- Within the Church:
- Confessing Jesus as the Lord before the world.
An early form of official persecution had taken place already in and around Corinth. Certain lapsed believers sought to be allowed back quickly into the fellowship of the Church by claiming that the Holy Spirit had guided them to renounce Jesus, even to call Him accursed, in order to be spared. Saint Paul addresses this by teaching that such a notion is impossible. Paul, in this passage, did not set aside the possibility of forgiveness and restoration of those believers into the fellowship of the Church (for God does forgive sins, and so must we); but nonetheless he firmly corrected their unacceptable excuse and wrong idea.