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This is the whole subject from chap. i. 10, to the end of chap. vi. In the remaining part of this epistle, he answers some questions they had proposed to him, and resolves some doubts; not without a mixture, on all occasions, of reflections on his opposers, and of other things, that might tend to the breaking of their faction.
CHAPTER I. 1–9.
1 Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ, through the will of God, and Sosthenes, our brother,
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.
1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ, called to be so by the will of God and Sosthenes, our brother in the Christian faith, 2 To the church of God, which is at Corinth, to them that are separated from the rest of the world, by faith in Jesus Christ, called to be saints, with all that are everywhere called by
St Paul, in most of his epistles, mentions his being called to be an by the will of God;" which way of speaking being peculiar to him, we may suppose him therein to intimate his extraordinary and miraculous call, Acts ix. and his receiving the Gospel by immediate revelation, Gal. i. 11, 12. For he doubted not of the will and providence of God governing all things.
Acts xviii. 17.
2 Hylas pérois év Xpiotÿ 'Incoũ, "Sanctified in Christ Jesus," does not signify here, whose lives are pure and holy; for there were many, amongst those he writ to, who were quite otherwise; but, sanctified, signifies separate from the common state of mankind, to be the people of God, and to serve him. The Heathen world had revolted from the true God, to the service of idols and false gods, Rom. i. 18-25. The Jews being separated from this corrupted mass, to be the peculiar people of God, were called holy, Exod. xix. 5, 6. Numb. xv. 40. They being cast off, the professors of Christianity were separated to be the people of God, and so became holy, 1 Pet. ii. 9, 10.
3 Grace be unto you, and peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
4 I thank my God always, on your behalf, for the grace of God, which is given you, by Jesus Christ;
5 That, in every thing, ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge;
6 Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you :
7 So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ:
8 Who also shall confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.
9 God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord.
3 the name of Jesus Christ, their Lord, and ours. Favour and peace be unto you, from God our Father, and from the Lord 4 Jesus Christ. I thank God always, on your behalf, for the
favour of God, which is bestowed on you, through Jesus 5 Christ; So that, by him, you are enriched with all knowledge 6 and utterance, and all extraordinary gifts: As at first, by those miraculous gifts, the gospel of Christ was confirmed among you. So that, in no spiritual gift, are any of you short, or deficient, waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ; 8 Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that, in the day of the Lord Jesus Christ, there may be no charge against you. 9 For God, who has called you unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ, our Lord, may be relied on for what is to be done on his side.
d'Eminaλoμevos oroμa Xpiσтou, "that are called Christians;" these Greek words being a periphrasis for Christians, as is plain from the design of this verse. But he that is not satisfied with that, may see proofs of it in Dr. Hammond upon the place.
• What the apostle means by Lord, when he attributes it to Christ, vid. ch. viii. 6.
7 f Vid. 2 Cor. xii. 12, 13.
CHAPTER I. 10.-VI. 20.
THERE were great disorders in the church of Corinth, caused chiefly by a faction raised there against St. Paul: the partisans of the faction mightily cried up, and gloried in their leaders, who did all they could to disparage St. Paul, and lessen him in the esteem of the Corinthians. St. Paul makes it his business, in this section, to take off the Corinthians from siding with, and glorying in, this pretended apostle, whose followers and scholars they professed themselves to be; and to reduce them into one body, as the scholars of Christ, united in a belief of the Gospel which he had preached to them, and in an obedience to it, without any such distinction of masters, or leaders, from whom they denominated themselves. He also, here and there, intermixes a justification of himself, against the aspersions which were cast upon him by his opposers. How much St. Paul was set against their leaders may be seen, 2 Cor. xi. 13-15.
The arguments used by St. Paul, to break the opposite faction, and put an end to all divisions amongst them, being various, we shall take notice of them, under their several heads, as they come in the order of this discourse.
SECTION II. NO. 1.
CHAPTER I. 10-16.
SAINT Paul's first argument is, That in Christianity they all had but one master, viz. Christ; and therefore were not to fall into parties, denominated from distinct teachers, as they did in their schools of philosophy.
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.
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
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."
13 Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptised in the name of Paul?
14 I thank God that I baptised none of you, but Crispus and Gaius: 15 Lest any should say, that I had baptised in my own name. 16 And I baptised also the household of Stephanas: besides, I know not whether I baptised any other.
10 Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye hold the same doctrine, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be framed together 11 into one entire body, with one mind, and one affection. For I understand, my brethren, by some of the house of Chloe, 12 that there are quarrels and dissensions amongst you: So that
ye are fallen into parties, ranking yourselves under different leaders or masters, one saying, "I am of Paul;" another, 13 "I of Apollos, I of Cephas, I of Christ." Is Christ, who is
our only Head and Master, divided? Was Paul crucified 14 for you? Or were you baptised into the name of Paul? I
thank God I baptised none of you, but Crispus and Gaius; 15 Lest any one should say I had baptised into my own name. 16 I baptised also the household of Stephanas; farther, I know not whether I baptised any other.
10 "Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is, and ought to be named." If any one has thought St. Paul a loose writer, it is only because he was a loose reader. He that takes notice of St. Paul's design, shall find that there is not a word scarce, or expression that he makes use of, but with relation and tendency to his present main purpose: as here, intending to abolish the names of leaders they distinguished themselves by, he beseeches them, by the name of Christ, a form that I do not remember he elsewhere uses.
11 "Brethren," a name of union and friendship, used here twice together by St. Paul, in the entrance of his persuasion to them, to put an end to their divisions. 13 Els properly signifies into; so the French translate it here: the phrase BarTova eis," to be baptised into any one's name, or into any one," is solemnly, by that ceremony, to enter himself a disciple of him, into whose name he is baptised, with profession to receive his doctrine and rules, and submit to his authority; a very good argument here, why they should be called by no one's name but Christ's.
SECTION II. NO. 2.
CHAPTER I. 17-31.
THE next argument of St. Paul, to stop their followers from glorying in these false apostles, is, that neither any advantage of extraction, nor skill in the learning of the Jews, nor in the philosophy and eloquence of the Greeks, was that, for which God chose men to be preachers of the Gospel. Those whom he made choice of, for overturning the mighty and the learned, were mean, plain, illiterate men.
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.
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.
19 For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will
bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.
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?
17 For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the Gospel : not with learned and eloquent harangues, lest thereby the virtue and efficacy of Christ's sufferings and death should be overlooked and neglected, if the stress of our persuasion should 18 be laid on the learning and quaintness of our preaching. For the plain insisting on the death of a crucified Saviour is, by those who perish, received as a foolish, contemptible thing: 19 though to us, who are saved, it be the power of God, Conformable to what is prophesied by Isaiah: "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and I will bring to nothing the 20 understanding of the prudent." Where is the philosopher, skilled in the wisdom of the Greeks? Where the scribe,
20. Scribe was the title of a learned man amongst the Jews; one versed in their law and rites, which was the study of their doctors and rabbies. It is likely the false apostle, so much concerned in these two epistles to the Corinthians, who was a Jew, pretended to something of this kind, and magnified himself there