BACKGROUND FOR THE LESSON. Paul wrote I Corinthians because he was concerned about the church’s problems. He had heard from members of Chloe’s household (see I Corinthians 1:11) that the church had serious divisions with members divided over which Christian leader to follow (see I Corinthians chapters 1-4), sexual immorality was widespread (see I Corinthians chapter 5), and believers were taking each other to court to solve disputes (see I Corinthians 6:1-11). The church also had questions they wanted Paul to answer concerning marriage (see I Corinthians chapter 7),Christian liberty or freedom (see I Corinthians chapter 8:1-11:1), church worship (see I Corinthians 11:2-34), spiritual gifts (see I Corinthians chapters 12-14), and resurrection (see I Corinthians chapter 15). Some in the Corinthian church were elevating certain gifts above others. They were also priding themselves when they thought they possessed what they considered to be the most important gifts. Paul reminded them that just as each of our physical bodies has many members and yet is only one body, so too in the church, the body of Christ, there are many members. Each member is necessary and therefore important to the proper functioning of the body. After explaining the idea of gifts bestowed on believers by the Holy Spirit to glorify Christ (see I Corinthians 12:1-11), Paul likened the church to a human body with many members or parts all unified and belonging in Christ (see I Corinthians 12:12). In verse 13 Paul declares that all believers have been baptized by one Spirit into one body. This is where our lesson text begins.
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