9 February 20151 Corinthians 1:1-9
“To the church of God that is in Corinth, to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, together with all those who in every place call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours” (v. 2)
Psalm: Psalm 105:1-5
The capital of Achaia province, Corinth was a thriving port city with harbours in the east and the north. It was at the crossroads of trade routes both east and west, and north and south. It was cosmopolitan and had a large transient population, which meant that both different trades and various cults could be found within the city walls. The Bibledex video from the University of Nottingham gives more background to the place and the book of 1 Corinthians as a whole.
The church at Corinth would have reflected this social mix. The letter reflects their differences and the disagreements they had because of it, such as the eating of meet offered to idols (1 Corinthians 8:1-13). And it is up to Paul, through his writing, as the founder and father of the church, to help reconcile these. Despite the Corinthian Christians' diversity, the church would probably also have been a place of stability in a changing environment. The people there are "sanctified in Christ Jesus" and "called to be saints".
What is evident in today's passage is the fondness and love that Paul for the church. He clearly seems knows the people there and the way that they have been "enriched in [Jesus], in speech and knowledge of every kind" (v. 6) and are "not lacking in any spiritual gift" (v. 7). It is that devotion that Paul will continue to display as he advises and chides them in the rest of the letter.
- How do your local area and circumstances influence your church? Your faith? Your discipleship?
- To what extent is the church and/or your faith part of your identity?
- Paul displays a love and care for the members of the church in Corinth. How might you display love and care for those in your church (and/or your fellowship group), especially if you disagree with them on certain point?