Notes on the First Epistle of Paul to the Corinthians with a new translation
The First Epistle to the Corinthians
1 Corinthians 1
Paul, a called apostle of Christ Jesus by God's will, and Sosthenes the brother, 2 to the assembly of God that is in Corinth, [persons] sanctified in Christ Jesus, called saints, with all that call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ in every place, theirs and ours; 3 grace to you and peace from God our Father, and [the] Lord Jesus Christ.
4 I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God that was given you in Christ Jesus; 5 that in everything ye were enriched in him, in all discourse and all knowledge, 6 according as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you; 7 so that ye come not short in any gift, awaiting the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ 8 who shall also confirm you until [the] end, unimpeachable in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 God [is] faithful by whom ye 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 say the same thing, and [that] there be no divisions among you, but [that] ye be made perfect in the same mind and in the same judgment. 11 For it hath been shown to me concerning you, my brethren, by those [of the house] of Chloe, that there are strifes among you. 12 But I say this, that each of you saith, I am of Paul, and I of Apollos, and I of Cephas, and I of Christ. 13 Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you, or were ye baptized unto the name of Paul? 14 I thank God that I baptized none of you but Crispus and Gaius, 15 that no one should say that ye were baptized unto my name. 16 And I baptized also the household of Stephanas; further I know not whether I baptized any other. 17 For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel; not in wisdom of word, lest the cross of Christ should be made vain. 18 For the word of the cross is to those that perish foolishness, but to us that are to be saved it is God's power. 19 For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and put away the understanding of the understanding ones. 20 Where [is the] wise? whore scribe? where disputer of this age? Hath not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom knew not God, God was pleased through the foolishness of the preaching to save those that believe; 22 since both Jews ask for signs and Greeks seek wisdom; 23 but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling-block, and to Gentiles foolishness, 24 but to those that [are] called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ God's power and God's wisdom; 25 because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
26 For look at your calling, brethren, that not many [are] wise according to flesh, not many powerful, not many high-born. 27 But the foolish things of the world God chose that he might put to shame the wise; and the weak things of the world God chose that he might put to shame the strong things; 28 and the low-born things of the world and those despised God chose, [and] the things that are not, that he might bring to nought the things that are, 29 so that no flesh should boast before God. 30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who was made wisdom to us from God, and righteousness and sanctification and redemption; 31 that, according as it is written, He that boasteth, let him boast in [the] Lord.
1 Corinthians 2
And I, when I came unto you, brethren, came not in excellency of word or wisdom, announcing to you the testimony of God. 2 For I determined not to know anything among you save Jesus Christ and him crucified. 3 And I in weakness and in fear and in much trembling was with you; 4 and my word and my preaching, not in persuasive words of wisdom but in demonstration of [the] Spirit and of power; 5 that your faith might not be in man's wisdom but in God's power.
6 But we speak wisdom among the full-grown, but wisdom not of this age, nor of the rulers of this age that come to nought. 7 But we speak God's wisdom in a mystery, the hidden [wisdom] which God pre-determined before the ages for our glory; 8 which none of the rulers of the age knew (for, had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory), 9 but, according as it is written, Things which eye saw not and ear heard not, and into man's heart entered not, all which God prepared for those that love him, 10 but God revealed to us by his Spirit; for the Spirit searcheth all things, even the depths of God. 11 For who of men knoweth the things of a man save the spirit of the man that [is] in him? So also the things of God knoweth no one save the Spirit of God. 12 But we did not receive the spirit of the world, but the Spirit that [is] from God, that we might know the things freely given us by God; 13 which things also we speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in [those] taught by [the] Spirit, communicating spiritual things by spiritual [words]. 14 But [the] natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he cannot know [them] because they are spiritually examined; 15 but the spiritual [man] examineth all things, while he himself is examined by no one. 16 For who hath known [the] Lord's mind that he should instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.
1 Corinthians 3.
And I, brethren, was not able to speak to you as spiritual, but as fleshy,* as babes in Christ. 2 With milk I gave you drink, not meat; for ye were not yet able, nor indeed are ye now able, 3 for ye are yet carnal. For whereas emulation and strife [are] among you, are ye not carnal and walk according to man? 4 For when one saith, I am of Paul, and I of Apollos, are ye not men? 5 What† then is Apollos? and what† is Paul? Ministers by whom ye believed, and as the Lord gave to each. 6 I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase. 7 So that neither he that planteth is anything, nor he that watereth, but God that giveth the increase. 8 And he that planteth and he that watereth are one thing; but each shall receive his own reward according to his own labour. 9 For we are God's fellow-workmen; ye are God's tillage, God's building.
* Perhaps "carnal."
† Or, "who."
10 According to the grace of God that was given to me, as a wise architect I laid the foundation and another buildeth on [it]. But let each see how he buildeth on [it]. 11 For other foundation can none lay than what is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if any one build on this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, grass, straw, 13 the work of each shall be made manifest; for the day shall declare [it], because it is to be revealed in fire, and the fire itself shall try the work of each, of what sort it is. 14 If the work of any one shall abide which he built on [it], he shall receive reward: 15 if the work of any one shall be burnt up, he shall suffer loss, but himself shall be saved but so as through fire. 16 know ye not that ye are God's temple, and [that] the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? 17 If any one destroy the temple of God, him shall God destroy, for the temple of God is holy, the which ye are.
18 Let none deceive himself; if any one thinketh himself to be wise among you in this age, let him become foolish that he may be wise. 19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God; for it is written, He that taketh the wise in their craftiness; 20 and again, [The] Lord knoweth the reasonings of the wise that they are vain. 21 Wherefore let none boast in men, for all things are yours: 22 whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come, all are yours, 23 and ye Christ's, and Christ God's.
1 Corinthians 4.
So let a man account of us, as servants of Christ and stewards of God's mysteries. 2 Here moreover it is sought in stewards that one be found faithful, 3 but to me it amounteth to very little that I be examined by you, or by man's day. 4 Nay, I do not examine even myself, for I am conscious to myself of nothing, yet I am not justified by this, but he that examineth me is the Lord. 5 So then judge nothing prematurely until the Lord shall have come, who shall both bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and shall make manifest the counsels of the hearts, and then shall each have his praise from God.
6 And these things, brethren, I transferred to myself and Apollos on your account, that ye may in our case learn, Nothing above what is written, in order that ye be not puffed up one for one against another. 7 For who distinguisheth thee? and what hast thou which thou didst not receive? But if thou didst even receive, why boastest thou as not having received? 8 Already ye are filled, already ye have been enriched, apart from us ye reigned; and I would that ye did reign, that we also might reign with you. 9 For, I think, God set us the apostles last as devoted to death, because we became a spectacle to the world, to both angels and men: 10 we, fools for Christ, but ye prudent in Christ; we weak, but ye strong; ye illustrious, but we disgraced. 11 Until the present hour we both hunger and thirst, and are naked and are buffeted and are homeless wanderers, 12 and we toil, working with our own hands; reviled, we bless, persecuted, we suffer; 13 slandered, we beseech. We became as the world's scum, off-scouring of all, until now.
14 Not to abash you do I write these things, but as my beloved children I admonish [you]; 15 for if ye should have ten thousand child-guides in Christ, yet not many fathers, for in Christ Jesus, through the gospel, I begot you. 16 I beseech you then, become imitators of me. 17 For this cause I sent to you Timothy, who is my beloved and faithful child in [the] Lord, who will remind you of my ways that are in Christ [Jesus], even as everywhere in every assembly I teach.
18 Now some were puffed up as though I were not coming unto you; 19 but I shall come shortly unto you, if the Lord will, and will know not the word of those that are puffed up but the power; 20 for the kingdom of God [is] not in word but in power. 21 What will ye? that I come unto you with a rod, or with love and a spirit of meekness?
1 Corinthians 5.
Universal report is of fornication among you, and such fornication as [is] not even among the Gentiles, that one should have his father's wife. 2 And ye are puffed up, and hate not rather mourned, that he that did this deed might be taken away out of the midst of you. 3 For I, absent in body but present in spirit, have already judged as present, 4 in the name of our Lord Jesus [Christ], ye and my spirit being gathered together with the power of our Lord Jesus [Christ], [concerning] him that so wrought this- 5 to deliver such an one to Satan for destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. 6 Your boasting [is] not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? 7 Purge out the old leaven that ye may be a new lump, according as ye are unleavened. For also our passover, Christ, was sacrificed. 8 Wherefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with leaven of malice and wickedness, but with unleavened [bread] of sincerity and truth.
9 I have written* to you in the epistle not to mix with fornicators; 10 not absolutely with the fornicators of this world, or the covetous and rapacious or idolatrous, since [in that case] ye must go out of the world. 11 But now I have written to you, if any one called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or idolatrous, or abusive, or a drunkard, or rapacious, not to mix with [him], with such an one not even to eat. 12 For what [is it] to me to judge those without? Do ye not judge those within? 13 But those without God judgeth. Put out the wicked person from among yourselves.
* Epistolary, or allusive usage of aorist, as in 1Co_9:15. See 1 John 2.
1 Corinthians 6.
Dareth any of you, having a matter against another, go to law for, seek judgment] before the unjust and not before the saints? 2 What! know ye not that the saints shall judge the world? 3 And if the world is judged by you, are ye unworthy of the least judgments? Know ye not that we shall judge angels? much more things of this life. 4 If then ye have judgments in things of this life, set up those who are of no esteem in the assembly. 5 I speak to your shame. Thus there is not among you one wise [man] who shall be able to decide among brethren [literally, "brother [and brother]"]! 6 But brother goeth to law with brother, and this before unbelievers. 7 already therefore it is altogether a fault in you that ye go to law among yourselves. Why are ye not rather wronged? why are ye not rather defrauded? 8 But ye do wrong and defraud, and this brethren. 9 What I know ye not that unjust [men] shall not inherit God's kingdom? Do not err: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor abusers of themselves as women, nor abusers of themselves with men, 10 nor rapacious, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit God's kingdom. 11 And these things were some of you. But ye were washed [literally, "had yourselves washed"], but ye were sanctified, but ye were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus [Christ] and by the Spirit of our God.
12 All things are lawful to me, but not all things profit; all things are lawful to me, but I will not be brought under the power of any. 13 Meets for the belly, and the belly for meats, but God will bring to nought both it and them; but the body [is] not for fornication but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. 14 And God both raised the Lord, and will raise up us by his power. 15 Know ye not, that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then, taking the members of Christ, make [them] members of a harlot? Let it not be. 16 What I know ye not that he that is joined to the harlot is one body? For, saith he, the two [shall be] one flesh. 17 But he that is joined to the Lord is one spirit. 18 Flee fornication. Every sin whatsoever that a man may practise is outside the body, but the fornicator sinneth against his own body. 19 What I know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit that [is] in you, and that ye are not your own? 20 For ye were bought with a price: do then glorify God in your body.
1 Corinthians 7.
But concerning the things of which ye wrote [to me], [it is] good for a man not to touch a woman, 2 but on account of fornications let each have his own wife, and each have her own husband. 3 To the wife let the husband render her due, and likewise also the wife to the husband. 4 The wife hath not authority over her own body, but the husband; and likewise also the husband hath not authority over his own body, but the wife. 5 Defraud not one another, unless by consent for a time, that ye may have leisure for prayer and again be together, that Satan tempt you not because of your incontinency. 6 But this I say by way of permission, not by way of command. 7 Now I desire all men to be even as myself; but each hath his own gift of God, one this way, and another that.
8 But I say to the unmarried and to widows: It is good for them that they remain even as I. 9 But if they have not continency let them marry, for it is better to marry than to burn. 10 But to the married not I enjoin but the Lord, that wife be not separated from husband 11 (but if also she be separated, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband), and that husband leave [or, put away] not wife. 12 But to the rest I say, not the Lord, if any brother hath an unbelieving wife, and she consent to dwell with him, let him not leave [or, put away] her; 13 and a woman which hath an unbelieving husband, and he consenteth to dwell with her, let her not leave [or, put away] him. 14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified in the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified in the brother; since then your children are unclean, but now are they holy. 15 But if the unbelieving separateth himself, let him be separated. The brother or the sister is not in bondage in such [circumstances]: but God hath called us in peace. 16 For what knowest thou, O wife, if thou shalt save thy husband? or what knowest thou, O husband, if thou shalt save thy wife?
17 Only as the Lord divided to each, as God hath called each, so let him walk. And so I ordain in all the assemblies. 18 Was any one called circumcised? Let him not become uncircumcised. Hath any one been called in uncircumcision? Let him not be circumcised. 19 Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but keeping God's commandments. 20 Let each abide in that calling in which he was called. 21 Wast thou called a bondman? Let it not be a care to thee; but if also thou canst be free, use [it] rather. 22 For the bondman called in [the] Lord is [the] Lord's freedman; likewise he that was called free is Christ's bondman. 23 Ye were bought with a price; become not bondmen of men. 24 Brethren, wherein each was called, in this let him abide with God.
25 Now concerning virgins command of [the] Lord have I none, but I give an opinion as having received mercy of [the] Lord to be faithful. 26 I think then that this is good because of the present necessity, that [it is] good for a man to be so. 27 Art thou bound to a wife? seek not to be loosed. Art thou loosed from a wife? seek not a wife. 28 But if even thou shouldest have married, thou didst not sin; and if the virgin should have married, she did not sin. But such shall have tribulation in the flesh: but I am sparing you. 29 But this I say, brethren, the season is straitened: henceforth that both those that have wives be as having none, 30 and those that weep as weeping not, and those that rejoice as rejoicing not, and those that buy as possessing not, 31 and those that use the world as not using [it] for themselves;* for the fashion of the world passeth away. 32 But I would have you to be without care. The unmarried careth for the things of the Lord, how he shall please the Lord; 33 but he that hath married careth for the things of the world how he shall please his wife. 34 Divided also is both the wife and the virgin: the unmarried careth for the things of the Lord that she may be holy both in body and in spirit; but she that hath married careth for the things of the world how she shall please her husband. 35 But this I say for your own profit, not that I may cast a snare [lit. a noose] over you, but for what [is] seemly and waiting on the Lord undistractedly.
* Or, to the full, καταχρώμενοι. See 1Co_9:18.
36 But if any one thinketh that he is behaving unseemly to his virginity, if he be past his prime, and so it ought to be, let him do what he will: he is not sinning, let them marry. 37 But he who standeth firm in his heart, having no necessity, and hath authority concerning his own will, and hath judged this in his own heart to keep his own virginity, shall do well. 38 So that he that marrieth [lit. his own virginity] doeth well, and he that marrieth not shall do better. 39 A wife is bound as long as her husband liveth; but should the husband have fallen asleep, she is free to be married to whom she will, only in [the] Lord. 40 But she is happier if she so remain according to my judgment, and I also think that I have God's Spirit.
1 Corinthians 8.
But concerning the things sacrificed to idols, we know that we all have knowledge; knowledge puffeth up, but love edifieth. 2 If any one thinketh that he knoweth anything, not yet knoweth he as he ought to know; 3 but if any one loveth God, he is known by him. 4 Concerning the eating, then, of the things sacrificed to idols, we know that [shore is] no idol in [the] world, and that [there is] no God save one. 5 For even if there are [so-]called gods whether in heaven, or on earth, as there are gods many and lords many; 6 yet to us [there is] one God the rather, of whom [are] all things, and we unto him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom [are] all things, and we by him. 7 Howbeit not in all [is] the knowledge, but some with conscience of the idol until now eat as of a thing sacrificed to an idol; and their conscience being weak is defiled. 8 But meat shall not commend us to God; neither if we eat have we the advantage, nor if we eat not do we come short. 9 But see lost in any wise this your title become a stumbling-block to the weak. 10 For if any one see thee who hast knowledge sitting at table in an idol's temple, shall not his conscience, as he is weak, be emboldened to eat the things sacrificed to idols? 11 And he that is weak perisheth by thy knowledge, the brother for whom Christ died? 12 But thus sinning against the brethren, and wounding their weak conscience, ye sin against Christ. 13 Wherefore, if meat stumble my brother, I will in nowise eat flesh for ever, that I may not stumble my brother.
1 Corinthians 9.
Am I not free? am I not an apostle? have I not seen Jesus our Lord? my work are not ye in [the] Lord? 2 If I am not an apostle to others, yet at least I am to you; for the seal of my apostleship ye are in [the] Lord. 3 My defence to those that examine me is this. 4 Have we not a title to eat and to drink? 5 have we not title to take about a sister wife, as also the other apostles and the brethren of the Lord and Cephas? 6 or I alone and Barnabas, have we not title to abstain from working [lit. not to work]? 7Who ever serveth in war at his own charges? Who planteth a vineyard, and eateth not of its fruit? or who tendeth a flock, and eateth not of the milk of the flock? 8 Do I speak these things as a man, or doth not the law also say these things? 9 For in the law of Moses it is written, Thou shalt not muzzle an ox while treading out corn. Is it for the oxen that God careth, 10 or doth he say it altogether on our account? For it was written on our account, because the plougher ought to plough in hope, and the thresher in hope of partaking. 11 If we sowed for you the spiritual things, [is it] a great thing if we shall reap your carnal things? 12 If others partake of the title over you, should not we more? But we use not this title but bear all things, that we may cause no hindrance to the gospel of the Christ. 13 Know ye not that those that minister about the holy things eat of the temple, and those that attend the altar share with the altar? 14 So also the Lord ordained those that announced the gospel to live of the gospel. 15 But I have used none of these things. And I have not written these things that it should be thus in my case, for [it were] good for me to die rather than that any one should make empty my boast. 16 For if I preach the gospel, I have nothing to boast, for necessity is laid upon me, for woe is to me if I preach not the gospel. 17For if I do this willingly, I have a reward; but if unwillingly, I have an administration entrusted to me. 18 What, then, is my reward? That in preaching the gospel I may make the gospel without charge; so that I use not for myself my title in the gospel. 19 For being free from all I made myself bondman to all, that I might gain the most. 20And I became to the Jews as a Jew, that I might gain Jews; and to those under law, as under law, not being myself under law, that I might gain those under law; 21 to those without law, as without law, not being without law to God, but under law to Christ, that I might gain those without law. 22 To the weak I became weak, that I might gain the weak; to all I have become all things, that by all means I might save some. 23 And all things I do for the sake of the gospel, that I may become a fellow-partaker of it.
24 Know ye not that they who run in a race-course run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. 25 And every one that contendeth is temperate in all things: they indeed that they may receive a corruptible crown, but we an incorruptible. 26 I therefore so run, as not uncertainly - so combat, as not beating air. 27 But I discipline my body and lead [it] captive, lest by any means, having preached to others, I myself should be reprobate.
1 Corinthians 10.
For I would not have you ignorant, brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, 2 and were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea, 3 and all ate the same spiritual meat, 4 and all drank the same spiritual drink; for they were drinking of a spiritual attendant rock (and the rock was Christ); 5 but in the most of them God had no pleasure, for they were overthrown in the wilderness. 6 But these things happened as types of us, that we should not be lusters after evil things, even as they also lusted. 7 Neither be ye idolaters, even as some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play. 8 Neither let us commit fornication, even as some of them committed, and there fell in one day twenty-three thousand. 9 Neither let us tempt the Lord, even as some of them tempted, and were perishing by the serpents. 10 Neither murmur ye, according as some of them murmured, and perished by the destroyer. 11 Now all these things happened unto them typically, and were written for our admonition, unto whom the ends of the ages have reached. 12 So then let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. 13 No temptation hath taken you save a human one: but God [is] faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted above what ye are able, but will with the temptation make also the issue that ye may be able to bear [it].
14 Wherefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry. 15 I speak as to prudent [men]: judge ye what I say. 16 The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not fellowship with the blood of the Christ? The loaf which we break, is it not fellowship with the body of the Christ? 17 Because we, the many, are one loaf, one body, for we all partake of the one loaf. 18 See Israel according to flesh: are not they that eat the sacrifices in fellowship with the altar? 19 What say I then? that an idol-sacrifice is anything, or that an idol is anything? 20 but that what they sacrifice, they sacrificed to demons, and not to God; and I wish you not to be in fellowship with demons. 21 Ye cannot drink [the] Lord's cup, and a cup of demons; ye cannot partake of [the] Lord's table, and of a table of demons. 22 What I do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than he?
23 All things are lawful, but not all profit; all things are lawful, but not all edify. 24 Let none seek his own [advantage], but his neighbour's [lit. that of the other]. 25 Everything that is offered for sale in the shambles eat, examining nothing for conscience' sake: 26 for the earth [is] the Lord's, and its fulness. 27 And if anyone of the unbelieving inviteth you, and ye desire to go, all that is set before you eat, examining nothing for conscience' sake. 28 But if anyone say to you, This is sacrificed, eat not for his sake that pointed [it] out, and conscience; 29 but conscience, I say, not one's own, but the other's; for why is my liberty to be judged by another conscience? 30 If I partake with thanks, why am I to be evil spoken of for that for which I give thanks? 31 Whether then ye eat or drink or do anything, do all things unto God's glory. 32 Give no occasion of stumbling, either to Jews or Greeks, or to the assembly of God; 33 even as I too please all in all things, not seeking mine own profit, but that of the many, that they be saved. 1 Corinthians 11. Be imitators of me, even as I also [am] of Christ.
2 Now I praise you that in all things ye remember me and hold fast the traditions according as I delivered [them] to you. 3 But I wish you to know that the head of every man is the Christ, and woman's head the man, and the Christ's head God. 4Every man praying or prophesying with head covered [lit. having something on [his] head] shameth his head. 5 But every woman praying or prophesying with the head uncovered shameth her own head; for it is one and the same thing as if she were shaven. 6 For if a woman is not covered, let her also be shorn; but if [it is] shameful for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered. 7 For a man indeed ought not to have his head covered, being God's image and glory; but the woman is man's glory. 8 For man is not of woman, but woman of man. 9 For also man was not created on account of the woman, but woman on account of the man. 10 On this account ought the woman to have authority on her head on account of the angels. 11 However, neither [is] woman without man, nor man without woman, in [the] Lord; 12 for as the women [is] of the man, so also [is] the man by the woman; but all things of God. 13 Judge in yourselves: is it comely that a woman should pray to God uncovered? 14 Doth not even nature itself teach you that, if man have long hair, it is a dishonour to him; but if woman have long hair, it is a glory to her? 15 Because the hair hath been given her instead of a veil. 16 But if any one seemeth to be contentious, we have no such custom, nor yet the assemblies of God.
17 Now in enjoining this I praise [you] not, because ye come together not for the better but for the worse. 18 For first, when ye come together in an assembly, I hear that divisions exist among you, and in some measure I believe [it]: 19 for there must be even sects among you, that the approved may become manifest among you. 20 When therefore ye come together into the same [place], there is no eating of [the] Lord's supper. 21 For each in eating taketh his own supper before [others]; and one is hungry, and another drinketh excessively. 22 Have ye not then houses for eating and drinking? or despise ye the church of God, and put shame on those that have not? What shall I say to you? shall I praise you? In this I do not praise. 23 For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus, in the night in which he was being delivered up, took bread; 24 and, having given thanks, he brake [it], and said, This is my body, which [is] for you: this do in remembrance of me. 25 In like manner also the cup, after having supped, saying, This cup is the new covenant in my blood: this do, as often as ye drink [it], in remembrance of me. 26 For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink the cup, ye announce the death of the Lord till he come. 27 Wherefore whosoever eateth the bread, or drinketh the cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty as to the body and the blood of the Lord. 28 But let a man prove himself, and so let him eat of the bread, and drink of the cup. 29 For he that eateth and drinketh eateth and drinketh judgment to himself, not discerning the body. 30 For this cause many [are] weak and sickly among you, and rather many are falling asleep. 31 But if we were discerning ourselves, we should not be judged; but when judged, we are chastened by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world. 32 Wherefore, my brethren, when coming together to eat, wait for each other. 33 If any one is hungry, let him eat at home, that ye may not come together for judgment. But the rest will I arrange when I come.
1 Corinthians 12.
Now concerning spiritual things, brethren, I would not have you ignorant. 2 Ye know that, when ye were Gentiles, [ye were] led away unto the dumb idols as ye might be led. 3 Wherefore I give you to know, that no one speaking in [the] Spirit of God saith, Jesus [is] accursed, and no one can say, Lord Jesus, unless in [the] Holy Spirit. 4 Now there are differences of gifts, but the same Spirit, 5 and there are differences of services, and the same Lord, 6 and there are differences of operations, but the same God that operateth all things in all. 7 But to each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for profit. 8 For to one, through the Spirit, is given [the] word of wisdom, and to another [the] word of knowledge, according to the same Spirit; 9 to a different one faith by [or, in] the same Spirit, and to another gifts of healings by [or, in] the same Spirit, 10 and to another operations of powers, and to another prophecy, and to another discerning of spirits; to a different one kinds of tongues, and to another interpretation of tongues. 11 But all these things operateth the one and the same Spirit, dividing in particular to each as he pleaseth.
12 For even as the body is one and hath many members, and all the members of the body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. 13 For by one Spirit were we all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether bond or free, and were all made to drink of one Spirit.
14 For also the body is not one member but many. 15 If the foot shall say, Because I am not a hand, I am not of the body, it is not on this account not of the body; 16 and if the ear say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body, it is not on this account not of the body. 17 If the whole body [were] an eye, where the hearing? If all hearing, where the smelling? 18 But now God set the members each one of them in the body according as he pleased. 19 And if they all were one member, where the body? 20 But now [are there] many members, and one body. 21 And the eye cannot say to the hand, I have no need of thee; or, again, the head to the feet, I have no need of you. 22 But much more the members of the body that seem to be weaker are necessary: 23 and those which we think to be less honourable [members] of the body, on these we put more abundant honour, and our uncomely [members] have more abundant comeliness; 24 but our comely [members] have no need. But God blended the body together, having given more abundant honour to that which lacked, 25 that there might be no division in the body, but that the members might have the same concern one for another. 26 And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with [it]: whether a [or, one] member is glorified, all the members rejoice with [it]. 27 Now ye are Christ's body, and members in particular. 28 And God set some in the assembly, first apostles, secondly prophets, thirdly teachers, then powers, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, kinds of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all powers? 30 Have all gifts of healings? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? 31 But desire earnestly the greater gifts, and yet I show you a way of exceeding excellence.
1 Corinthians 13.
If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, yet have not love, I am become sounding brass and a clanging cymbal. 2 And if I have prophecy, and know all the mysteries and all the knowledge, and if I have all the faith so as to remove mountains, yet have not love, I am nothing. 3 And if I should dole out in food all my substance. and if I should deliver my body that I might be burned, and have not love, I am nothing profited. 4Love is long-suffering, is kind; love is not emulous, is not vain-glorious, is not puffed up, 5 doth not behave unseemly, seeketh not its own things, is not easily provoked, reckoneth not the evil, 6 rejoiceth not over iniquity, but rejoiceth with the truth, 7 beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. 8 Love never faileth, but whether prophecies, they shall be done away; whether tongues, they shall cease; whether knowledge, it shall be done away. 9 For in part we know, and in part we prophesy; 10 but when that which is perfect is come, that which is in part shall be done away. 11 When I was a child, I talked as a child, I thought as a child, I reckoned as a child; when I am become a man, I have done with the things of a child. 12 For we see now through a mirror in a dark form, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall fully know, even as I also was fully known. 13 But now abideth faith, hope, love, these three; but [the] greater of these [is] love.
1 Corinthians 14.
Pursue love, but earnestly desire the spiritual things, yet rather that ye may prophesy. 2 For he that speaketh in a tongue speaketh not to men but to God; for no one heareth; yet in spirit he speaketh mysteries. 3 But he that prophesieth speaketh to men edification, and encouragement, and comfort. 4 He that speaketh with a tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the assembly. 5 But I desire that ye all should speak with tongues, but rather that ye should prophesy. And greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues, except he interpret, in order that the assembly may receive edification. 6 And now, brethren, if I come to you speaking with tongues, what shall I profit you, unless I shall speak to you either in revelation, or in knowledge, or in prophecy, or in teaching? 7 Nevertheless lifeless things giving sound, whether pipe or harp, if they give not distinction to the notes, how shall be known what is piped or what is harped? 8 For also if a trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare for war? 9 So also ye through the tongue, unless ye give a distinct speech, how shall what is spoken be known, for ye will be speaking into air? 10 There are, it may be, so many kinds of voices in the world, and none insignificant. 11 If therefore I do not know the power of the voice, I shall be to him that speaketh a barbarian, and he that speaketh a barbarian in my case. 12 So also ye, since ye are zealous after spirits, seek that ye may abound for the edification of the assembly. 13 Wherefore let him that speaketh with a tongue pray that he may interpret. 14 For if I pray with a tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful. 15 What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding; I will sing with the spirit, but I will sing also with the understanding. 16 Since if thou bless in spirit, how shall he that filleth the place of the private [person] say Amen at thy thanksgiving, since he knoweth not what thou sayest? 17 For thou givest thanks well, but the other is not edified. 18 I thank God, I speak in a tongue more than ye all; 19 but in an assembly I desire to speak five words with my understanding, that I may instruct others also, rather than ton thousand words in a tongue.
20 Brethren, be not children in mind, but in malice be infantine, but in mind be of full age. 21 In the law it is written, By men of other tongues, and by lips of others, will I speak to this people; and not even thus will they listen to me, saith [the] Lord. 22 Wherefore the tongues are for a sign, not to those that believe, but to the unfaithful, while prophecy [is] not to the unfaithful but to those that believe. 23 If therefore the whole assembly come unto the same [place], and all speak with tongues, and there come in private or unfaithful [persons], will they not say that ye are mad? 24 But if all prophesy, and some unfaithful or private one come in, he is convinced by all, he is examined by all: 25 the secrets of his heart become manifest; and thus, falling on [his] face, he will do homage to God, reporting that God is indeed among you.
26 What is it then, brethren? Whenever ye come together, each of you hath a psalm, hath a teaching, hath a tongue, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edification. 27 If any one speak with a tongue, [let it be] two, or at the most three, and in turn, and let one interpret; 28 but if there be no interpreter, let him be silent in an assembly, and let him speak to himself and to God. 29 And let two or three prophets speak, and let the others discern; 30 but if there be a revelation to another sitting by, let the first be silent; 31 for ye can all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all be exhorted. 32 And spirits of prophets are subject to prophets. 33 For God is not [a God] of confusion, but of peace, as in all the assemblies of the saints. 34 Let the women be silent in the assemblies; for it is not permitted to them to speak, but let them be in subjection, as also the law saith. 35 But if they desire to learn anything, let them ask their own husbands at home, for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in an assembly. 36 What I did the word of God go out from you, or reached it unto you alone? 37 If any one seemeth to be a prophet or spiritual, let him acknowledge the things which I write to you, that they are [the] Lord's commandment. 38 But if any one is ignorant, let him be ignorant. 39 Wherefore, my brethren, seek earnestly for prophesying, and forbid not the speaking in tongues; 40 but let all things be done becomingly and in order.
1 Corinthians 15.
And I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I announced to you, which also ye received, in which also ye stand, 2 by which also ye are being saved, if ye hold fast with what discourse I announced [it] to you, unless ye believed lightly. 3 For I delivered to you, in the first place, that which I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; 4 and that he was buried; and that he was raised the third day according to the scriptures; 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, after that to the twelve. 6 after that he appeared to above five hundred brethren at once, of whom the most remain till now, but some also have fallen asleep. 7 After that he appeared to James, after that to all the apostles; 8 and last of all, as to the abortion, he appeared to me also. 9 For I am the least of the apostles, who am not fit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the assembly of God; 10 but by God's grace I am what I am, and his grace that [was] towards me became not empty, but I laboured more abundantly than they all, yet not I but the grace of God that [was] with me. 11 Whether then I or they, thus we preach, and thus ye believed. 12 But if Christ is preached that he is raised from [the] dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of [the] dead? 13 But if there is no resurrection of [the] dead, neither is Christ raised; 14 and if Christ is not raised, then also empty [is] our preaching, and empty also your faith; 15 and we are also found false witnesses of God, because we witnessed concerning God that he raised the Christ, whom he raised not, if indeed no dead are raised. 16 For if no dead are raised, neither is Christ raised; 17 and if Christ is not raised, vain [is] your faith; ye are yet in your sins; 18 then also those that fell asleep in Christ perished. 19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are most to be pitied of all men.
20 But now is Christ raised from [the] dead, first-fruit of those fallen asleep. 21 For since by man [is] death, by man also resurrection of dead. 22 For as in the Adam all die, so also in the Christ shall all be made alive; 23 but each in his own rank: [the] first-fruit Christ; then those that are the Christ's at his coming; 24 then the end, when he giveth up the kingdom to him [who is] God and Father, when he shall have done away all rule, and all authority, and power. 25 For he must reign until he put all the enemies under his feet. 26 Death, last enemy, is to be done away. 27 For he subjected all things under his feet. But when he saith that all things have been subjected, [it is] manifest that [it is] except him who subjected all things to him. 28 But when all things shall have been subjected to him, then also the Son himself will be subjected to him that subjected all things to him, that God may be all in all.
29 Else what shall they do that are being baptized for the dead? If no dead rise at all, why also are they baptized for them? 30 Why are we also in danger every hour? 31 Daily I die, by the boasting of you, brethren, which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord. 32 If after man I fought with beasts in Ephesus, what [is] the profit to me? If no dead rise, let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die. 33 Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners. 34 Wake up righteously, and sin not; for some are ignorant of God: I speak unto your shame.
35 But some one will say, How are the dead to rise? and with what body do they come? 36 Fool, what thou sowest is not quickened unless it die; 37 and what thou sowest, thou sowest not the body that shall be, but a bare grain, it may be of wheat, or of some one of the rest; 38 and God giveth to it a body as he pleased, and to each of the seeds its own body. 39 Every flesh [is] not the same flesh, but one [is] of men, and another flesh of beasts, and another flesh of birds, and another of fishes. 40 [There are] both bodies heavenly and bodies earthly; but different [is] the glory of the heavenly, and different that of the earthly: 41 one [the] sun's glory, and another [the] moon's glory, and another [the] stars' glory; for star differeth from star in glory. 42 So also [is] the resurrection of the dead. 43 It is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption; it is sown in dishonour, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; 44 it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body: if there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual. 45 So also it is written, The first man Adam became a living soul; the last Adam a quickening Spirit: 46 yet not first [is] the spiritual, but the natural, afterward the spiritual; 47 the first man out of the earth made of dust, the second man out of heaven: 48 as [is] he made of dust, such also those made of dust; and as [is] the heavenly [one], such also the heavenly [ones]; 49 and even as we bore the image of the [one] made of dust, we shall bear also the image of the heavenly [ones]. 50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit God's kingdom, neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.
51 Behold, I tell you a mystery: we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 in an instant, in [the] twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet: for it shall sound, and the dead shall rise incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal put on immortality. 54 But when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall come to pass the word that is written, Death was swallowed up in victory. 55 Where, death, [is] thy victory? where, death, thy sting? 56 Now the sting of death [is] sin, and the power of sin the law; 57 but thanks to God that giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 58 Wherefore, my brethren beloved, be firm, immoveable, abounding in the work of the Lord always, knowing that your toil is not empty in [the] Lord.
1 Corinthians 16.
Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I directed the assemblies of Galatia, so do ye also. 2 Every first [day] of a week let each of you put by him, storing up whatsoever he may be prospered in, that there be no collections when I come. 3 And when I am arrived, whomsoever ye shall approve, them I will send with letters to carry your bounty unto Jerusalem: 4 and if it be suitable that I go, they shall go with me. 5 But I will come unto you when I shall have gone through Macedonia, for I go through Macedonia. 6 But perhaps I shall stay, or even winter, with you, that ye may send me forward wherever I may go. 7 For I do not wish to see you now in passing; for I hope to remain some time with you, if the Lord permit. 8 But I will stay on at Ephesus until Pentecost. a For a great and effectual door is open to me, and [there are] many adversaries.
10 But if Timothy come, see that he be with you without fear, for he worketh the Lord's work, as I also. 11 Let none then despise him, but send him forward in peace, that he may come unto me, for I am awaiting him with the brethren. 12 But concerning the brother Apollos, I besought him much to come unto you with the brethren; and it was not at all [his] will to come now, but he will come when he shall have good opportunity.
13 Watch, stand in the faith, play the man, be strong. 14Let all your doings be in love.
15 Now I beseech you, brethren - ye know the house of Stephanas, that it is a first-fruit of Achaia, and that they appointed themselves to the saints for service - 16 that ye also be subject to such, and to every one that co-operateth and laboureth. 17 But I rejoice at the coming of Stephanas, and Fortunatus, and Achaicus, because what was lacking on your part these filled up; 18 for they refreshed my spirit and yours: own then those that are such.
19 The assemblies of Asia salute you. Aquila and Prisca salute you much in [the] Lord, with the assembly in their house. 20 All the brethren salute you. Salute one another with a holy kiss. 21 The salutation of Paul with mine own hand. 22 If any one loveth not the Lord , Jesus Christ], let him be anathema maranatha [or, a curse: the Lord cometh]. 23 The grace of the Lord Jesus [Christ] [be] with you. 24 My love [be] with you all in Christ Jesus. [Amen.]
Notes on the First Epistle to the Corinthians
1 Corinthians 1
The epistle on which we are about to enter gives us more than any other an inner view of the church or assembly of God. It does not, like the epistle to the Romans, lay the foundation of divine righteousness. But it is not at all contracted in its scope. It deals with the practical conduct of the Christian, as well as the public walk of the assembly. It maintains the authority of Paul's ministry as apostle. It denounces party spirit. It exposes worldly wisdom. It insists upon the power of the Spirit. It urges godly order both in the Lord's institution of the eucharist, and in the use of the gifts or spiritual manifestations. It commands holy discipline. It reproves litigiousness, - above all before the world. It presses personal purity; it counsels the saints as to social and family difficulties, as to their relations with the heathen, as to decorum, privately or publicly, in men or women. Finally, it meets their speculations as to the future state, and shows how an error as to this jeopards soundness of faith as to Christ Himself, holiness of walk meanwhile, and the brightness and strength of the Christian's hope. Nor does it withhold the light of God from a matter seemingly so trivial as the mode of collection for the poor saints, whilst it adjusts also the mutual relations of those who laboured on the spot and of those who might visit them.
From this sketch, slight as it is, one sees how varied and momentous are the topics handled in the first epistle to the Corinthians; and an examination in detail will manifest the holy wisdom, the burning zeal, the delicacy of affection, the admirable elasticity with which the apostle was enabled by the inspiring Spirit to throw himself, heart and mind and soul and strength yet always in the name of the Lord, into their most critical circumstances. For he writes from Ephesus, not far from the close of his three years' abode in that city, when, to any other man than Paul, it might have seemed that his labours for a year and a half at Corinth were fatally compromised. But not so: the Lord, who had cheered him on soon after his arrival at Corinth, strengthened his faith now so severely taxed at Ephesus. "I have much people in this city" were words then to stimulate, now to sustain his hope in God spite of many fears, and in the midst of the deepest exercises of heart. Of all this and more the epistle bears the impress, and every now and then lets out the expression.
"Paul, a called* apostle of Jesus Christ† by God's will, and Sosthenes the brother, to the assembly of God that is in Corinth,‡ [persons] sanctified in Christ Jesus, called saints, with all that call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ in every place, theirs || and ours; grace to you and peace from God our Father and [the] Lord Jesus Christ." (Ver. 1-3.)
* I see no reason for doubting κλητός with Lachmann (because of the omission in ADE etc.) The word is vouched for by BFGLP, all the cursives, and almost all the ancient versions and the Fathers that cite the verse.
† Ἰ Χ. with ALP and all the cursives save five, all the versions save the Latin, and most of the Fathers save in the west, I prefer to Χ Ἰ. as adopted by Lachmann and Tischendorf on the authority of BDEFG 17, 37, 76, 115, 119, some copies of the It. and Vulg.
‡ This order of inserting τῃ οὔσῃ ἐν Κ. (AD and LP, perhaps all the cursives and the Fathers, as against BD and CFG and a few Latin copies which insert the clause between Ἰ and κλ.,) I believe correct.
|| The authorities are pretty evenly divided as to weight if not numbers for and against τε ("both"); I rather incline to its absence.
To the Roman brethren Paul began by introducing himself as "a bondman of Jesus Christ." This he omits to the Corinthians to whom he speaks of himself at once as a "called apostle of Jesus Christ." The difference is due to the facts before him. There had been no undermining of his ministry at Rome, where indeed personally he was a stranger. At Corinth it was well-known to the saints how truly he was a bondman of Jesus Christ. Had not his very hands borne witness to it, night and day caring spiritually for the saints with the Lord's glory before his eyes, even in that outward work by which he had refrained from being a burden to them? To both he writes formally as an "apostle," and this, not by birth, not by acquirement, not by election of man, but as "called," that is, by calling of God. Both he reminds that they themselves were saints, and this too by calling. It was grace which chose them as saints, grace that chose him not as a saint only but as an apostle. Such is the principle of Christian ministry, as well as of the salvation of souls or of Christianity itself. It is "by God's will," as he adds - "a called apostle of Jesus Christ by God's will," not by his own ability or merit, nor by other men's choice. God's sovereign goodness is the spring in every respect. What can be more blessed? We do well to ponder it, and to repudiate whatever is inconsistent with it. It is God then, it is grace which, as it calls saints, so also calls to His service. How different from the ecclesiastical thought and style of olden times! Paul is not what he was in the church "by divine providence" or "by divine permission," for this might be where the person was alien from His mind or will, God merely overruling for His own secret purpose. And it is not denied that such cases may be, as of old in Balaam, so under Christianity; but how awful for all these who intrude thus unbidden to speak in the name of the Lord! For many shall say to the Judge in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied through Thy name, and through Thy name cast out demons, and through Thy name done many wonderful works? But He will say, "I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity."
Beyond controversy it is God, not man, who sets in the church, as we are expressly told in 1Co_12:28, and this applies to "teachers" as distinctly as to "apostles." They never are in scripture called by man. The church never chose them, as it did those entrusted with its funds for the poor. Nor did apostles or their envoys choose teachers or preachers as they did elders; for these were a local charge, those are gifts set as members in the body of Christ as a whole. Such are the biblical facts, and the principle on which this distinction depends.
It is gross ignorance to confound ministry with priesthood, and to cite for the former what the epistle to the Hebrews (Heb_5:4) says of the latter, as applied from Aaron to Christ. Yet if it did apply, it would go to prove, not men's calling to the ministry, as they term it, but the exclusive call of God; for in priesthood God alone chose, though this after Aaron (and we may add perhaps Phinehas) by birth successionally, whilst the consecration was in view of all the congregation. In ministry as in the church, where the Holy Spirit dwells and acts, who is a spirit of power and of love and of a sound mind, we are entitled to look for reality;* in the flesh or in the world one must be often content to let the merest forms pass, bound to pay to each the honour owe, even where the object of it may be personally undeserving, as is laid down in Romans 13, 1 Peter 2. The church is, and is responsible to be, the pillar and ground of the truth, the epistle of Christ known and read of all men; and therein, by virtue of the Holy Ghost dwelling in it, is power and obligation to judge according to the word of God whatever is inconsistent with its profession corporately as well as individually.
* So Calvin (in loco, Comment. Halis Sax. 1831,) ed. Tholuck, I. pp. 213, 214. "Re ipsa talem se exhibeat necesse est . . . . Sed notandum est, non satis esse, siquis tam vocationis titulum, quam suam in exercendo officio fidelitatem obtendat, nisi utrumque de ipsa probet. Nam saepe contingit ut nulli fastuosius titulis superbiant quam qui veritate sunt destituti; quemadmodum olim alto supercilio pseudoprophetas se a Domino missos gloriabantur. Et hodie quid aliud crepant Romanenses, quam Dei ordinationem et sacrosanctam successionem ab ipsis usque Apostolis? sed postea apparet, inanes esse earum rerum quibus insolescunt. Hic ergo non iactantia, sed veritatis quaeritur." This is good and true. But it is utterly marred in the Institt. IV. iii, § 14, 15, where, not satisfied with affirming that the elders or bishops were designated by men authorised to choose them Calvin's republicanism leads him to say boldly that Paul was in Acts 13 subjected to the discipline of an ecclesiastical call, and that the same thing is seen in the election of Matthias. Who does not see on the contrary that the lot (which was not voting) decided as to the latter, and that Acts 13 was in no sense ordination, still less election by man, but separation of men (already in the highest position) to a particular work which the Spirit was confiding to them, though engaging for them in it the solemn commendation of their brethren to the grace of God? Compare Act_14:26.
We see next that the apostle associates with himself here "Sosthenes the brother," as in the second epistle Timothy. If the Sosthenes just named were the chief of the synagogue who seems to have succeeded Crispus on his conversion, if he were himself converted after his ignominious failure to hurt Paul before Gallio the proconsul of Achaia, at Corinth, we can see with what propriety he, no longer the Jewish adversary but the brother in Christ, should thus accompany the apostle in this address to the Corinthian saints. But I affirm nothing, as there is no direct evidence, and the name was not uncommon. He was certainly known at Corinth and was then with the Apostle at Ephesus.
Notice now in what character the Corinthian believers are addressed: "to the assembly of God that is in Corinth." It is in the strictest connection with the scope of the epistle, as this is of course according to the true wants there and then. It was not because of a godly few amongst a vast multitude of ungodly persons. What unacquaintance with the mind of God! It is not so that holy scripture speaks. They constituted God's habitation there by the Spirit's presence. This is the distinctive constituent and real character. No ungodly multitude could be the church or assembly of God; nor have a godly few as such any virtue to be themselves the assembly, still less to make others so by their own presence in their midst. Only the Spirit of God sent down from heaven makes those whom He gathers and with whom He dwells to be the assembly of God. The state of the Corinthians was frightfully bad, perilous to all, and such as to raise the gravest fears as to some. But we must recollect that, in commanding them to deal with the most scandalous case of all, the apostle goes on the ground of the spirit being saved in the day of the Lord Jesus; and that the second epistle exhorts the saints to confirm love by taking back the offender as one at length roused to deep self-judgment and in danger of being swallowed up with excessive sorrow. No; the assembly of God is liable to the inroad of the most serious evils through ignorance and unwatchfulness; but it does not forfeit its character, if duly constituted, till it renounces all holy discipline by refusing to judge according to the word when evil is brought before it. For it is responsible, if it have let in evil, to put it out in the Lord's name which it bears. And the second epistle is of the greatest value among other things in this also, that it proves how the apostle's confidence was justified in such a clearing of conscience, as led him to expect the work of vindicating the Lord to go on still farther, and thus maintain the character of the assembly of God which grace had given the brethren in Corinth.
But it is well also to observe that in apposition with that character stands more, "[persons] sanctified in Christ Jesus, called saints." The construction is peculiar, but the language is exact. The term ἡγιασμένοις ("sanctified") is in what is called a rational concord with ἐκκλησίᾳ. It would not be correct to speak of the assembly as ἡγιασμένη any more than as ἐκλεκτή, though those who compose it are bot