The Church at Corinth
We learn of the beginning of the church of Christ in the city of Corinth by reading Acts chapter 18. Paul was on his second missionary journey. He came alone to the city of Corinth. Later, Timothy and Silas joined Paul in Corinth.
When Paul came to Corinth, he found a Jewish man and his wife, Aquila and Priscilla. Aquila and Priscilla had been forced to leave their home city of Rome. They came to Corinth where they worked as tent makers. Paul was also skilled in the same trade. He became their business partner. Perhaps Aquila ad Priscilla had become Christians in Rome? Or, perhaps Paul may have taught them the Gospel and baptized them? Anyway, they were Christians and helped Paul to establish the church of Christ in this pagan city.
In Paul’s day, Corinth was a very large city. More than 600,000 people lived there. There were many Greeks, Jews, and Romans in Corinth. Corinth was a very rich city. It was well located, and therefore became a great city of trade and business. Corinth was also a very wicked city. There was a pagan temple Corinth where Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of sex and love, was worshipped. One thousand women, prostitutes, sold their bodies, and gave the money into the temple treasury. This was the way that Aphrodite was worshipped. The people of Corinth were so well known for their sins that it was considered an insult to call someone “a Corinthian.”
At first, Paul preached in the synagogue of the Jews. Many of the Jews refused to believe that Jesus was the Christ. Paul then left the synagogue and began preaching in a house nearby.
Many of the Corinthians hearing believed, and were baptized. (Acts 18:8). Even the ruler of the synagogue, Crispus, became a Christian. Paul remained in Corinth for a year and a half teaching the Word of God. The church was well established during that time. However, Satan does not leave God’s people alone for very long. Soon Paul learned of division, sin, and false teaching in the church at Corinth. To help the church at Corinth overcome these problems, Paul wrote the books of First and Second Corinthians.
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