How to Study 1 Corinthians (NASB)
Chapters 1 - 6
Read through these chapters and color every reference to the author in one color and every reference to the recipients in another color. Note what you observe about each from doing this.
Read chapters 1 through 6, one chapter at a time. As you read, keep in mind what you read in the introduction to this book. Do the following:
a. Watch for the problems Paul deals with in his letter. You can notice these problems in one of several ways.
As you read, ask the "5 W's and an H": What? When? Where? Why? and How? Especially concentrate on the problems, subjects, or people mentioned. Ask questions such as: Why would Paul mention specific people by name in this chapter? Who is causing the problem? How did the Corinthians get this way? Why does Paul say what he does about himself or his ministry?
Mark the following key words in the text along with all synonyms and pronouns: call (calling, etc.), wisdom (wise), power, foolish, boast, spirit, arrogant, immorality, body, do you not know, and temple. Write the key words for this segment on an index card and use it as book mark.
b. As you read each of the first six chapters, note the problems Paul deals with in each chapter. In the margin make a list of these with the heading "Problems"
As you read, look for and note in the Observations Chart what you learn about the Corinthians, any commands directed to them, and the warnings Paul gives them.
As you finish each chapter, summarize the theme (subject) of that chapter and record it on Structure of 1 Corinthians.
Two things prompted Paul to write to the Corinthians, and these two things create a natural division in his epistle. Read 1 Corinthians 1:10-11, where Paul states his reason for writing. Record this reason on the Structure of 1 Corinthians chat in the space under "Major Segment Divisions"
Chapters 7 - 16
The second division of 1 Corinthians is noted by a phrase that is repeated throughout the last segment of this book: now concerning... Read 7:1 and notice the transition. From this point on Paul deals with matters the the Corinthians had questions about or issues that they needed to be instructed in.
Look un the following verses and underline or mark in a distinctive way the phrase now concerning. As you mark that phrase, mark along with it the subject matter Paul is about to deal with. The verse are 7:1; 7:25; 8:1; 12:1; 16:1. In the same way also mark in 15:1 the words Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you. Marking these wordings will give you the topical divisions of this second segment of 1 Corinthians.
As you read through this last segment of 1 Corinthians, mark the following key words: Spirit, body, love, sin (sinning), unbelieving (unbelievers), think (thinks, thinking) church (churches), idols (idolaters, idolatry), knowledge, preach, death (dead), and gospel. Mark raised (resurrection) in chapter 15). Make a new list of key words to use as a bookmark in this segment. (Divisions and factions are used in chapter 11. This is significant, since Paul again deals with problems while giving further instruction to the church).
As you deal with each topic, ask questions such as: Why does the church have this questions or problem? How are they behaving? What is their thinking? What are Paul's instruction regarding this subject? Why are they to do this? What are the consequences if they don't?
As Paul moves through these final matters of concern, he intermittently explains his position and ministry. Watch for these explanations and note if and how he ties them in with his subject matter.
Note on the Observations chart what you learn from this segment about the Corinthians and the commands and warnings Paul gives them.
Determine and record the theme of each chapter on Structure of 1 Corinthians.
Considering 7:1, give a title to the segment division for the second half of 1 Corinthians. Record your title on Structure of 1 Corinthians.
Record the theme of 1 Corinthians and complete the Structure of 1 Corinthians.
Key Words in the NIV and KJV
Key doctrines in 1 Corinthians
Sexual sin - disobedience to God's plan for marriage and the family (6:13, 18; 7:1-40; 2 San 11:1-4; Prov 2:16-19; Matt 5:32; 19:9; Mark 7:21; Acts 15:20; Rom 13:13; Gal 5:19; Eph 5:5; Col 3:5; Heb 12:16; Jude 1:4, 7)
Proper worship - God deserves our wholehearted worship and praise. Proper worship includes recognition of God's holy character (3:7); pure partaking of the Lord's Supper (11:17-34); and spiritual identification with the church (12:12-27; Matt 2:1, 2; 2:11; 28:16, 17; John 4:20-24; 9:30-38, Rom 1:25; Heb 1:6; Rev 4:10, 11)
Spiritual gifts - divine enablements for ministry that the Holy Spirit gives in some measure to all believers (12:1-14:40; Is 35:4-6; Joel 2:28, 29; Matt 7:22, 23; 12:28; 24:24; Acts 2:1-4; 8:17-20; 10:44-46; 19:6; 1 Thess 5:20; 2 Thess 2:9; 1 Tim 4:14; 2 Tim 1:6; Rev 13:13, 14)
Resurrection of Jesus - central to the hope of Christians; without the Resurrection, faith in Christ would be useless (15:4, 12-28; Pss 2:7; 16:10; Is 26:19; Matt 20:19; Mark 9:9; 14:28; Luke 24:45, 46; John 2:19-22; 10:18; Acts 1:3; 2:24; 3:15; 13:33-35; Rom 1:4; 4:25; 6:4; 8:11, 34; Eph 1:20; Phil 3:10; Col 2:12; 2 Tim 2:8; 1 Pet 1:3, 21; 3:18; Rev 1:18)