The Book of 1 Corinthians was Paulís letter to deal with various problems in the church at Corinth. The Christians in Corinth did not expect to receive a letter like that from Paul. They thought that their church was doing well. So they expected Paul to praise them - not to write to them in a strict manner.
The church members discussed why Paul had written such a letter. They had various explanations. One popular idea was that Paul wanted to be in control of their church. Another idea was that Paul always wrote strong letters like that*. Probably, many Christians in Corinth were now worrying that Paul did not still love them*
Nobody in Corinth had been a Christian for more than a few years. They were mostly young people, without much experience. It was hard to be a Christian in such an evil city as ancient Corinth was. Those Christians very much needed mature and capable leaders like Paul to care for them and to pray for them.
Paulís reply was to remind them how he had behaved at Corinth. They knew his character; for 18 months, he had lived among them *. During that time, he and his companions simply taught Godís message to them. He did not try to control anyone; he did not use anyone for his own advantage. They all knew that; they had seen everything that he did. He lived with them; he was willing to risk his life or even to die with them.
When Paul reminded the Christians of these things, he was not trying to accuse them. He simply wanted them to remember his love for them. He had been absent from them for a few years, but that love had not changed. In fact, his love for them was the real reason why he wrote that letter. It was an act of love to deal with their problems. Paul wanted to teach them how they could serve God better.
* See complete article for these Bible references.
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© 2016, Keith Simons.