The Corinthians created multiple challenges for Paul. For starters, Corinth was a Gentile port city frequented by sailors who reveled in its pagan practices. Then there were the serious controversies within the church that Paul sought to address in his letters to the congregants—among them sexual license, marital obligations, food issues, and factions. It didn’t help matters that these new Christians had a serious case of bad judgment, which caused problems in the church and created undue arrogance among these novice followers of Christ.
So it is peculiarly fitting that one of the greatest statements about unselfed love comes from Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians (see Chapter 13). Our knowing this background makes his letter all the more relevant to the challenges we face in our own modern multicultural, multiracial societies. It wasn’t easy then, and it’s not easy now! But Paul guided them—and guides us—through a maze of conflicting emotions, pointing us to the Christ love that infused his life and can infuse our lives, too.
Each chapter has between four and six thoughtful questions that reveal key themes. The questions are designed to prompt readers to think of new ways they might view such familiar material.
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