“The Context of Corinth”
1 Corinthians 1:1-3
Questions we must answer to understand the context of the book of 1 Corinthians:
- What is Corinth, and who are the Corinthians?
- In a city so pagan and lost, how did a Christian church come to exist there?
- Who wrote the book of 1 Corinthians?
- What is the purpose of the letter?
Paul is writing to the Corinthians to teach and correct them about the following matters:
- Factionalism – Paul addresses the Church’s division over allegiances to specific speakers and leaders.
- Disputes – Paul addresses Christians turning to unbelieving authorities to resolve their conflicts with each other rather than handling them within God’s covenant community.
- Morality – Paul rebukes Christians who are backsliding into behaviors more in keeping with the lost than God’s saints.
- Marriage – Paul examines the value of getting married vs. remaining single.
- Self-denial – Paul teaches how the use of Christian liberty must be tempered by love.
- Idolatry – Paul exhorts the believers not to compromise their faith with the rampant idolatry of their culture.
- Communion – Paul corrects the believers on their improper behavior while observing the Lord’s Supper.
- Gifts – Paul teaches the Church about the reality of spiritual gifts and their proper use in orderly worship.
- Love – Paul teaches the Church the importance of love as the highest motivation for all Christian practice.
- Gospel – Paul reminds the believers of the essential message of the gospel.
- Resurrection – Paul instructs the Church about the nature of our resurrection in light of Christ’s resurrection.