For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.
Romans 15:4
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1 CORINTHIANS - INTRODUCTION

 A Bible Study - Commentary by Jim Melough

Copyright 2000 James Melough
 

Though separated from it by two thousand years, life in Corinth, the capital of Achaia, had much in common with life in our modern western world, for it was one of the principal centers of wealth, learning, and culture, but also of moral depravity, so much so that the very word Corinth had come to be synonymous with every form of immorality. But it was, nonetheless, the object of God's watchful care, as is declared in His assurance to Paul, "Be not afraid, but speak, and hold not thy peace: for I am with thee, and no man shall set on thee to hurt thee: for I have much people in this city," Ac 18:10.

In spite of the violent opposition of the Jews, of whom there were many in Corinth, Paul preached the gospel, with the result that, "many of the Corinthians hearing believed, and were baptized," Ac 18:8, as a result of which Paul remained for eighteen months "teaching the word of God among them," Ac 18:11.

And he had much about which to teach the new converts: the Jews had to be taught that the Jesus Who had been crucified by them in Jerusalem was the Savior Messiah foretold by their own prophets.

The Gentiles had to be taught the truth relative to the idols they had formerly worshiped, and in connection with that heathen worship, truth concerning the eating of food sacrificed to those imaginary gods.  They had also to be taught God's standards of morality relative to marriage, their own indifference to sexual sin being demonstrated in the fact that they had amongst them a man living in an incestuous relationship with his father's wife.

Their low moral standards may also be gauged from the fact that some were even coming drunk to the Lord's table; and in connection with that same table they were apparently abysmally ignorant even in regard to the order relative to worship.  Nor were they any better informed in regard to such things as the resurrections, and the Lord's return, the use of spiritual gifts, the woman's place in the church, etc.  And probably of paramount concern to Paul was the havoc being wrought by their division into groups, each group claiming a human head, while one went so far as to claim that it alone had Christ as Head.  But perhaps their greatest lack was to be taught the value of love, the subject dealt with by Paul in chapter 13, that short chapter being described by one as "the most beautiful essay on love, not just in the Bible, but in all literature," Macdonald in Believer's Bible Commentary.

There is, however, in this Epistle a demonstration of the fact that God can bring good out of evil, for had it not been for the evils rampant in the Corinthian assembly, the letter would not have had to be written, and without it believers would have been left without an extensive essential body of teaching on Church truth, which has never been more needed than today.

 [1 Corinthians 1]

 

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     Scripture portions taken from the Holy Bible, King James Version
2000-2005 James Melough
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