First Corinthians opens with Paul’s Greetings and Prayers of Thanksgiving saying that he thanks God for the folks in Corinth and prays for their enrichment through the testimony of Jesus.
As we move into verse 10 Paul warns the saints against the reports of division in the church and that they need to be “perfectly joined together in the same mind”. He explains that he has learned of “contentions” among the people.
One definition of “contentions” is heated debate. Heated debate often leads to hate speech or disagreements to the point that you are not able to speak to each other in love. You avoid each other, you turn your head and pretend not to see each other and perhaps find it difficult to even pray for each other.
This is not unlike some of the things we see in the church to this very day. Sometimes our strong wills are such to the point that we want to control others or perhaps “put them in their place”. Here Paul is warning the church against this type of action.
It is strongly believed that part of this disparagement between the folks in the church at the time was over baptism. Some people may have been telling people that they were baptized by Paul while others were saying that they had been baptized by someone else. Some questioned others of the genuine nature of their baptism to the point that they perhaps even questioned the other persons salvation.
Paul closes this first chapter by explaining that the Gospel is not made for earthly wisdom. In verse 18 he says that “the preaching of the cross is foolishness to those who don’t believe but for those of us who DO believe it is the power of our very faith”.
I love verse 23 and 24 where he explains that the preaching of the crucifixion is foolish to some and a “stumbling block” to others but to the believing heart it is actually the “power of God” and the “wisdom of God”.
Verse 27 is a much quoted scripture and one that bears memorization. “God has chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and He has chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty”.
When I read this my mind actually goes to the money that we spend in research to answer questions that no one seems to be asking or even worse, we spend millions of dollars to prove things we already know. They could actually give me only a small percentage of this money and I could answer their questions. (Just a thought).
Most of this first chapter could be summed up in the Good News that if we as a church would or could become united with one mind and concentrate on the preaching of the gospel, Christ’s crucifixion and work together we could accomplish great things like they did in the early church in the book of Acts.
It seems to me that this letter could have been written to our modern day church just as well. Our contradictions, hate speeches, division and diversions demonstrate to the world exactly what we don’t want or need. Division.
A house divided against itself will surely fail. A house divided against itself will have no future. I wonder if this was a prophetic word to use today instead of a simple letter written by Paul to the Church of Corinth.
I promised some time ago that I would begin sharing the book of Corinthians with you and give you some of my ideas and thoughts about one of the most enlightening books of the New Testament.
Let’s take a look at the book of Corinthians and I will begin with 1st Corinthians and we will be focusing on the positive power of the love of God and Christ Jesus.
1st Corinthians is widely believed to have been written by the Apostle Paul. Most theologians will most likely agree that the language or perhaps more properly said, the phraseology that is used in both of these letters leads most to agree that Paul was the author.
The date of this letter was around A.D. 56 at a time that the city of Corinth was the considered one of the key cities in Greece. It was located close to the water and was a major commercial trading zone for the entire region.
One of the most recognizable sights of this era was the Temple of Aphrodite. It was known for its legal prostitution and hedonistic way of life. With a population of over 700,000 Corinth was a center for Greek philosophy and idol worship.
Regardless of all the circumstances Paul was placed in, he was still able to establish a thriving church there during his second visit which was around A.D. 51 or A.D. 52.
The quick explanation of 2nd Corinthians is that after he left Corinth and was in Ephesus establishing the Ephesian Church he received a letter requesting his opinion on certain activities and occurrences that were happening in the church. His response to those matters were addressed in his second letter.
One of my favorite chapters in the entire Bible is 1st Corinthians 13 which we will spend some time on as we move through this study.
It seems like daily I am seeing the morning news, internet news and radio news. All of the news seems to be sad, disheartening, challenging and all around horrible.
I have some good news. JESUS is alive and well. He has extended His love to us. He came as the Son of God, lived here on earth and then sacrificed His life that we could experience His extended love and live with Him in His eternal kingdom for ever.
While He was on this earth He extended His love, in His death, burial and resurrection He left us the promise that if we would confess with our mouth that He was the Son of God and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you would be saved.
I invite you to experience the love of God and the love of Jesus today by inviting Him into your heart, cleanse you of your sins and then find a Holy Bible and begin to learn who Jesus is. You will find He is the answer to everything you have been searching for all of your life.