GOD'S LETTER TO A DOWNTOWN CHURCH
I Corinthians 1:1-9
These verses begin for us the letter of the Apostle Paul to
the church at Corinth. Paul conducted a ministry in Corinth which
is recorded for us in the 8th chapter of the book of Acts. The
work was very difficult when Paul came to Corinth because he was
facing a very wicked city with formidable opposition. Yet in that
Corinth experience, the Lord appeared to Paul in a vision by night
to encourage and strengthen him. Among several things that the
Lord said to Paul in that vision was this: I have many people in
that city. I think from that moment of encouragement on, the
Apostle Paul looked at the people there not in their sins but as
people who were precious in the eyes of Jesus and for whom Jesus
had come to die. One by one, Paul won converts and gathered them
into a congregation of believers which was known as the church of
God in Corinth. One of those converts was this man, Sosthenes.
We're told that Paul won Crispusto the Lord, the chief ruler of
the synagogue, so he had to be replaced. He was replaced by a man
named Sosthenes and Paul in turn won him to faith in the Lord.
The local synagogue was having trouble keeping Rabbis because Paul
was leading them all to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. That's
the way God did His work in Corinth. That's the way God does His
work everywhere when people are obedient and faithful to do what
Jesus has commanded them to do. Paul is writing a letter back to
that magnificent church in a city - a downtown church in a city
area, if you please.
Do you remember when you were a little child doing this with
your fingers in Sunday School? "Here is the church and here is
the steeple, open the doors and see all the people." That's kind
of what Paul does in verse two of this chapter. He really kind of
lifts the roof off the Corinthian church and gives us a view on
the inside. What Paul wants to do as he begins this letter to
these city dwellers, these ne ...
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