Corinth was the chief commercial city of Greece, with a population of about 650,000 (including 400,000 slaves). It was located on a narrow isthmus connecting the Greek mainland with the Peloponnesian Peninsula. The religion of the Corinthians focused on Aphrodite, the goddess of love. Religious prostitution was practiced, and sexual immorality was so common that "to Corinthianize" meant to practice sexual immorality. In 1:26-31, and again in 6:9-11 Paul reminds the Corinthian Christians of their humble origins and sinful past.
Paul pioneered the church in Corinth during his second missionary journey (Acts 18). He spent about a year and a half there, working as a tentmaker with Priscilla and Aquila. Later, on his third journey, he wrote Romans from Corinth.
Paul wrote this letter from Ephesus in answer to a letter from the Corinthians. He is their shepherd, and he knows them well. In this letter he applies the gospel to practical problems such as divisions in the church, marriage, lawsuits, differences of opinion about eating and worship, etc. He rebukes them in love. Chapter 13 is a description of Jesus' love, which is the best gift and the most excellent way. Chapter 15 calls us to practical belief and hope in the resurrection of Jesus, for the resurrection is the heart of the gospel. No one can be a Christian without resurrection faith.
CHRIST THE POWER AND WISDOM OF GOD
1 Corinthians 1:1-31
Key Verse: 1:24
* God Who Called Us Is Faithful (1-9)
1. This letter is written from whom, to whom? Who is Sosthenese (Act 18:17)? What does it mean that God's church is called to be holy?
2. What is Paul thankful for? How does God work when the word is preached? What is the source of Paul's confidence in weak men?
3. Read verses 10-17. What was the nature of the divisions in the church? What was Paul's appeal?
4. What was more important to Paul than ritual? Why must Christian leader