Lessons From Paul's Time In Corinth

  • Tuesday, September 6, 2011

    What would you do if your travels took you to Las Vegas, a city reported to be full of sin and sinful people? What would you say to the people living there? How would you support yourself? Where would you go to interact with the people there? How long would you linger?

    The city of Corinth in Greece was, according to reports, much like today’s Las Vegas in our country. Because Corinth was a city that saw lots of people just passing through in those days, as does Las Vegas today, it was full of opportunities to participate in many of the things which Scripture tells us to avoid. However, as we learned in Acts, the record of Paul’s travels, he didn’t run from the sinful people. We’re told Paul was in Corinth for over a year. And, because people on the move were often in need of the goods and services related to travel, Paul apparently had a good tent making business. We do know that there was a synagogue in Corinth and Paul often spent time there discussing Christ.

    The parable of the sower and the seed comes to mind when thinking of Corinth. It was a path well traveled and undoubtedly, the seed of the Gospel that Paul sowed was trampled under foot. There was seemingly little chance for the seed to sprout, let alone take root. Yet, we know that God used Paul’s efforts to establish a church in Corinth. It was a church that later would receive letters from Paul with guidance and reassurance.

    So, what lessons are there in Corinth that apply to us today? 

    First, don’t be afraid when God places you in Las Vegas, or New Orleans, or any of the other cities where you feel there is much you want to avoid.

    Second, wherever you are, whomever you’re with, share the Gospel. Tell them of the difference He’s made in your life. Keep speaking.

    Third, remember, you’re never alone. True, as you leave your hotel room in a large city and walk the streets, you may feel as though you know no one. Yet, God is always with you wherever you are.

    Fourth, no one will harm you. Rely on the leading of the Lord as you go about your travels and He’ll watch over you.

    Finally, they’re there. Yes, there are believers in Las Vegas. There are Christians in New Orleans. Look for them and you’ll surely find them.

    Those are the lessons for us from Paul’s time in Corinth. As you go about your day, reflect on these words penned by Frederick F Bruce, one of the founders of the modern evangelical church.

    A crucified deliverer was to Greeks an absurd contradiction in terms, just as to Jews a crucified Messiah was a piece of scandalous blasphemy. But as Paul persisted in preaching Jesus as the crucified Savior and sin-bearer, the unexpected happened: pagans, as well as self-righteous Jews and God-fearing Gentiles, believed the message and found their lives transformed by a new, liberating power, which broke the stranglehold of selfishness and vice and purified them from within. The message of Christ crucified had thus accomplished something which no body of Greek philosophic teaching nor Jewish legalisms had done for them.

    God’s saving power is not the messenger, but is IN the message. Wherever you are, whomever you’re with, share the story of Christ crucified. 


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