Key Passage: Revelation 22:12-13 “Look! I am coming quickly…I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.”
Big Picture Question: What is the church? The church is made up of people who worship Jesus together.
Christ Connection: Jesus wants people in the church to meet together, worship God, and tell others the good news about Jesus.
When Paul visited Corinth on his missionary journeys, the city was full of people with various cultural backgrounds. Many of them worshiped Greek gods. Temples and shrines to these gods were scattered throughout the city.
Corinth was a strategic place to plant a church. Paul arrived in Corinth and met Aquila and his wife, Priscilla. Paul stayed with them for a year and a half. On the Sabbath Day, Paul went to the synagogues to teach God’s message to the people. When the Jews refused to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, Paul preached to the Gentiles. Many Corinthians believed and were baptized. (Acts 18:1-18) Finally, Paul returned to Antioch in Syria.
About six years passed. Paul was in Ephesus when he heard a report that the church in Corinth was struggling. The people in the church were arguing and suing each other. In some ways, they lived just like the people in Corinth who were not believers. So Paul wrote a letter—the Book of First Corinthians—to the Corinthian church, not only to instruct them on how to live but to answer questions they had about the faith.
Paul’s said that the Christian life is like a race, and a great reward awaits in heaven. (1 Cor. 9:24-27) Paul explained that the Lord decides what spiritual gifts to give to believers, and not every believer has the same gift. (1 Cor. 12:4-11) Then he reminded them of what is most important: the gospel of Jesus Christ. (1 Cor. 15:1-11)
Paul gave practical instructions so that the believers would know how to live in light of their salvation—not as a way to earn God’s favor. Paul spent a significant portion of his ministry meeting with believers and encouraging them to keep the faith. Jesus’ mission for the church is for believers to come together to worship God and to share the gospel.
Family Activity: Give each family member paper and a pencil. Invite everyone to write down what responsibility means. (They may say what the word means while another family member writes). In a family, each member has responsibilities—just like members of a church. Write some responsibilities, such as dusting or taking out the trash, for each member of the family to do during the week.