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tures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the eternal God, made known to all nations for the 27 obedience of faith,) To the only wise God, to him be glory through Jesus Christ for ever. Amen.
dispensation infers no change in God. Known unto him are all his works, and every variation of them, from eternity. Made known to all nations—Not • barely, that they might know, but enjoy it also, through obeying the faith.
V. 27. To the only wise God—-Whose manifold wisdom is known in the church through the gospel, Eph. iii. 10. To him who is able, and to the wise God, are joined, as 1 Cor. i. 24, where Christ is styled the wisdom of God, and the power of God. To him be glory through Christ Jesus for ever— And let •very believer say, Amen!
CORINTH was i city of Achaia, situate on the isthmus which joins Pelopounesus, now called The Morea, to the rest of Greece. Being so advantageously situated for trade, the inhabitants of it abounded in riches, which, by too natural a consequence, led them into luxury, lewdness, and all manner of vice.
Yet even here St. Paul planted a numerous church, chiefly of heathen converts; to whom, about three years after he had left Corinth, he wrote this epistle from Ephesus: as well to correct various disorders of which they were guilty, as to answer some questions which they had proposed to him.
THE EPIsTLE cONsIsTs or,
I. The inscription, C. i. 1—*.
1. An exhortation to concord, beating down all glory-
1. For not excommunicating the incestuous person, C. v. 1—13.
2. For going to law before heathen judges, C„vi. 1—11.
S. A dissuasive from fornication, 12—20.
4. An answer to the questions they had proposed
concerning marriage, C. rii. 1, 10, 85, 36, 30.
5. Concerning things sacrificed to idols, C. viii. 1.—ix. i.
6. Concerning the Lord's supper, C. x. 17—34.
7. Concerning the veiling of women, Cxi. S—16.
8. Concerning spiritual gifts, C. xii.—xiv.
9. Concerning the resurrection, C. xv. 1—58.
of himself; of TimothyI of Apollos; the sum
HI. The Conclusion, C. xvi. IS, 17, 19—24.
CHAP. I. I. PAUL, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ, through the will of God, and Sosthenes the
2 brother, To the church of God which is in Corinth, tot, them that are sanctified through Christ Jesus, called an3 holy, with all that in every place call upon the name of
S our Lord Jesus Christ, both theirs and ours: Grace be unto you and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
4 I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace
5 of God which is given you by Christ Jesus: That in every thing ye are enriched through him, in all utterance
'6 and in all knowledge, As the testimony of Christ was 7 confirmed among you: So that ye are wanting in no good gift, waiting for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ,
CHAP. I. Ver. 1. Paul, called to be an apostle—There is great propriety in every clause of the salutation, particularly in this, as there were some in the church of Corinth, who called the authority of his mission in question: through the will of God—Called the commandment of God, 1 Tim. i. 1. This was, to the churches, the ground of his authority; to Paul himself, of an humble and ready mind. By the mention of God, the authority of man is excluded, Gal. i. 1; by the mention of the will of God, the merit of Paul, chap. xv. 8, &c. And Sosthenes—A Corinthian, St. Paul's companion in travel. It was both humility and prndence in the apostle, thus to join his name with his own, in an epistle wherein he was to reprove so many irregularities. Sosthenes the brother— Probably this word is emphatical; as if he had said, Who from a Jewish opposer of the gospel, became a faithful brother.
V. 2. To the church of God which is in Corinth—St. Paul, writing in a familiar manner to the Corinthians, as also to the Thessalonians and Galatians, uses this plain appellation. To the other churches he uses a more solemn address. Sanctified through Jesus Christ—And so undoubtedly they were, in general, notwithstanding some exceptions: Called—Of Jesus Christ, Rom. i. 6, and— As the fruit of that calling, made holy. With all that in every place—Nothing could better suit that catholic love which St. Paul labours to promote in this epistle, than such the declaration of his good wishes for every true Christian upon earth. Call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ—This plainly implies, that all Christians pray to Christ, as well as to the Father through him.
V- 4. Always—Whenever I mention you to God in prayer.
V. 5. In all utterance and knowledge—Of divine things. These gifts the Corinthians particularly admired. Therefore this congratulation naturally tended to soften their spirits, and make way for the reproofs which follow.
V. 6. The testimony of Christ—The gospel, u>aj confirmed among you—By these gifts attending it. They knew they had received these by the hand of Paul : and this consideration was highly proper, to revive in them their former reverence and affection for their spiritual father.
V- 7. Waiting with earnest desire for the glorious revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ—A sure mark of a true or false Christian, To long for, or dread this revelation.
8 Who will also confirm you to the end, that ye may be
9 blameless in the day of the Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, by whom ye were called into the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.
10 Now I exhort you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no schisms among you, but that ye be perfectly
*(f' joined together, in the same mind and in the same judg
11 ment. For it hath been declared to me of you, my brethren, by them of the family of Chloe, that there are
12 contentions among you. Now this I say, every one of you saith, I am of Paul, and I of A Apollos, and I of
13 Cephas, and I of Christ. Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were ye baptized into the name of
14 Paul? I thank God, that I baptized none of you but
15 Crispus and Gaius: Lest any should say, that I had
16 baptized in my own name. I baptized also the family of Stephanas. I know not that I baptized any other.
V. 8. Who will also, if you faithfully apply to him, confirm you to the end, In the day of Christ—Now it is our day, wherein we are to work out our salvation. Then it will be eminently the day of Christ, and of his glory in the saints.
. V. 9. God is faithful—To all his promises: and therefore to him that hath shall be given: by whom ye are called—A pledge of his willingness to save you Unto the uttermost.
V. 10. Now I exhort you—Ye have faith, and hope: secure love also, by the endearing name of our Lord Jesus Christ—Infinitely preferable to all the human names in which we glory, that ye all speak the same thing—(They now spoke different things, ver. 13,) and that there be no schisms among you—No alienation of affection from each other. Is this word ever taken in any other sense in Scripture? But that ye be joined in the same mind—Affections, desires, and judgment —Touching all the grand truths of the gospel.
T. 11. It hath been declared to me by them of the family of Chloe-- Whom some suppose to have been the wife of Stephanus, and the mother of Fortunatus and Achaicus. By these three the Corinthians had sent their letter to St. Paul, chap. xvi. 17, that there are contentions—A. word equivalent with schisms, in the preceding verse.
V. 12. Now this I say—That is, what I mean is this. There are various parties among you, who set themselves one against another, in behalf of the several teachers they admire. And I of Christ—They spoke well: if they had not on this pretence despised their teachers, chap. iv. 8. Perhaps they valued themselves on having heard Christ preach in his own person.
V. 13. Is Christ divided—Are not all the members still ander'one head? Was not he crucified alone for you all? And were ye not all baptized in his name? The glory of Christ, then, is not to be divided between him and his servants: neither is the unity of the body to be torn asunder, seeing Christ is one still.
V. 14. I thank God—(A pious phrase for the common one, I rejoice,) that in the course of his providence, I baptized none of you, but Crispu* (once the ruler of the synagogue,) and Gaius.
V. is. Lest any should say, that I had baptized in my own name—la order re attach them to myself.
V. r6. I know not—That is, it does not at present occur to say memory, that I baptized any other.
17 For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel; but not with wisdom of speech, lest the cross
18 of Christ should be made of none effect. For the doctrine of the cross is indeed to them that perish foolishness; but
19 to us who are saved, it is the power of God. For it is written, * I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and
20 abolish the understanding of the prudent t Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this world? Hath not God made foolish the wisdom
21 this world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God, bv the foolishness of preaching, to save them that believe. For whereas the Jews demand signs, and the Greeks seek wisdom,
23 We preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling
24 block, and to the Greeks foolishness: But to them that
* tsa. xxix. 14. \ lsa. xxxiii. 18.
V. 17. For God did not send me to baptize— That was not my chief errand; those of inferior rank and abilities could do it: (though all the apostles were tent to baptize also, Matt, xxviii, 19,) but to preach the gospel—So the apostle slides into his general proposition: but not with wisdom of speech—With the artificial ornaments of discourse, invented by human wisdom, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect—The whole effect of St. Paul's preaching, was owing to the power of God accompanying the plain declaration of this great truth, Christ bore our sins upon the cross. But this effect might have been imputed to another cause, had he come with that wisdom of speech which they admired.
V. is. To them that perish—By obstinately rejecting the only name whereby they can be saved. But to us who are saved—Now saved from our sins, and in the way to everlasting salvation, it is the great instrument of the power of God.
V. 19. For it is written—And the words are remarkably applicable to this great event.
V. 20. Where is the wise, tec.—The deliverance of Judea from Seunacherib, is what Isaiah refers to in these words; in a bold and beautiful allusion to which, the apostle, in the clause that follows, triumphs over all the opposition of human wisdom, to the victorious gospel of Christ. What could the wise men of the Gentiles do against this? Or the Jewish scribes? Or the disputers of this world? Those amoug both, who, proud of their acuteness, were fond of controversy, and thought they could confute all opponents. Hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world—That is, shewn it to be very foolishness;
V. 31. For since in the wisdom of God— According to his wise disposals, leaving them to make the trial, the world—Whether Jewish or Gentile, by all its boasted wisdom knew not God—Though the whole creation declared its Creator, and though he declared himself by all the prophets; it pleased God by a way which those who perish count mere foolishness, to save them that
V. 22. For whereas the Jews demand of the apostles, as they did of their Lord, more signs still, after all they have seen already: And the Greeks, or Gentiles, seek wisdom—The depths of philosophy, and the charms of eloquence.
V. 23. We go on to preach, in a plain and historical, not rhetorical or philosophical manner, Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling-block—Just opposite to the signs they demand, and to the Greeks foolishness-—A silly tale, just opposite to the wisdom they seek.
V. 24. But to them that are called—And obey the heavenly calling, Christ—
VOL. II. E