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Sunday School

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THE LESSON BACKGROUND.


Paul founded the Corinthian church on his second missionary journey around 50 A.D. Coming from Athens, where the response to the gospel was minimal, Paul was discouraged when he arrived in Corinth (see I Corinthians 2:1-5). With assurance from the LORD, Paul remained in the city for some 18 months (see Acts 18:9-11). In spite of opposition, many Corinthians were obedient to the gospel (see Acts 18:8). Although Paul and his coworkers, Timothy and Silas, sought to establish the congregation in the faith before leaving the city, this church had some major problems (see I Corinthians 1:10-17; 5:1, 9-13; 6:1-8; 7:1-9). Since the same problems they faced then are still with us today, I Corinthians is one of the most relevant New Testament epistles. Paul wrote this first letter to the church at Corinth during his Third Missionary Journey (see Acts 18:22-23) at the close of his three year stay in Ephesus (see Acts 19:1; 20:31; I Corinthians 16:5-8). He founded the church in Corinth during his Second Missionary Journey (see Acts 15:36-18:22) and spent 18 months there (see Acts 18:1, 11). The main reason Paul wrote this first letter to the Corinthian believers was in response to a letter he received asking his advice about issues they were debating such as marriage and the use of foods offered to idols (see I Corinthians 7:1; 8:1-13). But the apostle was also greatly troubled by reports from Corinth about divisions, contentions and other issues (see I Corinthians 1:10-12). Paul also addressed the issue of human wisdom versus God’s wisdom (see I Corinthians 1:18-2:1-16). Then in I Corinthians 3:1-8, the apostle addressed how the carnal state prevents spiritual growth and how only God counts when it comes to Christian service.