The apostle having, by CHRIST’S command, made his abode at Corinth the chief city of Achaia, about a year and half, and having planted a large congregation there, Acts 18:9
, he went forward from thence to preach CHRIST also in other cities of Asia; and after a considerable time being now at Ephesus, as appears from 1 Cor. 16:8, he understood there from some of the household of Chloe, 1 Cor. 1:11, that there originated a division in the congregation. He received a letter also from the Corinthians themselves, 1 Cor. 7:1, wherein they desired advice from the apostle about some troubles arisen in their congregation: to which he answers in this epistle. First therefore, after a short introduction in the first 9 verses of this epistle, he admonishes them in the remainder of the first and in the three following chapters for the dissension that was arisen among them, especially by the pride and curiosity of some teachers, who made a show of their eloquence and human philosophy, and adulterated the simplicity of the Gospel, and despised the same in Paul
. Afterwards he reproves them in the fifth chapter for tolerating an incestuous person in their congregation; and prescribes to them how they shall use ecclesiastical discipline against him and other scandalous brethren. In the sixth chapter he admonishes them that they should not bring the differences which they had with one another about worldly matters before unbelieving magistrates, but that they should end them amongst themselves in a friendly manner, and reproves them because of the fornication which was yet practiced amongst them. In the 7th chapter he begins to answer the question which they had propounded to him in writing, and first concerning the state of virginity and widowhood, and marriage. Afterward in the 8th chapter he treats of the things which were offered to idols. In the 9th chapter of the maintenance of the ministers of the church. In the 10th chapter, again of fleeing from idolatry, and offerings to idols. In the 11th chapter he reprimands certain misuses which were crept in their assemblies, in women’s apparel, and in the use of the Lord’s Supper, and orders that according to CHRIST’S institution. In the 12th, 13th and 14th chapters he speaks of the right use of spiritual gifts, which the Holy Spirit diversely distributed amongst the congregation, and especially of the gift of prophecy, and of foreign tongues. In the 15th chapter he treats of the certainty of the resurrection from the dead, and declares at large how it shall come to pass. And after that in the beginning of the 16th chapter he had spoken of the relief which the Grecian congregations collected for the poverty-stricken believers in Judæa, he concludes this epistle with some exhortations and salutations to them.