In our study of 1 Corinthians chapter one, we will look at the "foolishness of God" which is Jesus Christ. We will look at the practical implementation of the gospel of Jesus Christ into our lives. We will see how knowledge of Jesus is needed to come to salvation but it is by faith that we accept Him as Lord and Savior.
We begin with a little bit of background information concerning the city that was Corinth. This city was the "sin city" of the Roman empire and there were about 400,000 residents in the city during the days of Paul. It was a great commercial center as well as a place where sex had become a religion for people. There was a temple of Aphrodite (the "goddess" of love) there at the time which had about a thousand priestesses which were in fact prostitutes. The city had also been a center of Greek philosophy with its endless discussions and moral relativity but this was in decline at the time of this letter. The church in the city had gotten away from focusing on the work of Jesus Christ and had even come under the influence of the ways of the city itself.
"Paul, called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and our brother Sosthenes," NIV translation
This man Sosthenes had been the synagogue ruler in the city until Paul was seized there and brought before the proconsul of Achaia (see Acts 18). During those events, the Jews had turned on him and beat him which must have led him to join with Paul. Paul describes himself here as a "called" apostle which reminded them that it was God that chose Paul and gave him knowledge as well as a ministry of sharing that knowledge. There were those that were saying that Paul was kind of a lesser apostle than those that were in Jerusalem but Paul reminds them that he, too, was personally called by Jesus.
"To the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be holy, together with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ - their Lord and ours:" NIV translation
Paul addresses this letter to all believers as he realized that we would all face the same type of struggles that they were facing in Corinth. He reminds them and us that we are called to be set apart from many of the things that are around us. We can be in the world but we do not want the world to be in us as was happening to the church in Corinth. He stresses the fact that Jesus is not only our Savior but also our Lord. That means that He is in control of our lives as we willingly trust and allow Him to work through us.