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New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures (Study Edition)

Overview of 1 Corinthians

  • A. INTRODUCTION (1:1-9)

    • Paul’s introductory greeting (1:1-3)

    • Paul thanks God for the Corinthians (1:4-9)

  • B. THE IMPORTANCE OF UNITY IN THE CHRISTIAN CONGREGATION (1:10–4:21)

    • 1. Factors contributing to unity and disunity (1:10–2:16)

      • Following humans results in divisions (1:10-17)

      • Recognizing Christ, the power and wisdom of God (1:18-25)

      • Boasting only in Jehovah, not in humans (1:26-31)

      • Preaching like Paul, not with extravagant speech or wisdom (2:1-5)

      • Recognizing the superiority of God’s wisdom (2:6-10)

      • Receiving the spirit that is from God; being a spiritual man (2:11-16)

    • 2. Cooperating with God to make the congregation grow and be united (3:1-23)

      • Fleshly thinking leads to strife and jealousy (3:1-4)

      • Humans are ministers, but God makes it grow (3:5-9)

      • Building with fire-resistant materials (3:10-15)

      • “You yourselves are God’s temple” (3:16, 17)

      • Worldly wisdom is foolishness with God (3:18-23)

    • 3. Further admonitions that contribute to unity (4:1-21)

      • Jehovah’s judgment is what matters (4:1-5)

      • Humble Christians do not think that they are better than their fellow believers (4:6-13)

      • Paul admonishes his spiritual children not to be puffed up with pride (4:14-21)

  • C. KEEPING THE CONGREGATION MORALLY CLEAN (5:1–6:20)

    • 1. Handling a case of sexual immorality (5:1-13)

      • Congregation not to tolerate sexual immorality (5:1-5)

      • “A little leaven ferments the whole batch” (5:6-8)

      • Stop keeping company with the wicked (5:9-13)

    • 2. Better to be defrauded than to take a fellow Christian to court before unbelievers (6:1-8)

    • 3. Warning against spiritual and moral uncleanness (6:9-20)

      • Those who will not inherit the Kingdom (6:9-11)

      • “Your bodies are members of Christ,” so “flee from sexual immorality!” (6:12-20)

  • D. COUNSEL REGARDING MARRIAGE AND SINGLENESS (7:1-40)

    • 1. Advice for the married and the unmarried (7:1-24)

      • Marriage due should be rendered but with consideration (7:1-7)

      • Marriage is better than singleness for those who are inflamed with passion (7:8, 9)

      • Married Christian not to depart from unbelieving mate; may eventually help the mate to gain salvation (7:10-16)

      • Each one to remain in the state in which he was called (7:17-24)

    • 2. The unmarried and the widows (7:25-40)

      • Best to continue as one is; “the time left is reduced” (7:25-31)

      • Remaining single gives more freedom for full devotion to God (7:32-35)

      • Proper to marry but “only in the Lord” (7:36-40)

  • E. CONSIDERATION FOR THE SPIRITUAL WELFARE OF FELLOW BELIEVERS (8:1–11:1)

    • 1. About food offered to idols (8:1-13)

      • Love superior to knowledge (8:1-3)

      • Avoid stumbling others over the eating of food offered to idols (8:4-13)

    • 2. Paul’s example as an apostle (9:1-27)

      • Right of ministers to receive material help (9:1-18)

      • Becoming all things to people of all sorts (9:19-23)

      • Self-control needed in the race for life (9:24-27)

    • 3. Warning examples from Israel’s history (10:1-22)

      • The Israelites in the wilderness (10:1-5)

      • Warnings against greediness, idolatry, immorality, and other evil things (10:6-11)

      • No one tempted beyond what he can bear (10:12, 13)

      • “Flee from idolatry”; reject the table of demons (10:14-22)

    • 4. Using Christian freedom in a considerate way (10:23–11:1)

      • “All things are lawful, but not all things build up” (10:23, 24)

      • Showing consideration for the conscience of others (10:25-30)

      • Doing all things for God’s glory; imitating Paul and Christ (10:31–11:1)

  • F. INSTRUCTIONS FOR ORDERLY WORSHIP IN THE CONGREGATION (11:2–14:40)

    • Respect for Christian headship; principle of head covering (11:2-16)

    • Showing respect for the Lord’s Evening Meal (11:17-34)

    • Gifts of the spirit (12:1-11)

    • One body, many members (12:12-31a)

    • Love​—a surpassing way (12:31b-13:13)

    • Gifts of prophecy and of tongues (14:1-25)

    • Maintaining orderliness at Christian meetings (14:26-40)

  • G. THE CERTAINTY OF THE RESURRECTION HOPE (15:1-58)

    • The resurrection of Christ (15:1-11)

    • Resurrection the basis for faith (15:12-19)

    • Christ’s resurrection a guarantee; God will be all things to everyone (15:20-34)

    • With what sort of body are the dead to be raised up? (15:35-49)

    • Immortality and incorruption (15:50-57)

    • Plenty to do in the Lord’s work (15:58)

  • H. CONCLUDING REMARKS (16:1-24)

    • Collection for Christians in Jerusalem (16:1-4)

    • Paul’s travel plans (16:5-9)

    • Planned visits of Timothy and Apollos (16:10-12)

    • Exhortations and greetings (16:13-24)