1 Corinthians 1:18

For the word of the cross (o logo gar o tou staurou). Literally, "for the preaching (with which I am concerned as the opposite of wisdom of word in verse 1 Corinthians 17 ) that (repeated article o, almost demonstrative) of the cross." "Through this incidental allusion to preaching St. Paul passes to a new subject. The discussions in the Corinthian Church are for a time forgotten, and he takes the opportunity of correcting his converts for their undue exaltation of human eloquence and wisdom" (Lightfoot). To them that are perishing (toi men apollumenoi). Dative of disadvantage (personal interest). Present middle participle is here timeless, those in the path to destruction (not annihilation. See 2 Thessalonians 2:10 ). Cf. 2 Corinthians 4:3 . Foolishness (mwria). Folly. Old word from mwro, foolish. In N.T. only in 1 Corinthians 1:18 1 Corinthians 1:21 1 Corinthians 1:23 ; 1 Corinthians 2:14 ; 1 Corinthians 3:19 . But unto us which are being saved (toi swzomenoi hmin). Sharp contrast to those that are perishing and same construction with the articular participle. No reason for the change of pronouns in English. This present passive participle is again timeless. Salvation is described by Paul as a thing done in the past, "we were saved" ( Romans 8:24 ), as a present state, "ye have been saved" ( 2:5 ), as a process, "ye are being saved" ( 1 Corinthians 15:2 ), as a future result, "thou shalt be saved" ( Romans 10:9 ). The power of God (dunami qeou). So in Romans 1:16 . No other message has this dynamite of God ( 1 Corinthians 4:20 ). God's power is shown in the preaching of the Cross of Christ through all the ages, now as always. No other preaching wins men and women from sin to holiness or can save them. The judgment of Paul here is the verdict of every soul winner through all time.

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