The New Testament follows the letter to the Romans with the first letter to the Corinthians. Whereas Romans is like a systematic theology textbook, 1 Corinthians is like an accountability partner confronting a sinning person, and explaining why and how that person ought to stop sinning. A simple way to put it would be like a manual on how to put common sins to death in our lives.

Some sins that this book confronts almost in this order, either directly or indirectly:





divisiveness in the church



failure to confront sin in the church

lawsuits between Christians

sexual immorality



knowingly violating others’ consciences

failure to esteem Christ’s commands properly

spiritual laziness

living in sin

failure to love unbelievers

lack of submission to church leadership

abuse of the Lord’s Supper

failure to use spiritual gifts

failure to serve out of love

failure to esteem the biblical teaching and preaching of God’s Word

failure to do all things for edification in the church service

failure to appreciate the bodily resurrection of Christ

failure to appreciate our future bodily resurrection

failure to appreciate our future conformity to the image of Christ

failure to do all things out of love

These are some of the topics of the book, in order:


spiritual equality in Christ

enlightenment from the Holy Spirit

division in the church

the gospel preacher

spiritual fatherhood

church discipline

church disputes

enslavement to Christ


marriage vs singleness

Christian liberty

lifestyle enslavement for the sake of others




female submission to church leadership

the Lord’s Supper

spiritual gifts

Christian love

biblical preaching

the church service

bodily resurrection

the glorification of the saints

Why read this book after reading the gospels through Romans and 1 John?

Because Romans is intensely theological, although it does include intensely practical sections, one really needs to learn what the common sins are in the Christian life, and how to stop committing them. Furthermore, 1 Corinthians has more to do with the local church as a whole then Romans, so, after a person has been affected on a more personal level, they can learn more about how they fit into the church, and how the church as a whole works together. Furthermore, they can see what sin, left ignored, does to a church.

A Critical Issue in 1 Corinthians

An issue that seems to be ignored in many churches in the US, church discipline, is a very important topic in 1 Corinthians. I think that it might be good for most American Christians to read 1 Corinthians, and compare what it teaches about the church to their own church. Most of the American church needs to really take a closer look at 1 Corinthians.

In addition to church discipline, here are some other problem areas that I suspect to exist in most true churches in the US:


lack of spiritual fatherhood

church disputes

sexual immorality


spiritual laziness

lack of awareness about apostasy

lack of true evangelism

lack of submission to church leadership

failure to conduct the Lord’s Supper biblically

failure to use spiritual gifts

lack of love

lack of biblical Bible teaching and preaching

lack of edification in the church service

If you’ve studied the gospels through Romans and 1 John, I would urge you to make sure that you study 1 Corinthians before you study any other books.