Sunday Morning 5/23: Unit 32, Session 3: The Church Divided

In the first century, Corinth was an important destination in the Roman Empire. The city was located on a narrow area of land connecting the southern end of the Greek peninsula with the mainland to the north. When Paul visited Corinth on his missionary journeys, the city was full of people with various cultural and religious backgrounds.

Corinth was a strategic place to plant a church. Paul stayed in Corinth for a year and a half with Aquila and his wife, Priscilla. On the Sabbath, Paul went to the synagogues to teach God’s message to the people. When the Jews refused to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, Paul preached to the Gentiles. Many Corinthians believed and were baptized. (Acts 18:1-18) Finally, Paul returned to Antioch in Syria.

About six years passed. Paul was in Ephesus when he heard a report that the church in Corinth was struggling. The people in the church were arguing and suing each other. In some ways, they lived just like the people in Corinth who were not believers. So Paul wrote a letter to the Corinthian church—the Book of First Corinthians—not only to instruct them on how to live but to answer questions they had about the faith.

As you talk with your kids about 1 Corinthians, focus on church unity: Because of Jesus and what He has done, believers can humbly come together as one body. Emphasize that Paul gave practical instructions so that the believers would know how to live—not as a way to earn God’s favor, but to live in light of their salvation. 

Paul spent a significant portion of his ministry meeting with believers and encouraging them to keep the faith. Jesus’ mission for the church is for believers to come together to worship God and to share the gospel.

Paul told the believers in the Corinthian church to come together because of the gospel. He reminded them that Jesus saves sinners. Because of Jesus and what He has done, believers can humbly come together as one body.

FAMILY STARTING POINTS 

  • Babies and Toddlers
    • God gives us a mission.
    • Believers come together as one body.
    • Paul wrote a letter to the church in Corinth.
    • Paul told the believers to remember Jesus.
    • Believers are to do everything with love.
  • Preschool
    • Believers come together because of the gospel.
    • What is our mission as Christians? Our mission is to make followers of Jesus from every nation by the power of the Holy Spirit.
  • Kids
    • The gospel unites all kinds of people in love. 
    • What is our mission as Christians? Our mission is to make disciples of all nations by the power of the Holy Spirit.

UNIT KEY PASSAGE

  • Matthew 28:19-20

NEXT WEEK 

  • “Letters to Church Leaders” (1–2 Timothy, Titus)
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