2-3 years earlier?
3. Read Acts 18: 5-18. Who was Sosthenes? How did he become Paul’s partner in ministry?
4. The word “Christ” is not part of Jesus’ name. It is a title that means, essentially, “the King that God had promised.” How many times does Paul use it in this short introduction to the letter? Why would he keep repeating it?
5. The church is described as “sanctified” and “saints.” Those words, like “holy,” describe something that is dedicated and set apart for God’s use. What kind of use did God have for the church in Corinth? What use does God have for the church today?
6. What has God done, according to v. 1? -according to v. 2? What gift of God does Paul proclaim in v. 3? What things has God already done, according to vv. 4-6?
7. What things does Paul list in vv. 7-8 that will God do in the future? How can people be sure about that future, according to v. 9?
IMPLICATIONS. 8. When you pray, are you more likely to request something from God, or to give thanks for what you already have? How could thanksgiving become more a part of your prayers?