1 Corinthians 10:1-33 Study Guide

LEADER’S STUDY GUIDE 3.14.2021

1 Corinthians 10

In a Nutshell

The end of chapter 10 draws Paul’s argument together by talking about Christian liberty and love. Christian freedom looks like truth and love applied, especially in difficult situations. And the principle that should guide our decision-making process is to do all things for the glory of God and the good of others (10:31-33). “…whatever you do, do all to the glory of God … not seeking [your] own advantage, but that of many, that they may be saved.”

Discussion 1: Verses 1-13

  • What examples does Paul give from the scriptures? Why are they written? What were the sins? Discuss how these examples served as a warning to the Corinthians.
  • Even in our context today, as the gap in time and culture expands, how is the Bible still relevant to us today?
  • How do the examples serve as a warning to us?
  • When you read the Scriptures, do you expect to know and obey God?

Discussion 2: Verses 14-22    

  • In these verses, Paul is driving home the importance of unity with God and other believers. How is this unity much more than just social bonding? What does this union mean for you personally? How has it impacted your life?

Discussion 3: Verses 23-33   

  • It’s here where Paul draws everything together by talking about freedom and love. Paul’s guiding principle is this: limiting your freedom for the sake of love. As you read the passage, look for and identify the principle, then discuss.
  • Paul asks the rhetorical question in verse. 29, “For why should my liberty be determined by someone else’s conscience?”
  • What is implicit in Paul’s answer?
  • How is Paul’s answer applicable to your life today?
  • How might you answer Paul’s question in your own words?
  • How can you choose to surrender your rights today in order to love and serve others?

Note: So, what in the world is going on? Chapter 8, Paul’s answer to the question about eating is “It depends.” In Chapter 10, he absolutely prohibits it. And now, he appears to say “It depends.” again. Is eating food sacrificed to idols always sinful? What are we to make of this?

The answer is that there are likely a few different scenarios in mind. This doesn’t mean that truth is relative, but it just means that ethical decisions are always embedded in a context.

Paul wants the Corinthians to act with wisdom in different scenarios. Acting with wisdom looks like limiting personal freedoms when central gospel truths are not at stake.

Concluding Discussion: Paul’s concluding argument and guiding principle, Verses 31-33

“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. Give no offense to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God, just as I try to please everyone in everything I do, not seeking my own advantage, but that of many, that they may be saved.”

Paul’s guiding principle gives wisdom in aligning beliefs, values, and behaviors with God-honoring and people-blessing decisions.

  • Is Paul’s guiding principle something you use in your own life? Why or why not?
  • Where in your life do you need to act with wisdom?
  • How can you embody the wisdom of Christ today through serving others?

Application:

Believe that doing all things for the glory of God and the good of others is the most fulfilling and satisfying way to live.

Value/Do: These go hand-in-hand. Learn to love training in order to become wise. Do you want to get better at being God-honoring and people-blessing? This is learned in community. Paul says in Chapter 11:1, “Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.” In other words, Paul says, “Let’s grow in Christlikeness together.” Let’s embody his wisdom through serving others, giving up our rights for the sake of love.

As you train and practice in community, being the kind of person who makes God-honoring, people-blessing decisions will become a natural part of who you are. That’s spiritual transformation. That’s what we’re after. Let’s strive for this transformation together.

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