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Bible Commentaries

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged
1 Corinthians 1

 

 

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Verse 1

Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother,

Called to be - [found in 'Aleph (') B G g 5: not in A Delta f, of the oldest manuscripts. Possibly inserted from Romans 1:1; but as likely to be genuine.] Translate, 'a called apostle.' Though vindicating his apostleship, he ranks himself with all the "called" (1 Corinthians 1:2).

Through the will of God - not through my own merit. Paul's call as 'an apostle by the will of God,' while constituting the ground of the authority he claims (cf. Galatians 1:1), is a reason for humility on his part (1 Corinthians 15:8; 1 Corinthians 15:10). In assuming the ministerial office, a man should do so, not of his own impulse, but by the will of God (Jeremiah 23:21). Paul, if left to his own will, would never have been an apostle (Romans 9:16).

Sosthenes - see 'Introduction.' Gallio had driven the Jews who accused Paul from the judgment seat. The Greek mob, who disliked the Jews, took the opportunity then of beating Sosthenes, the ruler of the Jewish synagogue, while Gallio looked on and refused to interfere, being secretly pleased that the mob should second his own contempt for the Jews. Paul probably at this time had showed sympathy for an adversary in distress, which issued in the conversion of the latter. So Crispus also, the previous chief ruler of the Synagogue, had been converted. Saul the persecutor turned into Paul the apostle, and Sosthenes the leader in persecution against that apostle, were two trophies of grace that, side by side, would appeal with double power to the church Corinth.


Verse 2

Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours:

The church of God. He calls it so notwithstanding its many blots. Sectaries vainly anticipate the final sifting (Matthew 13:27-30). 'It is a dangerous temptation to think there is no church where there is not apparent perfect purity. It was enough for Paul, in recognizing the Corinthians as a church, that he saw among them evangelical doctrine, baptism, and the Lord's supper.' It was the Church of God, not of this or of that favourite leader.

At Corinth - a church at dissolute Corinth-a paradox of grace!

Sanctified (consecrated, set apart as holy to God) in (by union with) Christ Jesus. There is no Greek for "to them that are;" translate simply, 'men sanctified,' etc.

Called to be saints - rather, 'called saints,' saints by calling, all professing members of the church. As "sanctified in Christ" implies the fountain of holiness, the believer's original sanctification in Christ (1 Corinthians 6:11; Hebrews 10:10; Hebrews 10:14; 1 Peter 1:2) in the purposes of God's grace; so 'called saints' refers to their actual call (Romans 8:30), and the end of that call, that they should be holy (1 Peter 1:15).

With all that in every place call upon ... Christ - the true Catholic Church (a term first used by Ignatius, 'ad Smyrnaeaos,' 100: 8); not those who call themselves from Paul, Cephas, etc. (1 Corinthians 1:12), but all, wherever they be, who call on their Saviour in sincerity (cf. Ephesians 3:15; 2 Timothy 2:22). Being one in this essential, they ought not to mar the church's unity by divisions (1 Corinthians 11:16; 1 Corinthians 14:33). The life of faith is a life of prayer. To call upon Jesus is to call upon God (Acts 7:59; Acts 9:14).

Both theirs and ours - `in every place which is their home ... and our home also,'-the Christians throughout Achaia, not residing in Corinth, the capital (2 Corinthians 1:1). Paul feels the home of his converts to be also his own (Romans 16:13). "Ours" refers to Paul and Sosthenes' and the Corinthians' home (Alford). Rather, 'both their Lord and our Lord (1 Corinthians 8:6; Ephesians 4:5) - a virtual reproof of the divisions of the Corinthians, as if Christ were divided (1 Corinthians 1:13). 'If places divide Christians, yet their common Lord unites them' (Chrysostom).


Verse 3

Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

Peace - peculiarly needed in the Corinthian church (Romans 1:7).


Verse 4

I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ;

He puts foremost the causes for praise and hope among them, not to discourage them by the succeeding reproof, and in order to appeal to their better selves.

My God (Romans 1:8) - mine, as honouring me by having blessed the building of which I laid the foundation (1 Corinthians 3:6-10).

Always - (cf. Philippians 1:3-4.)

The grace ... given you - (cf. 1 Corinthians 1:7.)

By ... Christ - literally, IN Christ; given you as members in Christ.


Verse 5

That in every thing ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge;

Utterance. Billroth translates, doctrine. Ye are rich in preaching of the Word, and in knowledge of it. The English version, as in 2 Corinthians 8:7, is better; for Paul, purposing presently to dwell on the abuse of two gifts on which the Corinthians prided themselves-utterance (speech) and knowledge (1 Corinthians 1:20; 1 Corinthians 3:18; 1 Corinthians 4:19; 1 Corinthians 13:1-13; 1 Corinthians 14:1-40.) - previously gains their goodwill by congratulating them on having those gifts.


Verse 6

Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you:

According as the testimony of (of and concerning) Christ (who is both the object and author of this testimony) (1 Corinthians 2:1; 1 Timothy 2:6; 2 Timothy 1:8) was confirmed among you - i:e., by God, through my preaching, and through the miracles accompanying it (1 Corinthians 12:4; Hebrews 2:4). Or better, as the English version, God confirmed (cf. Hebrews 2:3), or gave effect to, the Gospel in the Corinthians, by their accepting it, and setting their seal to its truth, through the inward power of His Spirit, and the outward miracles accompanying it.


Verse 7

So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ:

Ye come behind - are inferior to other Christians elsewhere.

In no gift - not that all had all gifts, but different persons among them had different gifts, (1 Corinthians 12:4, etc.)

Waiting for the coming of ... Christ - the crowning proof of their 'coming behind in no gift.' Christ's future coming exercises faith, hope, and love (cf. 2 Timothy 4:8; Titus 2:13). 'Leave to others their memento mori, do thou cherish this joyous expectation of the Lord's coming' (Bengel). The Greek [ apekdechomenous (Greek #553)] implies, 'to expect constantly to the end, until the event comes to pass' (Romans 8:19).


Verse 8

Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Who - God (1 Corinthians 1:4), not Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 1:7), in which case it would be, 'in His day.'

Unto the end - namely, 'the coming of Christ.'

Blameless in the day of ... Christ (1 Thessalonians 5:23). After that day there is no danger (Ephesians 4:30.) Now is our day to work, and the day of our enemies to try us; then will be the day of Christ, and of His glory in the saints.


Verse 9

God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.

Faithful - to His promises (Philippians 1:6; 1 Thessalonians 5:24).

Called - according to His purpose (Romans 8:28).

Unto the fellowship of ... Jesus - to be fellow-heirs with Christ (Romans 8:17-30), being like Him, sons of God (2 Thessalonians 2:14; 1 Peter 4:13; 1 John 1:3). Chrysostom remarks, that the name of Christ is oftener mentioned in this than in any other letter, the apostle designing thereby to draw them away from their party admiration of particular teachers to Christ alone.


Verse 10

Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.

Now - Greek [ de (Greek #1161)], But. Ye already have knowledge, utterance, and hope; but maintain also love.

Brethren. The very title is an argument for love.

By the name of ... Christ - whom Paul wishes to be all in all, instead of their naming themselves from their party leaders.

Speak the same thing - not different things, as ye do (1 Corinthians 1:12), in variance. Speak the same thing - not different things, as ye do (1 Corinthians 1:12), in variance.

Divisions - literally, splits, schisms.

But - but rather.

Perfectly joined together [ kateertismenoi (Greek #2675)] - the opposite to "divisions;" applied to healing a wound, or making whole a rent.

Mind ... judgment [ noi (Greek #3563) ... gnoomee (Greek #1106)] - the view taken by the understanding, and the practical decision as to things to be done; notional belief and sentiment. When we are not knit together in charity, we may hold the same notions, and yet differ in sentiment (Theophylact)


Verse 11

For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you.

(Revelation 11:18.) By them ... of the house of Chloe - a matron resident at Corinth. The Corinthians "wrote" to the apostle (1 Corinthians 7:1), consulting him concerning marriage, the eating of things offered to idols, the decorum to be observed by women in religious assemblies; but they said not a syllable about the disorders that had crept in. That information reached Paul by other quarters. Hence, his language is, "It hath been declared unto me," etc.; "it is reported" (1 Corinthians 5:1-2). All this he says before he notices their letter, which shows that it did not give him any intimation of those evils. An undesigned proof of genuineness (Paley). Observe his prudence. He names the family, to let it be seen that he made his allegation not without authority. He does not name the individuals, not to excite odium against them. He tacitly implies that the information ought rather to have come to him directly from their presbyters, as they had consulted him about matters of less moment.

Contentions - not so severe a word as "divisions," or schisms (margin, 1 Corinthians 1:10).


Verse 12

Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ.

This I say - this is what I mean in saying "contentions."

Every one of you saith - ye say severally, 'glorying in men' (1 Corinthians 1:31; 1 Corinthians 3:21-22), one, I am of Paul; another, I am of Apollos, etc. Not that they formed definite parties, but they individually betrayed the spirit of party in contentions about different favourite teachers. Paul will not allow himself to be flattered even by those who made his name their party cry, so as to connive at the dishonour thereby done to Christ. These, probably, were converted under his ministry. Those alleging the name of Apollos, Paul's successor at Corinth (Acts 18:24, etc.), were attracted by his rhetorical style, probably acquired in Alexandria (1 Corinthians 3:6), as contrasted with the 'weak bodily presence' and 'contemptible speech' of the apostle (1 Corinthians 2:1; 1 Corinthians 2:4; 2 Corinthians 10:10). Apollos did not willingly foster this spirit of undue preference (1 Corinthians 4:6); nay, to discourage it, he would not repeat his visit just then (1 Corinthians 16:12).

I of Cephas - Judaizers who sheltered themselves under the name of Peter, the apostle of the circumcision, (Cephas is the Hebrew, Peter the Greek name: John 1:42; Galatians 2:11, etc.) The subjects in 1 Corinthians 7:1-40; 1 Corinthians 8:1-13; 1 Corinthians 9:1-27 were probably suggested as matters of doubt by them. The church there began from the Jewish synagogue, Crispus the chief ruler, and Sosthenes, his successor, being converts. Hence, Jewish leaven, though not so much as elsewhere, is traceable (2 Corinthians 11:22). Petrism afterward sprang up rankly at Rome. If it be wrong to boast, 'I am of Peter,' how much more to boast, 'I am of the Pope' (Bengel).

I of Christ - a fair pretext to slight the ministry of Paul (1 Corinthians 4:8; 2 Corinthians 10:7-11).


Verse 13

Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?

Is Christ divided? - into various parts, so that He hath sharers in His power, and so some of you call yourselves after Him; others after this and that leader? Surely not (Theodoret). But since the Greek particle, requiring the negative answer, does not occur in this clause, as it does in the next, I prefer (as Vulgate), 'Christ

(i:e., the body of Christ: cf. Romans 16:7) is divided' by your divisions. 'To glory in Christ's name amid discords is to rend Him in pieces. Then only doth He reign in us when He is to us the bond of sacred unity' (Calvin). The unity of His body is not to be cut in pieces, as if all did not belong to Him, the One Head.

Was Paul crucified for you? The Greek interrogation [ mee (Greek #3361);] implies that a negative answer is expected: 'Was it Paul (surely you will not say so) that was crucified for you?' In the former question the majesty of "CHRIST," the Anointed One of God, implies the impossibility of His being "divided." In the latter, 'Paul's' insignificance implies the impossibility of his being the head of redemption - "crucified for" them, and giving his name to the redeemed. This, which is true of Paul, the founder of the church of Corinth, holds equally good of Cephas and Apollos, who had not such a claim as Paul there.

Crucified ... baptized. The cross claims us for Christ as redeemed by Him, baptism as dedicated to Him.

In the name - rather [ eis (Greek #1519) to (Greek #3588) onoma (Greek #3686)], 'into the name' (Galatians 3:27), implying the incorporation involved in the idea of baptism.


Verse 14

I thank God that I baptized none of you, but Crispus and Gaius;

I thank God's providence now, who so ordered it that I baptized none of you but Crispus (the former ruler of the synagogue, Acts 18:8), and Gaius (written by the Romans Caius-the host of Paul at Corinth, and of the church, Romans 16:23; a person, therefore, in good circumstances). Baptizing was the office of the deacons (Acts 10:48); the apostles' office was to establish and superintend generally the churches. The deacons had more time for giving the necessary instruction preparatory to baptism. Crispus and Gaius, etc., being among the first converts, were baptized by Paul himself, who founded the church.


Verse 15

Lest any should say that I had baptized in mine own name.

Lest any should say - `[I adduce this] lest any say,' etc.

That I had baptized. So Delta G f g; but 'Aleph (') A B C v read, 'ye were baptized [ ebaptistheete (Greek #907)] into my name.'


Verse 16

And I baptized also the household of Stephanas: besides, I know not whether I baptized any other.

Household of Stephanas - "the first-fruits of Achaia;" i:e., among the first converted there (1 Corinthians 16:15; 1 Corinthians 16:17). It is likely that such 'households' included infants (Acts 16:33). Infant baptism was the Church's usage from the earliest ages.


Verse 17

For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.

Paul says this not to depreciate baptism, for he exalts it most highly (Romans 6:3). He baptized some, and would have baptized more, but that his and the apostle's special work was to preach the Gospel-to found, by their autoptic testimony, particular churches, and then to superintended the churches in general. Sent me [ apesteilen (Greek #649)] - literally, as an apostle.

Not to baptize - even in Christ's name, much less in my own.

Not with wisdom of words - Greek, word; speech; philosophical reasoning in oratorical language, which the Corinthians so unduly valued in Apollos, and the want of which in Paul they were dissatisfied with (2 Corinthians 10:10).

Cross of Christ - the sum and substance of the Gospel (1 Corinthians 1:23; 1 Corinthians 2:2).

Be made of none effect - namely, by men thinking more of the human eloquence in which the Gospel was set forth than of the Gospel itself, of Christ crucified, the sinner's only remedy.


Verse 18

For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.

Preaching ... - literally, the word, as to the cross, in contrast to the 'wisdom of word,' so-called, 1 Corinthians 1:17.

Them that perish - rather, them that are perishing [ tois (Greek #3588) apollumenois (Greek #622)] namely, by preferring human 'wisdom of word' to the "cross of Christ" (John 3:18). It is not their final state that is referred to. So also in 2 Corinthians 2:15-16.

Us which are saved. In the Greek the collocation is more modest-`to them that are being saved (that are in the way of salvation), "us" - i:e., with whom we venture to class ourselves.

Power of God - including "the wisdom of God" (1 Corinthians 1:24); the opposite of "foolishness" (Romans 1:16; Romans 15:13). What seems to the world "weakness" in God's plan (1 Corinthians 1:25), and in its mode of delivery by His apostle (1 Corinthians 2:3), is really "power" for them, and in them, unto salvation. What seems "foolishness," because wanting man's 'wisdom of word' (1 Corinthians 1:17), is really the highest "wisdom of God" (1 Corinthians 1:24).


Verse 19

For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.

I will destroy - slightly altered from the Septuagint, Isaiah 29:14. The Hebrew is, 'The wisdom of the wise shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid.' Paul, by inspiration, gives the sense of the Spirit, by making God the cause of their wisdom perishing, etc., "I will destroy," etc.

Understanding of the prudent - literally, of the understanding ones.


Verse 20

Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?

Where? ... - Nowhere; for God 'brings them to nought' (1 Corinthians 1:19).

The wise - the Greek philosopher.

The scribe - Jewish (cf. the Jew and Greek of this world contrasted with the godly wise, 1 Corinthians 1:22-23).

The disputer - whether Jew or Greek. Jewish speculative disputers were called Darshan, and mystical expositions of Scripture Midrashim (cf. 'Questions;' Acts 26:3; Titus 3:9). Paul applies Isaiah 33:18 here in a higher sense: there the primary reference was to temporal deliverance, here to eternal. 1 Corinthians 1:22, which is in threefold opposition to 1 Corinthians 1:18 there, sanctions this higher application-the Lord, in the threefold character of "Judge," "Lawgiver," and "King," being the sole ground of glorying to His people (1 Corinthians 1:31).

Of this world - rather, 'dispensation (or age) ... world.' The Greek words [ aioonos (Greek #165) ... kosmou (Greek #2889)] are distinct. The former is this world-course, in a moral point of view, as opposed to the Christian order of things; the latter is the world viewed externally.

Made foolish - shown the world's philosophy to be folly, because it lacks faith in Christ crucified: has treated it as folly, and not used its help in converting and saving men (1 Corinthians 1:26-27).


Verse 21

For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.

After that - rather, whereas.

In the wisdom of God.

(1) 'In the sphere of God's wisdom' the world's wisdom has no place; for by it the world was not enabled to know God. This interpretation suits well the previous "Where?"

(2) 'The world by its wisdom knew not God in God's wisdom' (i:e., in the Gospel) (1 Corinthians 1:24; 1 Corinthians 2:6-7).

(3) 'The pagan world knew not God in the wisdom of God,' which they might have gleaned from His works (Romans 1:20-21).

The general principle comprises both God's wisdom in nature and in grace, and leaves no scope for glorying in man, which there would be if the world by its wisdom could know God (1 Corinthians 1:29).

World by wisdom - rather, 'by its [ tees (Greek #3588)] wisdom,' or its philosophy (John 1:10; Romans 1:28).

Knew not God - whatever other knowledge it attained (Acts 17:23; Acts 17:27). The deistic theory, that man can by the light of nature discover his duty to God, is disproved by the fact that man has never discovered it without revelation. All the stars and moon cannot make day; that is the prerogative of the sun. Nor can nature's highest gifts make the moral day arise; that is the office of Christ.

It pleased God - referring to Jesus' words (Luke 10:21).

By the foolishness of preaching - by that preaching (the preached Gospel) which the world (unbelieving Jews and Gentiles alike) deem foolishness.


Verse 22

For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom:

For - literally, Whereas. A B C Delta, Vulgate, add 'also,' taking up the "whereas" of 1 Corinthians 1:21, and additionally illustrating that 'the world knew not God.'

A sign. 'Aleph (') A B C Delta G, Vulgate, read 'signs.' The singular was a correction from Matthew 12:38; Matthew 16:1; John 2:18. The signs the Jews craved were not mere miracles, but direct tokens from heaven that Jesus was Messiah (Luke 11:16).

Greeks seek ... wisdom - namely, a philosophic demonstration of Christianity. Christ, instead of demonstrative proof, demands faith on the ground of His word, and of reasonable evidence that the alleged revelation is His word. Christianity begins not with solving intellectual difficulties, but with satisfying the heart that longs for forgiveness. Hence, not the refined Greeks, but the theocratic Jews, were the chosen organ for propagating revelation. Again, intellectual Athens (Acts 17:18-21) received the Gospel less readily than commercial Corinth.


Verse 23

But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness;

We - Paul and Apollos.

Christ crucified. The Greek expresses not the mere fact of His crucifixion, but the permanent character acquired by it, whereby He is now a Saviour (Galatians 3:1). A Messiah crucified was the stone on which the Jews stumbled (Matthew 21:44). A religion so seemingly contemptible in its origin could not have succeeded, if it had not been divine.

Unto the Greeks. 'Aleph (') A B C Delta G f g, Vulgate, Origen, Cyprian, read 'unto the Gentiles.'


Verse 24

But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.

Called (cf. 1 Corinthians 1:26) - "us which are (being) saved" (1 Corinthians 1:18): the elect called effectually (Romans 8:28-30).

Christ. "Crucified" is not here added, because when the offence of the Cross is overcome, "Christ" is received, not only in His Cross, but in His life and His future kingdom.

Power - so meeting the requirements of the Jews who sought "a sign." Jesus Himself is the greatest sign. The Cross (the death of a slave), which to the Jews (looking for a temporal Messiah) was a "stumblingblock," is really "the power of God" to the salvation of all who believe. These are incontrovertible "signs."

Wisdom of God - so really exhibiting in the highest degree that which the Greeks sought after-wisdom (Colossians 2:3).


Verse 25

Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

The foolishness of God - i:e., God's plan of salvation, which men deem "foolishness" (1 Corinthians 1:21).

Weakness of God - Christ "crucified through weakness" (2 Corinthians 13:4, the stumbling-block of the Jews), yet "living by the power of God." So He perfects strength out of His servants' weakness (1 Corinthians 2:3; 2 Corinthians 12:9). Is wiser ... stronger than men - is not only wiser than men's wisdom, and stronger than men's strength, but is wiser and stronger than men themselves, whatever they have or are (Romans 5:6). It effects revolutions in the individual, and will do so in the whole world, such as man never could.


Verse 26

For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:

Ye see - rather, from the prominence of the verb in the Greek, "see" (imperative) (Vulgate).

Your calling - God's way in calling you; or your external condition (1 Corinthians 7:20).

Not many wise ... are called. Anselm supplies, 'were your callers.' What Paul is dwelling on (cf. 1 Corinthians 1:27-28) is the weakness of the instrumentality employed to convert the world. The English version accords with 1 Corinthians 1:24. 'The whole history of the Church is a progressive victory of the ignorant over the learned, the lowly over the lofty, until the emperor himself laid down his crown before the cross of Christ' (Olshausen).

Wise ... after the flesh - the wisdom of this world acquired by human study without the Spirit (contrast Matthew 16:17).


Verse 27

But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;

The foolish things - a general phrase for all persons and things foolish. Even things (and those, too, accounted by "the world" foolish things) are chosen by God to confound persons (and those, too, persons wise). This is the force of the change from neuter to masculine.

To confound. The Greek is stronger-`in order that He might put to shame,' etc. God confounds the wise by effecting through His instruments, without human wisdom, what the worldly wise, with it, cannot effect-namely, to save men.

Chosen ... chosen. The repetition indicates the gracious deliberateness of God's purpose (James 2:5).


Verse 28

And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:

Yea, and things which are not. "Yea" is not in the Greek. A C Delta G f g omit "and." Thus, the clause, "things which are not" (are regarded as nought), is in apposition with "foolish ... weak ... base (i:e., low-born) and despised things." God has chosen all four (as the only realities), though regarded as things that are not (nonentities) to bring to nought things that are. 'Aleph (') B, Vulgate, read 'and.'


Verse 29

That no flesh should glory in his presence.

No flesh should glory. For they who glory (boast) because of human greatness and wisdom are "put to shame" (1 Corinthians 1:27; Isaiah 40:6).

In his presence. So Vulgate, 'Aleph (') A B C Delta G f g, read 'in God's presence.' Glory not before Him, but in Him (Bengel). Here Paul turns to his aim, to warn them that the preachers in whom they gloried had no ground for glorying in themselves; so the hearers ought to glory not in them, but in the Lord (1 Corinthians 3:21; 1 Corinthians 4:6).


Verse 30

But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:

But ... ye - in contrast to them that "glory" in worldly wisdom.

Of him are - not of yourselves (Ephesians 2:8), but of Him (Romans 11:36), having become His children in Christ. From Him ye are (i:e., have spiritual existence, who once were spiritually among the "things which are not," (1 Corinthians 1:28).

In Christ - by living union with Him. Not 'in the flesh' (1 Corinthians 1:26-29).

Of God - from God: emanating from and sent by Him.

Is made unto us - was once for all (Aorist) made to us to our eternal gain Is made unto us - was once for all (Aorist) made to us, to our eternal gain.

Wisdom - unattainable by the worldly mode of seeking it (1 Corinthians 1:19-20 : contrast Colossians 2:3; Proverbs 8:1; Isaiah 9:6). As Christ is God's gift to believers, all that is Christ's is made over to them-wisdom in its essence and perfection, etc., to be gradually developed in our union with Him. By it we become "wise unto salvation," and "walk not as fools, but as wise" (Ephesians 5:15; 2 Timothy 3:15).

Righteousness - our justification (Jeremiah 23:5-6; Romans 4:25; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Isaiah 42:21; Isaiah 45:24).

Sanctification - by His Spirit (1 Peter 1:2). His sanctification or consecration to God is the source of our sanctification (1 Corinthians 1:2), which is perfect in Him, but gradually developed in us (John 17:19). Hereafter our righteousness and sanctification shall be both perfect and inherent. Now the righteousness wherewith we are justified is perfect, but not inherent; that wherewith we are sanctified is inherent, but not perfect (Hooker). "Righteousness" and "sanctification" are joined in the Greek (by te (Greek #5037) kai (Greek #2532) between them) as essentially but one thing, as distinguished from the "wisdom" in devising the plan for us (Ephesians 1:8), and "redemption," the final completion of it in the deliverance of the body (the position of "redemption" last shows that this is the sense) (Luke 21:28; Romans 8:23; Ephesians 1:14; Ephesians 4:30).


Verse 31

That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.

Glory in the Lord (Jeremiah 9:23-24) - not in the flesh, nor in the world (1 Corinthians 1:29). In contrast to morbid slavish self-abasement, Paul joins with humility the elevating consciousness of our dignity in Christ. God strips us of self-glory, that we may be clothed with true glory in Him.

 


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Bibliography Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 1:4". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/1-corinthians-1.html. 1871-8.

Lectionary Calendar
Wednesday, October 23rd, 2019
the Week of Proper 24 / Ordinary 29
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