Themes

THEMES


1 CORINTHIANS:

Here are some of the themes found in 1 Corinthians. We have classified them under 3 broad areas.

1. Church practices

a. Worship

  • The Lord’s Supper – Corinth believers were taking the Lord’s Supper without first confessing their sins
  • Misuse of spiritual gifts – Believers seek and exercise spiritual gifts for wrong reasons
  • Women’s role in the church

b. Resurrection

  • Some denied Christ rose from the dead
  • Others felt people would not physically be resurrected

c. Immorality

  • Report of uncorrected sexual sin in the Corinth church
  • Believers putting up with sexual immorality
  • Misconception about marriage

2. Interpersonal relationships

a. Disunity

  • Corinthian believers rallying around various church leaders and teachers. These loyalties led to intellectual pride and created a spirit of division.

b. Lawsuits among believers

  • There was a quarrelsome spirit among the believers. Instead of settling the issues within the church, some believers have gone to the secular law court.


3. Relationship with society

a. Freedom

  • Some believers felt certain actions were corrupt by association e.g. food offered to idols
  • Others felt free to participate in such actions without feeling they have sinned. Worldliness was a most serious problem, as believers were unwilling to divorce the culture around them.


2 CORINTHIANS:

1. Faith

a. Trials

  • Paul experienced great suffering, persecution and opposition in his ministry
  • He even struggled with a personal weakness – a thorn in the flesh
  • Through it all, Paul affirmed God’s faithfulness

2. Hope

a. To encourage the Corinthians as they faced trials, Paul reminded them that they would receive new bodies in heaven. This would be a great victory in contrast to their present suffering.

3. Love

a. Church Discipline

  • Paul defends his role in church discipline. Neither immorality nor false teaching could be ignored
  • The church was to be neither too lax nor too severe in administering discipline
  • The church was to restore the corrected person when he repented

b. Giving

  • Paul organised a collection of funds for the poor in the Jerusalem church
  • He explains and defends his beliefs about giving, and he urges the Corinthians to follow through on their previous commitment

c. Sound Doctrine

  • False teachers were challenging Paul’s ministry and authority as an apostle
  • Paul asserts his authority in order to preserve correct Christian doctrine
  • His sincerity, his love for Christ, and his concern for the people were his defence

– Summary in Points –

Themes of I Corinthians:

  • Church Practices
    – Worship:
    1. The Lord’s Supper
    2. Misuse of spiritual gifts
    3. Women’s role in the church
    – Resurrection:
    1. Some denied Christ rose from the dead, others felt people would not physically be resurrected
    – Immorality:
    1. Report of uncorrected sexual sin in the Corinth church
    2. Believers putting up with sexual immorality
    3. Misconception about marriage
  • Interpersonal relationships:
    – Disunity
    – Lawsuits among believers
  • Relationship with society:
    – Some believers felt certain actions were corrupt by association
    – Others felt free to participate in such actions without feeling they have sinned

Themes of 2 Corinthians:

  • Faith:
    – Trials:
    1. Suffering, persecution and opposition
    2. Personal weakness – Thorn in the flesh
    3. Affirmed God’s faithfulness
  • Hope:
    – Encouragement when facing trials
    – Look forward to hope of new bodies in heaven
  • Love:
    – Church Discipline:
    1. Defends role in church discipline
    2. Immorality and false teachings not to be ignored
    3. Church to restore corrected person upon repentance
    – Giving:
    1. Explains and defends beliefs about giving
    – Sound doctrine:
    1. False teachers challenging Paul’s ministry and authority as apostle
    2. To preserve correct Christian doctrine – out of love for Christ and people, and his sincerity