So much is misunderstood by believers regarding their standing "in Christ" that they often look on the challenges and regular temptations in life from the wrong perspective. The church at Corinth was such an example of a group of believers that had allowed their natural tendencies to dictate their priorities and overall life direction. This had a direct impact on the local church shortly after Paul had left when the initial church had been established. The account of Paul's first visit to Corinth is in Acts 18 where he worked for a year and a half getting the church established "…teaching the word of God among them." After he left for Ephesus, it appears that it did not take long for issues to arise in the church to which Paul sent a letter. This letter we do not have (mentioned in 1 Cor. 5:9), but later Paul received news of dissension in the church and also questions they had for him to address. These issues provide us with several practical matters that we face as churches and individuals to this day. It is interesting to note that Paul begins this letter by clarifying their position as "saints by calling" because they had been "sanctified in Christ Jesus". This will be the starting point for us as well. We must face the same types of challenges, realizing the essential realization we are to have of who we really are before God in Christ.
Much of what we will cover in this study will hit us "close to home". Issues such as misdirected religious quarrels, self-will, unaddressed sinful allowances, moral purity, marital issues, selfishness and assurance will be dealt with at length. As with all Scripture, we must come at this with a heart and mind poised to submit and obey, realizing our ongoing need to have our pride kept in-check and our perspectives on life refocused.