When Paul said, “Everything is permissible,” he was clearly not negating those things which Scripture expressly forbids, but referring to debatable matters not directly addressed in the Bible. To these issues, biblical principles must be applied to avoid division and to fully understand the genuine experience of freedom. Alistair Begg teaches that while we want to avoid the bondage of legalism, sometimes we need to curtail our freedom for the good of others with weaker consciences.
Firm Foundation, Volume 1
In volume one of this series, we meet a prideful, divided church whose people had divorced belief from behavior, preferring self-promotion over service. In contrast to such spiritual darkness, Paul taught that the light of God’s wisdom, faithfulness, and power exposes hypocrisy, reminding us that the Church’s only firm foundation is in the finished work of Christ.
Firm Foundation, Volume 2
In volume two of this series, we consider 1 Corinthians 5-6, in which Paul confronts sexual immorality and lawsuits within the church. Exploring the biblical meaning of Christian freedom, Alistair Begg reminds us that once we become believers, we are not merely patched up versions of our pre-converted selves. Instead, we are brand new creations and should live in light of our redeemed nature.
Firm Foundation, Volume 3
Paul helped to establish the church in Corinth but by the time he wrote his first letter, the church had already wandered from its foundation. Novel ideas were favored over solid biblical teaching, resulting in confusion, division, and spiritual infancy. Desiring that the church might be presented mature in Christ, Paul addressed a number of very practical elements of faith. Noting striking resemblances between the Corinthian church and the Church today, Alistair Begg walks us through the warnings and exhortations of 1 Corinthians.
In Volume Three we examine God’s plan for marriage and singleness, Christian contentment and what it means to have freedom in Christ, and the rights and responsibilities of pastors and churches. We’re reminded that adaptability and discipline are necessary as we strive to reach others and run the race of life. In all, we must remain focused on eternity and compelled by the love of Christ.
Firm Foundation, Volume 4
It’s said that those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it. In 1 Corinthians 10–11, Paul warned the church that they were flirting with the same issues that had tragic consequences for their ancestors. These messages review Paul’s warnings and ground rules for Christian freedom, biblical headship, and communion. In all things, love and God’s glory must take precedence over selfish indulgence.
Firm Foundation, Volume 5
"I don’t want you to be ignorant. . ."
With these opening words, the Apostle Paul embarks upon the sensitive journey of encouraging the Corinthian church to show wisdom and discernment in the gifts and abilities of its members. As we’ll learn, this is primary in the health of the local church, for ignorance will breed those who are susceptible to wrong teaching. Wrong teaching leads to wrong living, and wrong living ultimately generates ineffectiveness in the body of Christ.
Chapter 12 of 1 Corinthians is concerned with the volatile issue of spiritual gifts. What are they? How are they manifested? Are some better than others? For many, this issue becomes a source of discrimination and individual pride rather than a source of unification and a spirit of oneness in Christ. Paul addressed these concerns with the Corinthian church, and we find that his words apply to the 21st century church as well.
Firm Foundation, Volume 6
The 13th chapter of 1 Corinthians may be one of the most beloved and most widely recognized portions of Scripture, but it also may be one of the most misapplied. When it is taken in isolation, this chapter becomes vulnerable to all kinds of interpretations, many of which are incomplete or misleading. In the first part of this volume of Firm Foundation, Alistair Begg connects Paul’s description of love to the immediate concern that the apostle had for the church in Corinth. By doing so, he gives us a richer and more faithful understanding of what Christian love should be like. In the second half of this series, we see that the God of love is also the God of order.
Paul continues his challenge to the Corinthian church in chapter 14 by giving them specific instructions on how to conduct themselves in worship. Since the function and focus of the church has not changed since the writing of this letter, Paul’s words on love and the gifts of the Spirit remain equally applicable to us today.
Firm Foundation, Volume 7
“Paul wants the Corinthian church to understand that for the Christian, life down here is simply hors d’oeuvres. It’s just the first course, the soup course. In other words, if Jesus is alive today, this isn’t it. But if he isn’t, then this is futility. There’s really no way around this, loved ones.” -Alistair Begg.
What does the Bible have to say about life after death? What will happen to our bodies? Do believers go immediately to be with Christ or not? In this volume of Firm Foundation, Alistair Begg turns to Paul’s teaching on Christ’s death and resurrection, and he explains the significance of these events for the Christian. Join him as he gives honest answers to some of life’s toughest questions.
Firm Foundation, Volume 8
“When Jesus calls people to himself, he calls them to serve. So, whether we’re called to serve in the capacity of an elder or an evangelist or a pastor, or whether we called to something entirely different, all of us are called to service. And service in the Bible’s terms is not a preliminary or a pathway to greatness. Service is greatness.” -Alistair Begg
In the closing chapter of 1 Corinthians, Paul teaches us that the reality of Christ’s resurrection has a direct impact upon ordinary life. Some of us may be inclined to believe that the high matters of doctrine are fine to think about on Sunday but are basically irrelevant to what we do on Monday. Paul’s final words challenge such a mindset. This volume of Firm Foundation is an exposition of the plain and practical instruction that Paul gave to the Corinthian church. We see here that if our beliefs are to be believable, there must be behavior that issues from our beliefs. Join Alistair as he clarifies the marks of this behavior and concludes the study of 1 Corinthians.