1 Corinthians - Lesson 12

By Stafford North


Background Information for the Teacher


1. The student can explain what Paul means that he is “compelled” and give examples of how he showed it.

2. The student can compare the Christian life to fighting and to running a race.

3. The student will make a commitment to carry out certain things in his/her life.


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 11 ready to distribute at the first of class or as people enter.


Paul says he is “compelled” to preach. He also compares the Christian life to fighting a fight or running a race. We should catch some of his determination in our own lives.

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: “A Charge to Keep I Have,” “I’m Not Ashamed to Own My Lord,” “I Am Mine No More,” “Seek Ye First.”
  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 25 minutes)

  1. Read 1 Corinthians 9:15-18. Q: What right did Paul have which he chose not to use? A: The right of financial support while he is preaching the gospel. Q:Why did Paul not exercise this right? A: To avoid the charge that he was preaching just for money. Q: What does Paul mean when he says he feels“compelled to preach?” A: He feels a strong sense of obligation to share the gospel. This stems from two sources: (1) Christ directly moved in Paul’s life to tell him he was chosen to preach to the Gentiles so Paul feels obligated to carryout this charge, and (2) Paul feels a deep debt of gratitude to Christ for the salvation he has received.
  2. Read 1 Corinthians 9:19-23. Q: What comparison does Paul make in these verses to show how strongly he feels the obligation to preach? A: I make myself a slave. Q: What paradox does Paul suggest here? A: I am free; I am a slave.Our freedom in Christ carries with it a slavery. Q: Who made Paul a slave? A:He did. It was his response to being made free. It is as though someone saved my life and I then choose to make myself a slave to that person to show my appreciation. Christ has saved my soul, and so I obligate myself to him. Q:After giving a few examples, Paul summarizes the plan for his slavery. How does he state it? A: “I have become all things to all men.” Q: What is Paul’s reason for accepting this slavery? A: “So that by all possible means I might save some.”Q: What are some specific things Paul says he will do in becoming all things to all men? A: To the Jews, he will become a Jew to win the Jews. To those not under the law (Gentiles), he became as one not having the law. To the weak, he will become weak.
  3. Read Romans 1:14-16. Q: What does Paul do because of his sense of obligation?A: He preaches the gospel. He is not ashamed of the gospel.
  4. Q: What are some applications we could make of this “becoming all things to all men” to save some? A: Missionaries go to unfamiliar lands and learn the language and observe the customs of the people of that land in order to save them.Christians go to the inner city to serve those people. Some have even gone to such an area to live in order to connect with the poor. Someone would seek to understand better his unbelieving neighbor in order to know how to reach him/her.
  5. Q: If we have a sense of obligation to share the gospel, what are some ways it will show in our lives? A: We will share our faith with those where we work and where we live. We will get involved in some community organization or activity in order to have contacts for the gospel. We will not be afraid to invite others to church or to share with them a scripture. (Teacher-ask the class to tell of sometimes they have done this or about Christians they know about who have done things like this.) Q: What are some things specific things people in this class could do to carry out our obligation to Christ. (Teacher-be sure these applications get very specific. Don’t be satisfied with “I can take an interest in my neighbor.” Be sure to dig further to find specific things I could do with my neighbor to bring him/her to Christ.)
  6. Read 1 Corinthians 9:24-27. Q: What two examples does Paul give for committed people? A: Those who run in a race and those who fight a fight. Q:Why are these good examples of commitment? A: Runners and fighters must train hard and exhaust themselves completely to do well. Q: Can you tell of some specific cases in sports of this determination? Q: What are things aChristian will do to follow the example of runners and fighters? A: Make intense preparation to do his/her work for the Lord. Give that work a high priority in his/her life. Make sacrifices in time and money to carry out the work. Work tirelessly in the work he/she has chosen. (Teacher-ask the class to describeChristians they know who have made sacrifices like this. Maybe of a missionary,a young person, a mother, etc.)

Application: ( about 10 minutes)

  1. On the back of your worksheet, write three things you could do in your personal life that would show you share with Paul the obligation to share the gospel.
  2. Tell the person sitting beside you what one of these actions is to which you will commit yourself.
  3. Prayer for God to help us live up to these commitments.Assignment:
  4. Prepare for the Review Quiz by using the worksheet.
  5. Read 1 Corinthians 15:1-32 and 50-58.

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