The Apostle Paul faced a tough task in writing to the wayward Corinthian church, bringing them back to the Lord while they assailed him. In a time when leadership is under fire across the globe, Paul can shed some light.
By Mark D. Harris
Corinth was a hotbed of scum and villainy in the first century Roman Empire. Located on a narrow strip of land between the Aegean and Adriatic Seas, Corinth grew rich and fat on the wares of merchantmen passing between the east and west of the Empire. In the AD 40s, God used Paul and his companions to plant a church in Corinth (Acts 18). Though it grew, the church stumbled from sin to sin and heresy to heresy. Writing from Ephesus in about AD 55, Paul confronted his wayward church in 1 Corinthians. The list of sins was long:
- The Corinthians abandoned Christian unity and were riven with internal strife (Acts 1).
- They were competing for status among themselves (Acts 1).
- They were abandoning godly wisdom in favor of worldly wisdom (Acts 1).
- They were denying the work of the Spirit (Acts 2).
- They were boasting in men (Acts 3)
- They were judging each other harshly at times and weakly at other times (Acts 4)
- They were tolerating blatant sexual sin (Acts 5).
- They were suing each other in secular courts (Acts 6).
- They were denying intimacy to their spouses, divorcing, committing adultery, and simultaneously emphasizing marriage over mission (Acts 7).
- They were using their Christian freedom without care for how their conduct harmed others (Acts 8).