Corinth is the fourth largest city of Rome; in the city lived about 250 thousand people of different races. Half of its population were immigrants (mostly salves). Imaginably, there were many conflicts between the native people and the new comers. The situations of the church in Corinth are similar to the ones of churches in Taiwan nowadays. We have been enriched in every way—with all kinds of speech and with all knowledge. It is likely that the problems the church in Corinth faced are the problems we are facing now, so we really should thank Paul for having written the first and the second Corinthians. Both of the books contain teachings from God for us to follow. There are 29 chapters in total (16 chapters in 1 Corinthians, 13 chapters in 2 Corinthians), which makes it the longest letter by Paul. The first Corinthians can be divided into two parts. The first part includes chapters 1-6, which describes the problems of the church in Corinth that Paul had heard of. The second part includes chapter 7-16, which provides solutions to the problems mentioned in the first part.
While Paul was in Ephesus, some people from Chloe’s household informed him of the conflicts within the church in Corinth. That is, there were divisions among the people in the church. There must be a reason why people are divided. Paul spent one-and-a-half year to establish the church in Corinth, so, some people believed they should follow Paul. Cephas (Peter) was a Jew, therefore, many Jews in the church, who didn’t want to let go of the Jewish laws (e.g., the circumcision, the Sabbath, and separating clean/unclean things), wanted to follow Peter. Apollos was an intellectual, so educated people, or those who valued knowledge more, supported Apollos.
Paul said that some people thought that they are so smart that they made fun of the cross. God then saves those who believe through a way that is considered foolish by the Gentiles. Only when you are willing to believe that you realize it is the power and wisdom of God. For people in this world, cross is a sign of shame; how can the king of kings die on a cross? He should be leading a magnificent army with thousands of men and horses and overcome His enemy. People couldn’t understand that when Jesus came to this world for the first time, He came with grace; He was born in a humble family, suffered a painful death, and resurrected three days after His death. He torn the curtain that barred men from their creator, so that people can be once again unified with God. The holy blood of Jesus Christ washed our sins away, that is why we can pray to our Lord now and call Him our heavenly father. Two things are essential for our salvation. The first thing is that Jesus Christ had to come to this world and be crucified for us; His holy blood cleans us of our sins, and His resurrection brings us eternal life. The second thing is that we have to accept Jesus Christ as our savior and repent. Our salvation can only be complete through these two things.
A Church should be the place where God’s will is fulfilled! We should not love this world. God has given up on this world, but He hasn’t forsaken the people. God loves everyone on earth! Therefore, we should spread the Gospel, and save as many souls as possible for God.