THE FIRST EPISTLE OF PAUL
Author: The apostle Paul (1:1; 9:1-2), twenty-five years after he was called (Acts 9:3-6, 15-16) and fourteen years after he was sent to the Gentiles (Acts 13:1-4, 8).
Time of Writing: Approximately A.D. 59, near the end of Paul's three-year stay in Ephesus (Acts 20:31; 1 Cor. 16:8).
Place of Writing: Ephesus (Acts 19:21-22; 1 Cor. 16:3-8, 19).
Recipients: The saints -- the church -- in Corinth and all who call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ in every place (1:2).
Christ and His Cross as the Solution
to All Problems in the Church
I. Introduction -- The Initial Gifts
and the Participation in Christ
1 Paul, a 1acalled apostle of Christ Jesus through the 2bwill of God, and 3Sosthenes the brother,
2 To the 1achurch of God which is 2in bCorinth, 3to those who have been 4csanctified 5in Christ Jesus, the 6dcalled saints, 7with all those who 8ecall upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ in every place, who is 9ftheirs and ours:
3 aGrace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
4 I athank my God always concerning you 1based upon the bgrace of God which was given to you in Christ Jesus,
5 That in everything you were aenriched in Him, in all 1utterance and all bknowledge,
6 Even as the 1atestimony of Christ was confirmed 2in you,
7 So that you do not lack in any 1agift, eagerly awaiting the 2brevelation of our Lord Jesus Christ,
8 1Who will also 2aconfirm you until the end bunreprovable in the 3cday of our Lord Jesus Christ.
9 1God is afaithful, through whom you were bcalled 2into the cfellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
II. Dealing with Divisions
A. Christ and His Cross, the Unique Solution
to All Problems in the Church
1. Christ Not Divided
10 Now I beseech you, brothers, through the 1aname of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all 2bspeak the same thing and that there be no 3cdivisions among you, but that you be 4attuned in the dsame mind and in the same 5eopinion.
11 For it has been made clear to me concerning you, my brothers, by those of the household of 1Chloe, that there are astrifes among you.
12 Now I mean this, that each of you says, 1aI am of bPaul, and I of cApollos, and I of dCephas, and I of 2Christ.
13 Is 1Christ adivided? Was Paul 2crucified for you? Or were you bbaptized into the name of Paul?
14 I thank God that I baptized none of you except aCrispus and bGaius,
15 That no one may say that you were baptized into my name.
16 And I did baptize the household of aStephanas also; beyond that I do not know if I baptized any other.
17 For Christ did not 1send me to baptize but to announce the gospel, not in 2awisdom of speech that the 3bcross of Christ may not be made void.
2. Christ Crucified, God's Power and God's Wisdom
18 For the 1aword of the cross is to those who are bperishing cfoolishness, but to us who are being dsaved it is the epower of God.
19 For it is written, a"I will destroy the wisdom of the 1bwise, and the understanding of those who understand I will set aside.''
20 Where is the awise? Where is the 1bscribe? Where is the disputer of cthis age? Has not God made the wisdom of the world dfoolish?
21 For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know God, God 1was well pleased through the afoolishness of the 2preaching to bsave those who believe.
22 For indeed Jews require 1asigns and Greeks seek wisdom,
23 But we apreach 1Christ bcrucified, to Jews a cstumbling block, and to Gentiles dfoolishness,
24 But to 1those who are acalled, both bJews and Greeks, Christ the 2cpower of God and the dwisdom of God.
25 Because the afoolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
3. Christ, Our Wisdom:
Righteousness, Sanctification, and Redemption
26 For consider your calling, brothers, that there are not many awise according to flesh, not many powerful, not many 1wellborn.
27 But God has 1achosen the foolish things of the bworld that He might shame those who are wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the bworld that He might shame the things that are strong,
28 And the 1lowborn things of the world and the 2despised things God has chosen, things which 3aare not, that He might bbring to nought the 4things which are,
29 1So that no flesh may aboast before God.
30 But 1aof Him you are bin Christ Jesus, who became cwisdom to us from God: both 2drighteousness and esanctification and fredemption,
31 That as it is written, a"He who boasts, let him bboast in the Lord.''