Introduction

\\INTRODUCTION TO 1 CORINTHIANS\\

This was not the first epistle that was written by the apostle to
the Corinthians, for we read in this of his having written an
epistle to them before, \\#1Co 5:9\\, but this is the first epistle of
his unto them, that is now extant; and has been received by the
churches, as of divine authority, being written by the inspiration
of God, of which there has been no doubt in any age. The apostle
himself was nearly two years at Corinth; where he preached with great
success; and was the instrument of converting many persons, who by
him were formed into a church state, consisting both of Jews and
Gentiles, as is clear from many passages in this epistle, and whom
be left in good order, and in great peace and harmony; but quickly
after his departure, false teachers got in among them, and bad
principles were imbibed by many of them, and evil practices
prevailed among them, and they fell into factions and parties, which
occasioned the apostle to write this epistle to them, as well as
their writing to him concerning certain things, they desired to have
his judgment and opinion of, \\#1Co 7:1\\, It is thought to be written
about the year of Christ 55, and in the first year of Nero, though
some place it in the year 59. It was written not from Philippi, as
the subscription added to it affirms, but from Ephesus, as appears
from \\#1Co 16:8\\, and, it may be, after the uproar raised there by
Demetrius, as should seem from a passage in \\#1Co 15:32\\. The matter
of it is various. The apostle first rebukes them for their schisms
and divisions; suggests that their regard to the wisdom of men, and
the philosophy of the Gentiles, had brought the simplicity of the
Gospel into contempt with them; blames them for their conduct in the
case of the incestuous person, and urges them to put him away from
them; reproves them for going to law with one another before Heathen
magistrates, and warmly inveighs against fornication; and then
answers several questions, and resolves several cases concerning
marriage; treats of things offered to idols, and of the maintenance
of ministers; and dissuades from idolatry, and all appearance of it;
takes notice of the unbecoming conduct of the members of the church
at the Lord's supper; and discourses concerning the nature and use
of spiritual gifts, and commends charity above them; observes and
corrects some irregularities in the use of their gifts; proves by
various arguments the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead,
which some of them denied; exhorts to a collection for the poor
saints, and to several other things, and concludes the epistle with
the salutations of others, and of himself.


\\INTRODUCTION TO 1 CORINTHIANS 1\\

This chapter contains the general inscription of the epistle, the
usual salutation, and a special thanksgiving for blessings received;
after which the apostle intimates the occasion of his writing, the
divisions about their ministers, which gives him an opportunity of
discoursing concerning the nature, end, use, and efficacy of the
preaching of the Gospel. The inscription is in \\#1Co 1:1,2\\, in which
an account is given of the persons concerned in this epistle; and
first of Paul, the only inspired writer of it, who is described by
his name, by which he went among the Gentiles; by his office, an
apostle of Jesus Christ; and by the manner in which he came into it,
being called to it not through any merit of his own, but through the
sovereign will and pleasure of God: and next mention is made of
Sosthenes, a brother minister of the Gospel, who was with the
apostle, and joined in the salutation of the church, to whom the
epistle is written; who are described, by their general character, a
church of God; by the place of their abode, and seat of their
church state, Corinth; and by their special characters, sanctified
in Christ by election, and saints through the effectual calling; and
with them are joined all other saints in Achaia, that belonged to
them and the apostle, that called upon the name of the Lord; and
then follows the salutation in \\#1Co 1:3\\, usual in all the epistles;
after that a thanksgiving to God for the grace they had by Christ in
general, \\#1Co 1:4\\, and particularly for their gifts of utterance and
knowledge, which were plentifully bestowed upon them, \\#1Co 1:5\\, and
were a confirmation to them of the Gospel of Christ, \\#1Co 1:6\\, and
by which it appeared, that they were not behind other churches in
these things; and are commended for their waiting for the coming of
Christ, \\#1Co 1:7\\, by whom the apostle assures them, they would be so
confirmed in the mean while, as to be presented blameless by him in
that day, \\#1Co 1:8\\, of which they might be assured from the
faithfulness of God, who had called them to communion with Christ,
\\#1Co 1:9\\, upon which he exhorts them to unity of affection and
judgment, for this end, that there might be no schisms among them;
and this he does in a way of entreaty, and that by the name of Christ,
and from the consideration of their being brethren, \\#1Co 1:10\\,
suggesting hereby, that there were divisions among them: and
signifies, that he had good reason to believe it, having had an
account of them from a family of repute among them, \\#1Co 1:11\\, and
then expressly mentions what their differences were about, namely,
their ministers, \\#1Co 1:12\\, and uses arguments to dissuade them from
their dividing principles and practices; showing, that one was their
Lord and master, Christ, who was crucified for them, and in whose
name they were baptized, and not his ministers, \\#1Co 1:13\\, and since
some among them made an ill use of their having been baptized by the
apostle, he is thankful that he had baptized no more of them, and
mentions by name those that he had baptized, \\#1Co 1:14-16\\, and gives
a reason for it, taken from the principal end of his mission by
Christ, which was to preach the Gospel, and not only or chiefly to
baptize, \\#1Co 1:17\\. The manner in which he was sent to preach, and
did preach it, is observed by him, not in the words of human wisdom;
and that for this reason, lest either the Gospel should be of no
use, or the effect of it should be ascribed to a wrong cause; and
then be obviates an objection that might be made to this way of
preaching, that hereby the Gospel would be brought into contempt; to
which he answers, by granting that it would be, and was reckoned
foolishness by them that were blinded and were lost; and by
observing on the other hand, that it was effectual to saving
purposes to others, \\#1Co 1:18\\, and though the former sort might be
the wise and prudent of this world, this need seem no strange thing,
since the infatuation of such persons is no other than what was
foretold would be, as appears from a testimony out of \\#Isa 29:14\\,
cited in \\#1Co 1:19\\, upon which some questions are put, and inquiries
made, after men of wisdom and learning, whose wisdom God made
foolish, \\#1Co 1:20\\, the reason of which was, because they did not
make a right use of their natural wisdom in the knowledge of God,
wherefore it was his pleasure to save men by means esteemed
foolishness by them, \\#1Co 1:21\\, and these wise men, who accounted
the preaching of the Gospel foolishness, are distinguished into two
sorts, Jews and Gentiles; the one requiring miracles to confirm it,
the other seeking wisdom in it, \\#1Co 1:22\\, but finding neither,
though there were really both, the preaching of a crucified Christ
was a stumbling to the one, and folly to the other, \\#1Co 1:23\\,
though those that were called by grace from among them, whether Jews
or Gentiles, had different sentiments of it, and of Christ preached in
it, in whose esteem he was the power and wisdom of God, \\#1Co 1:24\\,
the reason of which was, because there are superior wisdom and
power in Christ and his Gospel, which the apostle, an ironical
concession, calls the foolishness and weakness of God, to the wisdom
and power of men, \\#1Co 1:25\\, and instances in the effectual calling
and conversion of the Corinthians, who for the most part were not the
wise, the mighty, and noble, \\#1Co 1:26\\, but the foolish, weak, and
base; and the end of God, in the call of such, was to draw a veil over
and bring to confusion the wisdom and power of men, \\#1Co 1:27,28\\,
and also that no creature whatever should dare to glory before him,
\\#1Co 1:29\\, but the true object of glorying in is pointed at, the
Lord Jesus Christ; and the reason of it, all blessings of grace being
in him, and from him, is suggested, \\#1Co 1:30\\, so that whoever
glories, should glory in him, \\#1Co 1:31\\.