Paul was sent with a purpose to spread the word of God to unbelievers. While he was in Corinth, he spoke of Gods word to the Jews and Gentiles. At this time, Jesus was crucified, by the Romans. But for many Corinthians, the Romans were the good guys. So, Jesus must be to blame for his own crucifixion. After all, he was a seditionist, keeping company with zealots, undermining the imperial health and tax systems, proclaiming the in-breaking of an alternative empire. To say otherwise would be foolishness. But, says Paul, God chose what is foolish to shame those who think they are so wise. God chose the weak to shame the strong. God chose the low and despised to reduce to nothing those who think they are something (1 Cor. 1:27)
Paul argues that God used the Roman equivalent of the lynching tree and character assassination. God used the cross on which a person was displayed to the world naked and helpless, emasculated and left to die for hours, mocked, beaten, and crying out for mercy under the unforgiving desert sun. God used this moment of utter dehumanization and death in the name of peace and security to shame all of the powers, all of the wisdom, all of the philosophers, and of the mighty of the first century.
He explained how Christ crucified is the foundation of all our hopes, the fountain of all our joys. And by his death we live.
Paul’s preaching of salvation for lost sinners by the sufferings and death of the
Son of God, was explained and faithfully applied, but appeared foolishness to those in the way to destruction. To them it was foolishness, because it required spiritual discernment (1 Corinthians 2:14); and, on the other hand, human wisdom is foolishness with God (1 Corinthians 3:19). It shows the heroic character of the faith of Paul that he deliberately preached the doctrine of the cross because he felt that therein lay the conversion and salvation of the world, although he was well aware that he could preach no truth so certain at first to revolt the unregenerate hearts of his hearers. To the Jews during this time, "the cross" was the tree of shame and horror; and a crucified person was "accursed of God”. To the Greeks the cross was the gibbet of a slave's infamy and a murderer's punishment. There was not a single association connected with it except those of shame and agony. The thought of "a crucified Messiah" seemed to the Jews a revolting folly; the worship of a crucified malefactor seemed to the Greeks "an execrable superstition”. Yet Paul did not seek for popularity or immediate success, that this was the very doctrine which he put in the forefront, even at a city so refined and so voluptuous as Corinth. And the result proved his inspired wisdom. That very cross became the recognized badge of Christianity, and when three centuries had elapsed it
was woven in gold upon the banners and set in jewels on the diadems of the Roman empire. From the way Paul presents his argument on the issue of speaking in tongues, it seems that some Corinthians expected every Christian to have the same gift when it came to tongues. They doubted the spirituality of anyone who did not have that gift.
That isn't a reasonable way to judge Christianity, Paul tells them. None of these spiritual gifts can be singled out as the one and only test of the Holy Spirit.
In chapters 13-14, Paul tells the Corinthian Christians how to use the gift of tongues. It seems that it was their regular custom to speak in tongues. But tongues had become a problem, enough of a problem for the Corinthians to ask Paul's advice about the situation. For the specific circumstances at Corinth, Paul advised tongue-speakers to pray for the gift of interpretation (verse 13); it is only through interpretation that others could learn something from the sounds (verse 5).
"If there is no interpreter, the speaker should keep quiet in the church" (verse 28). This implies that the speakers were able to control themselves. They had to be