The Epistle of I CORINTHIANS
*** Remember that the Seven Church Epistles are either 1) DOCTRINE, 2) REPROOF, or 3) CORRECTION epistles.
Both I and II Corinthians are REPROOF EPISTLES which correct the practical error that crept into the Church due to the failure to adhere to the revelation given in Romans. This is a Church epistle written directly to the church of the Body of Christ.
1. Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother,
Literal: Paul, a called apostle of Jesus Christ, by the will of God, together with Sosthenes our brother.
Sosthenes was the leader of the synagogue at Corinth.
2. Unto 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 theirs and ours:
Literal: To the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified (set apart) in Christ Jesus, called saints, along with all men everywhere who call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both their Lord and ours.
When you are baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, you are separated out from the unbelievers who are not saved, making you a member of the Church of the Body of Christ. Remember that the Epistle is addressed to the Church of God as is clearly stated in this verse.
3. Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
Literal: Grace and peace be to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
4. I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ;
Literal: I thank my God always concerning you, for the grace of God that was given to you in Christ Jesus.
5. That in every thing ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge;
Literal: That in everything you were enriched by him, in all utterance/discourse and in all knowledge.
II Corinthians 8: 7 – Therefore, as ye abound in every thing, in faith, and utterance, and knowledge, and in all diligence, and in your love to us, see that ye abound in this grace also. [Emphasis added]
6. Even as the testimony [witness] of Christ was confirmed [established] in you:
Literal: According as the testimony (witness) of Christ was confirmed in you.
This word testimony means the "declaration which confirms or makes known anything." The word 'confirm' means "to establish by proof". This aligns up with our ability to speak in tongues which proves to a believer that he is born again -- it declares and makes this known. It is also a great and undisputed witness to others that you have Christ in you. In summary: SPEAKING IN TONGUES IS A WITNESS THAT IS ESTABLISHED IN YOU.
7. So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ:
Literal: There is indeed no single gift you lack, awaiting the coming/revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ.
II Peter 3: 12 -- Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?
8. Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Literal: Who (Jesus Christ) shall also confirm (establish, make firm) you to the end, that you may be blameless (Interlinear -- impeachable) in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.
It is interesting to note that from the Lexicon, one of the definitions of the word 'blameless' is: "though blamed yet undeserving of blame". The others are: "not accused, with nothing laid to one's charge". When you keep God first and walk with Him, you are blameless.
9. God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.
Literal: Faithful is God by whom you were called into the fellowship of his son Jesus Christ our Lord.
10. Now 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 judgement.
Literal: Now I exhort you brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ that you all speak the same thing and there be no divisions (schisms) among you, but that you be knit together in the same mind and in the same judgement.
We should have the same opinion or judgement on the Word of God. We are to be likeminded on the Word -- our personalities are different. Our personal likes and dislikes are different but we are to be likeminded on the Word. It would be very boring if we were likeminded on everything. This is why we are never to look at and compare personalities. By doing so, we are being carnally minded and give place to broken fellowship. You should commit to memory Philippians 4: 8 and APPLY IT and you will overcome this thought. Just do the Word. Don't argue about it or analyze it. STUDY IT, THINK IT, APPLY IT. God says to speak in tongues much in your private prayer life. Then do what God says. Then you get blessed. Not before, but after you fulfill the conditions of the Word.
Although the Interlinear does not use the phrase 'perfectly joined together', the King James Version does. In the latter case, this is the figure of speech PLEONASM or Redundancy where more words are used than the grammar requires.
11. For 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.
Literal: For it was shown to me concerning you, my brethren, by those of the house of Chloe that there are contentions (rivalry, wrangling and quarrels) among you.
Note this verse and how it illustrates how local Christian groups were meeting in a house. That's where the church met in the book of Acts -- not in big massive church buildings, but in people's homes where each could receive the personalized attention they needed to grow in the Word -- in their renewed mind.
Also note that even at Christ's time, people were arguing among themselves.
12. Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ.
Literal: What I mean is this: each of you is saying, ‘I am Paul's man’, or ‘I am for Apollos’; ‘I follow Cephas’ or ‘I am Christ's’.
The quarrels and strife were the result of looking at personalities and the beginnings of worshiping the man. I have seen this happen on a large scale as a result of a lack of renewed mind on the part of many believers. The enemy gets the believers to focus on the personality traits of leaders rather than on the Word of God. One believer followed what the area leader said and another listened to the local leader while another group believed their fellowship leader knew more than all of them combined. The only possible result is division, dissention and anarchy.
13. Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?
Literal: Surely Christ has not been divided among you! Was it Paul who was crucified for you? Was it in the name of Paul that you were baptized?
14. I thank God that I baptized none of you, but Crispus and Gaius;
Literal: I thank God that I baptized none of you, except Crispus and Gaius.
15. Lest any should say that I had baptized in mine own name.
Literal: So no one can say you were baptized in my name.
16. And I baptized also the household of Stephanas: besides, I know not whether I baptized any other.
Literal: And I baptized also the household of Stephanas: as to the rest I know not if I baptized any other.
17. For 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.
Literal: For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach or proclaim the gospel, not with cleverness of speech, that the cross of Christ be not void.
New English Translation -- Christ did not send me to baptize, but to proclaim the gospel; and to do it without relying on the language of worldly wisdom, so that the fact of Christ on his cross might have its full weight.
18. For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.
Literal: For the preaching of the cross is foolishness to them that perish (utterly and finally ruined and destroyed), but to us who are saved, it is the power of God.
The word 'preaching' here is referring to the spoken Word, not the written Word. Again, do not cast your pearls before swine. Never speak God's Word to the goats. You are wasting God's time and yours. God will let you know. [Always be aware of something you believe you have mastered. Stay sharp.]
19. For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.
Literal: For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and bring to nothing the understanding of the understanding ones.
The word 'nothing' means "to make void, to render null, abolish, get rid of." The Interlinear says 'set aside'. Worldly wisdom and the philosophers practicing it shall all be brought to nothing. When we start to worship men instead of God, prepare for consequences. This is idolatry. You are to go to God for all of your needs. Then, if necessary, He may send you somewhere or to someone to make sure this need is met.
20. Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?
Literal: Where is your wise man now? Where is your scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Did not God make foolish the wisdom of this world?
Romans 1: 22 -- Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
21. For 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 that believe.
Literal: For since, in the wisdom of God (spiritual wisdom), the world by wisdom (sense-knowledge wisdom) knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.
22. For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom:
Literal: Since both the Jews ask for a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom.
23. But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness;
Literal: But we proclaim Christ crucified, to the Jews it is indeed a cause of offence, and to the Greeks it is foolishness.
24. But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.
Literal: But unto those who are called, Judeans and Greeks alike, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God.
25. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
There is also a figure of speech here called WISE-FOLLY. This is a wise saying that seems foolish. Also, there is the figure PARELLELISM which is the "repetition of similar, synonymous, or opposite thoughts or words in parallel or successive lines." It can be seen with the usage of the two words, wiser and stronger. There is a third figure -- INCONGRUITY, which is one word changed for another only remotely connected with it. In this case, it is incongruous to speak of 'foolishness' or 'weakness' with respect to God. So it grabs our attention. God wants this verse really stressed with three (3) figures of speech.
26. For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:
Literal: For you see your calling brethren, that there are not many wise men after the flesh (the sinful condition of human nature), not many powerful, not many high-born.
Ephesians 4: 1 -- I Therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation [mystery] wherewith ye are called,
27. But 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;
Literal: But the foolish things of the world hath God chosen that He might put the wise to shame; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world that He might put to shame the strong and powerful things.
James 2: 5 -- Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?
28. And 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:
Literal: And base things (low-born) of the world, and the despised or contemptible (despicable), hath God chosen, mere nothings, to overthrow the existing order.
The last part of this verse in the Interlinear states: "and the things that are not, that the things that are, he may annul (to declare void or invalid -- to cancel)."
29. That no flesh should glory in His presence.
Literal: So that all flesh might not boast before Him.
New English Translation -- And so there is no place for human pride in the presence of God.
30. But of him in are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:
Literal: But of Him (God) are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.
This verse contains three of our five Sonship Rights. They came not by our own efforts, but was "made unto us, done for us". If God gave us these things, then we have Christ's wisdom, his righteousness, his sanctification, and his redemption. We are "set apart" for heaven and all hell can't stop us.
Philippians 3: 9 -- And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith [believing]:
Spiritually, a believer is as righteous, as free from sin, as God. That's what the Word says. We are justified or released from the penalty of sin. When God raised Jesus Christ, we were completely released from the penalty of sin. Being justified by the faith of Jesus Christ, we have peace, IF WE RENEW OUR MINDS. If we renew our minds, we will have peace and act peaceably because of our Sonship right, justification. We also are redeemed from the curse of law and are bought back when Jesus Christ died for our sins and arose from the dead. Because of redemption, we are heirs of God and joint-heirs with Jesus Christ. We have God's incorruptible seed born within and thus have eternal life. Remember our fifth Sonship right which is the Ministry of Reconciliation which has been committed to us. This is a mighty verse which also contains the figure of speech POLYSYNDETON with many 'ands' to stress the equal importance of each Sonship right mentioned. Three of your five Sonship Rights are mentioned in the verse. The other two are 'justification' and the 'ministry of reconciliation'. You need to know and claim your Sonship Rights. (We have prepared a separate teaching on each Sonship Right.)
31. That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.
Literal: That, according as it is written, He that boasts (or glorieth), let him boast in the Lord.
New English Translation -- If a man must boast, let him boast of the Lord.
This is also the figure of speech 'QUOTATION' from Jeremiah.
Jeremiah 9: 23, 24 -- Thus saith the Lord, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the Lord which exercise lovingkindness, judgement, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the Lord.
WE ARE TO GLORY OR BOAST IN WHAT THE LORD ACCOMPLISHED FOR US.