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This epistle was writ to the corinthians, anno Christi 57, between two and three years after St. Paul had left them. In this interval, there was got in amongst them a new instructor, a jew by nation, who had raised a faction against St. Paul. With this party, whereof he was the leader, this false apostle had gained great authority, so that they admired and gloried in him, with an apparent disesteem and diminishing of St. Paul.
Why I suppose the opposition to be made to St. Paul, in this church, by one party, under one leader, I shall give the reasons, that make it probable to me, as they come in my way, going through these two epistles ; which I shall leave to the reader to judge, without positively determining on either side; and therefore shall, as it happens, speak of these opposers of St. Paul, sometimes in the singular, and sometimes in the plural number.
This at least is evident, that the main design of St. Paul, in this epistle, is to support his own authority, dignity, and credit, with that part of the church which stuck to him; to vindicate himself from the aspersions and calumnies of the opposite party; to lessen the credit of the chief and leading men in it, by intimating their miscarriages, and showing their no cause of glorying, or being gloried in: that so with-drawing their party from the admiration and esteem of those their leaders, he might break the faction; and putting an end to the division, might re-unite them with the uncorrupt. ed part of the church, that they might all unanimously submit to the authority of his divine mission, and with one accord receive and keep the doctrine and directions he had delivered to them.
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.
CHAP. I. 1-9.
TEXT. i Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will
of God, and Sostheues 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. 3 Grace be unto you, and peace from God our Father, and from
the Lord Jesus Christ.
PARAPHRASE. Paul an apostle of Jesus Christ, called to be so by
the will of God', and Sosthenes our brother in the 2 christian faith; To the church of God, which is at Co
rinth, to them that are separated from the rest of the world, by faith in Jesus Christ, called to be saints, with
all, that are every-where called by the name of Jesus 3 Christ", their Lord, and ours. Favour and peace be unto you, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus
NOTES. 1. St. Paul, in most of his epistles, mentions his being called to be an " apostle 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 xvii. 17. 2 ¢ 'Hyracuérous Xposão ’Inoć, “Sanctified in Christ Jesus,” does not sig. nify here, whose lives are pure and holy; for there were many, amongst those be writto, 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.
• Επικαλύμενοι όνομα Χρισ8 " that are called christians;" these Greek words being a periphrasis for christians, as is plain from the design of this verse. But be that is not satisfied with that, may see more 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.
TEXT. 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 know ledge: 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 blame
less 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.
PARAPHRASE. 4 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 know6 ledge and utterance, and all extraordinary gift: As at
first, by those miraculous gifts, the gospel of Christ was 7 confirmed among yoni.
So that in no spiritual gift are any of you short, or deficient', waiting for the coming of 8 our Lord Jesus Christ; Who shall also confirın you unto
the end, that in the day of the Lord Jesus Christ, there 9 may be no charge against you. 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.
7 ! Vid. 2 Cor. xii. 12, 13.
CHAP. 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 Jarious, we shall take notice of them, under their several heads, as they come in the order of this discourse.
SECT. II. N°. 1.
CHAP. I. 10–16,
CONTENTS. 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.'
TEXT. 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
PARAPHRASE. 10 Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord
Jesus Christ, that ye hold the same doctrine, and that
NOTE. 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 TEXT. 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 you. 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 bap-
tized in the name of Paul? 14 I thank God that I baptized none of you, but Crispus and Gaius: 15 Lest
say, that I had baptized in my own name. 16 And I baptized also the houshold of Stephanus: besides, I kuow
not whether I baptized any other.
PARAPHRASE. there be no divisions among you; but that ye be framed
together into one intire body, with one mind, and one 11 affection. For I understand, my brethren", by some of
the house of Chloe, that there are quarrels and dissen12 tions amongst you : So that ye are fallen into parties, .
ranking yourselves under different leaders or masters,
one saying, “ I am of Paul;” another, “I of Apollos, 13 I of Cephas, I of Christ.” Is Christ, who is our only
Head and Master, divided ? Was Paul Crucified for
you? Or were you baptized into the name of Paul? 14 I thank God I baptized none of you, but Crispus and 15 Gaius; Lest any one should say, I had baptized into 16 my own name. I baptized also the houshold of Ste
phanas; farther, I know not whether I baptized any other.
NOTES. 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 rela. tion 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 b.“ 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 Eis properly signifies into; so the French translate it here: the phrase Barl-Iñues sic, “to be baptized 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 baptized, 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.