Tuesday, March 16, 2010


“CORINTH was the first Gentile city in which Paul spent any considerable time. It afforded him the opportunities he sought as a preacher of Christ. Lying, as it did, on the famous Isthmus which connected Northern and Southern Greece, and defended by an almost impregnable citadel, it became a place of great political importance. Its position gave it also commercial advantages.” --- Expositor’s Bible.

“Looking’ towards the north, the eye rests on the mountains of Attica on the one hand, and north-eastern Greece on the other. The Acropolis of Athens was clearly visible at a distance of forty-five miles. As early as the days of Homer, Corinth was an important city. Its position made it, in a military point of view, the key of the Peloponnesus; and its command of a port on two seas, made it the centre of commerce between Asia and Europe. It became the chief city of Greece, not only in authority but in wealth, magnificence, literature, the arts, and in luxury. It was characteristic of the place, that while the temple of Minerva {Roman goddess of wisdom and the arts} crowned the Acropolis of Athens, the Acrocorinthus was the site of the temple of Venus. Of all the cities of the ancient world it was most notorious for licentiousness.

As Corinth was not only the political capital of Greece, but the seat of its commercial and intellectual life; the place of concourse for the people not only of the neighbouring cities but of nations; a source whence influences of all kinds emanated in every direction, it was specially important for the diffusion of the gospel. Paul therefore, leaving Athens, which he had visited in his second missionary journey, went alone to Corinth, where he was soon after joined by Silas and Timotheus, who came from Macedonia, Acts 18:5.” --- Charles Hodge.

For more information about Corinth during the time before and after the time of the Apostle Paul, read The Life and Epistles of St. Paul by W. J. Conybeare.

Writer: The Apostle Paul.

Historical Occasion: The church at Corinth was founded by Paul on his second missionary journey. It had become infected with the evils which surrounded it in a licentious city. The Greeks were proud of their learning and philosophy, but at the same time were addicted to gross immorality. They were especially fond of oratory. It is apparent that Apollos, an eloquent Christian Jew, had come to Corinth and captured the imaginations of the Greek Christians, Acts 18:24-28. This fact led to the drawing of comparisons between him, with his silver tongue, and other religious leaders; especially to the discredit of Paul, whose bodily presence seems not to have been impressive, 2 Corinthians 10:10. This probably is the clue to the schisms in the church, 1 Corinthians 1:11-13. It was the desire of Paul to purify the church from factions and immorality, which was the primary cause of the writing of the epistle.

Here is a Chain showing the false conceptions of the ministry, 1 Corinthians 1:12-17; 3:4-7, 21-22; 4:6-7.


I. The Cleansing of the Church from False Conceptions of the Ministry, Intellectual Pride, Social Evils, and other disorders, 1 Corinthians 1:1---11:1.

A. The salutation, 1 Corinthians 1:1-9.

B. The need of cleansing the church from…1 Corinthians 1:10-31.

1. Party divisions or schisms.

2. Man-worship.

3. Glorying in worldly wisdom.

C. Paul’s exemplary ministry. There was no attempt on his part to display worldly wisdom, but to declare the wisdom of God in a message revealed to him by the Holy Spirit, 1 Corinthians 2:1-16.

D. The strife over leaders is a mark of immaturity and carnality, 1 Corinthians 3:1-8.

E. The True View of the Ministry: Ministers should be regarded…

1. As dispensers of the truth, 1 Corinthians 3:1-2.

2. As the Lord’s keepers of His vineyard, 1 Corinthians 3:6-8.

3. As Co-laborers with God, 1 Corinthians 3:9.

4. As Character Builders, 1 Corinthians 3:10.

5. As Stewards, 1 Corinthians 4:1-2.

6. As Sufferers for Christ’s sake, 1 Corinthians 4:9-13; as examples, 1 Corinthians 4:16-17.

7. As Administrators of Discipline, 1 Corinthians 4:18-21.

F. The duty of cleansing the Lord’s churches:

1. From immorality, 1 Corinthians 5:1-13.

2. From a Brother going “to law before the unjust,” against another Brother in Christ, 1 Corinthians 6:1-8.

3. Believers as members of Christ’s body and Temples of the Holy Spirit, should purify themselves from all sensuality, 1 Corinthians 6:9-20.

G. The sanctification of marriage and all sexual relationships and the paramount claims of the spiritual life, 1 Corinthians 7:1-40.

H. Christian Ideals demand the Sacrifice of certain rights and privileges for the sake of the ignorant and weak. For instance, the eating meat that has been offered to idols, 1 Corinthians 8:1-13.

I. Paul’s example of surrender of certain rights and liberties for the sake of Winning Men to Christ, 1 Corinthians 9:1-27.

J. Israel’s example of Infidelity, a warning to New Testament believers, 1 Corinthians 10:1-15.

K. Fellowship at the Lord’s Supper demands separation from evil associations, 1 Corinthians 10:16-21.

L. Christian Influence to be guarded in the matters of eating and drinking, 1 Corinthians 10:23-33.

M. Social customs to be observed in matters of Dress, 1 Corinthians 11:1-16.

N. Cleansing of the Corinthian church from Disorders in connection with the Lord’s Supper, and its proper observance, 1 Corinthians 11:17-34.

II. Doctrinal Instructions and Advice.

A. Concerning the Diversity of Spiritual Gifts, 1 Corinthians 12:1-31.

B. The Pre-eminence of Love, 1 Corinthians 13:1-13.

C. The Pre-eminence of Prophecy over the gift of tongues, and the Importance of maintaining Proper Order in the Public Assemblies, 1 Corinthians 14:1-40.

D. The Doctrine of the Resurrection, 1 Corinthians 15:1-58.

E. Closing instructions and salutations, 1 Corinthians 16:1-24.

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