Corinth was a place where the apostle Paul spent one and half years, which is a considerable amount of time during his missionary journeys (Acts 18:11). This is where he met Aquilla and Priscilla who were tentmakers by profession along with him. Silas and Timothy were also there with him. And while at Corinth, we see him ministering to both the Jews in the synagogue and to the gentiles outside (Acts 18:4-8). So like the Roman church, the church at Corinth was comprised of both Jews and gentiles but having been strengthened by the Lord (Acts 18:9-10), Paul courageously kept proclaiming the gospel while getting to know the people of Corinth over time.
However, not long after he had left Corinth, he gets reports about the various issues plaguing the church at Corinth and so he decides to address them head on with the Gospel. This is the main purpose of Paul’s first letter to the Corinthian church.
At a high level these were some of the issues that Paul had to address with the Corinthians:
- Division over leaders: Paul had heard reports that the people were divided over which leader was greater – this involved Apollos, Cephas (or Peter) and Paul himself. To tackle this issue, Paul had to point that except for Christ, they were all nothing. The is power and wisdom only in Christ and no human can take credit for any of the work that the Lord is doing.
- Issues of Sexual Immorality: Next Paul is touching on the various forms of sexual immorality that had crept into the church supposedly because there is freedom in being a Christian. Paul counteracts this thinking with the powerful fact that our bodies are the temple of the Living God and we have to honor God with our bodies feeling all forms of sexual impurity.
- Married Life: Paul also takes time to set the record straight in terms of marriage laying out what is the right attitude that one should approach marriage as a follower of Christ. This was to counteract some unhealthy beliefs and actions.
- Food: When it comes to food, there was a lot of confusion among the church on how to handle consumption (or lack thereof) of food being offered to idols which was a very common reality for God’s people who were living in a culture steeped with practice of idol worship. For this Paul skillfully explains what it means to have freedom in Christ and how to weigh what is permissible against what is beneficial.
- Corporate Worship: Another issue that Paul had to deal with was the various do’s and don’ts during public gatherings of worship. Here he explains the importance of love and the operation of spiritual gifts in the body of Christ in an orderly fashion.
- Resurrection: Finally Paul also highlights the legibility of resurrection which is the central core to Christianity. He essentially writes that without resurrection, everyone who puts their trust in Christ is a fraud. It is because Christ was resurrected and conquered death, we have eternal life.
No don’t be satisfied with just my quick highlights above. Dig in and read it all for yourself.
The apostle Paul addresses some of the core problems in the Corinthian church only using the Gospel of Christ to shine the light upon the truth.
Weekly Reading Plan
And now here is the weekly plan for you to read through this book.
Don’t forget to use the template I shared previously to help you on this journey. Also, check out my resources page where I explain this template a little more.
If you want to dig deeper here are some of my suggestions:
- Use the above schedule to read through all of the text
- Re-read Acts 18-19 to understand the full context of Paul’s relationship with the Corinthians.
- Optional (if you want to really read through the Bible in a year): Read Psalms 115-118.
And that is it for week 40!
Happy Bible Learning!
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