The church at Corinth was troubled. It was five years old, but had divisions, doctrinal problems, and all kinds of disorder. One faction tried to justify going to prostitutes, which was widely accepted in their culture. Others thought they were so spiritual that they should avoid sex in marriage in favor of celibacy. Speaking in tongues was rampant, while most other spiritual gifts were being neglected. Idolatry was reclaiming some of the new believers. Observing the Lord's Supper was a farce. This church had serious problems. More than that, many of the Corinthians resented Paul's influence and tried to minimize his apostolic authority. This is one of his most spirited letters -- harsh in spots as Paul seeks to steer this young congregation away from pitfalls that threaten to destroy it. More than anywhere else in Paul's letters, you'll find instruction on church unity, balanced worship, the Lord's Supper, church discipline, the resurrection and Christ's coming, divorce and marriage. The Letter contains numerous notable verses: "I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some" (9:22). "No temptation has seized you except what is common to man..." (10:13). "The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread..." (11:23-26). "Love is patient, love is kind..." (13:4-8). "We shall all be, changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet..." (15:51-52). And many, many more.... 1 Corinthians is a long letter -- sixteen chapters -- but Paul's most important epistle for shaping the Christian church. This study explores First Corinthians in 15 lessons. Helpful thought and discussion questions make it useful for personal enrichment and by small groups and classes. Extensive research contained in the footnotes makes it a goldmine for teachers and a boon to preachers involved in sermon preparation.
1 Corinthians by Ralph F Wilson was published by JesusWalk Publications in February 2014. The ISBN for 1 Corinthians is 9780984734092.