Corinth. Colour her purple, gaudy, fast, vile…yet rich and influential. A city of about two hundred thousand free citizens plus half a million slaves, busy Corinth represented a lifestyle of loose living. Epicureanism mixed with prosperity, beauty, the arts, and sensual idolatry was the norm. Korinthiazomai, a Greek term coined by Aristophanes, describes a person who lives an immoral life.
Into the fast lane of this wicked city came Paul who lived and worked among the Corinthians, ultimately establishing a local church. No ministry ever faced a greater challenge to survive…and few churches ever experienced greater conflicts. As we shall discover, this 16-chapter letter is comprised mainly of troubleshooting, confronting, exhorting, and correcting. No other New Testament letter gives the pastor of a church in conflict a broader base of preaching material as he leads his flock out of carnal dangers and into new territory of purity and unity.