Allison L. Sanborn, M. Ed.
BIB-502 | Introduction to the Intertestamental Period
Michael Bausch - Professor
July 10, 2012
Early Christian Practical Issues
Around 51 AD, Paul was in the city of Corinth. This city was made up of many different people with very different ideas concerning God, cults, and moral depravity. While in Corinth, Paul was approached by a woman named Chloe who described to him the misdeeds of dissention, immorality and wrong doing in the city. Dismayed, Paul immediately addressed the issues in his letters to the Corinthians. Corinthians Practical Issues
1. The Problem of Divisions in the Church ~ (1 Cor. 1:10-13)
Within the “house of Chloe”, a church in Corinth, Paul found that the people were fighting and divided amongst each other. When Paul had left Corinth the church had been unified in its mission knowing that the Lord was in command. After receiving word from Chloe learned that the laws he had laid down: no associating with sexually immoral people within the church, pray to only one God, do not speak in tongues. Paul appealed to the church asking, “Whom do you belong to? “Has Christ been divided?” 2. The Problem of Worldly Wisdom as compared to Godly wisdom ~ (1 Cor. 1:17-2:16)
In order to emphasize to the Corinthians that human wisdom is not as powerful as God’s wisdom, Paul wanted to show that Godly wisdom was accessible and available to all believers (Brass, 2000). Paul shared how we gain wisdom through the teachings of the gospel not through baptism. Paul understands that the Greek’s admire human wisdom, but show them that this form of wisdom is misplaced and keeping them from receiving the word and power of God through the teachings in the gospel (Brass, 2000). 3. The Problem of Carnality ~ (1 Cor. 3:1-4)
Paul labeled the people of Corinth as “carnal” because they were not maturing in their faith as they should have been. The church had been in existence for five years yet the people were not abstaining from fleshly lust, envy or strife (Campbell, 2012). Rather than growing spiritually from the gospel, the Corinthians were existing on only the most basic and minimal teachings, the “milk” rather than the “meat” of the word. The church was still praising mortals like Paul and Apollo’s rather than King Jesus (Campbell, 2012). 4. The Problem of Immorality in the Church ~ (1 Cor. 5:1-13)
Paul found that a member of the church was engaging in a sexual relationship with someone other than his wife quite openly (Lester, n.d.). This open acceptance was akin to an act of praise and acceptance of sexual freedom for others in the church congregation. Paul’s teachings had been that the man be removed from the church and not associated with (Lester, n.d.). 5. The Problem of Courting Sin (1 Cor. 6:1-8)
Paul teaches that Christians should solve their civil conflicts out of court and between themselves or within the church (Krell, 1995). Paul believes that sharing grievances with “unrighteous people” was like giving God a black eye (Krell, 1995). Legal battles were held in pagan courts and treated like entertainment or business transactions. 6. The Problem of Fornication ~ (1 Cor. 6:15-20)
Paul admonishes men to stay away from prostitutes for lying with a prostitute is paramount to the flesh of both becoming one. Sexual immorality is a direct sin against God and it is impossible to honor God completely if you have shared your body with an unholy person. 7. The Problem of Marriage and Divorce ~ (1 Cor. 7:1-16)
Many Christians in the Corinth Church believed that marriage was an “absolute duty”. Others felt marriage was a concession of the flesh. Paul attempted to set the record straight by setting the rules that there was no sexual immorality in marriage between a husband and a wife as long as they both agreed. On the subject of divorce, Paul wrote that married couples should not divorce, “unless the unbeliever does not want to stay...