Thursday, February 8, 2018

The Apostle by Chapter | 1 Corinthians Chapter 1

By Sam Nobles

Corinth was the capital city of Achaia, and was one of the richest cities in Greece. Since it was a trade center, Corinth was invaded by many different kinds of religions. The church in Corinth was founded by the Apostle Paul over the span of a year and a half on his second missionary journey.

If churches were graded, the church at Corinth would be given a D for divided, defiled, and defamed.  Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians can be divided into two parts. The first part, chapters 1–6, deals Paul’s concern about the sin that was so evident in the church. The second part, chapters 7–16, deals with the answers Paul had for them concerning marriage (ch.7), idolatry (ch.8-10), public worship (ch.11), spiritual gifts (ch.12-14), the resurrection (ch.15), and a special offering that he was taking up for the Jews (ch.16).

Paul opens his letter to the Corinthian church with accolades about their knowledge, their readiness to share the testimony of Christ, their spiritual giftedness, and their eagerness for the return of Jesus (v.1-9). The problem Paul brings up first is that he has heard from Chloe’s people that there was division within the church based upon the leadership. Some of the Christians claimed to follow the teaching of Paul (v.10-11). Others pledged their allegiance to the great orator, Apollos. There was also a group that claimed that they followed the teachings of Cephas. Still, others said they followed no man, only Christ (v.12). There is a tendency within the heart of man to want to follow human leaders and become a fan club for how God uses them, but Paul let the Christians in Corinth know that Christ was the one who died for them, and when they were baptized it wasn’t in the name of Paul, Apollos, or Cephas (v.13-16). Paul wanted all of the Corinthian church to know that he wasn’t an Apostle of Jesus just so he could baptize people or show off how smart he was. The purpose of Paul’s ministry was to spread the gospel message that Jesus was crucified and risen from the dead (v.17).

The Greek culture placed much value on human wisdom, and to them the gospel seemed foolish. Paul contends that “the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men” (v.18-25). To end out this first chapter, Paul lets the Corinthian believers know that God does things that look foolish to shame the intelligence and wisdom that man thinks is so superior. In the end, no man will boast in anything except the Lord and what he has done (v.26-31).

Scripture to Claim:
“For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” 1 Corinthians 1:18  ESV

Courson’s Application Commentary on the New Testament, accessed May 16, 2017,

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