1Paul, appointed an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother,2to the church of God which is in Corinth, to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called saints, with all who in every place call on the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours:3Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.4I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given to you in Christ Jesus,5that you were enriched in everything in Him in all utterance and all knowledge,6even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you,7so that you are not lacking in any gift, patiently waiting for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ,8who will also confirm you to the end, that you may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.9God is faithful, through whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.10Now I exhort you, brethren, through the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be completely fitted together in the same mind and in the same judgment.11For it has been declared to me concerning you, my brethren, by those of Chloe's household, that there are contentions among you.12Now I say this, that each of you says, I am of Paul, and I of Apollos, and I of Cephas, and I of Christ.13Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you immersed into the name of Paul?14I thank God that I immersed none of you except Crispus and Gaius,15that no one should say that I had immersed into my name.16Yes, I also immersed the household of Stephanas. Besides that, I do not know whether I immersed any others.17For Christ did not send me to immerse, but to preach the gospel, not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of no effect.18For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19For it is written: I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and bring to nothing the understanding of the intelligent. 20Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?21For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who are believing.22For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom;23but we preach Christ crucified, truly to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness,24but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.25Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.26For you see your calling, brethren, that there are not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many of nobility.27But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are mighty;28and the low-born of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are,29that no flesh should boast in His presence.30But out of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who was made for us from God wisdom and righteousness and sanctification and redemption;31that, as it is written, He who exults, let him exult in the Lord.
Matthew Henry - Concise Commentary 1
All Christians are by baptism dedicated and devoted to Christ, and are under strict obligations to be holy. But in the true church of God are all who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, and who call upon him as God manifest in the flesh, for all the blessings of salvation; who acknowledge and obey him as their Lord, and as Lord of all; it includes no other persons. Christians are distinguished from the profane and atheists, that they dare not live without prayer; and they are distinguished from Jews and pagans, that they call on the name of Christ. Observe how often in these verses the apostle repeats the words, Our Lord Jesus Christ. He feared not to make too frequent or too honourable mention of him. To all who called upon Christ, the apostle gave his usual salutation, desiring, in their behalf, the pardoning mercy, sanctifying grace, and comforting peace of God, through Jesus Christ. Sinners can have no peace with God, nor any from him, but through Christ. He gives thanks for their conversion to the faith of Christ; that grace was given them by Jesus Christ. They had been enriched by him with all spiritual gifts. He speaks of utterance and knowledge. And where God has given these two gifts, he has given great power for usefulness. These were gifts of the Holy Ghost, by which God bore witness to the apostles. Those that wait for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, will be kept by him to the end; and those that are so, will be blameless in the day of Christ, made so by rich and free grace. How glorious are the hopes of such a privilege; to be kept by the power of Christ, from the power of our corruptions and Satan's temptations! 10
In the great things of religion be of one mind; and where there is not unity of sentiment, still let there be union of affection. Agreement in the greater things should extinguish divisions about the lesser. There will be perfect union in heaven, and the nearer we approach it on earth, the nearer we come to perfection. Paul and Apollos both were faithful ministers of Jesus Christ, and helpers of their faith and joy; but those disposed to be contentious, broke into parties. So liable are the best things to be corrupted, and the gospel and its institutions made engines of discord and contention. Satan has always endeavoured to stir up strife among Christians, as one of his chief devices against the gospel. The apostle left it to other ministers to baptize, while he preached the gospel, as a more useful work. 17
Paul had been bred up in Jewish learning; but the plain preaching of a crucified Jesus, was more powerful than all the oratory and philosophy of the heathen world. This is the sum and substance of the gospel. Christ crucified is the foundation of all our hopes, the fountain of all our joys. And by his death we live. The preaching of salvation for lost sinners by the sufferings and death of the Son of God, if explained and faithfully applied, appears foolishness to those in the way to destruction. The sensual, the covetous, the proud, and ambitious, alike see that the gospel opposes their favourite pursuits. But those who receive the gospel, and are enlightened by the Spirit of God, see more of God's wisdom and power in the doctrine of Christ crucified, than in all his other works. God left a great part of the world to follow the dictates of man's boasted reason, and the event has shown that human wisdom is folly, and is unable to find or retain the knowledge of God as the Creator. It pleased him, by the foolishness of preaching, to save them that believe. By the foolishness of preaching; not by what could justly be called foolish preaching. But the thing preached was foolishness to wordly-wise men. The gospel ever was, and ever will be, foolishness to all in the road to destruction. The message of Christ, plainly delivered, ever has been a sure touchstone by which men may learn what road they are travelling. But the despised doctrine of salvation by faith in a crucified Saviour, God in human nature, purchasing the church with his own blood, to save multitudes, even all that believe, from ignorance, delusion, and vice, has been blessed in every age. And the weakest instruments God uses, are stronger in their effects, than the strongest men can use. Not that there is foolishness or weakness in God, but what men consider as such, overcomes all their admired wisdom and strength. 26
God did not choose philosophers, nor orators, nor statesmen, nor men of wealth, and power, and interest in the world, to publish the gospel of grace and peace. He best judges what men and what measures serve the purposes of his glory. Though not many noble are usually called by Divine grace, there have been some such in every age, who have not been ashamed of the gospel of Christ; and persons of every rank stand in need of pardoning grace. Often, a humble Christian, though poor as to this world, has more true knowledge of the gospel, than those who have made the letter of Scripture the study of their lives, but who have studied it rather as the witness of men, than as the word of God. And even young children have gained such knowledge of Divine truth as to silence infidels. The reason is, they are taught of God; the design is, that no flesh should glory in his presence. That distinction, in which alone they might glory, was not of themselves. It was by the sovereign choice and regenerating grace of God, that they were in Jesus Christ by faith. He is made of God to us wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption; all we need, or can desire. And he is made wisdom to us, that by his word and Spirit, and from his fulness and treasures of wisdom and knowledge, we may receive all that will make us wise unto salvation, and fit for every service to which we are called. We are guilty, liable to just punishment; and he is made righteousness, our great atonement and sacrifice. We are depraved and corrupt, and he is made sanctification, that he may in the end be made complete redemption; may free the soul from the being of sin, and loose the body from the bonds of the grave. And this is, that all flesh, according to the prophecy by Jeremiah, Jer 9:23
, may glory in the special favour, all-sufficient grace, and precious salvation of Jehovah.