- The Corinthian church was riddled with disunity. First there was the old guard that was faithful to Paul, the founder of the church. Then there was the layer of converts under Apollos' ministry. They may have thought themselves wiser than the others, just as they perhaps thought Apollos was more educated than Paul.
- In the first four chapters, Paul warns them that the wisdom of God is something different from worldly wisdom. Even more importantly, Paul and Apollos were only the planters and waterers of the field. God always gets the credit for the increase.
- In chapters 5-6, Paul deals with the integrity of the body of Christ. Those who sleep with a prostitute or a man who sleeps with his step-mother does more than defile his individual body. He takes the temple of the Lord--the whole church--to the prostitute. This is not a verse about not smoking. The "you" is plural. The local church as a whole is the temple of the Lord.
- 6:1-11 deals with another kind of defilement of the body, shaming the body of Christ before secular, Roman authorities. It would be better to lose money than allow the church to be shamed in this way.
- In 1 Corinthians 7, Paul begins to respond to a letter from the Corinthians, probably one delivered by Stephanus, Fortunatus, and Achaicus. The question they seem to have asked him first is whether Christians should continue to have sex.
- Paul concedes that celibacy is the ideal but that it is better to marry than to be sexually out of control. Widows might best remain unmarried.
- By the time Paul is done with the chapter, he has also indicated that, once married, one should remain married.
- I grew up with holiness preaching on 1 Corinthians 2:24-3:4. Three types of person were set out: the natural man, the fleshly man, and the spiritual man. What I take from it today is that it is possible to be a Christian and yet still be in the flesh, and that such a believer needs to move to the next level.