This week we finish up the book of Romans, read all of I Corinthians and most of II Corinthians.
In the book of Romans we find that Paul's outlining of God's grace through Jesus can be followed as such: 1) God's wrath revealed against the unrighteous (1:18-3:20); 2) God credits righteousness to all (3:21-5:21); 3) The gift of God's righteousness results in righteous living (6:1-8:39); 4) God's righteousness in the case of Israel (9:1-11:36); 5) God's righteousness reflected in the righteous lives of believers (12:1-15:13); and 6) God's righteousness shared by Paul as minister to the Gentiles (15:14-33).
Then we move into I and II Corinthians, both of which were written in Ephesus (16:8), a city on the west coast of today's Turkey, about 180 miles by sea from Corinth. According to Acts, Paul founded the church in Corinth (Acts 18:17), then spent approximately three years in Ephesus. The letter was written during this time in Ephesus, which is usually dated as being in the range of 53-57 AD.
Corinth was the meeting point of many nationalities because the main current of the trade between Asia and western Europe passed through its harbors. Paul's first visit lasted nearly two years and his converts were mainly Greeks. In his first epistle, he mainly concentrates on addressing some divisions in the church, some problems with immorality and teaching about marriage, Christian liberty, worship and resurrection. In between I and II Corinthians, Paul visited Corinth another time (a painful visit) and wrote at least one other letter that is now lost. It would seem that the situation in Corinth was still complicated and Paul felt attacked. He defends himself with some of his important teachings - forgiving others, God's new agreement that comes from the Spirit of the living God, the importance of being a person of Christ and giving generously to God's people in Jerusalem and finally ends with his own experience of how God changed his life.
Here is the schedule:
24, Sunday: Romans 4-7
25, Monday: Romans 8-11
26, Tuesday: Romans 12-15
27, Wednesday: Romans 16 - I Corinthians 3
28, Thursday: I Corinthians 4-7
29, Friday: I Corinthians 8-11
30, Saturday: I Corinthians 12-15
May God add His richest blessings to the reading, the hearing and most importantly, the living out of His Holy Word. Amen.