Paul arrives in Corinth in mid-A.D. 50 and spends 18 months forming a church there. Of all the churches Paul founded, the Church at Corinth presented the greatest challenges and the most difficult problems. When Paul finally leaves Corinth in A.D. 52, he sails home via Ephesus, recognizing an enormous opportunity in that city. In A.D. 54, Paul begins his third missionary journey, going directly to Ephesus and spending most of his time there, A.D. 54-57. In the winter of A.D. 54, a delegation “from Chloe’s household” in Corinth (1 Corinthians 1: 11) arrives in Ephesus with distressing news: The church in Corinth has 1) fractured into factions and divisions; 2) believers are suing one another in the secular courts; and 3) there is rampant sexual immorality throughout the church. Along with the oral report the delegation brings a letter from the new leaders at Corinth, a letter with specific questions of a very troublesome nature. In 1 Corinthians, Paul addresses the three issues brought to him from Chloe’s household, and in chapter 7 he addresses “the matters you wrote about” (1 Corinthians 7: 1).
Thus begins a tumultuous correspondence between Paul and the church in Corinth. We explore Paul’s relationship with the church at Corinth and the correspondence that results in this lesson.
©2014 William C. Creasy (P)2013 William C. Creasy