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1 Corinthians Chapter 1

Paul opens with an allusion to the Holy Trinity as he also did in "Romans". That is, called by the Father, an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of the Holy Spirit.(v1) He writes to those believers that are gifted the eternal life of Christ that He laid down for them; gifted, transferred into them if you will. (v2) Through the ministrations to repentance of the Holy Spirit they find their sanctification into that gifted life that was laid down at the cross. Since there is one cross and one Lord Jesus, Paul asserts there is one body of believers of Christ.

Paul greets them with the desire that they be in receipt of the grace of God covering their sins within which they have space to repent and come into the knowledge of God and His eternal life more fully. (v3,v4). Because of the extension of the Holy Spirit's ministrations through that gifted eternal life from the perfect ordained end of their repentance down to the present, Paul thanks God that they are much enriched by their godliness and understanding of these principles. (v5) The Holy Spirit's presence is ample confirmation that they be God's children in receipt of the true gospel. (v6) Paul testifies that the gifts and power of the Spirit lead towards the coming of Jesus once more (a second time) since the physical presence of the Holy Spirit is better perfected in the physical presence of godliness with Jesus Himself. (When Jesus first came, He did nothing of Himself but only of His Father - preserving the increase of perfection from God in ministry) (v7) Jesus, whose life and Spirit confirm that their repentance within that permitted grace will be perfect in the fullness of the given eternal life. (v8)

Paul confirms that the promises of God are certainties to those that are indeed confirmed and sanctified into eternal life by the presence and sealing of the Holy Spirit, as long as they do not neglect that required confirmation of their repentance, of both misdeeds and misconceptions of the truth of God's gospel.(v9,v10). The believers at Corinth had some divisions amongst themselves concerning faults, both of behaviour and of truth.(v11) Paul reminds them that they are servants of Christ, not of the teaching of men - himself included (v12,v13). And also that they should pay attention to the gospel from its source - Christ. Just simply, because no man is the source of the gospel except Jesus Christ (and God the Father, it's author.)

Paul is thankful that He did not convert many of the believers (v14-v16) so that his teaching not be considered to be over his own flock - that Paul's ministering by this epistle be esteemed as that of the Father and His Christ rather than of Paul himself. (v17) Not by wisdom of persuasion of human authority, but of confirmation from the Spirit, of truth rather than of respect of persons.

The cross itself seems a nonsense to the scientific - that life could be transferred from God into a believer by the death of Christ on the cross is nonsense to the wise that would perish without it. (v18) For Jesus had the power to lay it down and take it up again, even in the life of the believer (as an heir with Him as promised).(v19) For the Holy Spirit had confirmed this to the believers at Corinth by the extension of grace to their repentance. To the believers, those that would scoff are now outside God's tabernacle there - the believers having been shown the gospel confirmed also with powerful works of the Holy Spirit.(v20)

By preaching, those that had not known God after the fashion of His own purposes (by the gospel and the old testament) it is better for God to convince those that are saved by such things that would seem foolish.(v21) Without equivocation, simple answers are towards all, rather than complicated ones that would escape others. Jews require miracles, and greeks complicated theories - but the gospel is neither, being simply fulfilled in Christ at the cross.(v22,v23) But to the jews, Jesus Christ performed miracles and the greeks are shown the simplicity of the Gospel by God's wisdom.(v24)

Eternal life may not be transferred to believers from Jesus at the cross, but repentance may certainly be predestined into an eventual reward of eternal life by the ministry of the Holy Spirit. If one stays rooted in truth then the source is the cross, the ending of Christ's example of obedience and faith: and the end of the gospel is the eventually perfect repentance of the believer in eternity within freely given eternal life. However, it is better that God extends the Holy Spirit over the whole range of the believers eternal life from the present day also. Thus the transfer comes at acceptance of Jesus at the cross to God and in power of the resurrection to the believer equivalently.(v25)

Not many of the believers at Corinth were rich and powerful people who could do the gospel great influence. Paul likewise convinces the believers by analogy that God does not follow after the wisdom of the world, for worldly things too quickly become more worldly - a tool of science or political agitation (v27). Paul after a fashion calls the gifting of life from Christ laying it down at his death "foolish" to confound the wise, as a weak thing to confound the mighty, a base thing (death on a cross) and things which are despised (death as a lawbreaker) - things in themselves which are not true of Christ, to confound those things that are true in general!(v28) All to the end that no scientist, noble or mighty individual should take the message of the gospel as his work, after his own making rather than that of God's (v29) Truly God has turned the world upside down.

But Jesus Christ is the answer to all these separate things, made that way in wisdom by God - wisdom instead of foolishness, righteousness instead of weakness, sanctification instead of base, and redemptive instead of despised. We too often pray "For thine be the Kingdom, the power and the glory", but God has aimed to answer just that. By keeping our boasting of Christ as the answer to all these disputes over worldly affairs that meddle with faith, the gospel becomes found in the surety of truth, and not as if by Paul Himself, or Appollos, or any other than Christ. Christ is the answer to these things in person; not as a tool would be used for powerful work, or an argument applicable in many different cases.(v30,v31)


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