Paul argues that the message he preaches is in fact wisdom because it is revelation from God. The gospel is not something we would figure out on our own.
Paul argues that when he was in Corinth he didn’t seek to impress them with flashy rhetoric and charisma, rather he taught them wisdom from God, so that their confidence would rest in the power of God.
As he discusses this issue of changing the gospel message to make it more attractive to the world, Paul says let’s consider what happened when I first preached the gospel in Corinth. Let’s consider your calling. What we can learn from it? Our boast is that we belong to God — not because we were smart enough to find Him; but because He was merciful enough to find us.
Paul argues that those who live in rebellion to God will see the cross as foolishness. There’s no way to spin the gospel to change that. If you re-package the gospel to make it attractive to rebels, it is no longer the gospel.
As part of the deeper issues of why factions are developing in the Corinthian church, Paul tells us he’s grateful that he baptized few people in Corinth. His discussion gives us a window into the place of baptism.
1Corinthians 1-4 are one of the best examples of why it’s necessary to study an entire letter rather than sets of verses here and there. We won’t accurately understand Paul unless we understand the situation into which he was writing.
In the greeting of 1 Corinthians, Paul introduces 3 themes of the letter: 1) Paul is an authoritative emissary for Jesus Christ; 2) God chose Paul for this role; and 3) speech and knowledge are gifts from God that we ought to view wisely. We’ll also contrast 2 ways to approach studying this letter. One perspective finds little value in some of the practical problems. The other perspective leads to wisdom that can be applied to any situation.
Acts 18 records Paul’s first visit to Corinth. Understanding Paul’s relationship to the Corinthian church is crucial to understanding his letters to Corinth.
How many letters did the Apostle Paul write to the Corinthian church? The answer is not as easy as it sounds. We have two letters to the church at Corinth in our Bible, but both of these letters mention another letter. Many scholars believe Paul wrote four letters to the Corinthian church but only two of them survived. If they are right, the chronology of Paul’s correspondence and visits to Corinth might look something like this.
In Paul’s time Corinth was the 2nd most important city in the Roman empire. Corinth was an exceptionally wealthy and important city in Greece.