Today we start reading 1st Corinthians. As always we will read one chapter a day.
In verses 1 through 3, as always Paul begins his letters with a few words about himself, followed by greetings and an invocation of grace and peace. Then he follows the normal pattern of ancient Greek letters but expands it with Christian meaning.
In verses 4 through 9, Paul thanks God for the spiritual gifts he sees in the lives of the Corinthian believers and expresses his confidence that God will keep them safe to end. Isn’t wonderful that we have that same confidence today! God promises us if we put our trust in Him, He will guide us and be with us no matter what this world throws at us.
In verses 10 through 17, the Corinthian believers were arguing over which of the evangelists, Paul, Apollos, or Peter was best. Paul rebukes them for their quarreling and worldly comparisons. As a minister of Jesus Christ and the gospel, Paul and the others are all channels through whom God works. In verse 13, Paul ask three rhetorical questions, all expecting the obvious answer, no. A Christian’s devotion is to be given to Jesus Christ, not to His messengers.
In verses 18 through 31, Paul contrasts eloquence and human wisdom, which was highly valued by some of the Corinthians, and the bookish message of the cross, the expression of God’s wisdom. The followers of Apollos, in particular were probably attracted by his rhetorical abilities and intellectual approach to ministry. You read about that in Acts 18:24-28. In contrast Paul emphasizes that the real power lies in the simple message of the cross of Jesus Christ.
Chapter 1 verse 10 through chapter 15 verse 58 is the main body of this letter and is devoted to Paul’s advice on specific problems and questions that had risen in the Corinthian church.