The Apostle Paul lived a year and a half in Corinth. This letter was written 3 ½ years after he left the city. Corinth was at the center of trade cross-roads and was known for its manufacturing, architecture, painting, and the location of the Greek Olympic games. It was morally degenerate, less refined and less given to discussions of religion and philosophy than Athens, but a better field for the Gospel.
The church was split into factions: Paulites, Apolloites, Peterites, and others Christians. This was an error as the body of believers is to be considered as one body united under its head, Christ. One reason Paul wrote this epistle was to address that problem.
In Chapter 5, Paul focused on a moral sin in the church. Gross immorality had crept into the church and Paul instructed the believers about their responsibility to correct it. “It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and such … as is not even named among the Gentiles….” (vs. 1) The Apostle perceived that there were several principles that the brethren needed to learn and to act upon.
1 Corinthians also teaches us about how to yearly memorialize Jesus' death through partaking of unleavened bread and wine. In chapters 5:6-8; 10:16 & 17; and 11:20-32, Paul identified Jesus as our Passover lamb, that we are one body in Christ, and that we should cleanse (as much as possible) our hearts and lives from sin in order to eat the emblems with solemnity and holiness.
The twelfth chapter recognizes the gifts and talents of believers and how the church is to recognize or honor those having these abilities. A famous chapter is 1 Corinthians 13. This especially beautiful chapter describes agape love. God's love, agape love, is far above gifts, behaviors, and abilities. Prophecies and gifts will fade. Whereas agape will endure forever.
Chapter 15 is the clearest and most detailed account of the resurrection to be found anywhere in the Scriptures. Paul outlines the great plan of God showing the importance of the resurrection, not only for Jesus but also for His church and for all mankind!
The book concludes with some practical admonitions about temporal giving, encouragement to “stand fast in the faith, be brave be strong. Let all that you do be done in love" (16:1), and final salutations of love.