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Bible Commentaries

Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

1 Corinthians 1

Verse 1

Sosthenes ; Acts 18:17 .

Verse 2

Corinth ; the capital of Achaia, the south part of Greece.

Sanctified in Christ ; Christians.

Call upon the name of Jesus Christ ; pray to him. This was the practice of Christians, and distinguished them from other people. The great peculiarity of Christians, that which distinguishes them from all others, is union to the Lord Jesus Christ by faith. This union leads them to love him, pray to him, and delight to honor him by obeying his commands. It leads them also to love one another, and seek for each other, of the Father and the Son, all needed good.

Verse 3

Grace-peace ; this is a prayer for spiritual blessings, and is addressed equally to God the Father and the Son.

Verse 5

In all utterance , and in all knowledge ; in a comprehensive knowledge of the gospel, and the ability to unfold its doctrines and discourse concerning them with readiness and propriety. It is the constant manner of Paul, even where he has much to censure in a church, to commend it for what he finds good in it.

Verse 6

Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you ; as much as to say, Your utterance and knowledge of the gospel are in accordance with its truth, as it was preached by me among you. For the Corinthians, though deserving rebuke for many things, had not departed from the essential doctrines of the gospel.

By the testimony of Christ is meant the apostle’s testimony concerning him; in other words, the gospel which he preached, as Christ’s witness for the truth. And this was not only preached but confirmed among the Corinthians; that is, it was established, and took root in their hearts.

Verse 7

Ye come behind ; they were inferior to other churches in no spiritual gifts. When called to point out the faults of Christian brethren for the purpose of reforming them, it is wise freely to acknowledge their excellences, and thus by conciliating their minds prepare the way for our efforts to do them greater good.

Verse 8

Confirm you ; establish and keep you in the faith and practice of the gospel.

Blameless in the day of our Lord ; accepted of him, and presented spotless and faultless in the great day. Judges 1:24 .

Verse 9

God is faithful ; to his promises, and will keep you by his power, through faith unto salvation. 1 Peter 1:5 .

Verse 10

By the name of our Lord Jesus Christ ; from regard to him and his cause.

All speak the same thing ; be united, and refrain from contentions.

Verse 11

House of Chloe ; members of her family.

Verse 12

I am of Paul ; they were attached to, and ranged under different men whom they claimed as their leaders, though without their approbation; as if one were better than another, and his followers more holy. This caused divisions among them, which Paul lamented, and endeavored by this epistle to heal.

Apollos ; an eloquent preacher, who had visited Achaia and Corinth after the apostle. Acts 18:24-28 .

Cephas ; the great apostle of the circumcision, whose name the adherents of the Mosaic law would be likely to use.

I of Christ ; the men who said this probably affected a peculiar intimacy with Christ, which raised them above the necessity of following any human teacher: for men may be proud not only of having a particular human leader but Christ.

Verse 14

Crispus and Gaius ; Acts 18:8 ; Romans 16:23 .

Verse 16

The household ; the family. Chap 1 Corinthians 16:15 .

Verse 17

Not to baptize ; as his principal or most important business.

Wisdom of words ; the subtle philosophical speculations and polished rhetoric which so strongly characterized Grecian oratory.

The cross of Christ ; the doctrine of salvation through a crucified Redeemer.

Of none effect ; ineffectual to the salvation of men. The great business of ministers is to preach the gospel; and they should be careful not to muffle it with the drapery of human ornament, lest they prevent its saving effect.

Verse 18

Foolishness ; they cannot discern its heavenly wisdom, and reject it as an absurd scheme, unworthy of their regard.

The power of God ; through which he delivers men from condemnation and ruin.

Verse 19

It is written ; Isaiah 29:14 ; Isaiah 33:18 ; Jeremiah 8:9 .

Destroy the wisdom of the wise ; show that worldly wisdom and efforts could never effect the salvation of men.

Verse 20

The scribe ; the learned man.

The disputer ; the subtle, abstruse reasoner.

Made foolish ; showed it to be folly.

Verse 21

In the wisdom of God ; after he in wisdom had suffered men to make the fullest experiments and show their utter insufficiency.

The foolishness of preaching ; that which those who reject Christ regard as foolishness.

Verse 22

Require a sign ; a sign from heaven, some great and signal display of miraculous power. Matthew 12:38 .

Wisdom ; learned, philosophical, and literary discussions.

Verse 23

Christ crucified ; the doctrine of salvation through a crucified Saviour, as the only foundation of human hope. Acts 4:12 .

A stumbling - block ; because especially the idea of a suffering and crucified Messiah was contrary to all their preconceived notions respecting him. Compare Romans 9:32 ; 1 Peter 2:8 .

Foolishness ; a foolish doctrine, unworthy of their regard. The chief subjects of a minister’s preaching should be the character and work of Christ, and the means of obtaining an interest in his savlation.

Verse 24

Them which are called ; those who are led by the Holy Spirit to see their need of Christ as a Saviour and to believe on him.

Verse 25

The foolishness-the weakness of God ; his way of salvation, which to rejecters appears so foolish and incompetent, is shown by facts to be wise and efficacious.

Verse 26

Ye see your calling , brethren ; in the character and condition of those who preach the gospel, and of those who embrace it.

Not many wise-mighty-noble ; not many who are so considered by worldly men, are called to preach Christ, or led to believe on him.

Verses 27-28

The foolish things of the world-weak things ; those men and instrumentalities in this world which unbelievers regard as foolish and weak. So also base things and things which are despised . Things which are not ; men and instrumentalities which are in the eyes of unbelievers as good as nothing, of no account whatever.

Things that are ; men and systems of philosophy of high repute.

Verse 29

Should glory ; in any man or system of doctrine of man’s invention. The dealings of God in selecting ministers of the gospel and subjects of his renewing grace, are calculated to humble the pride of men and lead them to feel, that for every thing wise, great, or good, and for all their success in doing good, they are indebted to his grace.

Verse 30

Of him ; of the free grace of God, and by the exercise of his power. Psalms 110:3 ; James 1:18 ; 1 John 4:19 .

In Christ ; united to him by faith, and for his sake entitled to receive all needed good. In him therefore they may rejoice, and in him alone, with joy unspeakable and full of glory. 1 Peter 1:8-9 .

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Bibliographical Information
Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 1". "Family Bible New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/fam/1-corinthians-1.html. American Tract Society. 1851.