This letter is from Paul, chosen by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus, and from our brother Sosthenes.

I am writing to God’s church in Corinth, to you who have been called by God to be his own holy people. He made you holy by means of Christ Jesus, just as he did for all people everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours.

May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace.

 

This is the way Paul begins his first letter to the Christians in Corinth.

We shall be focusing on this section throughout the week both in our daily readings and in the Growth Groups.

Read Acts 18:1-17

This letter is from Paul, chosen by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus, and from our brother Sosthenes.

This gives us a tantalising glimpse into what happened when the Church in Corinth was actually started. As usual, Paul began speaking in the Jewish synagogue until he was forced out in an abusive fashion. The synagogue leader, Crispus, became a Christian believer and stuck with Paul. It seems that a new leader, Sosthenes, was appointed and Paul was hauled off to court on the grounds that he was promoting an illegal religion. The court was not impressed, and the case was dismissed – but the new leader Sosthenes was set upon by the mob and publicly beaten up. (Probably an early case of anti-Semitism, which was common in the Roman empire.) But now, several years later, Sosthenes, who seems to have organised opposition to Paul, is publicly identified as a Christian believer and one of Paul’s travelling supporters!

So here were two men, both called by God through suffering, working together to strengthen the Church in Corinth. The fact that Paul names him here may indicate that Sosthenes was the secretary who penned the letter, only for Paul to add his personal signature at the end. (1 Corinthians 16:21)