A Preparatory Prelude

The Apostle Paul wrote two letters to the Saints at Corinth—First and Second Corinthians.

In Second Corinthians he is setting forth three matters related to ministerial conduct and activities. We see something about

This book has to do with the preacher and the problems he faces and feels.

First Corinthians sets forth truth concerning the "Work of the Lord" 1 Cor. 15:58. The apostle, on his second missionary journey, stopped at Corinth and made a lengthy stay of eighteen months of preaching the Word. The result was people were saved, and a church was started. The Church made great progress under Paul's ministry and grew Spiritually. Paul continued on his missionary journey. After some time he received information about what was happening back at the Church at Corinth. Problems had arisen, and things were not going well. The news of the church's condition came to him in a three-fold way:

After Paul heard of these conditions, he described these careless Saints as being "carnal." It means "flesh-like." They were displaying the character of one who lives after the old, sinful, fleshly ways. They allowed the "flesh" to dominate their lives. They lived "after the flesh" Rom. 8:5.

This church was, in plain language, "backslidden." They reverted into this state of conduct by becoming:

The result of their carnal condition led them to criticize the man (Paul) who led them to Christ.

They criticized Paul's motives.

They condemned his methods.

They challenged his authority—Because of their carnal criticism, Paul, in order to defend his godly testimony and to refute their criticism, was led to write Second Corinthians.

They lived indifferently to anything spiritual and were cold-hearted and cold-blooded. This is seen in their public conduct, expressed in: