Paul in Corinth
by: Jeff Munroe
We begin our look at 1 Corinthians by reading what the book of Acts tells us about Paul’s visit to Corinth. Corinth was a major Roman colony whose location made it a crossroads of the ancient world. It was a strategic place to found a church. From the Book of Acts, we learn Paul accomplished this as he joined Priscilla and Aquila in tent making and church planting during his 18-month stay in the city. In Corinth Paul was embroiled in controversy with both Jews and Romans. Controversy and Paul were not strangers—one commentator writes that Paul either sparked a revival or a riot wherever he went. Often both happened.
Paul was a man of three worlds. Trained as a Jewish Pharisee, he was also a follower of Jesus Christ and a Roman citizen. These three worlds come together in the narrative found in Acts; more than come together, these worlds collide into each other. Finding unity as the church navigates the intersections and collisions of these three worlds will provide much of the material in 1 Corinthians.
With that as background, the Lord speaks directly to Paul and tells him not to be discouraged because he is not alone. This is a word for us as well. It is hard to strike the correct balance between being in the world but not of the world. This passage reminds us that as part of those whom God calls his “people,” we are never alone in that task.