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11 November, 2015

The Scriptures —Study 0— 1 Corinthians Introduction

Study 0 From The Book of 1 Corinthians Introduction

 This Epistle was written by Paul from Ephesus (16:8, 9, 19) during his third missionary journey (Acts 19:1-10) about AD 56 or 57.  It is well to have in view, in reading the Epistle, the great Greek city of Corinth, with its pride of intellect, its idolatries and immoralities, and its busy commerce and thronging life.  The purpose of the Epistle was partly to answer questions sent to Paul by the Corinthians 7:1; 8:1; 12:1), partly to deal with distressing news which had come to him from Corinth about factions and other abuses in the church (1:11; 5:1; 6:1; 11:18, 20).  Paul had already written at least one letter to the Corinthians (5:9)

It will be seen from the Analysis that the Epistle is very largely concerned with questions of practical morality, and as such it has a deep interest for our own as for every age.  But, these questions are not dealt with on a basis of psychological analysis, but on the ground of the relation of the person to God.  For example, the factious spirit is wrong because a saving relationship with God is not obtained by intellectual brilliance but by humble faith, and because the ministers of God’s gospel are simply His servants responsible to Him.  Again, immorality is a defiling of the temple of the Holy Spirit, a misuse of the blood-brought property of the Redeemer, offered to Idols are first, that our liberty must not hurt the brother for whom Christ died, and second, that we cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons.  Thus in morals, as in doctrine, the great truth prevails that Christianity is Christ.  Also, abiding value.  They can and ought equally to inform and guide our own action, when we are confronted by problems which, however different in outward form, are the same in their fundamental spiritual issues.

The Epistle contains two of the grandest passages in the New Testament, the beautiful description of Christian love in chapter 13, and the defence and explanation of the doctrine of the resurrection in chapter 15.