Christian Life, Gospel, Ministry — July 6, 2017 at 12:09 pm

Understanding 1st Corinthians

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by Tommy Zimmer | Today, we recall Paul's letters when we're in trouble—when we're in need of reminders of how God sets us free.

1st Corinthians represents Paul's first epistle to Corinth, a city 180 nautical miles from Ephesus, Turkey, where he was spending his time. Spending three years there, he put together the church in Corinth. He wrote the letter to address his church there about challenges to Christianity and his defense. He wanted to make sure the Corinthians were aware that he was indeed an apostle of Jesus Christ. This, in turn, reinforced the legitimacy of the Christianity he preached to his congregation. However, there was much more to Paul's letter underneath the surface.

Paul wanted to give thanks to the Lord for the many gifts he has given. He was happy about the good health they all had and his own safe travels. Paul wanted his community to share in this goodness: how they had been protected from danger and had good luck with the accomplishments of the church. Paul wanted him and his community to share in all of this together.

 There was also a great division within the community of Corinth that needed to be addressed.

 Paul proposed a solution for the division. For a Corinthian who did wrong, there would be disciple, but a resolution of personal disputes as well. Throughout the last sections, he spoke about how important worship and marriage are. These two sacraments can help to prevent future misdeeds. Paul closed the letter by talking about the Christian resurrection doctrine and his wish that all the Corinthians feel freedom. Paul said he hoped everything that would be done with charity and each of them would be loved and worshiped.

 Often when Paul wrote these letters, it was to address the needs of the community and highlight the problems going on. He hoped to bring resolution to many of the troubles going on and to remind them all they are disciples of Jesus Christ. One major societal problem we face today is addiction, on a national and global scale. Christian drug and alcohol treatment centers use the teachings of Paul in resolving personal disputes: in recognizing one's weaknesses, making amends for past wrongdoing, and looking toward the future for guidance from God.

Today, we recall Paul's letters when we're in trouble—when we're in need of reminders of how God sets us free. When Paul was not in the community, people such as the Corinthians would go against God's wishes and forget what Paul had taught them. Paul reminds them of all of these messages within his letters and keeps them focused on staying on God's path. Throughout these letters, Paul is able to maintain a relationship with the communities in which he works, back in the days of Corinth, and today.

About the author: Tommy Zimmer is a writer whose work has appeared online and in print. His work covers a variety of topics, including politics, economics, health and wellness, addiction and recovery and the entertainment industry.

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