1 & 2 Corinthians Summer Study Begins!

1 & 2 Corinthians | Our Wine Women & the Word Summer Bible Study

I am getting really excited as I start learning the history of Paul and the Corinthians in preparation for the new She Reads Truth study. In this study about 1 & 2 Corinthians I’m curious to hear Paul talk about topics such as love, spiritual gifts, repentance and resurrection. It’s really interesting to me, as I read about common problems for the church of Corinth, how relevant they still are today. (I’m sure I’ll see even greater connections after the study). Arrogance and the desire to gain social notability is just as relevant now as it was then, even if the context has changed a little. We are surrounded by people that live to please themselves, that search to gain better jobs or more recognition, to get more money or more followers on social media. Can some of these things be great? Absolutely. But how easy it is to fall into that trap of desiring it for your own benefits and not for the advancement of the Word.

I’m so guilty of this.

As my Wine Women & the Word bible study starts for the summer I am excited for us rockstar women to have some real talk about love, redemption and our roles. We will strive to connect these principles to our every day lives. These aren’t just stories to read, they are guidelines on living. Are we going to read the letters and ignore the teachings? Or are we going to choose to really understand and apply what we know?

I’ve thought about what it would be like to totally disconnect from social media for a day, for a week, or a month. I like to understand and know what is going on, so for me social media would be the hardest thing to completely give up. I think a clean break from scrolling through feeds on Instagram, CNN or Pinterest would be so much more challenging than I like to admit. But I’m feeling tired. I’m feeling brought down by the world and the worldly expectations of others. We are here to build each other up, so why do so many of us feel weighed down?

As we start week 1 and 2 we will begin to learn what it means to boast in the Lord and to find our roles in the body of Christ. I may not be a member of Corinth’s church, but for any of us that believe and know about Jesus we are members of his church and are given a specific way to live wisely and lovingly. I’m excited to see what we learn and to share our journey along the way.

Read below for a history and background of 1 & 2 Corinthians. Having this base knowledge will create even more depth for the study. Allow yourself to read, connect and  learn.

 

Fun facts:

  • Paul wrote the letters 1 & 2 corinthians
    • Out of the 27 New Testament books, Paul is attributed to 13.
    • Paul was originally born as Saul. His early life was not one of a Christian. It involved hatred towards the Christians, arrogance and persecution.
    • He was a an educated Jewish scholar that originally thought Jesus to be a false Messiah. He even took part in the stoning of a Christian man named Stephen.
    • Paul had a life altering encounter (some say supernatural) with Jesus that caused him to see and repent. This just shows that no one is too far gone to turn their lives around.
  • Acrocorinth is a small, but step mountain high on the Peloponnesian peninsula in southern Greece.
    • Corinth was built at the mountain’s foot.
    • This city was destroyed in 146 BC due to a war with Rome.
    • In 44 BC Julius Ceasar rebuilds Corinth as a colony of Rome.
  • The author Pausanias wrote about Corinth in the mid-second century and described the city like a tour guide of pagan monuments and sacred sites. Corinth was littered with many temples.

 

Image result for map of corinth
Map of Corinth

Background and History

The letters 1 & 2 Corinthians were written by Paul from the city of Ephesus in the Roman province of Asia. Paul wants the church in Corinth to work together to advance the gospel. He is writing to them because they have become divided by arrogance and pride, especially among those of the more powerful members.

Corinth connected the Greek mainland with the Peloponnesian peninsula. It was a high traffic area where many cultures and religions resided. Many gods found a home in Corinth and were integrated into governmental activities such as festivals, trade guilds, social clubs and every day life. Traveling spokespeople often stopped in Corinth to charge a fee as they advised people on how to advance socially. (Hmmmm that sounds like society today!)

Paul brought the gospel to Corinth and a church was established. After settling in Ephesus for 3 years, he heard word of the church’s problems and he sent a letter to the church addressing problems such as sexual immorality, division in the church and social snobbery. This extended letter (also known as 1 corinthians) addresses the root of the problem: arrogance. He says that living in this way was incompatible with God’s free gifts to them in Christ. The gifts including: wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption. A self centered lifestyle  as the expense of the under privileged was simply not going to cut it. It was clear that their personal social advancement was more important than the gospel’s advancement.

The second letter to the Corinthians (the book of 2 Corinthians in the bible) focused on the relationship between the suffering and the power of the spirit in Paul’s life/ministry/message. This letter is a response to a complicated history between Paul and the Corinithian church. Paul sent Timothy to Corinth and found the church, again, in turmoil. Paul then went to Corinth himself to resolve some issues, but found a small minority of the church to be very rebellious towards him. He left and extended mercy to them. He writes to strengthen the majority of the church that are faithful and to offer the small percentage of rebels a chance to repent. He covers topics about encouragement, discipline and joy over the repentance of the Corinthians.

Questions to consider:

  1. Paul has a crazy cool story about accepting Christ and changing his lifestyle. What have you seen in your life, or someone else’s, that has changed dramatically since learning and following Christ?
  2. What ancient Corinthian problem do you  most relate to and why? How do you overcome it? (Pride, arrogance, social status, privileges, rebelliousness, etc.)
  3. The Key Verse for the She Reads Truth introduction of our 1 & 2 Corinthian study is: 1 Corinthians 1:9 God is faithful; you were called by him into fellowship with his son. Jesus Christ is our Lord. What do you think this verse means? What do you hope to know more about this verse and this study?

 

 

Hospitality

romans 2-1-03

I have been working on the hospitality study from SheReadsTruth. I’ve always categorized Hospitality as taking care of someone. Like when you have someone in your home, whether for a meal or for the night, it’s how you take care of them.

But I’m finding that it’s more than that.

This study has focused on glorifying God and living in harmony. It’s about your relationships with strangers, friends, children, and the self righteous. It’s about showing love to the people that are hardest to love.

For the Wine Women & the Word bible study I prepared a study of hospitality. The article from SheReadsTruth describes something that just happens so easily. It’s that mindset that if I work hard, get good grades, get a promotion and live upright that things would always go according to plan.

I crashed and burned too many times before realizing the fallacies of that mindset.

How easy is it to think that because we are doing good things, because I’m living for God, or helping others, that I deserve only good things to happen to me. It seems like simple cause and effect, right?

But if you’re in the same boat I am, you know that isn’t the case. I really struggle with this because when I started realizing that bad things happen to everyone I started wondering why I was working so hard for perfection. People get sick, relationships change, jobs are lost and injuries happen. It’s all part of our life experiences.

Over the past few years I started falling into the habit of thinking, “of COURSE this is happening to me.” When you only notice the imperfections in your day your outlook on life starts to look a little gloomy. Realistically, for every two steps forward we take one step back. It’s all part of trying new things, putting yourself out there and living boldly.

Perfectionism enhances self-righteousness. When you strive for perfection, you are striving for something that doesn’t exist. You can’t be perfect and it’s self righteous to think you can be. When you fail after reaching for perfection you have a much farther way to fall. We cannot expect perfection from ourselves because we are flawed and we are sinners.

The story of the prodigal son is one of my husband’s favorites. It describes a son that took his inheritance and ran off, only to squander it and sheepishly return home. He knew he did not deserve the favor of his father and was even willing to work as a servant on his land. When he returned home his father went to him, welcoming him home with open arms. The older brother was very angry and resented the fact that this brother returned home despite all his screw ups. He felt that he deserved so much more because he had acted rightly.

It’s so easy for us to see other people’s faults and ignore our own. It’s easy to become jaded when you work extra duty at work while other teachers are celebrated (**cough, something I’ve experienced lately).

Maybe you know someone that had a past of poor choices and mistakes. It may seem hard to love on them, or even hard to trust them. But in reality, it’s not our duty to hold that against them or to tell them how they should be living. If someone is making an effort to be better, they deserve to be encouraged and lifted up. This portion of Romans 2:1 sums it up very simply:

For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things.

Imagine being slower to judge, quick to love and open to sharing in other’s redemption. Each of us have shortcomings and judging others just condemns yourself.

Make a conscious effort to set aside your judgments and assumptions this week. Clothe yourselves with love and understanding. What tangible steps can you take? How can you show hospitality to someone that you struggle with?

I’m making an effort to show love to those not-so-trustworthy students. It’s so hard not to assume they are talking or causing trouble. I want to show love and fairness to each of them and not pass judgment on their character when they have days of struggle.

Who will you be showing hospitality to this week?

 

~Shelby


Judging others: Matthew 7:1-5
Prodigal Son: Luke 15:11-32

Wine Women & the Word, a blog

Thanks for joining me!

Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

Actually this quote was part of the template, but it seemed too perfect to delete. I used to blog in college. I think subliminally I just wanted to speak and get my ideas out to world. I stopped because I took it too seriously and didn’t have enough topics to write about and wasn’t writing for the right reasons. The genesis of this blog is pretty interesting. I’ll tell how Wine Women & the Word became a bible study later, but this week it accidentally became a blog.

I’ve started writing to get the busyness out of my brain and into another outlet. It started with a bit of a dip in depression over this winter season. I think we all reach a point in our life where we just need to stop and reevaluate.

I started remedying this depression by reading encouraging books and listening to podcasts. I wanted to fill myself up with good information, so I could start sorting out the good and the bad in my own head. Books like the Five Love Languages, Cold Tangerines, Let’s All Be Brave– books I will talk about coming up soon. They are by christian authors and put so many simple life things into perspective.

I love listening to their stories. There is something I love about hearing about successful people that have the same real life experiences as us. We all struggle and we all call out for help.

I started hearing about the word passion this week. It kept popping up in unexpected places. It’s so easy to lose our passion when our brain is consumed with everything else. I read something that stuck with me- if you’re searching for a passion it’s probably not you’re real passion. A passion is something you do because you want to, not because it will get you ahead or make you better. It’s something you invest your hard-earned time for, just for the heck of it.

I have an interest in many things: design, yoga, teaching, friends, travel… but the thing that has kept me afloat these past few months has been writing. The reason why I know that writing is a current passion (and I think passions change per the season in your life) is because I don’t feel like I’m ‘wasting time.’ I’m doing it for me. It’s therapeutic and soothing for my busy brain.

I started thinking of a place I could share my thoughts. I thought about a group of women I’ve spent time with over the past year. We started a bible study called Wine Women & the Word. And, you guessed it, it involves Wine, Women and Words. We talk, pray and do bible studies together. It’s very laid back, but fruitful. When women get together with the intention of growing and learning amazing things happen!

Girl power.

So, here we are as the Wine Women blog. It may not always involved wine or women, but it will always contain words. Hopefully words that can inspire.

Enjoy.

Wine Women & the Word, a blog

Thanks for joining me!

Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

Actually this quote was part of the template, but it seemed too perfect to delete. I used to blog in college. I think subliminally I just wanted to speak and get my ideas out to world. I stopped because I took it too seriously and didn’t have enough topics to write about and wasn’t writing for the right reasons. The genesis of this blog is pretty interesting. I’ll tell how Wine Women & the Word became a bible study later, but this week it accidentally became a blog.

I’ve started writing to get the busyness out of my brain and into another outlet. It started with a bit of a dip in depression over this winter season. I think we all reach a point in our life where we just need to stop and reevaluate.

I started remedying this depression by reading encouraging books and listening to podcasts. I wanted to fill myself up with good information, so I could start sorting out the good and the bad in my own head. Books like the Five Love Languages, Cold Tangerines, Let’s All Be Brave– books I will talk about coming up soon. They are by christian authors and put so many simple life things into perspective.

I love listening to their stories. There is something I love about hearing about successful people that have the same real life experiences as us. We all struggle and we all call out for help.

I started hearing about the word passion this week. It kept popping up in unexpected places. It’s so easy to lose our passion when our brain is consumed with everything else. I read something that stuck with me- if you’re searching for a passion it’s probably not you’re real passion. A passion is something you do because you want to, not because it will get you ahead or make you better. It’s something you invest your hard-earned time for, just for the heck of it.

I have an interest in many things: design, yoga, teaching, friends, travel… but the thing that has kept me afloat these past few months has been writing. The reason why I know that writing is a current passion (and I think passions change per the season in your life) is because I don’t feel like I’m ‘wasting time.’ I’m doing it for me. It’s therapeutic and soothing for my busy brain.

I started thinking of a place I could share my thoughts. I thought about a group of women I’ve spent time with over the past year. We started a bible study called Wine Women & the Word. And, you guessed it, it involves Wine, Women and Words. We talk, pray and do bible studies together. It’s very laid back, but fruitful. When women get together with the intention of growing and learning amazing things happen!

Girl power.

So, here we are as the Wine Women blog. It may not always involved wine or women, but it will always contain words. Hopefully words that can inspire.

Enjoy.