When you read the New Testament, you’ll notice that, after the four gospels and the book of Acts, most of the rest is in the form of letters to churches or people. The letter that we are beginning a study of is the letter from the apostle Paul to the church of God at a city known as Corinth. He begins by writing…
1 PAUL, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother, 2 Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours: 3 Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 1:1–3)
The thing about the New Testament letters (or epistles, as they were once commonly known) is that they were always written for a purpose. This letter, for example, is a corrective one. The church at Corinth had numerous problems that Paul had to deal with—both moral and doctrinal issues.
So, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, Paul wrote this letter to address those issues. The issues that he dealt with in Corinth are common issues in many churches throughout all of history. Some, I am sure, we’ll find in our own church and our own lives. We’ll see what they are as we come to them.
But in these verses, it’s obvious that Paul leaves the starting gate with those issues on his mind. He therefore lays some important groundwork before addressing the issues specifically. Namely, he gives the Corinthians (and us today) reasons that we should listen to what he says: 1) The Apostle’s Calling and 2) The Believer’s Calling.
Read Why We Should Listen