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 1 Corinthians Chapter One

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PostSubject: 1 Corinthians Chapter One   Tue Feb 21, 2012 12:17 am

1 Corinthians 1:1

Salutation and description of the writer and readers
The legitimacy of Paul’s apostleship and its denial by some is hinted at in this letter (1Co_9:1-27), but receives explicit defense in 2 Corinthians. In the first words in 1 Corinthians Paul affirmed his appointment to this position by the will of God to represent not his own interests but those of Christ.
First we need to ask, who is this Paul? We know that he was a Pharisee. We, also, know that he was a Roman. His mother was a Hebrew and his father was a Roman. Paul was his Roman name even though it is taken from a Greek name Paulos, which means little. His Hebrew name was Saul which means asked. Paul was a native of Tarsus, a city of Celicia. We are told that he was a student of Gamaliel. He was a Pharisee of the Pharisees.
He was so against Christianity and it's teachings that he persecuted Christians. On his way on one of his many journeys to capture Christians and put them in jail, he encountered the Lord Jesus Christ, in a great and blinding Light. Paul was sought out of God to be an apostle to the Gentiles. Notice, in the verse above that it was God's will for Paul to be an apostle. The word "apostle" means ambassador, messenger, or delegate. It, also, means he that is sent. I like the last meaning best. In this case, it means one sent with authority. He had the power of attorney from the Lord Jesus. We must look at who sent him: Jesus Christ.
Sosthenes was probably Paul’s amenuensis and may have been the synagogue ruler publicly thrashed by the Jews (Act_18:17). If so, he illustrates how God can turn the worst circumstances to a believer’s ultimate advantage. Sosthenes {of safe strength} had been the ruler of the synagogue at Corinth. The fact that Paul calls him brother makes me believe that he converted to Christianity.

1 Corinthians 1:2

The church belongs to God, not man. Had the Corinthians recognized this, their problem of division might not have existed. Those who compose the church have been sanctified, set apart by God as His possession. The burden of Paul’s letter was that the Corinthians’ practice might more nearly approximate their position. Christ Jesus as Lord was to be obeyed. Herein was unity for Christians not only in Corinth but everywhere. This church had been established on Paul's second missionary journey. Notice that Paul writes this letter to individuals in the church at Corinth.
In other lessons we have talked about the word "sanctified" meaning set aside for God's purpose. Another meaning is to make holy. Notice how they are made holy. It is in Christ Jesus. The word “Saints” means sacred, blameless or religious. Saints are all, in every place, who call upon the name of Jesus.

1 Corinthians 1:3

Grace was what brought them together and what they needed to display mutually so that relational peace would be maintained. These qualities, especially needed in the Corinthian church, were produced by God in those dependent on Him. Grace is one word that is really hard to explain, because it is so all forgiving. It means unmerited favor. The grace of God toward man is unexplainable. It is really love to the utmost, and I might add, undeserved love.
The grace of God toward man brings great peace as a result of God’s saving grace. The only way to know real peace is in the Lord Jesus. I will just mention in passing, that the Father and Jesus are spoken of separately. Lord Jesus Christ is the true name of Jesus on the earth. Jesus means Savior and Christ means the Anointed One. When you couple that with Lord, you have said a lot. All agree, who are not even Christians that He was the Anointed One. They cannot deny the miracles. The next step is accepting Him as your Savior. The ultimate is when you know Him as your Lord.

1 Corinthians 1:4

Thanksgiving for the effects of God’s grace
Thanksgiving for a church so rife with problems may seem a bit strange. If Paul’s only resources had been his own, the prospects of reforming a group like the Corinthians would have been dim indeed. But God was at work and that, for Paul, was a matter of thanksgiving.
However prone the Corinthians may have been to self-exaltation, it was because of God’s grace alone that they were members of the body which existed in Christ Jesus.
Paul uses this greeting in all of his letters.
Paul feels very grateful to God for the church He allowed him to begin here in Corinth. These people, even though they were sinners, were very receptive to the message God had given them through Paul. Paul was always careful to give whatever thanks there was to God. We will find that people who are caught up in sin, and know they are, are easier to reach for God than the educated who want to analyze everything. This is why the Lord Jesus said that harlots and publicans would go into the kingdom quicker than the religious.
Matthew 21:31-32 "Whether of them twain did the will of [his] father? They say unto him, the first. Jesus saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, that the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you." "For John came unto you in the way of righteousness, and ye believed him not: but the publicans and the harlots believed him: and ye, when ye had seen [it], repented not afterward, that ye might believe him."
The self righteous did not even know they needed to repent. The harlots and publicans knew they had sinned, and asked, and got forgiveness for their sin.
Note that in Matt. 21:31 what they are speaking of. This is not the prodigal son of Luke 15:11, but the parable of the two sons, one who said he would work in the vineyard but didn’t and the other who at first said no but then repented and went.

1 Corinthians 1:5

It was only because they were a part of His body that they had been so enriched with the speaking and knowledge gifts such as tongues, prophecy, discernment of spirits, and/or interpretation (1Co_12:4-11). These gifts were not given to be abused as the Corinthians had done, but to be used for the good of all the church. In the present, the believer has everything the Lord has to give and, therefore, everything he needs. The two particular blessings spoken of here are related to presenting the truth of God’s Word.
The only knowledge worth having is that which the Lord sends to us through His Word and is explained to us by His Holy Spirit. We explained that knowledge is accumulated learning. That is the reason it is so important to study the Bible every day.
Utterance: In regard to speaking for God, believers are able to speak when God wants them to because of His enablement. Prayer reaches out for that ability, and diligence in the study of God’s Word aids it.

1 Corinthians 1:6

The presence of these gifts also bore testimony to the effectiveness of Paul’s message about Christ. Though it might have been feebly delivered (1Co_2:1-5), God securely implanted His Word. This is a reference to the moment of salvation when the gospel was heard and believed and settled in the heart. At that moment, the enabling of verse 4 took place, because the individual became a recipient of the grace of God.

1 Corinthians 1:7-8

Because it was God’s work, Paul had no question about the outcome. Because the Corinthian believers were justified by God’s grace, they would stand before Him blameless (anenklētous, “free from accusation”; cf. Col_1:22) when Christ returns. This is speaking of the ability to minister in a given area. The five fold ministry of the church was active here. They were not just sitting around waiting for the coming of the Lord, but were using the gifts of the Spirit that the Lord had given them to help them minister.
“Gift” in Greek is specifically “a gift of grace.” While the blessings of speech and knowledge were primarily for evangelizing the lost, the spiritual gifts (chapters 12-14) edify the church. Because these gifts are given to each believer (12:11-12) without regard for maturity or spirituality, the Corinthians, though sinful, had them in full.
Coming or “Revelation” of Christ: Paul looks to the blessing of future grace. At the Lord’s second coming, His full glory, honor, and majesty will be revealed in blazing splendor (Rev. 4:11; 5:12), at which time all true believers will be fixed solidly forever as holy and without sin, in full resurrected glory and purity, to live in heaven with God forever.
Thus they could eagerly await (apekdechomenous; used seven times in the NT of the return of Christ: Rom_8:19, Rom_8:23, Rom_8:25; 1Co_1:7; Gal_5:5; Php_3:20; Heb_9:28) for Him. This is referring to the coming of the Lord for His church, or the Rapture. Not the Day of the Lord which is a term referring to judgment on the ungodly.
All have sinned and come short of the glory of God. This is speaking of the fact that the penalty for their sin had already been paid by the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. Now, they could come boldly before the throne of God, and they would be just as if they had never sinned. They are blameless, because they are washed in the blood of the Lamb. The day, spoken of here, is judgment day, when we all stand before the Lord to be judged. He will find us not guilty of any sin, if we are His.

1 Corinthians 1:9

This was so because God… is faithful and He had called the Corinthians into fellowship with His Son Jesus Christ. But one cannot enjoy fellowship with Christ while being at odds with other members of His body (Mat_5:23-24). So it is on this note that Paul made his transition from what God had done in the past and will do in the future to what the Corinthians needed to do in the present, namely, mend their divisions. God is faithful: Because of God’s sovereign and unchangeable promise, believers are assured of this grace; past, present and future, and will remain saved, assured of future glory at Christ’s appearing.
I believe the important word in the Scripture above is fellowship. There are three Scriptures in 1 John that can say this much better than I can.
I John 1:3 "That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship [is] with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ."
I John 1:6 "If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:"
I John 1:7 "But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin."
We see closeness here with the Lord Jesus. Fellowship, in the verse above, means union. God is faithful and will do everything He promised to do. Many are called, but few are chosen. In fact, all are called, but only those who receive Jesus as Savior and Lord are chosen.

1 Corinthians 1:10

Divisions in the Church
Dissension in their church was the first problem openly addressed by Paul.
The reality of division
Paul appealed to brothers, not to adversaries, in the most authoritative fashion, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. This is the 10th reference to Christ in the first 10 verses, leaving no doubt as to the One Paul believed should be the source and focus of Corinthian unity. His appeal was for harmony, not the elimination of diversity. He desired a unity of all the parts, like a quilt of various colors and patterns blended together in a harmonious whole. We are told that on the day of Pentecost, when the wind of the Spirit came, they are of one accord. Paul has begun to show them of the error in their church. First of all, he explains that they must be together, that division is not what God would have. If they are truly in Christ Jesus, then they would be one in Him. Paul is explaining to them that there is one message from God that saved them, and they must stick with that message.
We have discussed how many times people will hang on to one or two of their habits sometimes when they come to Christianity, and will try to teach that along with Christianity. This is the way false doctrines come into the church. In our day, it is how Christian rock creped into our churches. Even Paul, unwillingly taught things that were a leftover from his teachings by Gamaliel. It is hard to unlearn some things.

1 Corinthians 1:11-12

Instead of this unity, however, the fabric was coming apart at the seams, or so Chloe’s servants said. While the divisions were certainly real, it is possible, on the basis of Paul’s remark in 1Co_4:6 that he made adaptations with regard to party heads so that the names cited — Paul, Apollos, and Cephas — were illustrative, in order to avoid worsening an already deplorable situation. Chloe was probably a prominent person in the Corinthian church who had written or come to visit Paul in Ephesus to tell him of the factions in the church. It is not known whether Chloe was a man or a woman.
We see from this there are divisions in the church Paul had established in Corinth. Contentions, here, means quarrels. This is still going on today. Strangely enough this is still going on today in the form of denominations. Some will say I am a Baptist, others say I am a Methodist; others will say I am a Christian. We must be careful not to be a Baptist Christian. We must be a Christian Baptist, if Baptist is our choice of denomination to join. I could have said that of all denominations, not just the Baptist. We must always remember that, we are first a follower of and a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, and then join whatever denomination best takes care of our needs. We do not join Jesus like you would a club. Christianity is a family. If we are believers in Christ, we are all born into Him. We have a tendency, like these people here, to relate our Christianity to the one who led us to the Lord.

1 Corinthians 1:13

The three questions in this verse were rhetorical and expected a definite no. The universal body of Christ is not divided, and neither should its local expression be. No man won salvation for the Corinthians, nor did any of them owe their allegiance to anybody except Christ. No human leader, not even an apostle, should be given the loyalty that belongs only to the Lord. Such elevation of leaders leads only to contention, disputes, and a divided church.
Christ is not divided and neither is His body, the church. Paul depreciates his worth in comparison to the Lord Jesus so the answer to this is definitely no! Christ is not divided, then or now.
The message is Christ and He crucified. Even if Paul or anyone else other than Jesus had been crucified for you that would not save you. The only salvation that is real and able to save you, is the salvation the Lord Jesus paid for with His precious spotless blood. Only His blood cleanses from all sin.

1 Corinthians 1:14-17

Paul’s imitation of Christ apparently touched every aspect of his ministry. According to Joh4: 2 Jesus did not baptize, but left it to His disciples. This was usually Paul’s practice too. Could Paul then have believed baptism was necessary for salvation? Such is impossible (cf. 1Co_4:15; 1Co_9:1, 1Co_9:22; 1Co_15:1-2). We see that Paul did not want them to think of him as Christ. Had they been baptized by him, he is afraid some might confuse that with him being their Savior. Paul is very well aware of the dangerous effect it would have if he allowed anyone to worship him.
Cripus was the leader of the synagogue in Corinth, who was converted under Paul’s preaching (Acts 18:Cool.
Gaius: Since Romans was written from Corinth, this man was probably the host referred to in Romans 16:23a. “Gaius, my host and the host of the whole church, greets you.” His full name was most likely “Gaius Titius Justus” and the whole church or congregation met in his house.
Not that baptism is pointless. It was commanded by Christ (Mat_28:19) and practiced by the early church (Act_2:41), which makes it, with the Lord’s Supper, an ordinance of the church. But it is what an ordinance gives testimony to, not what it affects, that is more important.
Paul’s primary charge was to preach the gospel (1Co_9:16) not with words of human wisdom. Brilliantly persuasive eloquence may win a person’s mind but not his heart, whereas the unadorned words of the gospel, though seemingly foolish by human standards, are made effective by the Spirit of God (1Co_2:4-5). Nothing is known of this family.
Paul preached the gospel and set up churches where he went. His primary goal was to set up churches complete with believers who would continue to teach the gospel to those he had given the gospel to. Others who were given that responsibility did the baptizing.
Actually, just baptizing someone does not save them. They must hear the message of God and be convicted in their heart. They must repent of their sins and receive their forgiveness. The preaching of the cross of Christ is what saves people. When we are convinced in our heart that Jesus did this for us, and we accept Him as our Substitute for our sin, we will be saved. Salvation comes from believing Jesus in our heart and confessing this with our mouth. Romans chapter 10 verses 9 and 10 are the real way to receive the salvation provided for us as a free gift from God.
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