Summary: Paul’s corrections of the church in Corinth
Intro: an amazing fact about the letters of Paul to the churches that most people want to over-look, is the fact that a lot of what he said was corrective in nature. I know he had mushy intro’s and long gooshy good-byes, but the meat of the letter was instruction, and reproof and correction. Since Paul gave us all this valuable correction it is amazing that most churches don’t use any of it. I will start with the corrections in I Corinthians—and we will go from there.
Spiritual Correction for the Modern Church
· An appeal for Christian unity—I Corinthians 1:10-13 The church at Corinth had fallen prey to the same thing that has split many churches in our times. Evidently people had taken up sides over their individual preference of Peter, Paul and Apollos. Paul is correcting them by setting things in the proper order, that we are all on the same team even with our different personalities, opinions and preferences. It is so sad many churches are falling apart in our time over styles of music, type of dress, etc. It is all about Jesus Christ, and building His kingdom not ours. For a church to operate in unity we must all submit ourselves to the ultimate goal of glorifying Jesus Christ as the head of the Church.
· Dealing with open sin—I Corinthians 5:1-13 Here is the next issue that Paul had to address. Someone within the Corinth church was living in open sin, but everyone was looking the other way. Paul says, you have got to deal with this, because it is bringing a reproach to the name of Jesus Christ. This is hardly ever done in our times, but if someone lives in open sin and refuses to repent of that sin, they are to be removed from the church, (excommunicated) so that they might become repentant and be restored back to the church in due time.
· Legal actions against a fellow Christian—I Corinthians 6:1-8 It seems that Paul had heard of some cases where Christians were taking other Christians to court. He told them they should be ashamed of this because differences should be handled through spiritual means. Paul even said, go ahead and suffer wrong over doing wrong. If you don’t die to the flesh, you will continually fight for your way, or your rights. Death to the flesh is surrender.
· Glorifying God in your body---I Corinthians 6:9-20 Paul now moves into some serious stuff. He states that your body is to be used for the glory of God. He covers all types of sexual immorality, also over-indulgences in the flesh, and points out that your body is the carrier of the Holy Spirit. If you don’t take care of your vessel, you will be ineffective for Christ.
· Marriage—I Corinthians 7—I will admit there are some deep issues that probably belong to the great theologians to interpret, but here is a practical overview. Paul explains that if you cannot control your fleshly desires, it is better to marry then burn in lust. He states that when you are married, your bodies are to be given to each other, and sexual relations should never be withheld from each other without consent. Paul also gives his determination that for some they should remain single, if they have that gift, so they can give themselves fully to the Lord. He explains that marriage brings great responsibilities to each other, and in some cases single people can devout more time to the Lord.
· Food offered to Idols—I Corinthians 8—Paul gives us some good instruction on issues of personal choice. He states that for some, they have no personal convictions about certain things, that others do. He states for the sake of younger Christians it is advisable to never use your liberty you have to bring someone else into bondage. He encourages people to realize that as a Spiritual leader others are watching, so be careful what you say, where you go and what you do.
· Ministerial rights and responsibilities—I Corinthians 9-Paul now gives wisdom to all that endeavor to do ministry. First he states you have the right to get paid, have a family, walk in authority. But for the gospel sake, Paul states he worked a job and did ministry. He stayed single, and gave himself fully to the work of God. He was never a burden where he was ministering. Paul realized that some wouldn’t be able to receive from a salaried individual because they would say things like: he gets paid to do that, or ministers are always talking about money.
· Single mindedness—I Corinthians 10:14-22 Paul now gives some warning against mixing the world and Jesus together. He basically says the world and Christianity cannot blend. You have to choose one to be your master.