One thing we are most concerned about when considering the welfare of the church today is how to deal with apostasy. True, we are concerned about the general decay in society, the lawlessness of our age, and the utter contempt for that which is good. When this spirit is expressed in the church by disregard for the Scripture, by demanding the right to violate God’s law and go unpunished, and by scoffing at the faithful who follow God’s ways, we become very much concerned. This is apostasy in the church. The book of Jude deals with this important subject.
This letter of Paul is rich in pastoral concern. The church of Corinth had need of the sheperdizing presence of Christ. There were many sins in that church that cried to the God of righteousness. The faithful members must have been discouraged with their brethren. Paul himself must have sighed more than once when he learned of the sins committed by the membership.
4. Sexual sins condemned and instruction given regarding marriage, (I Cor. 6:12-7:40). In this section Paul deals with two basic issues.
We have learned from chapter 12 that the apostle has given us an indication that he intends to put down the overemphasis on tongue-speaking as it was practiced in the church of Corinth. This is seen in the fact that he mentioned it last in the list of Spirit-filled gifts (I Cor. 12:8-10). He pointed out that not all the members of the church should expect to receive it (I Cor.
This is the second letter that Paul wrote to the church at Corinth. The first epistle was written from Ephesus while Paul labored there on his third missionary journey. He had heard from the congregation of Corinth by means of a letter brought to him personally by members of the church. They had need of counsel, and his first letter contained the message which the Spirit would speak unto the church. It naturally concerned many problems in the church. It was written in warm pastoral counsel accompanied by urgent warnings to correct evil.
Paul continues to explain to the Corinthians his joy in the affect which his former letter had upon them.
12. The Holy Spirit is present in the church of Corinth (7:1-16). The apostle Paul introduces this section with a reminder of the need for spiritual cleansing, both external (in deed) and internal (in attitude). vs. 1. He becomes jubilant as he deals with the Corinthian church. He urges them to make room in their heart for him as he has them in his heart, (vss 2-3). Unashamedly and frankly, he tells them of his joy and confidence in hearing from Titus of their repentance. This was great comfort and consolation for him (vss. 4-6).
This letter that Paul wrote to the Philippian congregation reflects the love which they enjoyed one for another. Though Paul is in prison and about to die, he rejoices before God in the mutual bond of love which prevailed as the gospel of Christ was preached to them and others.
The outline sets forth in some detail how Christ gathered the church during the years immediately following the presence of the Holy Spirit. Let us now examine some of the distinctive features of this book.
This letter to the church at Colosse is closely related to the one to the church at Ephesus. They were written about the same time and under the same circumstances. Even the thoughts are very similar. There are differences however. Colossians is more polemical, it deals with combating error, while Ephesians concentrates upon encouragement and teaching. The polemics of Colossians deal with a specific heresy that plagued that congregation, while Ephesians has a broader application.