corner graphic   Hi,    
ver. 2.0.19.03.22
Finding the new version too difficult to understand? Go to classic.studylight.org/

Bible Commentaries

Joseph Beet's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament
1 Corinthians 1

 

 

Other Authors
Verse 1

SECTION 1. — PAUL'S GREETING TO, AND GRATITUDE FOR, THE CORINTHIAN CHRISTIANS CH. 1:1-9

Paul, a called apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother, to the church of God which there is at Corinth, men sanctified in Christ Jesus, called saints, with all who call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ in every place belonging to them and to us. Grace to you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

I thank my God always about you, for the grace of God given to you in Christ Jesus, that in everything you have been enriched in Him, in all utterance and all knowledge, according as the testimony of the Christ took a firm place in you; causing you not to fall short in any gift of grace, at the same time waiting for the revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ; who will also make you firm until the end, unimpeachable in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is God, through whom you were called to partnership with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

1 Corinthians 1:1. Paul, called apostle, Christ Jesus: Romans 1:1. Paul belonged to Jesus of Nazareth, the Anointed One, as one sent by Him on a special mission to men and thus placed by Him in the first rank in His Church: Acts 26:17 f; 1 Corinthians 12:28.

Through the will of God. 2 Corinthians 1:1; Ephesians 1:1; 2 Timothy 1:1; more fully, 1 Timothy 1:1. As usual, Paul rises from the Son to the Father, whose will is the source of whatever Christ has done, and therefore of Paul's apostleship. Cp. Galatians 1:4. In this letter Paul will be compelled to use his apostolic authority. He therefore begins by reminding his readers that he received this authority by an express summons, and by the will of God.

Sosthenes: joined with Paul as joint author of the Epistle, or rather as sanctioning its contents. So “Timothy,” in 2Co., Php., Col.; “Timothy and Silvanus,” in 1 and 2 Thess.; “all the saints,” in Galatians. The close connection of Timothy and Silvanus with the church addressed, moved Paul to join their names with his own. Sosthenes, however, is quite unknown to us. (The same name in Acts 18:17 is small proof or presumption of identity.) But he was evidently known to the Corinthians. And, doubtless, Paul had reasons for intimating in this way that he approved the contents of the Epistle. He may have been Paul's penman. But this would be no sufficient reason for his mention here; any more than Tertius, Romans 1:1; Romans 16:22. Nor is it proved by his mention here. For it is not likely that two penmen were needed for the Epistles to the Thessalonians: nor could that to the Galatians be written down by “all the saints with” Paul.


Verse 2-3

1 Corinthians 1:2-3. The church: see below.

Of God. 1 Corinthians 10:32; 1 Corinthians 11:16; 1 Corinthians 11:22; 1 Corinthians 15:9. As church members they stand in a special relation to God. Cp. 1 Thessalonians 1:1; 2 Thessalonians 1:1.

Which there is etc.: emphatic assertion that at Corinth there is a church of God.

Sanctified in etc.; made objectively holy; see Romans 1:7. Subjectively, some of them were very unholy: 1 Corinthians 3:3; 2 Corinthians 12:21. This reference to the objective holiness of the whole church, implies that in Christ Jesus refers to what took place objectively in the historic and personal body of Christ. By giving Him to die and raising Him from the grave and to heaven, and by proclaiming the Gospel through His lips, which Gospel they had accepted, God claimed these Corinthians for His own; and thus placed them in a new and solemn position, in which, even in spite of their unfaithfulness, they now stood. Cp. Hebrews 10:10.

Called saints: Romans 1:7; Romans 8:28. After reminding them that they were members of the church of God, and that, in the historic facts of the death and resurrection of the Anointed Jesus, God had claimed them for His own, Paul reminds them that it was by a special summons that they had been brought into the solemn position in which God's claim placed them. This three-fold description of their position is specially appropriate at the beginning of a letter written mainly to correct behavior altogether inconsistent with their holy calling.

With all that etc.] To others besides the Corinthians, Paul writes. To call upon Jesus in prayer, was to confess that He is Lord and Christ and was therefore a distinctive mark of a Christian. It also made prominent the Name of Him addressed. Hence the full emphatic title. Cp. Romans 10:13.

Belonging to them, i.e. to the Christians at Corinth; goes naturally with the preceding words in every place, giving to these a definite reference. Otherwise the Epistle is addressed to all Christians everywhere; which its contents makes very unlikely. The above simple reference is supported by the equivalent “in all Achaia,” 2 Corinthians 1:1. There were probably other churches in Achaia, e.g. Cenchreae, (Romans 16:1.) some founded perhaps by Paul himself during his sojourn at Corinth, and others by the efforts of the Corinthian Christians, which looked up to the metropolis of the province as their mother, and thus belonged spiritually to the Christians at Corinth.

To us: reminds us that these daughter-churches belonged also to Paul and his colleagues, both as being within the divinely marked limits (2 Corinthians 10:13-16) of their labor and as directly or indirectly the fruit of it. The added words remind us again of Paul's apostolic authority, which he will soon be compelled to use.

Us; may include Paul's colleagues, Timothy, Silvanus, etc.; or, for reasons unknown to us, Sosthenes; or may be somewhat indefinite, as in Romans 1:5.

Grace and peace: Romans 1:7.


Verse 4

1 Corinthians 1:4. I thank: Romans 1:8. Although this letter was written, with many tears, (2 Corinthians 2:4,) to reprove and correct, Paul's first thought, as he begins it, is gratitude. For, in spite of the gross immorality (1 Corinthians 5:1; 2 Corinthians 12:21) of some and the spiritual childishness (1 Corinthians 3:1 ff; 1 Corinthians 5:2) of the church generally, a great work had been done by God at Corinth. And this good work Paul thinks of and acknowledges before he begins to find fault.

My God: Romans 1:8.

Always: 1 Thessalonians 1:2; 2 Thessalonians 1:3. Gratitude for the work done at Corinth and elsewhere was to Paul an abiding habit of mind. He cannot say “about you all,” as in Romans 1:8; 1 Thessalonians 1:2.

Grace given to you. Cp. Romans 1:5 : not the general favor with which God smiles on all the justified, as in Ephesians 1:3, but His special favor shown to the Corinthians in the gifts mentioned in 1 Corinthians 1:5. So Romans 12:3; Romans 15:15. Consequently, in Christ is also subjective, denoting that inward spiritual contact with Christ through which we personally receive God's favor and the various undeserved gifts it moves Him to bestow. This implies the objective sense found in 1 Corinthians 1:2; but is distinct from it. Through the death and resurrection of the historic Jesus, and through personal contact with His Spirit, God's favor shines upon us.


Verse 5

1 Corinthians 1:5. That in etc.; specifies “grace given.” In everything 2 Corinthians 9:11 : limited, like all universals, by the writer's mental horizon; (see under Romans 5:18;) and here expounded by all utterance and all knowledge, which include all the spiritual capacities needed for church progress.

Enriched: Romans 2:4; Romans 9:23; Romans 10:12; Romans 11:12; Romans 11:33; 2 Corinthians 6:10; 2 Corinthians 8:2; 2 Corinthians 8:9; 2 Corinthians 9:11, etc.

In Him; repeats “in Christ Jesus;” and thus lays stress upon the truth that all real wealth comes through spiritual contact with Him.

All knowledge: mental comprehension of the truth in all its aspects.

All utterance: ability to speak forth the truth in all the modes needful to convey it to the various sorts of men. These gifts seldom go together in one man. But he who possesses either of them is an enrichment to his church. And the church which possesses, in its various members, these gifts in a special degree is truly rich.

Utterance is put first as the more conspicuous. [The R.V. were enriched gives to the indefinite tense a definite reference which does not belong to it. See The Expositor, 1st Series vol. xi. p. 296.]


Verse 6

1 Corinthians 1:6. Testimony of the Christ: 2 Timothy 1:8 : probably Paul's witness about the Messiah. Cp. Acts 1:8, “You shall be my witnesses.” For Paul thought, probably, of Christ more frequently as the great matter than as the preacher of the Gospel. That Paul's preaching is here called a testimony, agrees with the Epistle to the Romans, of which the argument rests on five unproved assertions which Paul accepted because they came from the lips of Christ. See my “Romans,” dissertation i. 3.

Took-a-firm-place: same word in Romans 15:8; (cp Romans 4:16;) there objectively, here subjectively. “The testimony was fully believed by you, and thus became an immovable conviction in you.

According as etc.] Their enrichment in utterance and knowledge was a result proportionate to their firm belief of the Gospel. For, a firm grasp of the great foundation truths enables us to make progress in all Christian knowledge, and to speak out suitably, clearly, and forcefully the word we have believed.

1 Corinthians 1:7. So that etc.: result of their firm faith, and therefore a negative parallel to “in everything you have been enriched.”

Fall-short: Romans 3:23; 1 Corinthians 8:8; 1 Corinthians 12:24; 2 Corinthians 11:5; 2 Corinthians 11:8; 2 Corinthians 12:11 : in view either of others who have more, or of our own need. Here, probably the latter. It is the exact opposite of enrichment.

Gift-of-grace; Romans 1:11, (see note,) Romans 12:6; 1 Corinthians 7:7; 1 Corinthians 12:4; includes all spiritual gifts wrought by the favor of God. All such are capacities for spiritual growth, and for usefulness to others; and are therefore spiritual wealth. No such capacity was lacking to the church at Corinth. And these gifts were a result of their firm faith.

Revelation of etc.: 1 Peter 1:7; 1 Peter 1:13 : the sudden uplifting, at the great day, of the veil which now hides our Master from our view. Spiritually, He is already (Galatians 1:16) unveiled to us. Since the appearance of Christ will be an outward objective fact, He is said (Colossians 3:4) to be “manifested:” since He will be actually seen by all, His appearance is also a revelation. See under Romans 1:17; Romans 1:19.

Waiting for: Romans 8:19; Romans 8:23; Romans 8:25. They already possessed spiritual gifts which were a proof of God's favor: while at the same time they were eagerly looking forward to that day when Jesus will visibly appear to bring in the final glory. These added words remind us that the Christian life is essentially a looking forward to future glory. All present enrichment is but an earnest of the better things which Christ, at His coming, will bring.


Verse 8

1 Corinthians 1:8. Who also etc.: another blessing which will follow. The spiritual wealth already received can be retained, and our expectations fulfilled, only by the stability which day by day Christ will give. Cp. Romans 16:25; 2 Corinthians 1:21.

Make-you-firm: same word as in 1 Corinthians 1:6. They in whom the Gospel has a firm place, are themselves immovable. These words must be understood in harmony with Romans 11:20, etc., which teaches that continuance in the Christian life depends upon continued faith, and implies the possibility that faith may fail, even finally. But this does not prevent us from cherishing a firm confidence of the final salvation of ourselves and others. Cp. Philippians 1:6.

To the end; of the present state of probation, whether ended by death or by the coming of Christ. So 2 Corinthians 1:13; Hebrews 3:6; Hebrews 3:14; Hebrews 6:11.

Unimpeachable in the Day etc.: so that they will then (Philippians 1:10) lie open to no charge (Romans 8:33) such as will exclude them from the Kingdom.

The Day of our Lord Jesus Christ: 1 Corinthians 5:5; 2 Corinthians 1:14; Philippians 1:6; Philippians 1:10; Philippians 2:16; 1 Thessalonians 5:2; 2 Thessalonians 2:2. To the day of Christ's return the early Christians looked forward, as Israel did ages before to the “Day of Jehovah,” (Joel 1:15; Joel 2:1, etc.,) i.e. to the day when Jehovah would rescue His people and punish the wicked. To stand unimpeachable (cp. Colossians 1:22 f) in the Day of Christ, is to obtain the glory which He will bring.


Verse 9

1 Corinthians 1:9. Faithful (1 Corinthians 4:17) is God: 1 Corinthians 10:13. Again, as in 1 Corinthians 1:1, Paul rises from the Son to the Father; and supports the assurance of 1 Corinthians 1:8 by an appeal to the character of God.

Partnership: 1 Corinthians 10:16; 1 Corinthians 10:18; 1 Corinthians 10:20 : same word in Romans 15:26 f. Already (Romans 8:16 f) we are sharers of the sonship of Christ: and therefore those kept “to the end” will share the Firstborn Son's inheritance of glory. For this, they were (Romans 8:29) predestined and called. Cp. Revelation 3:21. Notice the emphatic and repeated title in 1 Corinthians 1:7-8, culminating in the fuller title here.

Through: Romans 1:2. The gospel call (1 Corinthians 1:2) is not only always said to come from the Father as its source, but comes to us by His immediate activity, sending His Son to announce it and raising Him from the dead to prove that the call is divine. Cp. Galatians 1:1. “All things are from Him and through Him,” Romans 11:36. This call, given to us by the agency of God Himself, implies that His faithfulness is a pledge that Christ will give us the stability needful to obtain that to which we are called.

Approaching the Corinthian Christians, in whom he has much to blame, Paul reminds them that by an express summons, by the will of God, he has been placed in the first rank of the servants of Christ. He thinks proper to add that in what he is about to say, Sosthenes agrees with him. He remembers the dignity of his readers as members of the church of God; that, through the death and resurrection of Christ, they have been claimed by God to be His own; and that, like his own apostleship, this claim was conveyed to them by a divine summons. Nor does he forget that other churches around look up to that at Corinth as their mother; churches which belong to him as well as to them. To the mother and her daughters he sends greeting from the common Father and the common Master.

Although writing to them in tears for their unfaithfulness, it is ever in Paul's mind that he has at Corinth cause for gratitude to his God. The church there has evident marks of the favor of God. The Gospel they have firmly believed has made its members rich in knowledge of the Will of God and in ability to declare it. In no gift needful for spiritual progress are they behind. They are looking forward to the appearance of Christ. And Paul cherishes a hope resting on the faithfulness of God that Christ will keep them steadfast to the end.

Notice that Paul speaks first in 1 Corinthians 1:2, of the objective holiness of the Corinthian church arising from the divine call which has gathered them together and made them a church, a holiness belonging to all Christians alike; and then, in 1 Corinthians 1:4-7, of their own special subjective development in the Christian life.

The word CHURCH represents a common Greek word, Ecclesia, or “calling out;” from which we have “ecclesiastic,” etc., and the French “eglise,” etc. The ecclesia was the assembly of the free citizens of a Greek city, summoned by herald to discuss and determine matters of public interest. The word was also used for any public assembly, whether regular as in Acts 19:39 or occasional as in Acts 19:32; Acts 19:41, where we have the same word. It is often used in the LXX. for the regular gatherings of Israel, in reference either to the event, or to the people gathered together. Cp. Deuteronomy 9:10, “in the day of the assembly;” also Psalms 22:23 with Hebrews 2:12; 1 Kings 8:65; Deuteronomy 23:1-3, 1 Chronicles 28:2; 1 Chronicles 28:8; Nehemiah 13:1, where we have the “church of the Lord,” “of God;” and Judith 6:16; Judith 14:6; Sirach 15:5; 1 Maccabees 4:59. Similarly, in Acts 7:38 it denotes the nation of Israel assembled in the wilderness.

This name, familiar both to Greeks and Jews, but with different associations was chosen by the followers of Jesus for their frequent gatherings, for mutual edification and for joint-worship: cp. 1 Corinthians 11:18; 1 Corinthians 14:19; 1 Corinthians 14:28; 1 Corinthians 14:34 f. It then came easily to denote a company of believers in the habit of thus meeting together. This naturally included all professed Christians living in one city. But even small assemblies, parts of larger churches, and held in private houses, were called churches; as in 1 Corinthians 16:19, etc. The totality of believers in even the largest cities is spoken of as the one church of that city; but those living in different cities of one country, as (1 Corinthians 16:1; 1 Corinthians 16:19) “the churches of Galatia,” etc. The only exception is Acts 9:31, “The church throughout all Judea.” This local sense is that of three-fourths of the cases in which the word is found in the New Testament.

Paul assumes always that all church-members are justified, sons of God by faith, sealed by the Holy Spirit, 1 Corinthians 6:11; 1 Corinthians 12:13; Romans 5:9; Romans 5:11; Galatians 3:26; Galatians 4:6; and never urges them to obtain these blessings. This does not imply that there were no false or weak brethren; but certainly implies that these blessings are the present privilege of all followers of Christ.

In a few sublime passages, Ephesians 1:22; Ephesians 3:10; Ephesians 3:21; Ephesians 5:23-32; Colossians 1:18; Colossians 1:24; Hebrews 12:23, the Church denotes all those who are savingly united to Christ; and therefore includes, we may hope, many not in outward union with the professed people of God, and excludes some who are. Some of these passages include the church triumphant.

The word refers sometimes to a particular church as representing the conception of the universal church, 1 Corinthians 10:32; 1 Corinthians 11:22; Acts 20:28; in 1 Corinthians 12:28, to the whole community of believers, at whose head God placed the apostles, and whom (1 Corinthians 15:9; Galatians 1:13; Philippians 3:6) Paul formerly persecuted.

To sum up: The word church denotes either the totality of professed followers of Christ living in one place, organized under its own officers and probably meeting together if practicable for edification and worship, or a smaller assembly included in the larger one and meeting for the same purposes, or the totality of the justified children of God, visible only to His eye, now in part on earth in part within the veil, but destined to be forever the glorified bride of Christ. In a few cases it denotes a particular church as representing the whole community of believers; and once the community as a whole.


Verse 10

DIVISION I

ABOUT THE CHURCH-PARTIES CHAPTERS 1:10-4.

SECTION 2 — HE HAS HEARD OF THEIR DIVISIONS CH. 1:10-17A

But I exhort you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ that you may all speak the same thing, and there may not be among you divisions, but you may be fully equipped in the same mind and in the same opinion. For it has been declared to me about you, my brothers, by them of Cloe, that there are strifes among you. I mean* (* Or, say.) this, that each of you says, I am a follower of Paul, but I, of Apollos; but I of Cephas; but I, of Christ. Christ has been divided. Was Paul crucified on your behalf? Or, for the name of Paul were you baptized? I thank God that not one of you I baptized, except Crispus and Gaius; lest any one should say that for my name you were baptized. And I baptized also the house of Stephanas. For the rest I do not know whether I baptized any other. For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to announce good news.

This Epistle is a reply to a letter from Corinth (1 Corinthians 7:1) asking advice on sundry matters. But other matters more serious than these and apparently not mentioned in the Corinthian letter, Paul has heard of, and must deal with, before he begins to answer these less important questions. Of these more serious matters, he mentions first and at great length the church-parties. This subject he introduces in § 2, by an exhortation to harmony, 1 Corinthians 1:10; tells them what he has heard, 1 Corinthians 1:11-12; shows its impropriety, 1 Corinthians 1:13; and expounds his own contrary conduct, 1 Corinthians 1:14-17 a.

1 Corinthians 1:10. Brothers: exact term used for the sons of one human father. Paul supports his earnest and affectionate appeal (Romans 15:30; Romans 16:17) by mentioning that one great Name (1 Corinthians 1:2, cp. Romans 1:5) which awakens in all Christians the deepest emotions of love and gratitude, which all Christians profess and seek to exalt among men, and which should be a bond of union to the universal church.

Speak the same thing: opposite of “each of you says etc.,” 1 Corinthians 1:12.

Divisions: separations arising naturally from expressed differences of opinion.

Fully-equipped: quite ready for use or service: akin to “thoroughly furnished,” 2 Timothy 3:17. Same word in Romans 9:22,

“made-ready for destruction.” It is frequently used of that which has been damaged, and thus made unfit for use: e.g. Matthew 4:21, “mending their nets;” Ezra 4:12, “set up the walls.” It was used by the Greeks for the removal of faction in the state: e.g. Herodotus, bk v. 28.

The same mind: same mental faculty of looking through (Romans 1:20) things seen to their inward essence, naturally leading to the same opinion (1 Corinthians 7:25; 1 Corinthians 7:40) in matters of detail. Only those churches and Christians who are filled with a spirit of harmony and who look at the various details of church life in the light of an earnest desire for the general good, are fully equipped for their work and conflict.


Verse 11-12

1 Corinthians 1:11-12. Reason for the above exhortation. Paul introduces his charge by an expression of affection, my brothers, even warmer than that of 1 Corinthians 1:10. Both Cloe and the relationship to her of them of Cloe, are quite unknown. Paul's mention of them implies that they were willing for it to be known that they had given this information. This was no small test of their good faith.

Strifes: natural result of “divisions.”

Each of you. The fault was universal.

Apollos: Acts 18:24 to Acts 19:1. His complete personal concord with Paul, 1 Corinthians 16:12 reveals.

Cephas: an Aramaic name denoting “rock” or “stone,” given (John 1:43) by Jesus to Simon. “Petra” is its Greek equivalent, and is so used (LXX.) in Jeremiah 4:29; Job 30:6, where we have a Hebrew form of the same Aramaic word. But, since “Petra” is feminine, the less exact masculine equivalent “Petros” (Peter) is used as the Greek name of the Apostle. The meaning of this name gives force to Matthew 16:18,

“Thou art Rock: and on this Rock I will build my church.” This sense is reproduced, though not accurately, in the French version “Tu es Pierre, et sur cette pierre etc.” In Paul's epistles the name Peter is found twice, Galatians 2:7-8; Cephas, eight times, Galatians 1:18; Galatians 2:9; Galatians 2:11; Galatians 2:14; 1 Corinthians 1:12; 1 Corinthians 3:22; 1 Corinthians 9:5; 1 Corinthians 15:5. That a party in Corinth, a Greek city called itself by an Aramaic name, suggests that its members were chiefly Jews, and that probably they prided themselves in the name so solemnly given and expounded by Christ.

This verse refers to a matter well known to the Corinthian Christians; but known to us only by difficult and uncertain inference from 1 Corinthians 1:10 to 1 Corinthians 4:8, and from a few scattered and doubtful references elsewhere. As we come to each reference we will examine the evidence it affords. This evidence we will gather together at the end of DIV. I.; and try to obtain thus a view, necessarily imperfect, of these church-parties.

From this verse we learn that at Corinth there were four parties, calling themselves by four names; and that to one or other of these parties all the church members belonged. That Paul puts all the parties side by side, proves that all were to blame, even the last. That Paul is mentioned first, then Apollos, suggests that the parties arose in the order here given. That Cephas was a party name, is no proof that Peter, any more than Christ, had actually preached at Corinth. The Aramaic name suggests that the party was founded by Jews who appealed to the authority of Peter. Possibly something Peter had said or done (cp. Galatians 2:11) may have been misconstrued for their own purposes by unscrupulous partisans. One party had dared to inscribe on its banner, in token doubtless of assumed superiority, the name of Christ.


Verse 13

1 Corinthians 1:13. Christ has been and is divided, suggesting by “of Christ” but applicable to all the parties; and showing their sad result. All the parties, even that which prided itself in His Name, had been practically tearing to pieces the Master they professed to serve; and continued to do so. Christ shows Himself, and speaks, to men, and works out His purpose of mercy, through the lives and lips of His people, who are His body, (1 Corinthians 12:27,) and His representatives. The practical influence of Christ upon the world is proportionate to their oneness of aim and effort: for this oneness is evidently not human but divine. Consequently, whatever divides Christians, lessens Christ's influence upon the world; by presenting to men a practically mutilated, and therefore comparatively ineffective, Saviour. The practical identity of Christ and His people will often meet us. Cp. 1 Corinthians 12:12, “So also is Christ.”

With good taste Paul chooses his own name as an example of the impropriety of making men heads of church-parties. The evident surprise of this question betrays the infinite difference, in his view, between Christ's death for men and the deadly peril to which Paul constantly exposed himself for the salvation of men. This difference can be explained only by the great Doctrine of Romans 3:24-26.

On your behalf: Romans 5:6.

Crucified, baptized: the greatest events in the history of the church, and of the individual; (cp. Romans 6:3;) and most closely connected.


Verse 14

1 Corinthians 1:14. I baptized none of you: a beautiful trait of Paul's character. Most preachers delight to take a prominent part in the public reception of their converts. But Paul saw the danger of this, as tending to exalt the preacher in men's eyes. He therefore purposely (1 Corinthians 1:15) and systematically placed himself on such occasions in the background. Cp. Acts 10:48. This he could well afford to do because of the greater honor, given to him, of preaching the Gospel and thus leading men to Christ. He wished men to think, not of the successful preacher, but of Him whose professed servants the baptized ones were. How different was the aim of those who wrote Paul's name on the banner of their party! Paul thanks God for his own conduct. For every good action is prompted by God, and enriches the actor.

Crispus: Acts 18:6-8. The conversion of the ruler of the synagogue with his whole family was doubtless an era in the founding of the church at Corinth.

Gaius: Romans 16:23. That he was “host of the whole church,” suggests that he, like Crispus, was a man of importance. And, though souls are of equal worth to God, yet the accession of these men was so important in its influence upon others that Paul thought fit to make them an exception to his usual custom, and himself baptize them. For, like all wise men, he was prepared, when special circumstances made it expedient, to deviate even from a good custom.


Verse 15

1 Corinthians 1:15. Purpose of Paul's abstinence from baptizing, viz. to prevent the supposition that the baptized ones stood henceforth in some special relation to himself, i.e. to prevent what had actually happened at Corinth.

Any one: within or without the church.

Should say: in contrast to “each of you says,1 Corinthians 1:12. It is possible that Paul had noticed at Corinth a tendency to hero-worship, and to guard against it had been specially careful to keep himself in the background.


Verse 16

1 Corinthians 1:16. Another exception in Paul's custom.

House: Matthew 10:13; Matthew 12:25 : the household, including wife, children, and servants. The family of Stephenas, as of Crispus, (Acts 18:8) joined its head in accepting the Gospel: 1 Corinthians 16:15. Perhaps even before Paul came they were like Cornelius (Acts 10:2) who “feared God with all his house.” The importance of the conversion of this family, which was the beginning (1 Corinthians 16:15) of the church in Achaia, moved Paul to baptize it personally, and perhaps all together. Stephanas seems to have been (1 Corinthians 16:17) one of the bearers of the letter to which this Epistle was a reply. How little we know the interesting memories awakened in Paul's mind by the names of Crispus, Gaius, and Stephanas!

That Paul is said to have baptized the three households of Lydia and the gaoler (Acts 16:15; Acts 16:33) and Stephanas, has been appealed to in proof that he baptized infants; on the ground that these three families probably contained infants, and that when Paul baptized the household he must have baptized the infants. But that these three persons, one a woman in business of whose husband nothing is said, had infant children, is far from certain; and is a very unsafe basis for argument. Nor does the phrase, baptized the house, make it certain that the infants, if there were any, were baptized.

For we are told (John 4:54) that the courtier of Capernaum “believed, himself and his whole house:” so did (Acts 18:8) Crispus and probably (Acts 16:34) the gaoler: Cornelius (Acts 10:2) “feared God with all his house:” the house of Stephanas was (1 Corinthians 16:15) a firstfruit of Achaia. But this by no means implies that in these five homes there were no infants, or that the infants believed the Gospel or feared God; but simply that those capable of understanding the Gospel believed it.

Just so in reference to baptism. Paul's readers knew whether he was accustomed to baptize infants. If he was, they would infer that in these cases he baptized the infants, if there were any. If he was not, they would interpret his words to mean that he baptized all who were of suitable age. We are told expressly that three entire households, one (John 4:53) probably containing servants, believed the Gospel. Even now it sometimes happens that a whole family seeks admission to the church. And such cases must have been far more frequent when the Gospel was first preached. No doubt other families besides that of Cornelius were groping their way towards the light, and were ready to hail its appearance. Consequently, these passages render no aid to determine whether the apostles baptized infants.

Dr. Whedon, under Acts 16:34, supposes that all the gaoler's household were infants (!!!), and that their faith was implied in his. Under Acts 16:15, he quotes approvingly Dr. Schaff, who asserts five cases of baptized households and in proof quotes passages of which two are seen in a moment to be actually against him. Dr. S. adds: “It is hardly conceivable that all the adult sons and daughters in these five” (he ought to have said three) “cases so quickly determined on going over with their parents to a despised and persecuted religious society.” I understand him to mean that the fact that the household was baptized makes it inconceivable that it contained adult children. But we are told that three men believed with “all” their houses: and we cannot conceive this to mean that the faith of infants was implied in their father's faith. Schaff and Whedon say that the baptized households are “given merely as examples:” but of this they give no proof whatever.

I do not know etc.; implies that Paul's practice had not been so strict as to exclude the possibility of other exceptions. His uncertainty is not inconsistent with the divine authority of the New Testament. The Holy Spirit did not think fit to quicken his memory in this matter to the point of certainty. But this uncertainty, which Paul acknowledges, does not imply uncertainty or error in matters of which he speaks with confidence.


Verse 17

SECTION 3 — HIS OWN PREACHING AT CORINTH LAID NO CLAIM TO HUMAN WISDOM CH. 1:17-2:5

For Christ sent me … to announce good news; not with wisdom of word, lest the cross of Christ be made an empty thing. For the word of the cross, to those indeed who are perishing, is foolishness: but to those who are being saved, to us, it is a power of God. For it is written, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise ones: and the understanding of the understanding ones I will set aside.” (Isaiah 29:14.) Where is the wise man? where the scribe? where the disputant of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For, since amid the wisdom of God the world did not by means of the wisdom know God, it pleased God by means of the foolishness of the proclamation to save those who believe. since both Jews ask for signs and Greeks seek wisdom: but as for us, we proclaim Christ crucified, to Jews indeed a snare, and to Gentiles foolishness; but, to the called ones themselves, Christ, God's power and God's wisdom. Because the foolish thing of God is wiser than men. and the weak thing of God is stronger than men. For, look at your calling, brothers, that not many are wise according to flesh, not many powerful, not many well-born. But the foolish things of the world God has chosen, that He may put to shame the wise ones: and the weak things of the world God has chosen, that He may put to shame the strong things: and the low-born things of the world and the despised things God has chosen, the things which are not; that He may bring to nought* (* Or made of no effect.) the things which are: in order that no flesh may exult before God.

And from Him you are in Christ Jesus, who has become wisdom to us from God, both righteousness and sanctification, and redemption, that, according as it is written, “He that exults, let him exult in the Lord.” (Jeremiah 9:24.)

And for my part, when I came to you, brothers, I came not according to superiority of word or wisdom announcing to you the mystery of God. For I did not judge fit to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. And I, in weakness and in fear and in much trembling I was with you. And my word and my proclamation were not with persuasive words of wisdom, but with proof of the Spirit and of power; that your faith may not be in men's wisdom but in God's power.

At this point Paul seems to turn away from the matter of the factions, which he has touched only for a moment, to discuss the powerlessness of human wisdom and the divine power of the Gospel. But we shall soon see that throughout DIV. I. he has the factions in view; and that he now rises from them to discuss great principles, in order to bring these principles to bear upon this detail of church life. For a similar mode of argument, but on a smaller scale, see Romans 14:13-21. He thus makes a transitory matter at Corinth a pattern for similar matters in all ages. The application of the argument of § 3 to the factions at Corinth is to us partly obscured by our ignorance of their exact cause and circumstances. It will, however, become clear to us that their real cause was an overestimate of human wisdom, an error common to at least the parties of Paul and Apollos; and that by proving the powerlessness of human wisdom Paul strikes at the root of the whole evil.

In justifying himself for baptizing so few, Paul has appealed to his commission by Christ. He now makes this commission a starting point for dealing with the relation of the Gospel to human wisdom; a matter which he discusses in §§ 3, 4. At the end of § 4 he brings the results of his discussion to bear upon the matter of the factions.

1 Corinthians 1:17 b. Wisdom of word, or (same as in 1 Corinthians 1:5) of utterance: a skilful way of putting a matter, so as best to attain the speaker's purpose. Cp. 1 Corinthians 2:4; 1 Corinthians 2:13. The good news which Christ sent Paul to announce was not clothed in skilful speech.

An empty thing: barren of results. Had the Gospel been set forth with clever reasoning, its results might have been attributed to the skill of the preacher. If so, the superhuman power, which through the death of Christ operates on men, would have been overlooked. And, if so, it would have been shorn of results: for the blood of Christ saves in proportion as its saving power is recognized. Therefore, in order that His own death might not become a mere incident in the story of the past, like that of Socrates, but might be crowned with results, Christ committed to Paul a message not clothed in skilful speech.


Verse 18

1 Corinthians 1:18 expounds the motive contained in “lest the cross etc.” by telling us the fullness of which “the cross of Christ” might be “emptied” if announced with skilful speech. The death of Christ owes its results, not to anything which commends itself to human wisdom as suitable to attain its end, but purely to God's power operating upon men through Christ's death. And the cross is effective in proportion as this power is recognized. Now whatever might seem to aid the cross would claim a share of its victory, and thus obscure the unique and divine power to which alone the whole victory is due. Therefore, acting under the direction of Him who “sent” him, Paul refuses the aid even of human eloquence.

Since the Gospel is a power of God, it must needs appear foolishness to those who do not experience its power. For the power of God is beyond our comprehension: and all means beyond our comprehension seem to us unfit to attain any good result; for we cannot see the connection between the means and end. Consequently, superior wisdom has often, at first sight, the appearance of folly.


Verse 19

1 Corinthians 1:19. Begins a defense and proof of 1 Corinthians 1:18, by quoting almost word for word (LXX.) Isaiah 29:14, which refers probably to the invasion of Sennacherib, Isaiah 36:1. The statesmen of Judah had sought to protect their country by an alliance with Egypt. And, but for the covenant of God, which made it an act of rebellion against Him, such alliance would have been their best defense, and therefore a mark of political wisdom. But God made this wisdom practically worthless, and in this sense destroyed it, by bringing against Judah the armies of Sennacherib and thus placing the nation in a position in which all political wisdom was powerless to save. And, as Paul's readers knew, by His own power God wrought salvation in a way most unlikely. Now, in 1 Corinthians 1:18, Paul said that the Gospel, which to many seemed utterly unfit to do any good, was nevertheless a power of God to save. It might be asked, How can this be? The story of Sennacherib tells us, and thus removes the improbability of 1 Corinthians 1:18. And the constancy of the principles of God's administration, and the fact that every divine deliverance is a pattern of the great deliverance, make the words of Isaiah a prophecy of the gospel salvation. But the chief force of this quotation lies in 1 Corinthians 1:20-24, which prove that in the Gospel this ancient prophecy has been actually fulfilled, on a far larger scale than in the days of Sennacherib.

Understanding: Romans 1:21 : the faculty of putting together, and reading the meaning of, facts and phenomena around.

Wisdom: see note below: the noblest kind of knowledge, used as a guide in action.


Verse 20

1 Corinthians 1:20. Where is Wise-man? where is Scribe? where is Disputant? triumphant questions (cp. 1 Corinthians 15:55, Romans 3:27) suggested in form perhaps by Isaiah 19:12; Isaiah 33:18; but prompted by the complete failure of human wisdom to bring salvation.

Scribe: literally “man of letters,” “Scripture-man:” a class of Jews devoted to the study of the Scriptures, 2 Samuel 8:17; 2 Chronicles 34:13; Ezra 7:6; Ezra 7:11; 2 Maccabees 6:18; Matthew 7:29; Matthew 17:10. Cp. Matthew 23:34, “prophets and wise men and scribes;” Matthew 13:52. Also, among the Greeks, an officer of the state Acts 19:35, “town clerk;” Thucydides, bk. vii. 10, iv. 118. It is used here probably in its common Bible sense of “student of the Jewish Scriptures.”

Disputant; refers probably to Greek men of learning, among whom discussion had a large place. If so, wise-man includes Jewish scribe and Gentile disputant.

This age: see Romans 12:2 : the complex realm of things around us except so far as it submits to Christ, looked upon as existing in time, and for a time. The unsaved are “sons of this age,” Luke 16:8; Luke 20:34 : for all they have and are belongs to this present life. Contrast “the coming age,” Luke 18:30; Ephesians 2:7; Hebrews 6:5.

The world: see 1 Corinthians 5:10 : the complex total of things around us, looked upon as now existing in space.

The wisdom of the world: the best knowledge possessed by those who belong to the world around, looked upon as a practical guide of life.

Has not God etc.; answers, by a question recalling a matter of fact, the previous questions; and justifies their triumphant tone. It introduces 1 Corinthians 1:21, which proves that the prophecy of 1 Corinthians 1:19 has been fulfilled in the gospel and that the assertion of 1 Corinthians 1:18, to support which the prophecy was quoted, is true.

Made foolish: equivalent to “destroy the wisdom,” 1 Corinthians 1:19. How God did this, is explained in 1 Corinthians 1:21.


Verse 21

1 Corinthians 1:21. Since the world knew not God: a fact which moved God to save by … the proclamation.

Amid the wisdom of God: surrounded by the works of creation, all which, from the little flowers under our feet to the great orbs of heaven, are embodiments and witnesses of the wisdom of God. And before many of Paul's readers (for the world includes Jews, 1 Corinthians 1:22) lay open the pages of the Old Testament on which God had written His wisdom in still plainer characters. Paul has no need to say whether by means of the wisdom refers to the wisdom of God or of man. For to know God by means of wisdom is to lay hold by the human faculty of wisdom of the divine Wisdom revealed in Nature, in social life, and in the Scriptures; and thus to make wisdom the avenue of approach to God.

Did not know God: contrast Romans 1:21. They knew Him (1 Corinthians 8:2) as existing and powerful; but not “as one must needs know” in order (John 17:25; John 17:3) to have “eternal life.” They did not know the love which is the very essence of His nature. For this is known only (Matthew 11:27; Romans 5:5; Ephesians 3:18 f) by Christ's revelation. And, not to know that God loves us, is not to know God. Notice the marked contrast, in the wisdom of God and not by means of the wisdom. God's wisdom was all around them; but was not to them a channel of knowledge of Himself.

It pleased God; suggests that the choice of the instrument was prompted only by the kindness of God.

The proclamation, of the heralds of salvation: see Romans 2:21. This, taken by itself, as a mere spoken word, is utterly unable to save. Therefore, looked upon as an instrument of salvation, it is an embodiment of foolishness. And God chose it that the very insufficiency of the instrument might show forth the might of Him who by a mere word spoken by human lips could rescue believers from the grasp of sin and death. Just so Samson's weapon (Judges 15:15) proclaimed by its ludicrous insufficiency the infinite power of the Spirit of God. Notice the double failure of human wisdom. It was unable to read God's name as written in Nature, and pronounced that to be foolishness which He chose as the instrument of salvation.

This verse proves the assertion implied in the question of 1 Corinthians 1:20 b. By saving men after man had failed to obtain through the avenue of wisdom that knowledge of God which brings salvation, by saving them with an instrument which to man's best wisdom seemed utterly inadequate, God made man's wisdom worthless as a means of salvation; and thus “made it foolish,” and “destroyed” it.


Verses 22-24

1 Corinthians 1:22-24. Develops, and thus confirms 1 Corinthians 1:21; 1 Corinthians 1:22 develops “the world knew not God;” 1 Corinthians 1:23, “the foolishness of the proclamation;” 1 Corinthians 1:24, “to save those who believe.”

Ask for etc.: in their disputations with Christians.

For signs: agrees with John 4:48; Matthew 16:4.

Signs: evidently something different from, and yet as the same word (2 Corinthians 12:12; Romans 15:19) implies similar to, the miracles actually wrought by Paul. They probably asked for a visible appearance of Christ in glory and power, such as would dispel all doubt about His Messiahship.

Wisdom: see note below.

Seek wisdom: constant habit of their nation, and specially prominent in their treatment of the Gospel. They demanded, as proof that Christ was worthy to be their teacher, that He should expound the mysteries of being and reveal the great principles underlying the phenomena around.

Proclaim: as heralds.

Snare: see Romans 11:9. That He who claimed to be the Anointed One actually died a criminal's death, was a trap in which the Jews were caught: i.e. they rejected Jesus because He was crucified. Cp. Romans 9:33; Galatians 5:11; Matthew 11:6; Matthew 13:57; 1 Peter 2:8.

Foolishness: as, from the point of view of human intelligence, utterly unsuited to attain any good result. The announcement, as a means of salvation, of that which was to the Jews a reason for rejecting Jesus and to the Greeks seemed altogether unfitted to do any good, was the foolishness of the proclamation.”

The called ones: they in whom the proclamation rejected by others has proved itself to be a summons from God. See under Romans 8:28. Cp. Clement of Alexandria, Stromata i. 18: “While all men have been called, they who were minded to obey received the name of called ones.Christ is God's power because through the objective and historic birth and death of Jesus, and through inward subjective spiritual union with Him, God stretched out and stretches out His mighty arm to rescue those who obey the divine summons. Similarly, “the word of the cross is the power of God,” 1 Corinthians 1:18; Romans 1:16 : for through the word the power operates. Christ is God's wisdom because through Him, objectively and subjectively, God reveals the eternal realities underlying the present life and world, and His own eternal purpose in which with infinite skill the best means are chosen for the best ends. Cp. 1 Corinthians 2:7; Colossians 2:2.

The facts and teaching of 1 Corinthians 1:22-24, Paul's readers admitted. These prove the concise statement of 1 Corinthians 1:21, and justify the triumphant statement in 1 Corinthians 1:20 that the prophecy quoted in 1 Corinthians 1:19 has been fulfilled in the Gospel. Thus, from the facts of his own day, read in the light of an ancient prophecy, Paul has proved the statement of 1 Corinthians 1:18, and justified the motive given in 1 Corinthians 1:17 b.


Verse 25

1 Corinthians 1:25. After proving the facts of 1 Corinthians 1:18, Paul now accounts for them by comparing God and men.

The foolish-thing of God: that which belongs to God, but which to men seems foolish. Whatever comes from God is guided by infinite wisdom, and is therefore wiser, i.e. better fitted to attain a good end, than are men, with all their skill, to attain their ends. Now the means chosen by one wiser than ourselves often appear to us foolish, simply because our ignorance prevents us from seeing their suitability. Therefore, if we admit God's superior wisdom we shall not be surprised that He uses means which to us seem foolish. Nor need we be surprised that His instruments seem to us, and in themselves are, weak. For, in the hands of the Almighty, the weakest instruments are capable of producing results far surpassing all that man can do.


Verses 26-29

1 Corinthians 1:26-29. Apart from proof, the assertion of 1 Corinthians 1:25 commends itself at once as indisputable. But Paul thinks fit to support it by another fact in addition to those of 1 Corinthians 1:21-24. He thus gives a second proof from matters of acknowledged fact of the chief teaching of § 3, viz., that the Gospel is not an appeal to human wisdom. This he has already proved by pointing to the impression and effect of the Gospel on different kinds of men, believers and unbelievers. He will now prove it by pointing to the class of men which most readily accepts the Gospel.

Your calling: the gospel call, looked upon as actively operating. Since it comes from God, it is “His calling,” Ephesians 1:18 : but, as the means of our salvation and the ground of our hope, it is “our calling,”

Ephesians 4:1; Ephesians 4:4. “Contemplate in its operation the gospel call in which you have heard the voice of God.” With characteristic good taste Paul does not say “not many of you,” which is sufficiently indicated by your calling. These words imply that some of the early Christians were men of education and influence; an interesting coincidence with Romans 16:23; Acts 18:8; Acts 13:12; Acts 22:3.

Wise according to flesh; i.e. in reference to the needs and pleasures of the present life, which are determined by the constitution of the human body. See note under Romans 8:11. It is the “wisdom of the world,” 1 Corinthians 1:20; “of this age,” 1 Corinthians 2:6.

Powerful: men with influence arising from office, wealth, or natural talent.

1 Corinthians 1:27-28. A contrast to “not many wise,” and a description of those in whom chiefly the call had been effective. The Greek neuter, foolish things, suggested here by similar words in 1 Corinthians 1:25, looks at the object without considering whether or not they are personal. It refers frequently to what are in fact persons. So Luke 1:35, “the Holy Thing;” Galatians 3:22; John 6:37. The persons referred to here are looked upon simply as objects of God's choice, and as coming under the general principle of 1 Corinthians 1:25.

The foolish things of the world: uneducated men, who before they believed the Gospel belonged to the world.

Chosen: see note under Romans 9:13. The reception of the Gospel chiefly by the lower classes (1 Corinthians 1:26) arose from its very nature. It is good news of a deliverer. But every kind of earthly good tends to make us unconscious of our need, and independent of divine help. Intellect, education, rank, and wealth, so precious when laid on the altar of God, yet, by promising to supply of themselves our need, tend to keep men from accepting the Gospel. Cp. Romans 11:9. On the other hand, misfortune and want have led many to cry to God for help. In full view of this, God chose an instrument of salvation which He foresaw would appeal with greatest force to men in humble positions. Now the early converts to Christianity were God's agents for spreading it through the world. Therefore, by choosing as the instrument of salvation a message which He knew would commend itself chiefly to the uneducated, the obscure, and the low-born, God chose these for Himself to be His representatives to the world and His agents for setting up His kingdom. Cp. James 2:5.

That He may put to shame etc. That for the more part God selected as His agents unlearned men, was a stern rebuke to those who trusted in learning; and was designed to be such. The weak things, the strong things, recall “not many powerful.”

Chosen: three times, emphatically asserting that the social position of the early converts was by God's deliberate choice. Put-to-shame (twice,) and bring-to-nought, lay stress upon the further purpose of this choice.

Things which are not: a climax, things practically the same as though they had no existence.

Bring-to-nought: 1 Corinthians 2:6; 1 Corinthians 6:13; 1 Corinthians 13:8; 1 Corinthians 13:10 f; 1 Corinthians 15:24; 1 Corinthians 15:26; 2 Corinthians 3:7; 2 Corinthians 3:11; 2 Corinthians 3:13 f; Luke 13:7 : same as make-of-no-effect; see Romans 3:3.

Things which are: whose existence seems to be a power, and therefore a reality. By choosing as His instruments things reckoned to be nothing, and passing by things reckoned to be much, God made the latter to be practically nothing. The neuter forms are maintained throughout 1 Corinthians 1:27-28, perhaps because of the principle asserted is true both of men and things.

A broad general statement of God's purpose in putting the Gospel in a form which would appeal chiefly to men in humble position. Cp. Ephesians 2:9.

No flesh: see Romans 3:20.

Exult, or boast: a favorite word almost peculiar in the New Testament to Paul, and very common in these two epistles, also Romans 2:17; Romans 2:23; Romans 5:2 f, Romans 5:11; Galatians 6:13 f; Philippians 3:3; 2 Thessalonians 1:4; James 1:9; James 4:16. It denotes a rising or gladness of spirit which has always in view the object, external or internal, which called it forth, and which is ever ready to express itself in words. It thus combines the meanings of rejoice, exult, and boast.

Before God: who watches perishing flesh and blood lifting itself up because of something man thinks he can do.

Argument of 1 Corinthians 1:26-29. Evidently the Gospel has been successful chiefly among the humbler ranks. And the reason is that the possession of earthly good makes men less anxious for the heavenly gifts offered in the Gospel.

All this God foresaw, and took up into His plan, in choosing the Gospel to be His instrument of drawing men to Himself. It is therefore correct to say that He deliberately chose for Himself these men of humble rank. For He might have put the Gospel in a form which would have attracted chiefly the learned; as did the teaching of Plato. Now the uneducated and obscure men were, as agents for the spread of Christianity, both foolish and weak. Consequently, that God chose them and gave them success, proves that even foolish and weak things, in the hand of God, are able to achieve results altogether beyond the utmost power of man. It also proves that the Gospel and its results must not be measured by the standard of human wisdom.


Verse 30

1 Corinthians 1:30. Stands in a relation to 1 Corinthians 1:26-29 similar to that of 1 Corinthians 1:24 to 1 Corinthians 1:21-23, declaring what Christ actually is to His people. 1 Corinthians 1:27-28 say what God did that men may not (1 Corinthians 1:29) exult in themselves: 1 Corinthians 1:30 says what God has done in Paul's readers that they may (1 Corinthians 1:31) exult in Him.

You are etc.: cp. 1 Corinthians 6:11.

In Christ: see Romans 6:11. “Christ is the element in which you live and from which you draw your life.”

From Him: from God, the source of all inward union with Christ. For, salvation and all that pertains to it has its origin in the Father.

Who has become etc.] In those who dwell in Christ, Christ dwells; and in proportion as His presence fills and rules them are they full of divine Wisdom. Having Him they have a key which unlocks the mysteries of God's eternal purpose of mercy, and of the present life: and, knowing this eternal purpose and the eternal realities, they are able to choose aright their steps in life.

From God: emphatic repetition of From Him. He who gave Christ to be the element of our life also gave Him to be in us as our wisdom. These references to wisdom prepare the way for § 4.

Righteousness: as in Romans 1:17.

Sanctification: the impartation of objective and subjective holiness. See notes, Romans 1:7; Romans 6:19. Since Christ died that we (Romans 3:26) may be justified, and (Romans 6:10-11) may live by spiritual contact with the risen Saviour a life devoted to God, and since this purpose is realized in those who abide in Christ, He is to us both righteousness and sanctification.

Redemption: liberation on payment of a price: see Romans 3:24; Romans 8:23. The bondage or evil, from which the redeemed are set free, must in each case be determined by the context. The general statement here suggests deliverance from the material and moral evils and powers around us, from death, and from the grave. So Luke 21:28; Ephesians 4:30. In Christ redemption is already ours. For we are now free in spirit from the powers which once held us in bondage: and the rescue of our body is only a matter of time. And, only in proportion as Christ is the element of our life, are we free. Thus Christ crucified is (1 Corinthians 1:24) to us the power and wisdom of God.


Verse 31

1 Corinthians 1:31. Supports the teaching of the whole section by recalling Jeremiah 9:23 f: “Thus has Jehovah said, Let there not boast a wise man in his wisdom, and let there not boast the strong man in his strength, let there not boast a rich man in his riches: only in this shall there boast he that boasts, to understand and know me, that I Jehovah am doing favor, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth.” That these old words may be now fulfilled, God gave Christ to be the element of our life, and by His presence in us a source to us of righteousness, sanctification, and redemption.

Lord: see under Romans 9:29. Its precise reference here is uncertain and unimportant. For, to boast in the Son is to boast in the Father: cp. Romans 5:11. Perhaps it is better to retain the common New Testament use; and to suppose that Paul refers to our exultation in Him “who has become to us wisdom.” The exact reproduction of these words in 2 Corinthians 10:17, suggests that they were often used by Paul, as a concise reference to Jeremiah 9:23.

 


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Beet, Joseph. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 1:4". Joseph Beet's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jbc/1-corinthians-1.html. 1877-90.

Lectionary Calendar
Friday, March 22nd, 2019
the Second Week of Lent
There are 30 days til Easter!
ADVERTISEMENT
Commentary Navigator
Search This Commentary
Enter query in the box below
ADVERTISEMENT
To report dead links, typos, or html errors or suggestions about making these resources more useful use our convenient contact form
Powered by Lightspeed Technology