Jun 11, 2021 · Courtney Jacob
You’ve probably experienced times when you wondered how God would want you to respond in a particular situation. Or maybe you did something without thinking and, in hindsight, you realized it wasn’t very Christian or loving of you. Many of the confusing situations in which we find ourselves are quite similar to situations the early Christians found themselves in. While the exact details of our modern context may differ from the original context, the heart of the issues and complexities are the same. When the Christians in the church of Corinth struggled to determine just how their new faith informed their understanding of the world and their participation in it, they wrote to the Apostle Paul seeking advice and clarification. In our Groundwork series, “1 Corinthians,” we’ll examine Paul’s letter to the Corinthians to discover what our identity in Christ means for our choices and behavior and to glean wisdom for how to live out our own faith in light of the problems we continue to face today.
Division and Trouble in Corinth
The Apostle Paul started the church in Corinth during his second missionary journey and stayed with them for a while. But after he left, the Corinthians discovered they needed further spiritual guidance. While we no longer have the letter the Corinthians sent to Paul, we can discern from his response in 1 Corinthians, that some of their questions were theological in nature and concerned conflicts between the thoughts and values of the Greek culture around them and what Paul had taught them about God’s wisdom, Jesus, the cross, and the resurrection.
Other questions the Corinthians had were about their faith in practice and about life in the community of believers; they needed Paul to advise them because their questions were beginning to disrupt and divide their life together. So they asked him for help in regards to things like power and authority in the church, sex, Christian freedom, and spiritual gifts.
These early Christians found themselves at ground zero for determining how their faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior informed how they lived. They had to rethink choices and behaviors the culture at large considered acceptable. Sound familiar?
Wisdom for Christians Today
If you desire wisdom for discerning how to best live out your faith as you wrestle with today’s issues of prejudice, sexuality, and freedom, I invite you to study Paul’s wisdom to the Corinthian church through our Groundwork series, “1 Corinthians”:
- Holy People, God's Wisdom, and the Power of the Cross - 1 Corinthians 1-2
- Only Glorify Jesus - 1 Corinthians 3
- You Belong to Jesus! Act Like it. - 1 Corinthians 5-6
- Sex, Food, and Faith-Informed Choices - 1 Corinthians 7-8
- Understanding Christian Freedom - 1 Corinthians 9-10
- Love: the Guiding Principle for Christian Living - 1 Corinthians 11-13
- Stand Firm in the Reality of Christ's Resurrection - 1 Corinthians 15
...and together we’ll learn valuable lessons for living our faith, acting godly, and making faith-informed choices.