Author:  1  Corinthians 1:1 identifies the author of the Book of 1 Corinthians as the  apostle Paul.

Date of Writing: The Book of 1  Corinthians was written in approximately A. D. 55.

Purpose of  Writing: The apostle Paul founded the church in Corinth. A few years  after leaving the church, the apostle Paul heard some disturbing reports about  the Corinthian church. They were full of pride and were excusing sexual  immorality. Spiritual gifts were being used improperly, and there was rampant  misunderstanding of key Christian doctrines. The apostle Paul wrote his first  letter to the Corinthians in an attempt to restore the Corinthian church to its  foundation—Jesus Christ.

Key Verses: 1 Corinthians 3:3:  “You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you,  are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere men?”

1 Corinthians  6:19-20: “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who  is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were  bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.”

1 Corinthians 10:31:  “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of  God.”

1  Corinthians 12:7: “Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given  for the common good.”

1  Corinthians 13:4-7: “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it  does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is  not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil  but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes,  always perseveres.”

1  Corinthians 15:3-4: “For what I received I passed on to you as of first  importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he  was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the  Scriptures.”

Brief Summary: The Corinthian church was  plagued by divisions. The believers in Corinth were dividing into groups loyal  to certain spiritual leaders (1  Corinthians 1:12; 3:1-6). Paul exhorted the Corinthian believers to be  united because of devotion to Christ (1  Corinthians 3:21-23). Many in the church were essentially approving of an  immoral relationship (1  Corinthians 5:1-2). Paul commanded them to expel the wicked man from the  church (1  Corinthians 5:13). The Corinthian believers were taking each other to court  (1  Corinthians 6:1-2). Paul taught the Corinthians that it would be better to  be taken advantage of than to damage their Christian testimony (1 Corinthians  6:3-8).

Paul gave the Corinthian church instructions on marriage and  celibacy (chapter 7), food sacrificed to idols (chapters 8 and 10), Christian  freedom (chapter 9), the veiling of women (1  Corinthians 11:1-16), the Lord’s Supper (1  Corinthians 11:17-34), spiritual gifts (chapters 12-14), and the  resurrection (chapter 15). Paul organized the book of 1 Corinthians by answering  questions the Corinthian believers had asked him and by responding to improper  conduct and erroneous beliefs they had accepted.

Connections:  In chapter 10 of the Book of 1 Corinthians, Paul uses the story of the  Israelites wandering in the wilderness to illustrate to the Corinthian believers  the folly of the misuse of freedom and the danger of overconfidence. Paul has  just warned the Corinthians about their lack of self-discipline (1 Corinthians  9:24-27). He goes on to describe the Israelites who, despite seeing God’s  miracles and care for them—the parting of the Red Sea, the miraculous provision  of manna from heaven and water from a rock—they misused their freedom, rebelled  against God, and fell into immorality and idolatry. Paul exhorts the Corinthian  church to note the example of the Israelites and avoid lusts and sexual  immorality (vv. 6-8) and putting Christ to the test and complaining (vv. 9-10).  See Numbers  11:4, 34, 25:1-9; Exodus 16:2, 17:2, 7.

Practical  Application: Many of the problems and questions the Corinthian church  was dealing with are still present in the church today. Churches today still  struggle with divisions, with immorality, and with the use of spiritual gifts.  The Book of 1 Corinthians very well could have been written to the church today  and we would do well to heed Paul’s warnings and apply them to ourselves.  Despite all the rebukes and corrections, 1 Corinthians brings our focus back to  where it should be—on Christ. Genuine Christian love is the answer to many  problems (chapter 13). A proper understanding of the resurrection of Christ, as  revealed in chapter 15, and thereby a proper understanding of our own  resurrection, is the cure for what divides and defeats us.