Matthew Henry's Commentary
The Corinthian church contained some Jews, but more Gentiles, and the apostle had to contend with the superstition
of the one, and the sinful conduct of the other. The peace of this church was disturbed by false teachers, who undermined
the influence of the apostle. Two parties were the result; one contending earnestly for the Jewish ceremonies, the other indulging
in excesses contrary to the gospel, to which they were especially led by the luxury and the sins which prevailed around them.
This epistle was written to rebuke some disorderly conduct, of which the apostle had been apprized, and to give advice as
to some points whereon his judgment was requested by the Corinthians. Thus the scope was twofold. 1. To apply suitable remedies
to the disorders and abuses which prevailed among them. 2. To give satisfactory answers on all the points upon which his advice
had been desired. The address, and Christian mildness, yet firmness, with which the apostle writes, and goes on from general
truths directly to oppose the errors and evil conduct of the Corinthians, is very remarkable. He states the truth and the
will of God, as to various matters, with great force of argument and animation of style.
salutation and thanksgiving. (1-9) Exhortation to brotherly love, and reproof for divisions. (10-16) The doctrine of a crucified
Saviour, as advancing the glory of God, (17-25) and humbling the creature before him. (26-31)
1-9: All Christians are by baptism dedicated and devoted to Christ, and are under strict obligations to be
holy. But in the true church of God are all who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, and who call upon him
as God manifest in the flesh, for all the blessings of salvation; who acknowledge and obey him as their Lord, and as Lord
of all; it includes no other persons. Christians are distinguished from the profane and atheists, that they dare not live
without prayer; and they are distinguished from Jews and pagans, that they call on the name of Christ. Observe how often in
these verses the apostle repeats the words, Our Lord Jesus Christ. He feared not to make too frequent or too honourable mention
of him. To all who called upon Christ, the apostle gave his usual salutation, desiring, in their behalf, the pardoning mercy,
sanctifying grace, and comforting peace of God, through Jesus Christ. Sinners can have no peace with God, nor any from him,
but through Christ. He gives thanks for their conversion to the faith of Christ; that grace was given them by Jesus Christ.
They had been enriched by him with all spiritual gifts. He speaks of utterance and knowledge. And where God has given these
two gifts, he has given great power for usefulness. These were gifts of the Holy Ghost, by which God bore witness to the apostles.
Those that wait for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, will be kept by him to the end; and those that are so, will be blameless
in the day of Christ, made so by rich and free grace. How glorious are the hopes of such a privilege; to be kept by the power
of Christ, from the power of our corruptions and Satan's temptations!
In the great things of religion be of one mind; and where there is not unity of sentiment, still let there be union of affection.
Agreement in the greater things should extinguish divisions about the lesser. There will be perfect union in heaven, and the
nearer we approach it on earth, the nearer we come to perfection. Paul and Apollos both were faithful ministers of Jesus Christ,
and helpers of their faith and joy; but those disposed to be contentious, broke into parties. So liable are the best things
to be corrupted, and the gospel and its institutions made engines of discord and contention. Satan has always endeavoured
to stir up strife among Christians, as one of his chief devices against the gospel. The apostle left it to other ministers
to baptize, while he preached the gospel, as a more useful work.
Paul had been bred up in Jewish learning; but the plain preaching of a crucified Jesus, was more powerful than all the oratory
and philosophy of the heathen world. This is the sum and substance of the gospel. Christ crucified is the foundation of all
our hopes, the fountain of all our joys. And by his death we live. The preaching of salvation for lost sinners by the sufferings
and death of the Son of God, if explained and faithfully applied, appears foolishness to those in the way to destruction.
The sensual, the covetous, the proud, and ambitious, alike see that the gospel opposes their favourite pursuits. But those
who receive the gospel, and are enlightened by the Spirit of God, see more of God's wisdom and power in the doctrine of Christ
crucified, than in all his other works. God left a great part of the world to follow the dictates of man's boasted reason,
and the event has shown that human wisdom is folly, and is unable to find or retain the knowledge of God as the Creator. It
pleased him, by the foolishness of preaching, to save them that believe. By the foolishness of preaching; not by what could
justly be called foolish preaching. But the thing preached was foolishness to wordly-wise men. The gospel ever was, and ever
will be, foolishness to all in the road to destruction. The message of Christ, plainly delivered, ever has been a sure touchstone
by which men may learn what road they are travelling. But the despised doctrine of salvation by faith in a crucified Saviour,
God in human nature, purchasing the church with his own blood, to save multitudes, even all that believe, from ignorance,
delusion, and vice, has been blessed in every age. And the weakest instruments God uses, are stronger in their effects, than
the strongest men can use. Not that there is foolishness or weakness in God, but what men consider as such, overcomes all
their admired wisdom and strength.
Verses 26-31: God did not choose philosophers,
nor orators, nor statesmen, nor men of wealth, and power, and interest in the world, to publish the gospel of grace and peace.
He best judges what men and what measures serve the purposes of his glory. Though not many noble are usually called by Divine
grace, there have been some such in every age, who have not been ashamed of the gospel of Christ; and persons of every rank
stand in need of pardoning grace. Often, a humble Christian, though poor as to this world, has more true knowledge of the
gospel, than those who have made the letter of Scripture the study of their lives, but who have studied it rather as the witness
of men, than as the word of God. And even young children have gained such knowledge of Divine truth as to silence infidels.
The reason is, they are taught of God; the design is, that no flesh should glory in his presence. That distinction, in which
alone they might glory, was not of themselves. It was by the sovereign choice and regenerating grace of God, that they were
in Jesus Christ by faith. He is made of God to us wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption; all we need, or can
desire. And he is made wisdom to us, that by his word and Spirit, and from his fulness and treasures of wisdom and knowledge,
we may receive all that will make us wise unto salvation, and fit for every service to which we are called. We are guilty,
liable to just punishment; and he is made righteousness, our great atonement and sacrifice. We are depraved and corrupt, and
he is made sanctification, that he may in the end be made complete redemption; may free the soul from the being of sin, and
loose the body from the bonds of the grave. And this is, that all flesh, according to the prophecy by Jeremiah, (Jer
9:23-24), may glory in the special favour, all-sufficient grace, and precious salvation of Jehovah.
David Burnette's Life Application
Work in Unity
Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter making
an application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today we start
the book of 1st Corinthians with Chapter 1 and in our text we see Paul addressing the Corinthian Church and the problems they
are having. Here Paul greets them, give thanks to God for them, appeals for harmony in the body, and preaches Christ. In making
application we see the importance in unity in the Church among the body of Christ. Today we have many personalities in the
body with different levels of spiritual maturity so we should apply God's Word to work together in unity. How about you? Do
you purpose to work with the Body in unity? Let us learn from our text today and the instruction of Paul to the Church at
Corinth to work within the body in unity to do the Will of God.
1 Corinthians 1
called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother,
2Unto 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 their's and our's:
3Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our
Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ;
5That in every thing ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge;
6Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed
7So that ye come behind in no gift;
waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ:
shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.
9God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ
10Now 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.
11For 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.
I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ.
13Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name
14I thank God that I baptized none
of you, but Crispus and Gaius;
should say that I had baptized in mine own name.
I baptized also the household of Stephanas: besides, I know not whether I baptized any other.
17For 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.
18For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it
is the power of God.
19For it is written,
I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.
20Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world?
hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?
after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them
22For the Jews require a sign,
and the Greeks seek after wisdom:
preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness;
24But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God,
and the wisdom of God.
25Because the foolishness
of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
26For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not
many noble, are called:
27But God hath chosen
the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things
which are mighty;
28And base things of the
world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:
29That no flesh should glory in his presence.
30But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of
God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:
31That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.