Our reading plan takes us into the second half of chapter 1, but it is important to realize that this is a continuation. That seems completely obvious, but we can easily forget the obvious and act as though this letter is a collection of separate sections. Paul in verse 17 has just begun his argument, drawing attention to the manner in which he preached. He didn’t try to gain attention for himself or to make disciples of Paul. He came preaching Christ. This week he continues what he started, a lesson on the cross of Jesus Christ.
We often study the Bible (or hear sermons) in which we hop around the Bible, never reading more than a handful of verses at a time. In reading straight through 1 Corinthians we will have a chance to really understand what the entire letter has to say. We’ll gain an understanding that is only possible with continuous reading of the whole. The connections of one half of chapter one to the other will be more clear and we won’t just understand a section, but we’ll understand how sections are related to each other. We’ll have perspective on the whole of 1 Corinthians.
This is our goal and to best accomplish that, I’d encourage you to read this week’s reading, 1 Corinthians 1:18-31, and then read the whole chapter again. It won’t take too long to do this a couple of times, especially if you are intentional about having some time in your day, every day, to read God’s Word.
You can find your own rhythm as we go along, but it could look something like this:
- Sunday: read the new text for the week
- Monday:read from the beginning through to the end of the assigned reading
- Tuesday: read the new text, again
- Wednesday: study the text, using the available Bible study
- Thursday: read the next text, again and work on memorizing the Scripture
- Friday: read from beginning through to the end of the assigned reading, plus memorization
- Saturday: read the new text, again, plus memorization
This is just one idea. It may not work as well once we’re further along into the book, since you may not have the time to go back and start at chapter one and read through chapter eight a couple of times in a week. But when we get there, find a new rhythm. Break 1 Corinthians down into chunks and reread those.
The more we read and pray through this book, the more we’ll know it. And please take note: the goal isn’t to merely know these words. We want to understand what God is telling us. Our goal is that in committing to study this book, this book will in turn shape us. We know the phrase, “you are what you eat.” In a way that applies to what we read. The more we read God’s Word, the more we put ourselves before him to become what he wants us to be.
Maybe your rhythm will be to read the section slowly, bit by bit, each day. Maybe you’ll read it Sunday then have a card in your pocket with a memory verse that you learn, internalize, then recite over and over again throughout the week. These are all great ways to do it. However you do it, I know that if you are in God’s Word, in some way, always returning to it throughout the week, God will do great things.
For some personalities, listing out what you do every day looks awful. This then is not your rhythm. It’s just a suggestion, so find your own! For others, having a list is freeing. If that’s you, I hope this helps. ↩