The things that Paul wrote to the Corinthians might well have been written to most congregations of the Church today: problems with division, "preacheritus", cliques, marital faithfulness and sexual morality, Christians going to court, taking the Lord's supper appropriately, and preparing for the second coming of Christ. Corinth was a congregation that Paul knew well, as a father would know a child with all of his strengths and weaknesses.
Corinth was geographically located in a place that would receive people from all walks of life. Corinth was located on the narrow isthmus connecting the Peloponnese with Central Greece. All goods passing via the land route in and out of the Peloponnese had to traverse this narrow neck of land. Customs were charged for passage. Corinth also lay astride open of the main east-west trade routes between Italy and Asia. Many captains preferred to dock at the isthmus, where their vessels, if small, were loaded aboard trolleys and transported the four miles or so to the other side.
Given these and other facts, then, about Corinth's central location, people of all kinds and of all religions came through Corinth on their way to other places. One could hear anything there, almost like the situation of Athens (Acts 17). Paul spends some time in his letter expounding new information as well as some time confuting false doctrines and practices that crept into the church.
B. The confirmation of the Gospel in Corinth
C. "Preacheritis" in Corinth
D. The foolishness of the cross
A. Paul's apprehensive arrival in Corinth
B. God's wisdom hidden
C. God's wisdom revealed
III. Ministers who build the church (3: 1 - 4: 21)
A. The carnality of preacheritis
B. Ministers according to the grace given
C. Men's assessment of ministers invalid
D. Deflating puffed-up "preacheritis"
E. An admonition to beloved children
A. When sin (fornication) was open and there was no guessing as to what had happened
B. Other sinners who must be disciplined
C. On going to law before the unrighteous
D. Things lawful but not expedient
A. Mutual obligations in marriage
B. General principle: remain as called
VI. Christian freedom and idol sacrifices (8: 1 - 11: 1)
A. Walking in love toward the weak
B. Israel in the wilderness: a warning
C. Don't compromise the cup of the Lord
D. "All things are lawful"-but do they edify?
VII. Head coverings and the Lord's supper (11: 2 - 34)
A. Principles involved in veiling the head
B. Propriety and impropriety in taking the Lord's Supper
VIII. The role of spiritual gifts in worship (12: 1 - 14: 40)
A. General information on spiritual gifts
B. Proper evaluation of spiritual gifts
C. Practical use of spiritual gifts in the assembly
A. The resurrection of Christ
B. If Christ be not raised
C. The nature of the resurrected body
A. The collection for Judea
B. Travel plans
C. Final admonitions and greetings
Much of the above material was quoted from New Testament Survey: An Introduction and Survey by the Faculty of Harding University School of Religion. We are grateful for the use of this outline especially.