Bible Commentaries

1 Corinthians 1

Verses 1-31

The epistle is to the Church. Its messages are only for those who have been brought into fellowship with Jesus Christ. The character of the Church is indicated in the words, "sanctified in Christ Jesus, called saints." The equipment of the Church is indicated in the phrase, "enriched in Him."

The foundation proposition of the epistle is that the Church is called into the fellowship of Jesus Christ. The first part of the letter is corrective. It deals with evidences of the dominance of the carnal nature, and the first is of the divisions which had arisen among them. Paul first beseeches them to "speak the same thing," to "be perfected together in the same mind and in the same judgment."

These factions, created by disputes in the realm of the "wisdom of words," were the result of the folly of failing to appreciate the marvelous wisdom of that great "Word of the Cross" which was the foundation on which their faith was built, and which brought them into sacred union with Jesus Christ, and therefore with each other. The apostle shows the unutterable folly of those who were attempting to deal with Christian truth after the manner of that "wisdom of words" which characterized the age, and who were thus causing schism in the body of Christ. "The Word of the Cross" contradicted the whole method and result as it revealed the wisdom of God and the ultimate discomfiture and overthrow of all that the age most valued.