“This letter is from Paul, chosen by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus, and from our brother Sosthenes. I am writing to God’s church in Corinth, to you who have been called by God to be his own holy people. He made you holy by means of Christ Jesus, just as he did for all people everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours.” 1 Corinthians 1:1-2
Paul is writing this letter to the church at Corinth that was in trouble. I believe that we will learn a lot from our study in Corinthians. There are many churches today that are in the same condition as this church. This church was a defiled church. It had lost its purity and holiness. It was a divided church, at least four groups were competing for leadership. Instead of glorifying God it was hindering the progress of the gospel. This church permitted the sins of the city to get into the local church. Corinth was a polluted city, filled with every kind of vice and worldly pleasure. About the lowest accusation you could make against a man in that day would be to call him a “Corinthian.” People would know what you were talking about.
Corinth was a proud, philosophical city, with many itinerant teachers promoting their speculation. This philosophical approach was applied to the gospel by some of the members, and this caused division. The congregation was made up of different school of thought instead of being united behind the gospel message. Sounds like some of our churches today. If you want to read a good example of what Corinth was like read Romans 1: 18-32. Paul wrote the Romans epistle while in Corinth. When you have a proud people depending on human wisdom, adopting the lifestyle of the world, you are going to have problems.
The thrust of 1 Corinthians is that of a pastor concerned with spiritual warfare of a wayward assembly. We must be very careful that Satan does not cause this to happen in our churches.