1 Corinthians - Lesson 4

By Stafford North


Background Information for the Teacher


1. The student can explain what Paul teaches about how to observe the Lord’s Supper.

2. The student can relate “love” to worship.

3. The student can list four principles about worship which we may derive from 1 Corinthians 14.

4. The student will determine to make his/her worship to God more effective.


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 a copy of “Have Thine Own Way Lord” for all to sing-either from a book or a copy of the song you have printed out.

6. Have Review Quiz over Lesson 3 ready to distribute at the first of class or as people enter.


Paul’s corrections of a number of errors in the Corinthian worship can help us be

more effective in our worship.

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 “Blessed Be the Lord God Almighty,” “O Worship the King,” and “On Bended Knee I Come.”
  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 10:16-22. Q: What is the central point of Paul’s argument here? A: That those who observe a meal in honor of their god “connect” with that god and thus have a “participation” with the him. Q: From what two non-Christian situations does he illustrate his point? A: Judaism and idolatry. Q:What lessons should we learn about taking the Lord’s Supper from this passage? A: (1) That we become one with Christ as we eat of His body and drink of His blood, even though what we eat and drink are only symbolic of his body and blood. (2) That since we all share in this feast, we do in common and it should,therefore, promote unity among us. Q: What are some thoughts we could think as we take the Lord’s Supper that would indicate our minds are on the right track during that time? A: Thank you God for giving us Jesus; thank you Jesus for your sacrifice; I am so glad I have come to know about the death and resurrection of Jesus so I can, through Him, go to heaven; I’m sorry for the ways I failed you last week; help me do better in the coming week; because you have done so much for me, I want to do more for You.
  2. Read 1 Corinthians 11:17-34. Q: From Paul’s statements here, how would you describe what the Corinthians were doing as they came to take the Lord’s Supper?A: They had made a regular meal out of what should be a serious time of worship. Those with more, were eating better, and putting to shame those with little. Some were even drinking so much wine that they were getting drunk. They were not taking the Lord’s Supper together, but some were starting before others so it was not a time of common fellowship. Their taking of the Supper was a demonstration of their division.
  3. Q: What points does Paul make in trying to remedy this sinful situation? A: (1) He says the directions for taking the Supper which he had given them before had come from the Lord. (2) They should return to observing the Supper as he had told them. (3) The Supper is to be a remembrance of the body and blood of Christ and what they mean to Christians. (4) In taking the Supper, in honor of Jesus death and resurrection, they proclaim that they believe in a risen Christ and one who will come again. (5) The Supper should be a time of self-examination in which Christians recognize what Christ did for them and, thus, what they should do for Him.
  4. Q: What warning does Paul give about partaking of the Lord’s Supper? A: That anyone who partakes in an unworthy manner is “guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord.” To partake “without recognizing the body of theLord” one “eats and drinks judgment on himself.” Q: What conclusions would you draw from these statements? A: (1) That engaging in the Lord’s Supper is avery serious business that must be approached thoughtfully. (2) That during theLord’s Supper we must hold our focus on the death, burial, and resurrection ofJesus and on his return. (3) That this warning means we should carefully follow God’s instructions when participating in other activities of worship such as praying and singing.
  5. On the space provided on your Worksheet, write what you would like your thoughts to be the next time you take the Lord’s Supper.
  6. Read 1 Corinthians 14:26. Q: What principle does Paul teach here about Christian worship? A: That everything we do in worship should be for the “strengthening of the church” or, as some translations put it, for the “edifying of the church.” Q: In practical terms, what does this mean for our worship today? A: That those who lead in worship should do only what has the potential for edifying the church and that those participating in the worship do all they can to make it strengthening for them. Q: Give an example of being strengthened or edified by something we do in worship? A: (Such as: (1) Thinking about the words “Make me a servant” and determining I will do more to serve the Lord; (2) Participating in a prayer about a sick sister and determining that I will visit her in the hospital and will take something for her family to eat; (3) hearing a “word of instruction” (v. 26) in a sermon about forgiveness and deciding that I must go to a brother and tell him that I forgive him and that there will no longer be anything between us; (4) examining myself during the Lord’s Supper and realizing that I did something last week that put impure thoughts in my mind and, after asking for forgiveness, I made a promise not to do this any more; (5) as I put my offering in the plate, I thought about how much Christ gave for me and decided to review what I have purposed to give to the Lord.
  7. Read 1 Corinthians 14:13-17. Q: On what principle does Paul base his comments here? A: That everything must strengthen or edify. Q: How do I sing and pray with both my spirit and my mind? A: I must know what the words of a song mean and make those words my words. Thus, someone hearing me can understand the message of my heart and can benefit from it even as I am.
  8. Q: What other purposes for worship besides “edifying” does Paul suggest here? A: Praising God. Giving thanks. Offering our thoughts to God in prayer.
  9. Read Ephesians 5:19. Q: What does Paul teach here about how to sing? A: (1) We speak to each other-edify each other in our singing. We should know, therefore, what we are saying to each other and mean it. (2) We are to make melody in our hearts as we sing. To do something with the heart means to do it with feeling. So we should have some emotion in our hearts as we sing. (3) While we encourage each other, we are also singing “to the Lord,” and thus must think about communicating with Him as we sing.


  1. Get your song sheet with “Have Thine Own Way” on it. As I read the words of this song, think about their meaning and get ready to sing them to each other and to God. In this song you are pledging to God before your brothers and sisters that you want God to have his way in your life. Read the words. Now let’s sing the song slowly and quietly with our spirits and our minds.
  2. Q: What could this congregation do to help us worship more with our spirits and our minds?
  3. An easy way to remember the purposes of worship is to think of the word “pace.”We Proclaim, we Adore (praise), we Communicate our thanks and requests, and we Edify. (Write these words on the board.)
  4. Q: How does worship connect with “love?” A: Worship is an expression of our love for God. As we edify each other, we are showing our love for one another.The oneness we share as we take part in worship together expresses our love foreach other and builds that love.


  1. Use your worksheet to prepare for the Review Quiz.
  2. For the lesson next week, read 1 Corinthians 3:9-15 and 12:1-30.

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