Paul shows the new Christians in Corinth that all of life's most complex problems can be seen through the lens of the gospel. 1 Corinthians challenges believers to examine every area of life through the lens of the gospel. Specifically, Paul addresses divisions, food, sex, worship gatherings and the resurrection. He reminds believers that the Church is not a popularity contest, followers of Jesus cannot compromise when it comes to sexual integrity, the core principle of worship gatherings is love for others, and the resurrection gives us a reason for unity, motivation to maintain sexual purity, ability to love other people more than ourselves and ultimate hope for victory over death. Our belief that Jesus was raised from the dead makes the gospel more than moral advice or a recipe for private spirituality. It opens a whole new reality for every area of our life.
Romans: Part 1
"Paul’s Magnus Opus"
The Book of Romans is a four-part explanation of the Gospel message written by Paul to the Church in Rome. Since Adam, humans chose to live sinful and selfish lives. Paul shows how Jesus created the new covenant family of Abraham through his death and resurrection and the sending of the Spirit. The people of Israel tried to obey God and follow the Law, but they didn't succeed. Only faith in Jesus' death and resurrection can justify humanity and fulfill God's promise to create a covenant relationship with His people, the descendants of Abraham. Through Jesus, God creates a new covenant family that includes Jews and gentiles who are unified as they love and forgive each other. Even though people continue to reject Jesus, God uses their rejection to expand His family and grow the Church.
Paul resolves his conflict with the Corinthians by showing how the scandal of the crucifixion turns our value systems upside-down. Paul addressed problems in the Corinth church in 1 Corinthians, but many rejected his advice. This grieved Paul as he had spent a great deal of time with the Corinthian church. He followed up with a painful visit and then sent them 2 Corinthians, a letter that assured them he forgave and loved them. After reading the letter, many church members repented and embraced the letter's message. Essentially, it challenges believers to see life through the paradox of the cross. Because of the cross and God's Spirit, Jesus' followers receive power to live transformed lives. They become equipped to take up Jesus' cruciform life and make it their own. Through the cross and resurrection, believers may live differently and model the values God desires, including generosity, humility, and weakness.