written by Clint Pressley
The study of 1 & 2 Corinthians is extremely important if only because of the resemblances of the Corinth society to today’s world. The church at Corinth was facing difficulty from the arrogance of powerful leaders and a divisive one-upmanship in church business. A rebellious minority threatened the unity and doctrinal faithfulness of the church.
First and Second Corinthians were written by the Apostle Paul around 54AD upon hearing reports that the young church he had started two or three years before was experiencing signs of division and a basic deviation from Christian principles. These two letters from Paul give straightforward, practical advice about Christian living and church relationships. These are real letters written to real people who were experiencing many of the same problems we are living through today. Paul’s desire is to see them come together in gospel-focused living and gospel-focused mission.
The Church has never been perfect. Only the Lord of the church is perfect; a truth that is abundantly clear in 1 & 2 Corinthians. Here we find the gospel, in all its glory and life with all its complexities. Ecclesiastes says, “There is nothing new under the sun,” and the letter to Corinth proves this truism. Paul wrote to a people who love Christ, but struggled with division of all kinds; manifold rebellion and downright immorality. When you read and study these two books, you are reminded that although Jesus is Lord of the Church, there is still a need for constant watchfulness.
In these two books, we learn the centrality of the cross, the meaning of marriage, the danger of lust, and how a church should be structured. We learn the importance of spiritual gifts, the value of diversity, and the joy of taking the Lord’s Supper.
Paul’s letters to the church ground us in the gospel of Christ and fill us with real resurrection hope. And this hope does not disappoint. This hope gives us strength for endurance so that in our struggle, we do not lose heart.
These two books serve as a banquet table of gospel truth, served up for the strength and health of God’s people. At this critical hour, an intense and thorough study of these two books is sure to bring real nourishment to the famished soul and real strength to any gospel-centered church.
As you study 1 & 2 Corinthians, may the Spirit of God use the Word of God to anchor your confidence and hope in the Son of God.