1. The City of Corinth
- Corinth was 50 miles from Athens
- it had a population of about 200,000 people and 500,000 slaves
- The Isthmus Games (like the Olympic) were held there (could be why Paul referenced running the race to achieve a crown that doesn’t fade away 1 Corinthians 9: 24 – 27)
- Worship of Aphrodite, goddess of love in Greek culture
- Evil city that earned the reputation of Corinthianize which meant to corrupt
2. Paul was on his second of three missionary journeys when he arrived at Corinth
- Paul visited Corinth during his second of three missionary journeys
- He visited Philipi where he was beaten and thrown in jail
- Thessalonica where some Jewish people started a riot causing Paul and Silas to have to flee for their lives
- Berea was open to the gospel but Jewish leaders came and stirred up trouble
- In Athens he was openly mocked and laughed at with contempt
3. Struggles of a man of God
1 Corinthians 2: 3 “I came to you in weakness–timid and trembling
The battles were having an effect on Paul.
This is a pattern for people used by God.
Elijah crying out for God to kill him
Moses in the wilderness doing nothing for 40 years
Joseph a slave and in prison for 20 years.
David running for his life for from Saul
Daniel a slave in Babylon
We know Paul was affected because he got made at the Jewish leaders and wanted nothing more to do with anyone Jewish. Yet in Romans 9: 1, which was written later, Paul said he would go to hell if it would cause the rest of the Jewish people to come into relationship with Jesus.
How do you start a church in this state? Paul could not just hide in a hole (1 Corinthians 9: 16 I am compelled to preach woe unto me if I don’t preach)
4. Finishing Well
- Time is needed
Paul stayed longer in Corinth than any other city besides Ephesus
2 Timothy 4: 2 Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season….with great patience…
We must share in every season until a harvest comes.
- Encouragement is needed
Acts 18: 9, 10 Word came from God to encourage Paul in the middle of the battle.
God has spoke to us in the same way through the Bible so we can be encouraged.
1 Corinthians 1: 8, 9 He will keep you strong right up to the end, and he will keep you free from all blame on the great day when our Lord Jesus Christ returns. 9 God will surely do this for you, for he always does just what he says, and he is the one who invited you into this wonderful partnership with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
- Trust God to fight the battle for us.
1 Corinthians 2: 4 I did not come with cleaver speeches, but relied on the power of God. So you would trust God’s power rather than my speeches.
1 Corinthians 4: 20 For the Kingdom of God is not just a lot of talk it is living by Gods power.
2 Corinthians 3: 5 It is not that we think we can do anything of lasting value by ourselves. Our only power and success come from God
2 Corinthians 4: 7 But this precious treasure — this light and power that now shine within us — is held in perishable containers, that is, in our weak bodies. So everyone can see that our glorious power is from God and is not our own
2 Corinthians 13: 4 Although he died on the cross in weakness, he now lives by the mighty power of God. We, too, are weak, but we live in him and have God’s power — the power we use in dealing with you
See the pattern of how Paul ministered?
To build God’s church even when we feel overwhelmed we need
- Time to see God produce fruit so don’t give up
- Encouragement from others and God.
- Trust that God will work on our behalf
Key Point: Do we believe God for big things