Paul first arrived in Corinth during 49-50 C.E. The city was still relatively young due to the Romans destroying the old Corinth in 146 B.C.E. The city was not even a century old when Paul first entered and it was only during 44 B.C.E. that Julius Caesar re-established Corinth as a Roman colony.
Corinth at the time was around five times larger than Athens and was the capital of the nearby province called Achaia. The city was strategically located near the narrow isthmus that connected the Peloponnesus to the mainland which in result was a powerful trading area. During the re-establishment of Corinth under the regime of Caesar the population was constructed of various ethnicities making the city very multicultural and diverse. The city was very young not bound by any type of tradition or culture and thus there were a whole mix of individuals who came to Corinth to make a big name for themselves and become successful. A good thing to know is during 49 C.E. alot of Jews that were expelled from Rome migrated to Corinth for a new start.
1 Corinthians 3:5
The whole chapter was written to reprimand the Corinthian church for their immaturity and the pride they had in their own wisdom. Paul highlighted the fact that the Gospel was not reliant in any way to their vain wisdom and it played a part of some of the issues and disputes that arose in the church. Paul starts off the chapter by telling them that he only taught them the principles of the Gospel as they were not ready to receive the full instructions. He goes on to blame the Corinthians for their carnality and not being spiritually strong. This was evident in the fact that they were being distracted by silly disputes because of their worldly needs.
Starting from Verse 5 it is clear to see that the Corinthians had a very warped perception of what a messenger of Christ was. The division occurred because both Paul and Apollo were put up on a pedestal and this caused parties to be formed. Paul uses two analogies to state that Apollo and Paul are nothing more than farmers and ultimately it is God who provides the blessing and growths. He stresses the point that no matter what instrument or tool was used to bring forth the Gospel they are still under the name of God and not their own.
Main points to reflect
One thing we can take from this is that everyone has a part/role to play in bringing forth the Kingdom of God. No matter how big or small the contribution may be, it is still important. The vital thing to remember here is that no one can take full credit for playing their part. It is also important to realize that whatever talents and gifts we have, they are all traced back to God and him alone. Since all these gifts and blessings are given from God It is unthinkable to create division in the church by creating sects and calling yourself by a specific minister for everything we have belongs to God.
Questions to ask yourself
1. Do ever go to church based on who’s...