1 Corinthians 1
1 Corinthians 1

1 Corinthians 1

1 Corinthians 1:1-31

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

2  To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all who in every place call on the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours:

3  Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

4  I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given to you by Christ Jesus,

5  that you were enriched in everything by Him in all utterance and all knowledge,

6  even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you,

7  so that you come short in no gift, eagerly waiting for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ,

8  who will also confirm you to the end, that you may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.

9  God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

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

11  For it has been declared to me concerning you, my brethren, by those of Chloe’s household, that there are contentions among you.

12  Now I say this, that each of you says, “I am of Paul,” or “I am of Apollos,” or “I am of Cephas,” or “I am of Christ.”

13  Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?

14  I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius,

15  lest anyone should say that I had baptized in my own name.

16  Yes, I also baptized the household of Stephanas. Besides, I do not know whether I baptized any other.

17  For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of no effect.

18  For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

19  For it is written: “I WILL DESTROY THE WISDOM OF THE WISE, AND BRING TO NOTHING THE UNDERSTANDING OF THE PRUDENT.”

20  Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?

21  For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.

22  For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom;

23  but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness,

24  but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.

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

26  For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called.

27  But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty;

28  and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are,

29  that no flesh should glory in His presence.

30  But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption—

31  that, as it is written, “HE WHO GLORIES, LET HIM GLORY IN THE LORD.”

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4 months ago

Possibly motivated to write by the need for correction over concerns that are strong in him, Paul doesn’t just launch into his first issue. There is a very healthy prerequisite that is established in his affirmation and confession, first of who he is and his calling, and then, a clear exhortation of the church as an example of grace’s empowered gifting for life. Before addressing matters of concern, how well this principle should be utilized, first confirming a foundation of security in identity by grace, with praise and encouragement.

Though Paul himself has developed a reputation for the revelation that has come through him, he is recognizing a need to not let the messenger become the focus of attention in our pursuit of truth in Christ. As other charismatic communicators are experienced, there is a tendency to let attachments to them and their teachings bring strife and division, the very opposite of the Spirit’s fruit. Very often the presentation of a revelation comes with criticism of other views, undermining the bond of love that would unite and strengthen us together in Christ. If this issue was in such need of attention in the early church, how much more it must be a concern today. While our local body is where we get strength and overcome the evil one, we are inundated with gifted teaching personalities from an unlimited number of sources. With each of these, there is an opportunity for the embrace and bond of love for local leadership and members to be replaced by skepticism and pride in a more impressive identity and persuasion. Rather than letting patience and love bring perfection in a commitment to relationships, social distancing displaces unity and the accuser’s mission is accomplished. Rather than producing the heart of God, personal enlightenment is the only acquisition. Paul’s warning- to not be impressed with titles, accolades and popularity that exalt men and drive wedges. Wherever this occurs, God is not glorified. This becomes the challenge – to recognize when our glorifying shifts to men over the Lord. The evidence will be in what the heart is following after – unity vs division. Glory of the Lord produces stronger commitment in relationships (even with perceived faults), while glory of men and their knowledge results in isolation, weakness, and failure.

So grateful for the final affirmation – He has become our wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption. Will glory in this!

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