To Paul, scripture came first and the culture was second (1 Corinthians 9:19-24). Join us for a study, then try it with your own group. On the positive side, they show us how we must realize Christ as everything in our daily walk and Christian service, and on the negative side, they show us that the cross is the only way to deal with all things other than Christ Himself. After Paul spends 18 months in the city, he visits Ephesus before returning to Jerusalem for a short time. There is a general consensus among scholars that 1 Corinthians was written by the important early Christian missionary Paul of Tarsus. With your gift of any size, you’ll enable us to continue equipping Christians with high-quality biblically-based content. 1 Cor. 1… 4:1-2         Think of us in this way, as servants of Christ and stewards of God's mysteries. Circumcision was part of the Jewish law and it was required for some who joined the faith at the time. 8:7). 1 Cor. 7:29-31     I mean, brothers and sisters, the appointed time has grown short; from now on, let even those who have wives be as though they had none, and those who mourn as though they were not mourning, and those who rejoice as though they were not rejoicing, and those who buy as though they had no possessions, and those who deal with the world as though they had no dealings with it. For it is written in the law of Moses, “You shall not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain.” Is it for oxen that God is concerned? Jesus models the process and intimacy of discipleship … As usual, Paul attends synagogue meetings in the city and argues Jesus is the Messiah. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some.” His focus is on what he can do to share with them the Gospel. When Paul told the Jewish apostles that he was not requiring the gentiles to practice certain laws of the Torah, such as circumcision, they supported it (Acts 2:9). His second reason was to deal with several questions that had been asked in a letter the Corinthians had sent to him (7:1). In what is now called 1 Corinthians, there is a reference to a former letter in which instruction was given concerning the type of conduct that should not be tolerated in a Christian church. My speech and my proclamation were not with plausible words of wisdom, but with a demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith might rest not on human wisdom but on the power of God. Long has taught full time at Grace Christian University since 1998, specializing in Bible and Biblical languages. Specifically, Paul addresses divisions, food, sex, worship gatherings, and the resurrection. A letter from Paul to the Corinthians, correcting errors into which they had fallen. 1–4, 1 Cor. 1:1) “to the church of God that is in Corinth” (1:2) from Ephesus (16:8), probably near the end of his ministry there early in AD 55 (cf. 1 Corinthians Author and Date. Bruce Winter suggested that after Paul left Corinth the church began to explore how Christianity interacted with their culture and social relationships (After Paul Left Corinth, Eerdmans, 2001). Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found trustworthy. Can you attend a same sex wedding? Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw — the work of each builder will become visible, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each has done. Paul: 1 Corinthians A prime example of an argumentative (thematic) elaboration about death and resurrection in early Christian discourse is found in the epistolary discourse of Paul in 1 Corinthians 15 (cf. Paul addressed important issues in the church concerning spiritual gifts, the rapture, the resurrection, wisdom from God and church problems. Each builder must choose with care how to build on it. 1:10          Now I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you be in agreement and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same purpose. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! Paul's main purpose in 1 Corinthians 12 is not to explain what all the various positions or gifts of the Spirit are. He simply wants to explain to them that they need to be united and rid themselves of divisions and discord that has been created by disagreements on spiritual gifts. The First Letter of Paul to the Corinthians, probably written about 53–54 ce at Ephesus, Asia Minor, deals with problems that arose in the early years after Paul’s initial missionary visit (c. 50–51) to Corinth and his establishment there of a Christian community.The letter is valuable for its illuminations both of Paul’s thoughts and of the problems of the early church. The city of Corinth, perched like a one-eyed Titan astride the narrow isthmus connecting the Greek mainland with the Peloponnese, was one of the dominant commercial centers of the Mediterranean world as early as the eighth century b.c. Change ). His most recent book is Galatians: Freedom through God’s Grace (Wipf & Stock, 2019). - Revelation 13:16-18. For the believers in Corinth, their was confusion on what was all right for them to participate in. Generally speaking, believers do not need to change jobs to please God. Although the matter of food sacrificed to idols seems obscure to the modern reader, Paul devotes as much as three chapters to the issue because participation in banquets at temples was such a common practice in Roman Corinth. 1 Cor. 12–14.) First Corinthians purpose seems to point to Jesus’ resurrection as a reality of history and is taken as to be indisputable and beyond questioning. And when I arrive, I will send any whom you approve with letters to take your gift to Jerusalem. Author: 1 Corinthians 1:1 identifies the author of the Book of 1 Corinthians as the apostle Paul. Adopted by the Theology of Work Project Board December 16, 2011. The Corinthian church members struggled to live in the body of Christ in a world that was very non-Christian. 1 Cor. To a church facing many problems, Paul writes of God’s empowering grace and the need to know Christ alone and him crucified. Paul describes his initial efforts in the city as “in weakness and great fear” (1 Cor 2:3), since he was persecuted in Philippi, Thessalonica and nearly so in Berea. THEME: 1 Corinthians 1:10 "Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but ... 1) List the main points of this chapter - Introduction (1-9) - The Nature Of The Division At Corinth (10-17) God gives believers the spiritual resources they need to fulfill their calling. However the punch of the book is comfort and that in all tribulations we have consolations in Christ. All rights reserved. Servants through whom you came to believe, as the Lord assigned to each. First Corinthians is therefore about how to live as the people of God, the body of Christ, and the temple of the Holy Spirit in a world which is overwhelming non-Christian. I was wondering if you found that to be true at all with your research as we did not talk about the persecution of Christians when we discussed the games. 10:26, 31   For “the earth and its fullness are the Lord’s”…  So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God. Everyone who participates in the creation of wealth deserves a fair share of that wealth. The ways of society “had permeated the corporate structures of Corinthian Christian communities” (Longenecker, 118). When Paul arrives in Corinth he meets Aquilla and Priscilla, Jews who had been expelled from Rome by Claudius. 9:7-10       Who at any time pays the expenses for doing military service? 1 Corinthians 12:4-26 (4) There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. For we are God's servants, working together; you are God's field, God's building. Theology of Work Project Online Materials by Theology of Work Project, Inc. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. His first purpose was to deal with several moral problems and the divisions that had formed as people had divided into fan-clubs and were proclaiming themselves followers of Paul, Apollos, Peter or Christ (1:10). Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. THEME: 1 Corinthians 1:10 "Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment." The global message of 1 Corinthians is that the gospel of Jesus Christ is relevant to every dimension of church life. 1 Cor. Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 9:22 “To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. That is what Paul preached, Jesus crucified for that is the power of the gospel. The book of 1 st Corinthians is a Pauline Epistle (letter from Paul). Paul was worried that Corinthians had “fallen into the trap of allowing the gospel to be clouded by a zealous attachment to a personality whose rhetorical prowess they favor” (Longenecker, 118). This is testified by Paul’s listing of eye witnesses to Jesus’ resurrection and as being pivotal to the gospel of Jesus Christ. A few years after leaving the church, the apostle Paul heard some disturbing reports about the Corinthian church. Something very real that our society faces today is that sometimes people who claim to be believers don’t necessarily behave in accordance to that, which is a reminder that we are all prone to sin. Paul receives news from various sources about trouble at Corinth (1 Cor 1:11, 1 Cor 7:1, 1 Cor 16:17). It is the classic church argument, In the world but not of it. 15:58        Therefore, my beloved, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the work of the Lord, because you know that in the Lord your labor is not in vain. Everyone has an important role to play in attaining the goal, and no one can take all the credit for doing so. Theme verse in 1 Corinthians “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” (1 Co 10:31 ESV) Why 1 Corinthians was … In addition, the Isthmian Games were based in Corinth. Every resource on our site was made possible through the financial support of people like you. For whoever was called in the Lord as a slave is a freed person belonging to the Lord, just as whoever was free when called is a slave of Christ. … Who plants a vineyard and does not eat any of its fruit? 16:1-3       Now concerning the collection for the saints: you should follow the directions I gave to the churches of Galatia. Bible Commentary / Produced by TOW Project 1 Cor. Like the troubles reported to Paul, many of these issue are related to living out their new Christian faith in a Roman world. It was indeed written for our sake, for whoever plows should plow in hope and whoever threshes should thresh in hope of a share in the crop. 1 Cor. Unity of vision is essential to obtain the goal. https://www.insight.org/resources/bible/the-pauline-epistles/first-corinthians 12-14), the resurrection (ch. Does not the law also say the same? Why did Saul Persecute the Jewish Christians? Bible Commentary Reminder of the Gospel: Unity Through Following Christ. Even still, in 1 Corinthians we learn the centrality of the cross, the meaning of marriage, the danger of lust, and the way a church should be structured. Believers may use the things the world has to offer, but not hang their hearts on them. 16:5 –9 with Acts 19:21–22). His dissertation was published as Jesus the Bridegroom by Pickwick Books in 2012. I feel as though today Christians are struggling to not be defined by culture. 1 Corinthians Summary by Jay Smith. 1 Cor. Key Verses and Themes in 1 Corinthians. Purpose of Writing: The apostle Paul founded the church in Corinth. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. (6) And there are diversities of … (5) There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. The relationship between culture and Christianity is discussed in chapter fifteen of Acts and other books from the Bible. I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. There IS this cultural breach that Paul is trying to write to. Because of the hope of resurrection, our work in this life has lasting value. If what has been built on the foundation survives, the builder will receive a reward. Paul established the church at Corinth in Acts 18. The verses that we have mentioned are the key verses of the entire book of 1 Corinthians. 1:17       For Christ did not send me to baptize but to proclaim the gospel, and not with eloquent wisdom, so that the cross of Christ might not be emptied of its power. Paul tells us of his sufferings, oppressions and his thorn in the flesh. Contributors: Joel R. White Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. Paul is acknowledged as the author both by the letter itself (1:1-2; … When Paul arrives in Corinth he meets Aquilla and Priscilla, Jews who had been expelled from Rome by Claudius. 1 Cor. Yet it was here that a church was established, and it is clear that Paul continued to encourage and instruct them through his letters while he traveled. 4. Even if one was not a Roman citizen, loyalty to the Empire was important. The Principle of the Spirit of God. It is not the case the Corinthian church is facing persecution, but they do struggle to let Christ transform the way they think about their culture. This ministry is more successful when Silas and Timothy finally arrive, allowing him to devote himself to preaching. It can be outlined as follows: 1) ... the Main Divisions in 1 Corinthians 12-14 The Principle in 12:1-3. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one that has been laid; that foundation is Jesus Christ. Were you a slave when called? When all else fails, even in difficulty, love is the most true and “eternal”. In chapters 1-6 Paul deals with the reported problems in the church. Who Are the Seven Angels in Revelation 8:2? A lack of genuine love was clearly an undercurrent in the Corinthian church, creating disorder in worship and misuse of spiritual gifts. 1 Cor. As a book overall, 1 Corinthians is a picture for how to continue our lives as believers, even when we struggle to conform to that lifestyle — it’s a problem the Corinthians faced, and one we still face as individuals from time to time today. Combining letters around a similar theme is not surprising, but it is also not necessary to understand the overall theme of the whole letter: the need for reconciliation between Paul and the church. Called and gifted people come from all sorts of backgrounds. There is evidence when the games were celebrated the president of the games hosted a festival for Corinthians who were Roman citizens. 3. Proper Worship - An overarching theme in 1 Corinthians is the need for true Christian love that will settle lawsuits and conflicts between brothers. The report seems to have been confirmed by others since Paul takes the problems seriously, dealing with them in chapters 1-6. We learn the importance of spiritual gifts, the value of diversity, and the joy of taking the Lord’s Supper. 1:26          Consider your own call, brothers and sisters: not many of you were wise by human standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. Daniel 5:5-12 – What was the Meaning of the Handwriting on the Wall. Brief Outline (adapted from Dextor Sammons) Corinthian culture was a thoroughly Roman worldview and there was enormous pressure to conform to the cultural expectations of a first century Roman city. He deals with division over leadership (ch. Perform the ceremony? / Daniel 1:8-16 - What was Wrong with the King’s Food? Why are Dan and Ephraim Missing in Revelation 7? 1 Cor. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and him crucified. This is an example of a cultural expectation that conflicted with the current Christian beliefs. The dominant themes of the epistle reflect doctrinal and other problems experienced by this early church group that might be categorized as follows: I. Although some of our issues are much different than what the Corinthians faced, we can still look to this passage as an example of what freedom in Christ looks like, and how to be other than the world. It’s in our nature. For example, the city hosted yearly festivals in honor of the imperial cult. On the first day of every week, each of you is to put aside and save whatever extra you earn, so that collections need not be taken when I come. Paul testifies to the fundamental basis for a personal conviction of the truthfulness of the gospel and the church of Christ. Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window), Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window), Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window), Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window), Click to share on Tumblr (Opens in new window), Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window), Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window), Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window). First, Paul must deal with the damage in his relationship the Corinthian church (2 Corinthians 1-7) . The Apostle Paul wrote it about 56 A.D. There is much for the … We should focus on the things we have been called to do. Gentile converts were not required to follow the Jewish laws, but the polytheistic lifestyle of their culture proved challenging. Date of Writing: The Book of 1 Corinthians was written in approximately A. D. 55. I took a class two years ago called Introduction to Kinesiology talking about the origin of sports and competition. For the present form of this world is passing away. First Corinthians 12-14, then, comprises one section focused on a single theme. The gentiles and Jews were not required to do without their culture as long as the gospel was not compromised because of it. What Was the Problem with Food in 1 Corinthians 8:4–8? Paul’s initial ministry is in the agora, working at a tentmaker. Be their photographer? Potentially the church is turning the Lord’s Supper into a Roman-style banquet, something which extremely dangerous from Paul’s perspective (11:17, 27-32). In fact through sufferings our hearts … Paul’s initial ministry is in the agora, working at a tentmaker. I Corinthians. Using the words of Paul, this theme is, "Fleeing from Sin." 1 Cor. Or who tends a flock and does not get any of its milk? Discipleship Spills Over into All Areas of Life. Unless otherwise noted, the Scripture quotations contained herein are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, Copyright © 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A., and are used by permission. First Corinthians is made up of a series of issues arising from a report delivered to Paul from the household of Chloe as well as responses to a letter from the church asking about several questions about faith and practice. Turn back to Exodus 12. Their priorities at the time may have been a bit skewed, hence why there was the need for Paul’s address. 7:20-24     Let each of you remain in the condition in which you were called. Although he faced some opposition from the synagogue, the Lord comforted Paul in a dream, telling him there were many in the city who will respond to the Gospel (Acts 18:9-11). Sometimes we live of the world instead of in it, and sometimes it’s the other way around. 12:4-11     Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone. THE MAIN PRINCIPLES OF 1 CORINTHIANS. In Roman society Christians faced this on a different level, and Paul came to the conclusion that because they know that the idols don’t exist, they are allowed to eat the food that was sacrificed, unless it offends another believer they are with whom Paul refers to as the “the weak” (TTP 123) (1Cor. All these are activated by one and the same Spirit, who allots to each one individually just as the Spirit chooses. What is the Mark of the Beast? Every believer is gifted by God in concrete ways to be of service to others. He has Masters degrees in Biblical Exposition and Old Testament from Talbot School of Theology (BIOLA) and a PhD in New Testament from Andrews University. CORINTHIANS-1 TOTAL CHAPTERS: 16 CORINTHIANS-1 TOTAL VERSES: 437 TOTAL WORDS: 9,489 DATE WRITTEN: 56 AD AUTHOR: Paul CORINTHIANS-1 THEME: Divisions and Immorality in the Church. 2:1-5        When I came to you, brothers and sisters, I did not come proclaiming the mystery of God to you in lofty words or wisdom. 3:10-15     According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building on it. Paul’s purposes for writing the Corinthians were several. Phillip J. ( Log Out /  Paul’s response to the cultural pressure is that a person is made right “with God by faith in Jesus Christ, not by obeying the law” (Galatians 2:16). In response he writes "Corinthains B", the letter we know as 1 Corinthians. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. Image by 1 Cor. What then is Apollos? 7), food sacrificed to idols and Christian freedom (8:1-11:16), the Lord’s Supper 11:17-34), spiritual gifts (ch. ( Log Out /  Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Paul shows the new Christians in Corinth that all of life's most complex problems can be seen through the lens of the Gospel. We talked a lot about the Isthmian games and my professor taught that Christians were forced to fight in these games until one was killed. Used under license from Veer. In whatever condition you were called, brothers and sisters, there remain with God. Do not be concerned about it. For this reason, the letter of 1 Corinthians is one of the most applicable letters in the New Testament. At what point are you supporting a sin? Participation in these festivals was something a Roman citizen would have associated with loyalty to Rome, a loyalty that the citizens of Corinth took very seriously. All legitimate work should have God’s glory as its goal. 2 Corinthians is made up of two different letters. This is written from Ephesus (1 Cor 16:8) and is apparently sent by the hand of Timothy. The general structure of the literary unit consists in a movement from the general to the particular. 1 … Context and Background of 1 Corinthians Acts 18 gives an account of Paul’s time in Corinth and the intense persecution he faced there. And I came to you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling. In chapters 7-16 Paul deals with questions from the church on marriage (ch. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. What is Paul? They should repent of their rivalries, build up the faith of those who are weak, and witness effectively to unbelievers. Longenecker does talk about how in Corinth, they were still very deeply ingrained in their own culture — so much so that it was difficult for them to get their heads out of a steadfast quest for honor. In 1 Corinthians 8:9 there is a reference to having the “freedom” to eat. Paul may be referring to these sort of elite social connections that some in the church had the right or freedom to attend. Faithfulness is a quality of supreme importance. It’s as you say — 1 Corinthians is an address on how to live as people of God, as believers. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. Everyone is responsible before God for his or her own work. 15) and the collection (16:1-4). (1 Cor. You were bought with a price; do not become slaves of human masters. Paul wrote 1 Corinthians (1 Cor . 1:4-7      I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that has been given you in Christ Jesus, for in every way you have been enriched in him, in speech and knowledge of every kind — just as the testimony of Christ has been strengthened among you — so that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ. To answer your question about Christians being allowed to eat food that is dedicated to a god or the empire, I think about going to a different culture as a missionary and the people I was ministering to dedicated their food to a god before we ate if this were to happen I would not have a problem eating the food, however when the time was right I would want to share with them how my religion differs. ( Log Out /  Can a Christian really participate in a meal dedicated to a god and the Empire as a follower of Christ? I think that when Paul is addressing the difficulty that Corinth is having in conforming to Christianity’s principles, this is one of the more horizontal ways he delivers his message. Do I say this on human authority? They either hate it too much and twist the gospel to hate those who believe differently, or they have salvation but still live as they are part of the world. Believers should use their resources to take care of brothers and sisters in economic hardship. In 1 Corinthians 3:3 Paul says the church is “still worldly,” essentially they are still thinking like the people of Corinth, not the people of God. The Corinthian church, divided because of the arrogance of its more powerful members, should work together for the advancement of the gospel. Paul changed one of the cultural expectations for Gentiles who believed Christianity. Introduction. 3:4-9         For when one says, “I belong to Paul,” and another, “I belong to Apollos,” are you not merely human? Image is by no means everything; content matters. © 2014 by the Theology of Work Project, Inc. This is the next theme of I Corinthians, which I am giving today because it fits so nicely. Where is the line drawn? Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. 1 Corinthians challenges believers to examine every area of their lives through the lens of the Gospel. To one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the discernment of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 1 Cor. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. In 1 Corinthians 11:2-16, Paul calls the men and women who were praying and prophesying in the assembly at Corinth to respect culturally relevant gender markers like head coverings, hair lengths, and hairstyles as a way of honoring God and each other. Description: (hide) The messages in I Corinthians, especially those dealing with Christian living and character development, are particularly relevant to us today, answering the question, 'How is a Christian supposed to live and conduct himself in a desperately evil society?' You are free to share (to copy, distribute and transmit the work), and remix (to adapt the work) for non-commercial use only, under the condition that you must attribute the work to the Theology of Work Project, Inc., but not in any way that suggests that it endorses you or your use of the work. Produced by TOW Project, Bible Study: Wednesdays, Oct. 14 - Dec. 16, Theology of Work Project Online Materials, 10 Key Points About Work in the Bible That Every Christian Should Know, Beyond Rank and Power: What Philemon Tells Us About Leadership, Spiritual Resources Available (1 Corinthians 1:4–9), The Need for a Common Vision (1 Corinthians 1:10–17), Status in Church and at Work: Friends in Low Places (1 Corinthians 1:18–31), Christian Leadership as Service (1 Corinthians 4:1–4), Working with Nonbelievers (1 Corinthians 5:9–10), Bloom Where You Are Planted (1 Corinthians 7:20–24), Maintain the Proper Perspective (1 Corinthians 7:29–31), Everyone Gets Their Fair Share (1 Corinthians 9:7–10), God’s Glory Is the Ultimate Goal (1 Corinthians 10), Spiritual Gifts in Community (1 Corinthians 12:1–14:40), Our Work Is Not in Vain (1 Corinthians 15:58), Christians Share Resources with Those in Hardship (1 Corinthians 16:1–3), Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. I also like how you mentioned that this passage is still very applicable today for new believers because of Paul’s main concerns for the Corinthians. 1-4), boasting over a sexually immoral man in the church (5:1-12), lawsuits among believers (6:1-11), and sexual immorality (6:12-20). Read first chapter of 1 Corinthians. Introduction from the NIV Study Bible | Go to 1 Corinthians Corinth in the Time of Paul. Main Themes of 1 Corinthians Paul established the church at Corinth in Acts 18. You pose the question “Can a Christian really participate in a meal dedicated to a god and the Empire as a follower of Christ?” I can definitely understand the struggle. The one who plants and the one who waters have a common purpose, and each will receive wages according to the labor of each. Paul’s responses to the questions are covered in chapters 7-16 (“now about the matters you wrote about,” 7:1). Or does he not speak entirely for our sake? Book Introduction - 1 Corinthians. 1 Cor. The cross is where life begins, where unity starts and peace envelops. But it’s important to note here that Paul writes from a compassionate point of view that it’s sometimes hard to get our heads out of our niche, even when it comes to giving our culture over to Christ as well. If the work is burned up, the builder will suffer loss; the builder will be saved, but only as through fire. WRITER: The Apostle Paul.His relation to the church at Corinth is set forth in Acts 18:1-18 and in the Epistles to the Corinthians.. When he returned to Ephesus he heard of the problems in the church at Corinth and wrote a series of letters to the church.