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General Outlines of the Book of 1 Corinthians


God’s …

1.    God’s will (1:1);

2.    God’s church (1:2; 10:32; 11:16, 22; 15:9);

3.    God’s power (1:18, 24; 2:5);

4.    God’s wisdom (1:21, 24);

5.    God’s mystery (2:1);

6.    God’s Spirit (2:11; 3:16; 6:11; 7:40; 12:3);

7.    God’s things (2:11);

8.    God’s temple (3:16, 17);

9.    God’s kingdom (4:20; 6:9-10; 15:50);

10. God’s gifts (7:7);

11. God’s commandments (7:19);

12. God’s image and glory (11:7);

13. God’s word (14:36);

14. God’s grace (15:10);


In Christ

1.    Be sanctified in Christ Jesus (1:2);

2.    Grace is given by Christ Jesus (1:4);

3.    Be enriched in everything by Him in all utterance and all knowledge (1:5);

4.    It is of God that one is in Christ Jesus (1:30).

5.    Be wise and strong and distinguished in Christ (4:10);

6.    Believers who have been begotten through the gospel in Christ Jesus (4:15);

7.    The work in the Lord (9:1);

8.    Have fallen asleep in Christ (15:18);

9.    In Christ all shall be made alive (15:22).

10. Love in Christ Jesus (16:24);



1.    True knowledge is in Christ Jesus (1:5);

2.    The most important knowledge is the knowledge of Jesus Christ and Him crucified (2:2).

3.    Only the Spirit can make us know the things that have been freely given to us by God (2:12).

4.    Knowledge puffs up (8:1).

5.    If anyone thinks that he knows anything, he knows nothing (8:2).

6.    Knowledge makes one sin against the brethren and make them stumble (8:11-13).

7.    Knowledge will vanish away (13:8).

8.    We know in part now (13:9, 12).

9.    When the Lord comes again, we shall know just as we also are known (13:12)

10. If anyone is ignorant, let him be ignorant (14:38).


The Nature of the Church

1.    The nature of God (1:2);

2.    God's field (3:9);

3.    God's building (3:9);

4.    God’s temple (3:16-17);

5.    God’s kingdom (4:20);

6.    Unleavened (5:7);

7.    A new lump (5:7);

8.    Christ’s body (12:27);



1.    Though believers come short in no gift, they may still be carnal (1:7; 3:3).

2.    Each one has his own gift from God, one in this manner and another in that (7:7).

3.    The same Spirit works all these gifts, distributing to each one individually as He wills (12:11).

4.    Love is the best gift (12:31).

5.    Let the gift be for the edification of the church that you seek to excel (14:12).


Christ’s Being and Works

1.    Christ is our portion (1:9).

2.    Christ is the power of God as well as the wisdom of God (1:24).

3.    Christ became for us wisdom --and righteousness and sanctification and redemption (1:30).

4.    Christ is for our glory (2:7).

5.    Christ is the Lord of glory (2:8).

6.    Christ is the deep things of God (2:10).

7.    Christ is the only foundation that God builds the church (3:11).

8.    Christ is our Passover sacrificed for us (5:7).

9.    Christ is the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth (5:8).

10. Christ is the only Lord, through whom are all things, and through whom we live (8:6).

11. Christ is our spiritual food (the bread of life), spiritual water (the life of the Spirit), and spiritual Rock (the death and resurrection of the crucified Lord) (10:3).

12. Christ is the pillar of the cloud that guides us (10:2).

13. Christ is the head of the church (11:3).

14. Christ is the whole assembly (12:12).

15. Christ is our faith, glory of hope and life of love (13:13).

16. Christ is our gospel (15:1-4).

17. Christ is our resurrection (15:4; John 11:25).

18. Christ is the first-fruit of us (15:20; John 12:24).

19. Christ is the King of kings (15:25; Rev. 19:16).

20. Christ is the second Man who ends the first man (15:47).

21. Christ is the last Adam who ends the race of Adam (15:45).

22. Christ is a quickening spirit who gives man life and more abundant life (15:45; John 10:10). We can only manifest the fullness of Christ through the union with Him only.


Strife of Believers

1.    There are no divisions among believers, but that they are perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment (1:10).

2.    They have many leaders (1:11-12).

3.    Envy, strife, and divisions are carnal deeds (3:3).

4.    The divisions in the gathering are not for the better but for the worse (11:17-19).

5.    There should be no schism in the body of Christ, but that the members should have the same care for one another (12:25).


The Reasons for the Strife of Believers

1.    They uphold different believers (1:12).

2.    The admire wisdom in the world (1:17-25; 2:6-13; 3:18-23).

3.    They are carnal (3:3).

4.    They boast of men (3:21).

5.    They judge one another (4:1-5).

6.    They learn in men to think beyond what is written (4:6).

7.    They are puffed up (4:6).


Concerning the Preachment

1.    What to preach:

A.   To preach the gospel (1:17);

B.   To preach the crucified Christ (1:23);

C.   To preach the mystery of God (2:1);

D.   To speak edification and exhortation and comfort (14:3);

2.    How to preach:

A.   Not in wisdom of word (1:17; 2:13);

B.   By the Spirit (2:13);

C.   To deliver what is received from the Lord (11:23; 15:3);

D.   Speak in revelation, or in knowledge, or in prophecy, or in teaching (14:6);

E.   Words with understanding (14:19);


The Examples of the Lord’s Worker

1.    Not know anything except Jesus Christ and Him crucified (2:2);

2.    The speech and preaching are not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power (2:4);

3.    Speak in words which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual (2:13);

4.    Through whom believers believed, as the Lord gave to each one (3:5);

5.    God's fellow workers (3:9);

6.    According to the grace of God, let each one take heed how he builds on it (3:10).

7.    The workers of the Lord are of believers and of the church (3:22).

8.    Be servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God faithfully (4:1-2);

9.    Not care for the judgment of others and even not judge one himself (4:3-4);

10. Let believers learn in them not to think beyond what is written (4:6);

11. Be despised readily (4:9-10);

12. Labor and work with their own hands (4:12);

13. Being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we endure; being defamed, we entreat (4:12-13);

14. Be examples for believers in walking (4:16-17);

15. Treat with believers in love and a spirit of gentleness rather than power (4:21);

16. Though they are not in the gathering physically, they are with the church in spirit (5:4);

17. He wishes that all men were even as I himself, and honors each one who has his own gift from God (7:7).

18. The exhortations and teachings to all the churches are the same (7:17);

19. He gives judgment as one whom the Lord in His mercy has made trustworthy (7:25).

20. He speaks to believers for their own profit (7:35).

21. He is sure that he speaks in the inspiration of the Spirit (7:40).

22. Though he has excellent spiritual knowledge, he does not walk through knowledge but in love (8:1).

23. He is willing to give up the right that makes him comfortable for the sake of the gospel (9:4-15).

24. He preaches the gospel willingly that he may present the gospel of Christ without charge (9:16-18).

25. He is willing to make himself a servant to all so as to win the more (9:19).

26. He has become all things to all men (9:20-22).

27. What he does is for the gospel's sake so that he may be the partaker of the gospel (9:22).

28. Run with uncertainty and diligently and be temperate in all things (9:23-27).

29. He imitates Christ so that believers will imitate him (11:1).

30. He shows the more excellent way to believers (12:31).

31. He puts more emphasis on the edification of the church than that of oneself (14:4, 18-19).

32. He is sure that he speaks for the Lord (14:37).

33. He labors more abundantly by the grace of God (15:10).

34. He stands in jeopardy every hour and dies daily (15:30-32).

35. He honors the church and walks in light without leaving any handle to others (16:3-4).

36. He is concerned about the condition of young fellow workers (16:10-11).

37. He shows the respect for the freedom of his fellow workers of receiving the guidance from God (16:12).

38. He appreciates the labor and good treatment of others (16:15-18).


The Works of the Spirit

1.    The demonstration of the words of preachment (2:4);

2.    The Spirit proves the wisdom of God in a mystery (2:10);

3.    The Spirit searches all things (2:10);

4.    The Spirit know the things that have been freely given to us by God

5.    The Spirit teaches believers how to speak (2:13).

6.    The Spirit abides in believers (3:16; 6:19).

7.    Believers are washed, sanctified and justified by the Holy Spirit (6:11).

8.    The Spirit gives man the judgment of the truth (7:40).

9.    Man can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit. (12:3).

10. The Spirit is for the profit of all (12:7).

11. The Spirit distributes the gifts to each one individually as He wills (12:8-11).

12. By one Spirit all believers are baptized into one body (12:13).

13. Believers are made to drink into one Spirit (12:13).



1.    Faith is not in the wisdom of men but in the power of God (2:5).

2.    Ministers lead men to believe (3:5).

3.    Now abide faith (13:13).

4.    The prophesying is a sign for those who believe (14:22).

5.    If Christ is not risen, your faith is futile (15:17).


Three Kinds of Men

1.    The natural man (2:14);

2.    The spiritual man (2:15);

3.    The carnal man (3:3);


Do you not know …?

1.    Do you not know that you are the temple of God (3:16)?

2.    Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump (5:6)?

3.    Do you not know that the saints will judge the world (6:2)?

4.    Do you not know that we shall judge angels (6:3)?

5.    Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God (6:9)?

6.    Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ (6:15)?

7.    Do you not know that he who is joined to a harlot is one body with her (6:16)?

8.    Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you (6:19)?

9.    Do you not know that those who minister the holy things eat of the things of the temple (9:13)?

10. Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize (9:24)?


The Kingdom of God

1.    The kingdom of God is not in word but in power (4:20).

2.    The unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God (6:9-10).

3.    Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God (15:50).


The Bread and Cup of the Lord

1.    Let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth

2.    The communion of the blood and the body of Christ (10:16-17).

3.    It is drinking the cup of the Lord and partaking of the Lord's table (10:21).

4.    It is eating the Lord's Supper (11:20).

5.    This do in remembrance of the Lord (11:24-25).

6.    Proclaim the Lord's death till He comes (11:26);

7.    Eat this bread or drink this cup of the Lord in an worthy manner (11:27-32).


Things of Fornication

1.    Not keep company with sexually immoral people (5:9);

2.    Fornicators can not inherit the kingdom of God (6:10).

3.    He who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body (6:18).

4.    Because of sexual immorality, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband (7:2).

5.    Those who committed sexual immorality fell (10:8).


Worship of Idols

1.    Not mean with the idolaters (5:10);

2.    Idolaters can not inherit the kingdom of God (6:9-10).

3.    An idol is nothing in the world (8:4).

4.    Eating in an idol's temple may become a stumbling block to those who are weak (8:9-10).

5.    Do not become idolaters (10:7).

6.    Flee from idolatry (10:14).

7.    Eating what is offered to idols is having fellowship with demons (10:19-22).

8.    When we were Gentiles, we served those dumb idols (12:2).


Principles of Christians’ Conduct

1.    All things are lawful for me, as long as they helpful for God, to others and to oneself (6:12; 10:23-24);

2.    All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any (6:12).

3.    All things are lawful, as long as they edify (10:23).

4.    All things are lawful, as long as they glorify God (10:31).


The Bodies of Believers

1.    The body is for the Lord (6:13).

2.    Our bodies are members of Christ (6:15).

3.    Our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit (6:19).

4.    We shall glorify God in our body (6:20).

5.    The wife and husband do not have authority over their own bodies respectively (7:4).

6.    Those who marry will have trouble in the flesh (7:28).

7.    The virgin should be holy both in body and in spirit (7:34).

8.    It is a small thing that those who have sown spiritual things reap material things (9:11).

9.    One shall discipline his body and bring it into subjection (9:27).

10. It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body (15:44).


Love is the More Excellent Way

1.    Knowledge puffs up, but love edifies (8:1).

2.    If anyone loves God, this one is known by Him (8:3).

3.    If there is no love, it profits nothing (13:1-3).

4.    The definition of love (13:4-7).

5.    Love never fails (13:8-12).

6.    And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love (13:13).

7.    Pursue love (14:1).

8.    Let all that you do be done with love (16:14).

9.    If anyone does not love the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be accursed (16:22).

10. Love be with you all in Christ Jesus (16:24).


Believers and the Body of Christ

1.    The bread which we break is the communion of the body of Christ (10:16-17).

2.    The body is one and has many members (12:12).

3.    By one Spirit we were all baptized into one body (12:13).

4.    We are all of the body (12:15-18).

5.    The function of each member is different (12:19-24).

6.    The members should have the same care for one another (12:25-27).


── Caleb HuangChristian Digest Bible Commentary Series

   Translated by Mary Zhou