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- 1 Corinthians
by L.M. Grant
Down through the centuries the epistles to the Corinthians have become two of the most neglected books of the New Testament despite the fact that certain portions, such as 1 Corinthians 13:1-13 - the love chapter, are familiar to professing Christians everywhere. The thrust of their ministry is corrective, and they center around the vital topics of order and discipline in the Assembly Of God and of ministry that truly builds up the body of Christ. Man, as a rule, does not appreciate correction. The problems grappled with in their incipiency in these epistles by the Spirit of God have since then grown and developed and congealed and hardened as men displaced the divine patterns with patterns of their own.
The universality of the order taught in these books is repeatedly stressed therein. Yet men have dismissed much of this as applicable solely to conditions in the bawdy, bustling seaport of Corinth in the 1st Century A.D. Perhaps nowhere else in the New Testament have Christians been more free with blue pencil and scissors, deciding which portions of these books to retain, value, and stress, and which portions to discard as irrelevant or impractical for contemporary conditions.
In view of all this, one would welcome these Comments on both First and Second Corinthians, written straightforwardly from the standpoint that God says what He means and means what He says. No apologies are made to pressure groups ancient or modern, whether judaizing legalists, radical freethinkers, feminists, charismatics, or whatever other cloak these self-styled apostles would approach under. Brief and concise, these comments attempt to explain. rather than to explain away what God has said in this portion of His holy Word. May God use them to help settle, stablish, and satisfy His dear people in the sufficiency of the truth of His Word.
Eugene P. Vedder, Jr.
This epistle deals with practical order, activity, and discipline in the Church of God, and therefore is addressed to the collective company, which is held responsible for the maintenance of unity and godly order. Individual respon-sibility in connection with the assembly is seen in such epistles as those to Timothy and Titus; but we must remember that the saints of God are not merely units: they have a collective unity for which all are collectively responsible. Matters in Corinth that were not orderly are the occasion for the writing of this Epistle, which is largely corrective. Where is it not needed today?
the Week of Proper 19 / Ordinary 24