1 Corinthians 1:1-6, 15:1-58
Let’s set the scene. Apostle Paul was running for his life out of Macedonia (Northern Greece), but then had to run for his life to the province of Achaia (Southern Greece). While journeying, some scholars say he was directed to Corinth by the Holy Spirit. The city of Corinth was the most prosperous city in all of Greece. It was the center of trading in the region where merchants came from every direction. It was a breeding ground for the rich and the poor and slaves – “The Haves and the Have Nots”.
While visiting for a year and a half, Paul shared the gospel of Jesus Christ and established a church. The church of Corinth was a mirror of the culture and diverse backgrounds of the city population, which consisted of Greeks, Jews, and slaves. Keep in mind, slavery in “the biblical days 1st Century, wasn’t based on ethnic backgrounds but on outstanding debts, plunder of war, being destitute, ‘voluntarily’ selling oneself, being sold as a child by destitute parents, a conviction of a crime, or kidnapping and piracy.” (Holman Bible Dictionary).
Approximately three years after Paul left Corinth, he received word about the problems in the Corinthian church from two sources: some Corinthians leaders, and the Chloe household. His first letter is about how the church should treat Christians living immoral lives (see 1 Cor. 5:9); this letter cannot be found. Paul evidently hears of more problems in the Corinthian church, so he sent Timothy to remind them of their apostolic life and teaching (1 Cor. 4:17). The Corinthians continued to live a corrupted life which prompted Paul to write the letter we call 1 Corinthians.
Now, we must ask the question; Why is it important for Christian believers to receive correction?
- Without corrections, the church body will be the same as the world of non-believers. (2 Corinthians 6:17 KJV)
Paul is a fearless Apostle with a pastoral heart to address a variety of immoral acts, conflict within the congregation and with spiritual leaders (1 Cor. 1:10), adaptions of hedonistic values of Greco-Roman society, unworthily partaking of the Lord’s Supper (1 Cor. 11:17-34), cultural compromise: incest (1 Cor. 5:1-13), sexual immorality, eating in pagan temples (1 Cor. 8 -11:1), and denial of resurrection (1 Cor. 15:1-58). Holiness is vital to the Christian lifestyle. God chastises those whom he loves. (Hebrews 12:6-11 NKJV
- It is necessary to produce spiritual growth and development.
When Biblical correction is done prayerfully and lovingly, we must have the posture of humility to receive correction. Correction is important to hold believers accountable to the true Gospel. Correction and accountability go hand and hand. In the Corinthian letters, Paul has given us a blueprint on how to handle a congregation that has lost its way from righteousness. Paul did not turn a blind eye to the problems within the Corinthian church, nor can we ignore the immoral conduct within the church today.
Receiving corrections is not easy no matter how gently it is given to us. When our sinful ways are exposed, we can feel a sense of shame and guilt. Our response to correction should be one of gratitude and repentance. For God loves, forgives, and saves people through His son Jesus Christ; we have an atonement for our sins. (John 3:16 KJV)
Now, it’s your turn. Take 15 minutes and think about how you respond when someone tells you of the error of your ways. If you responded unrighteously, repent, accept God’s forgiveness, and apologize to that person.