1 Corinthians - Lesson 11

By Stafford North


Background Information for the Teacher


1. The student can explain Paul’s thankfulness for the Corinthian church.

2. The student can discuss the prayer of thanks Christ gave.

3. The student can connect “thankfulness” with a spirit of “love.”

4. The student will demonstrate a “thankful heart” by making a list of things in his life he/she wants to thank God for.


  1. Each student should have a Bible
  2. Each student should have a copy of the Worksheet and a pencil/pen.
  3. Have ready a board on which to write key words and ideas.
  4. Have verses to read ready to hand out before class.
  5. Have Review Quiz over Lesson 10 ready to distribute at the first of class or as people enter.


Throughout 1 Corinthians, Paul mentions things he is thankful for. As “loving” individuals, we will be thankful.

Lesson Plan for Conducting the Class

Introduction: (about 10 minutes)

  1. Call the roll and introduce visitors.
  2. Make necessary announcements.
  3. Sing some songs if you wish and have a prayer. Songs related to the lesson would be: “Give Thanks,” “Thank You Lord,” “To God Be the Glory,” and “When Upon Life’s Billows.”
  4. Give the answers to the Review Quiz as a way of reviewing the previous lesson. Encourage students to complete the worksheet on the lesson today so they can prepare for the Review Quiz next week.

Learning Experiences: (about 20 minutes)

  1. Read 1 Corinthians 1:4. Q: What are some reasons Paul might not have been thankful for the church in Corinth? A: They had lots of problems which he was having to deal with: division, improper worship, worldliness, not using themselves for the glory of God. Some there were even saying bad things about him. He was disappointed in their departures from the faith. One can imagine Paul saying he was concerned about them or was unhappy about them, but he says, “I always thank God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus”-1 Corinthians 1:4.
  2. Q: Why did Paul thank God for the Christians in Corinth? A: Because he loved them. He was their “father” in the gospel. He greatly desired for them to succeed. Even with all their faults, he was thankful for them. Q: What might be a parallel in our own lives that would help us understand his feelings? A: A child who has done something of which we do not approve. We tell him/her about our disappointment for his/her action but we are still thankful that this person is our child and we want to see them do better. Thanksgiving and love have a close connection.
  3. Read 1 Corinthians 4:7. Q: What gift had the Corinthians received that they had boasted about instead of being thankful? A: Paul could be speaking of their salvation, the teachers they have had, or even their ability to exercise spiritual gifts. The application is the same. None of us is in position to boast about our own accomplishments. All of us, especially because we have received salvation by grace and not because of what we have deserved, need to be humble enough to be thankful and not proud.
  4. Read 1 Corinthians 4:14-17. Q: What does Paul here imply the Corinthians should be thankful for? A: For Paul, their father in the gospel. Without Paul,they would still be lost in their sins. Since their salvation came through him, they certainly should be thanking God for him rather than being divided over various preachers. Q: How might we make the same mistake? A: We might be puffed up and think we are better than others because a better known preacher baptized us instead of just being thankful that we have come to Christ. Q: Who led you to the gospel? Q: How long since you gave thanks to God for that person and what he/she did for you?
  5. Read 1 Corinthians 11:24. Q: Prior to eating the Lord’s Supper, what did Christ do? A: He gave thanks. Q: For what? He was about to undergo the worst suffering any human has ever experienced. One of his disciples is going to betrayHim. The others will flee. He will be shamefully treated and abused. What do you suppose Christ gave thanks for? A: He was engaging in the Passover in which it was customary to thank God for delivering His people from Egypt.Since Christ had witnessed the long unfolding of God’s plan of salvation, He must have given thanks for that. He could even have given thanks for the opportunity facing Him in which, by being faithful to His mission, can bring salvation to the world. He probably included in this thanksgiving prayer what benefit His body and blood, symbolized by the bread and wine, would bring to mankind. Even int he difficult situation in which He found Himself, Christ could give thanks.
  6. In all his epistles, Paul encouraged Christians to be thankful. Read 1 Thessalonians 5:18 and Ephesians 5:20. Q: For what does Paul tell us here to be thankful? A: Everything. To be thankful in all circumstances. Sometimes we are not even thankful for obvious blessings. Paul urges us to go far beyond this and to be thankful for everything, and in all circumstances. Q: Does he mean we should be thankful for an illness? For a financial loss? For the loss of a loved one? A: We will not necessarily be thankful for the problem or the loss but, if we are Christians, we can truly be thankful in every situation. There is no situation or condition in which it is not better to be a Christian. Q: For what could I be thankful if I have just learned that I have cancer? A: For the assurance that God loves me and that whatever happens He will bless me. Q: For what could I be thankful if I have just lost a lot of money in a financial venture? A: I can be thankful I didn’t lose more, or thankful that I still have my health, or thankful that I didn’t do anything dishonest to try to fix the problem. I can also be thankful that I know that God and my Christian friends will stand with me during the tough times.
  7. What Paul is encouraging is a constant attitude of thanksgiving. There are always things for which to be thankful-spiritual and physical blessings.
  8. Read 1 Corinthians10:30. Q: What does Paul suggest we should be thankful for? A: Our food, our physical blessings. Read 1 Corinthians 14:17. Q: Where does he suggest that a prayer of thanks will be given? A: In the public assemblies.Read 1 Corinthians 15:57. Q: For what does Paul suggest here that we give thanks? A: For the victory over sin which we have in the Lord Jesus Christ, a spiritual blessing.

Application: (about 15 minutes)

  1. Use the back of the worksheet. Make two columns-one on the left for your physical blessing and on the right for your spiritual blessings. During the next two or three minutes, we will be quiet while we make our lists. This list is for you to use during this week in your prayers of thanksgiving. Before our class is over,we will have a prayer and will ask you to suggest for that prayer things from your list for which we all should be thankful.
  2. Christians should be so full of love for God and love for each other, that they can find things for which to be thankful even in the most difficult times of life. Let’s do better at being thankful.
  3. Prayer of thanks.


  1. Study your worksheet to be ready for the Review Quiz next week.
  2. Give some special time in prayer of thanks.
  3. Read 1 Corinthians 9:16-27 in preparation for the lesson next week.

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