Introduction Understanding the City of Corinth Strategic Location
Introduction Understanding the City of Corinth Strategic Location of the City Located on the isthmus Located on the major E-W trade route One of the greatest trading & commercial cities of the world Understanding the City of Corinth Population of the City Highly transient population with the heavily
trafficked ports. Very mixed population: Roman soldiers, Greek & Roman citizens, merchants from around the world, many Jews, etc. Around the time of Paul, it is estimated the population was about 500,000. Understanding the City of Corinth Spiritual Condition of the City Widely known for its perverted idolatry, shameful immorality and abundant vices Mixed populace from all over brought all their evils Corinthian synonymous with a life of immorality, lust, debauchery, lasciviousness and reckless living.
Had the temple to the Greek goddess Aphrodite. Aphrodite was the goddess of love. The temple housed 1,000 priestesses (i.e., prostitutes) who performed the religious services, fulfilling the sexual pleasures of the male worshipers. Understanding the City of Corinth To understand 1 Corinthians, to understand the conditions of evangelizing in Corinth, to understand the struggles of the church in Corinth, need to know something of the city. The location of the church (the city of Corinth) had a tremendous influence on the growth and development of the church.
What a testimony to the power of the gospel that it could triumph in such a wicked city! Establishment of the Acts 18 Church in Corinth Paul first came to Corinth on his second missionary journey (50 A.D.). He left Macedonia in a time of peril (17:13-15). He waited for Silas & Timothy in Athens, to hear the condition of church in Macedonia (17:14-15). When Silas & Timothy did not come, he went to Corinth, where they later met him (Acts 18:5). Establishment of the
Acts 18 Church in Corinth Paul labored in Corinth for 18 months (18:11). He joined with Aquila & Priscilla in making tents (Acts 18:2-3). He reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath, persuading both Jews & Greeks (Acts 18:4). He converted many to Christ: Crispus, the ruler of the synagogue (Acts 18:8) Sosthenes (Acts 18:17; 1 Cor. 1:1)
Gaius (1 Cor. 1:14; Acts 18:7) Household of Stephanas (1 Cor. 1:16; 16:15) Establishment of the Acts 18 Church in Corinth Paul labored in Corinth for 18 months (18:11). He was brought to trial by the Jews before Gallio (Acts 18:12-16). Gallio was the proconsul/senatorial leader/governor. Gallio quickly dismissed the case against Paul. Gallios verdict opened doors for Paul to preach the gospel all over the Roman Empire. Interesting that the Lord had told Paul in a vision, I am with you, and no one will attack you to hurt you; for I have
many people in this city (Acts 18:10). The providence of God was at work, even using Gallio for His purposes. Establishment of the Acts 18 Church in Corinth Paul left Corinth in early 52 A.D. to return to Antioch (Acts 18:18-22). The church was made up of Jews and primarily Gentiles (cf. 1 Cor. 12:2). After Paul left Corinth, Apollos came and greatly helped those who had believed through grace (Acts 18:27). Paul visited again on his third missionary
journey (Acts 20:1-2), and intended to make a third visit (2 Cor. 12:14; 13:1-2). Situation That Occasioned the Writing of the Letter Paul worked in Ephesus for three years (20:31). While in Ephesus, Paul began to receive troubling reports about the moral and spiritual condition of the church in Corinth. The first word came via oral reports from those of Chloes household (1 Cor. 1:11), especially focusing on the division in the church. The second word came via written questions to Paul from the church (1 Cor. 7:1). One or both of these reports (the oral and the
written) appears to have been delivered by Stephanas, Fortunatus and Achaicus (1 Cor. 16:17). Situation That Occasioned the Writing of the Letter So, Paul writes our 1 Corinthians in 55 A.D. from Ephesus (1 Cor. 16:8). Paul wrote of those matters that were the most urgent (1 Cor. 11:34). He sent Timothy to remind them of his ways in Christ (1 Cor. 4:14-17). The letter would arrive before Timothy. Paul planned to personally visit shortly to set the rest in order (1 Cor. 4:19, 21; 11:34; 16:2-5).
The Purpose of the Letter of 1 Corinthians Pauls main purposes in writing 1 Corinthians To correct the errors being practiced and taught by the church in Corinth (chapters 1-6) Responding to the report from Chloes household regarding division, arrogance, carnality, etc. To answer the written questions the church had sent to him (Chapters 7-16) Respond to the questions about marriage, meats, spiritual gifts, etc. Each now concerning indicates a new question of theirs (cf. 7:1, 25; 8:1; 12:1; 16:1, 12).
Major Problems in the Church at Corinth Division in the church A party spirit, exalting preachers Enamored by the wisdom of the world Carnality among the members Lack of growth Sexual immorality Lack of church discipline Tolerating sin in the church Going to law against a brother Marriage problems Confusion over marriage and divorce issues
Eating meats offered to idols Sinning against weaker brethren Putting a stumbling block before brethren Lusting after evils things Murmuring against God The womans covering and being holy Perversion of the Lords Supper Irregularities and disorder in public worship Improper role of women in the church Contention over and abuses of
spiritual gifts Creating confusion in the church Mistaken view of the resurrection Misunderstanding about the collection There are some things that have Solution to All Major Problems in the Church The solution to problems in an individual Christians life and problems in a local church is found in the second verse of the book 1 Cor. 1:2. Solution to All Major Problems in the Church
The church of God which is at Corinth The church is a community of people governed by the will of God (cf. 1 Cor. 1:1). The city of Corinth was a community of people governed by sinful passion & lusts. Yet, THE CHURCH was in/at CORINTH. The church must learn to be IN the world but not OF the world (cf. John 17:14-16). The city of Corinth had invaded and spread within the church, rather than the church invading and spreading within the city of Corinth. Solution to All Major Problems in the Church Those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus,
called to be saints Sanctified = verb, meaning to make holy, set apart Saint = noun, meaning a holy one, set apart Those who are holy/sanctified/set apart are those who are in Christ. Those who are in Christ are to be different than those who are in the world! Solution to All Major Problems in the Church Call on the name of Jesus Christ our Lord When Christians
acknowledge Jesus Christ as LORD of their lives live and work under the LORDSHIP of Jesus Christ honor Jesus Christ as LORD of all things in their lives submit to the authority of Jesus Christ as LORD When the church acknowledges Jesus Christ as LORD of the church
lives and works under the LORDSHIP of Jesus Christ honors Jesus Christ as LORD of all things it says and does submits to the authority of Jesus Christ as LORD Then, all problems caused by selfish and ignorant pride will be resolved! Solution to All Major Problems in the Church The theme of 1 Corinthians summarized in these words: Jesus Christ Is Lord! The word Lord is found 6 times in first 10 verses (v. 2, 3, 7, 8, 9, 10). Found 70 times in the entire book.
When Jesus Christ is Lord of the life of a Christian and an entire congregation, living a holy, sanctified, set apart life will not be a burdensome chore but a joyous endeavor!
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