Paul's life was filled with challenges and difficulties yet in the midst of them all he learned to know God better.
In sorrow and sickness he almost despaired of his life. 1:4-11. He asked for and appreciated their prayers and appealed to their love and sympathy.
The lives of true Christians at Corinth served as letters to recommend both Paul the servant and Christ the Lord.
In Paul's day the teachers of the law carried letters of introduction with them. They were Paul's chief troublemakers who fought him every step of the way. We hear them asking, "Who is this Paul?" "What letters of recommendation from Jerusalem does he have?"
How foolish this question was to Paul. Did he need a letter of recommendation to a church he himself had established? He answers, "You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everybody." 3:2
Living epistles are read when the Bible is not. Our lives are open letters.
What about Christian doctrine and practice?