Monday: Paul’s Appeal for Reformation in Corinth

In Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, he expresses great concern regarding their spiritual condition. Many members had drifted from God’s ideal.

Image © Providence Collection from

Image © Providence Collection from

The situation was serious, including sexual immorality that, Paul said, was not seen even among the pagans (1 Cor. 5:1). A whole host of problems arose that Paul had to address. In light of this background, it is not difficult to understand why the Corinthian church needed revival and reformation.

What counsel did Paul give the Corinthians regarding their spiritual lives? What is the main idea in the following texts? 1 Cor. 6:19-209:24-2713:1315:1-227-28.

The apostle Paul urged them to steadfastly hold on to their faith and make God’s glory the primary goal of their lives. He reassured the Corinthians of his love and assured them that the power of God was greater than any temptation they faced (1 Cor. 10:13).

How did the Corinthian church respond to Paul’s counsel? 2 Cor. 7:8-12.

Paul was overjoyed with the Corinthians’ response. Although he still had concerns, he wrote, “I rejoice that I have confidence in you in everything” (2 Cor. 7:16, NKJV). What a change. In his first letter to the Corinthians, Paul chastised them as “carnal.” In his second letter he expressed complete confidence in their new experience with God. The Holy Spirit brought the Corinthians spiritual renewal. This revival brought a corresponding reformation. Reformation led to changed habits, changed lives, and changed relationships. The Corinthians still faced spiritual challenges. They had their share of trials, but they made significant advances in their Christian faith. Revival and reformation are not some panacea to solve all of our spiritual problems. They are part of an ongoing faith journey.



Monday: Paul’s Appeal for Reformation in Corinth — 14 Comments

  1. They are part of an ongoing faith journey. I fully agree, The dictionary says: turning over a new leaf, which takes a life time, sometimes. Like you state it's a journey. Not an over nite change.

  2. revival and reformation is individual decision as in the race is one's victory, dont allow yourself to lose

  3. The Corinthian church was a church with practices of immorality, idolatry, lawsuits, divisions, abuse of the Lord's supper and even the gift of tongues. In spite of all these negative connotations, the people were made sorry after a godly manner and they repented and were reformed when Paul chastised them of their shortfalls. The letter Paul wrote to them is like unto us today a pastor on a pulpit preaching to us. The question is how do we respond to the prompting of the holy spirit? The Corinthian church, despite their deeply in grained habits, they made significant advance in their christian faith. A GREAT CHANGE HAPPENED: WHAT ABOUT US.

  4. I need some help to understand this statement. 'Revival and reformation are not some 'PANACEA' to solve all our spiritual problems. They are part of an ongoing faith journey'.
    I for one thought that when you are revived and reformed, you become a new person in Christ. Your old manner of life is done away with. Your spiritual life is quickened and awakened. Your Old habits, practices, customs, ideas and theories are also done away with. Christ becomes the Shepherd of your life. Now, if Christ becomes the Shepherd of your life, how can He not solve all the problems of your spiritual life? He Himself says, I am the Way Truth and Life, no one comes to my Father except by Me.You have accept Christ as your Lord and Saviour allowing His Spirit to guide you in your day today life.

    Israel when she walked not according to the will of God, she was ever given to her enemies, but when she got to her senses and did the will of God, God;s favour returned to her and victory was assured- Meaning she had to reform from that which the Lord detested.
    Please help. Thanks

    • Interesting question and comment Renford. The term Panacea comes from Greek mythology and implies universal remedy. A situation or thing that solves a multitude of problems. Since is a big problem, one that no man or angel could fix except for Christ himself. I do agree with you completely revival and reformation are not the solution to the sin problem, it is Christ within us that does the work and is the remedy we need. Reformation and revival are the manifestation of a process going on within you. They are part of the journey we take with Christ. If we delude ourselves into thinking that we are done if we think revival and reformation have been achieved we have missed the point. The work will be done only on that day of the Lord.

    • I agree with you bro Renford. When we are revived and reformed by Christ we indeed become new creatures. When we try to revive or reform ourselves we make a bigger mess than when we started. Our focus must be on the One who works these processes more than the processes themselves. However, in the context of the controversy with satan we must consistently choose to focus on Christ and His power to save us from temptation, His forgiveness for our failing to remain in consistent relationship with Him and His power to change our sinful habits ... As He did for the Corinthians.

    • Hi Renford,

      I think the author could have expressed himself better. 😉 In the context I believe what is meant is that even if we are revived (spiritually alive) and reformed (living in obedience), our spiritual path will not be strewn with rose petals. 😉

      Revival implies a connection with Jesus Christ, because He is the only one who can give spiritual life, and reformation is the visible result of this connection.

      And, really, that is all we can do - "to trust and obey, for there's no other way ..."

      • Hi Inge,
        I have been impressed on positive by the reply you've given. I hence felt like chipping in a bit. Since Paul at one point said that he died daily by mortifying the flesh or the lusts of the world, the writer wnted to draw to us that there is need to be brought back to life(revived) daily and growth in grace( reformation) be edited on a daily basis.

    • Renford, the way I see it is that revival and reformation is designed to get us back on the path from where we have wandered. To me your question is really about sanctification which doesn't happen in a moment or a day - it is a work of a lifetime.

      We can see this in the latter chapters of 2 Corinthians where Paul talks of their adherence to other apostles that have a different gospel (2 Cor 11). It is true that they reformed from the specific problems Paul pointed out in 1 Corinthians but there were other things that also needed to be worked on. Also Peter after he failed miserably in courtyard of the high priest, shortly after repented (Mat 26:69-75), and was restored by Jesus as one of the disciples yet many years later he failed again at Antioch over the same basic issue concerning fear of human authority (Gal 2:11-12).

      Also you might like to consider that Paul says that what changes at Christ' coming is the physical body (1 Cor 15:15-54). He never says that our character changes at the Second Advent. Our character is something that the Holy Spirit works on right up to the end and at that point is taken with us to Heaven. In other words sanctification never actually stops, it is a continual approaching to the perfection that is Christ.

  5. One of the lesson's that I get from the lesson is in the way Paul conducted himself in rebuking and correcting the behavior that Paul saw in the Corinthians. He spoke with love and gave them hope, which which we see in 2 Cor. 7: 8-12 they changed their ways. We ought to take a lesson from this and speak with love with some of the things we see in the church and with our friends and family members. By beginning to understand God and see where he is in our life we begin to change. That was what the Corinthians needed and Paul lovingly reminded them. The question we must ask ourselves is if we put ourselves in the shoes of Corinth and were rebuked by someone we know, as Paul did, would we change or just dig our heels in the ground and bury our head in the sand out of stubbornness? How do we react at those times? How do we call on God to help us see our error and change?

  6. Paul's plea for reform is loud and clear against sexual sins among people who have been called to personify the character of Christ. I pray that the Holy Spirit will empower god's people to win the battle with incest, pornography, homosexuality, adultery, fornication. I pray also that God's people will not conform to the popular acceptance of same-sex marriage.

  7. Bottom line: as HE said in John 15:5, I am the vine ye are the branches: he that abideth in me, and I in him. We need the remember to hold on to that VINE for our guide and our salvation.
    See you ALL in heaven.

  8. Edited

    Hi brethren, I do really appreciate your responses to my concern. From the context of others, this calls for sanctification till we reach glorification.
    God bless you all as we enlighten one another in these spiritaul matters. All responses given are highly valued.

  9. I think the phrase and point behind that is that even if we may have revival and reformation, we do not stand immune from perplexities. Since revival and reformation are a process,the author is saying they are not the only solution. In other words once we have put the foot in the door,we need not remain there, but develop further from there and reach out to other remedies to other situations,which we can obtain in God. We need to get back to God as He is all in all where there are all solutions to every situation.

    A different point altogether, I am impressed by the thought that, these bodies we have are loaned to us and we have to treat and maintain them in the specification of the owner. Also that these bodies loaned to us are residency of one member of the God Head and if we live according to His will and not defiling His dwelling place we will have the heaven representative with us all the time. That is the greatest revival and reformation in our lives.


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