All God’s People Got Problems

We are beginning a series on the book of First Corinthians, Paul’s letter to the church at Corinth in the New Testament. This letter is like Jesus taking a hammer and chisel to a big ugly block of marble. Jesus loves this church. He knows this church, and he is committed to turning this church into something incredible. It is significant for us because we are all a work in progress, and if you think you have arrived spiritually, that is a sign you have got even further to go. Jesus is going to confront and challenge places in our hearts, but it is all with the intent of transforming this church and us into something beautiful.

Paul, called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and our brother Sosthenes, To the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be his holy people, together with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ—their Lord and ours: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. I always thank my God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus. For in him you have been enriched in every way—with all kinds of speech and with all knowledge— God thus confirming our testimony about Christ among you. Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed. He will also keep you firm to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, who has called you into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

1 Corinthians 1:1-9

In this short greeting, we have the theological foundation and framework for the whole construction project. Corinth was in Greece, but it was part of the Roman Empire. It was a really big city, the third largest city in the Roman Empire, and a major commercial center with a bustling port. Also, they had a big banking industry. Corinth was really known for three things. One was its incredible wealth. Second was its sexual promiscuity. There’s a phrase in the 1st century called two Corinthian eyes, which means two that have become loose morally. And third, it was known for religious pluralism. There were all kinds of shrines in Corinth to Greek gods, to Roman gods, to Egyptian gods. So this is a city that was sex obsessed, money obsessed, idolatry rampant. In the midst of their mess, Jesus through Paul, has got some hard words for these Christians.