1 Corinthians - Lesson 5

By Stafford North


Background Information for the Teacher


1. The student can explain the “body” concept found in 1 Corinthians 12.

2. The student can suggest several points of comparison between the physical body and the church body.

3. The student can identify his/her “gifts,” opportunities from the Lord.

4. The student will agree to look for his/her place in the work of the “body.”


1. Each student should have a Bible.

2. Each student should have a copy of the worksheet and a pen/pencil.

3. Have a board ready on which to write key words or scriptures.

4. Have verses ready to hand out before class for people to read.

5. Have the Review Quiz ready to distribute at the beginning of class.


We need to follow Paul’s instructions to the Corinthians to be an active member of the body of Christ so that body can function to the fullest.

Lesson Plan for Conducting the Class

Introduction: (about 10 minutes)

  1. Call the roll and welcome visitors.
  2. Make necessary announcements.
  3. Sing songs, if you wish, and have a prayer. Songs that would fit the theme are “I Want to Be a Worker for the Lord,” “Make Me a Servant,” “Give Me the Heart of a Servant,” “O Master, Let Me Walk with Thee.” You could use one of these at the end if you wish.
  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 3:5-9. Q: What principles about the work of the church do we learn from these verses? A: There are different roles but all are important. The Lord “assigns to each his task.” Since all the workers have the same purpose-the growth of the body-those blessed by workers should not strive with each other or think of one worker as greater than another. While each contributes his/her part, God is the one who makes the church to grow. As workers in the church, we are “fellow workers with God.” Since there could be no higher honor than this, we should give this work a very high priority. We share in God’s work,building a “temple” to honor him. Since we are all working for the same end, there should be unity among us.
  2. One of the good things and one of the bad things about the church in Corinth is that they had been endowed with “spiritual gifts.” Various members could do such things as speak in languages they had not learned, translate (interpret) a language they didn’t know to others who didn’t know the language, deliver by prophetic inspiration a message from God, and heal people of illness. These miraculous gifts were needed when the church was in its “childhood” both so they could know God’s message before it was completed in written form and to confirm that the message they spoke was from God. As good as these gifts were,however, they had created problems of jealousy and selfishness among the members.
  3. Read 1 Corinthians 12:4-7. Q: What is Paul seeking to achieve with these verses? A: To call the Corinthians to unity by speaking of what they have in common: the same Spirit, the same Lord, the same God, and even the same goal which is “the common good.” Q: Even though we do not have these miraculous gifts today, how could we fall into the same sin? A: By emphasizing one “gift” above another or one of God’s servants above another. We might, for example, exalt the preacher or an elder in such a way that it would be a stumbling block both to them and to the church. Read 1 Corinthians 12:14-20. Q: How does Paul use a picture of a body help make this point? A: The body has many parts and, while some of them may seem more important than others, we should be equally thankful for all of them since they all play their part in God’s plan. Q: Which role is more important for the church: the preacher? the eldership? a Christian sister who is training her children at home to be faithful Christians? an elderly couple who grades World Bible Correspondence Courses? A: They are all equally important to God and we should honor them all.
  4. Read 1 Corinthians 12:21-24. Q: As Paul makes this point even clearer, what observation does he make about our physical bodies? A: That we treat with special honor those parts of the body that may seem less important. Q: What are some examples of this? A: We put polish on fingernails, jewels on our earlobes,a splint on a little-finger to help it heal without getting banged around. Q: What should we learn from this about various works in the church? A: That we should give honor to those who do the seemingly less important things. Q: What are some things we might think of in this way? A: Cleaning the building, putting out the visitor cards, counting the money, putting flowers in the building, mowing the yard, preparing the communion, printing the bulletin, greeting people as they come in, caring for children at home, bringing an elderly person or an invalid to church. Let’s determine to do a better job of showing appreciation to people in less prominent tasks. Q: How can we show this appreciation? A: A mention in the bulletin, a card or letter, recognizing those who serve in different ways during a service, inviting them to an elders meeting to be thanked.
  5. Read 1 Corinthians 12:27. Q: What additional principle is found in this verse?A: “Each one of you is a part of” the body. Each member has a place to serve.Read 1 Peter 4:10-11. Q: How many of us have a gift from God?” A: Each one.Q: What are we to use our gift for? A: To serve others, faithfully using whatGod has given us, whatever our gift may be.
  6. Q: In what sense should we use the term “gift” today? A: An ability God has given me. An opportunity God has given me to use my talent. An experienceGod has given me to share for the blessing of others. Q: According to Peter,what should be the outcome when we all use ourselves in the service of God. A:God will be praised.
  7. Q: How does love help us about our work for the Lord? A: We work because we love the Lord and we treat with honor all other workers in the body because we love them too.

Application: (about 15 minutes)

  1. Q: What percentage of involvement should we seek to reach in this congregation? A: 100 percent because, except for those who are totally incapacitated, there are ways all can serve. Q: How effectively do we, here at this congregation, get people involved? Q: What could we do to make this better?
  2. Q: What have you heard that other congregations do to provide more opportunities for ministry and to increase involvement?
  3. Q: How much is involvement the responsibility of the congregation’s leadership and how much the responsibility of each individual? Q: Are there segments of the congregation such as the teens, the seniors, the widows, etc. that are overlooked in putting people in ministry?
  4. Q: What are some ministries where we have greater need and have difficulty in finding enough people to do the work?
  5. Will you make a stronger commitment right now to use yourself fully in the Lord’s kingdom?
  6. Let’s have a prayer that God will help each of us to find his/her best ministry and that we will be effective in it.


  1. For the next class study read 1 Corinthians 6:1-11 and 7:5.
  2. Use today’s worksheet to prepare for the Review Quiz next week.

Download Worksheets

Back to 1 Corinthians

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.