Thursday, 11 December 2008

1st Corinthians Chapter 1

Paul starts out his letter by stating his credentials. It is sad that he had to do this to a church that he established, but it was something he had to do often (see Gal 1:1). He was seen by many as not really being an apostle and he has to defend his apostleship (1 Cor, 9:1-2, 15:9, 2 Cor 12:12). He says he was a “called apostle” in the same way as the Corinthians were “saints" by calling (vs. 2)

There were numerous problems in Corinth and Paul seeks to get to the heart of them in this first chapter. Paul emphasises Christ 10 times in the first 10 verses of this epistle. Christ is the beginning of our faith; it has to be the focus of all we do. When we forget this we can fall into the problems that we see in Corinth.

In verse 10 Paul deals with one of the major problems that underlie most of the troubles he is to deal with throughout the letter. The need for unity is a continuing theme throughout the New Testament (Eph. 4:1-6). However the Corinthians were divided on “party lines”.

Romans 1:16 tells us, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” The Gospel seems very strange to the world. It is not the way the “world” would bring salvation. The Gospel seems foolish to those who do not appreciate it.

Paul tells us that God has chosen the foolish things of the world and the weak things of the world to shame the wise and the strong. We humans have the tendance to look to our own strength. The gospel puts the focus away from those things that the world would look to and where it ought to be – on God.

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