Term 1 2019

2 Corinthians: The Paradox of the Cross

The church in first century Corinth had more than its share of problems. Paul addressed these problems in the letter we call 1 Corinthians, but many rejected his advice. 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, Paul challenges believers to see life through the paradox of the cross. “Power in weakness”, “Life in death” “Glory in suffering” are just some features of this paradox.

Because of the cross and God’s Spirit, Jesus’ followers receive power to live transformed lives. They become equipped to take up Jesus’ cross shaped 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. (Adapted from the Introduction on thebibleproject.com)

Good News Comes to Corinth  Acts 18:1-17   10 February 2019

  1. Together, make a list of criteria that could be used to assess Christian ministry.
  2. Read Acts 17:16-34. Here Luke recounts Paul’s visit to Athens. Do you think this was a “successful” visit? Why? How does Paul’s ministry measure up to the criteria you listed in section 1?
  3. Read Acts 18:1-17. Why do you think Paul worked as a tentmaker when he arrived? Why do you think he is reluctant to accept financial support from the Corinthians?
  4. Why do you think Paul always goes to the local synagogue when he enters a new town or city? What is his message for the synagogue (verse 5) and how does this differ from his message in Athens? What accounts for this difference?
  5. Why do you think Paul needed the encouragement words from God in verse 9 and 10? (See acts 17:1-15 for example) How does the outcome of the charge before Gallio show that God keeps his promise?
  6. What encouragement do you need to reach out and tell others about Jesus? Do you think God would say “I have many people in this city” of the City of Ryde? What practical implications are there for us in this?