1 Corinthians 1 & 2
The Book of 1 Corinthians was written by Paul in response to a letter by members of Chloe’s house. In this letter, Paul seeks to address reported problems involving: divisions within the church, sexual immorality, marriage, situations with idols and spiritual immaturity. For believers today, the study of this book is very impactful, as it answers questions that we come face to face with every day. Corinth was a major metropolis, and seaport. People came from all over, carrying their beliefs and ideals. Similar to today’s believers, followers back then had difficulty discerning which behavior or idea was acceptable.
In chap 1, Paul opens with confronting the growing division in the church. Paul heard that members were arguing over who they were following, whether if it was Paul himself, Apollos, Peter or Jesus Christ. Paul dispels those notions with a review of the Good News. Paul proceeded to repeatedly state Jesus Christ’s name and remind the believers of what He had done for the world. Paul took all emphasis off himself.
Next Paul dealt with the issue of worldly intelligence vs. spiritual understanding. In a broader view, Paul began addressing the issue of spiritual maturity. Starting in Chap 1 and going through Chap 2, Paul sought to explain how many people of the world will chastise and mock them. This was due to man not understanding God’s wisdom. Paul, the biblical scholar, referred back to Isa 29:14 to illustrate how God dislikes those who consider themselves “wise” and “intelligent”. Paul wanted to make clear that God’s plan could only be understood through the Holy Spirit’s actions.
Where does this leave us today? As with the believers back then, we need to be mindful of whom we are following. Much of these two chapters, in some way deals with man’s boasting. Paul first illustrates how we are to focus on Jesus not individuals who can capture a crowd. Next Paul emphasized our need to develop in spiritual maturity as opposed to worldly intelligence. By focusing on the latter, our pride will distort God’s truth and the ability for the Holy Spirit to operate in us.