Salutation: Apostolic Instruction For The Saints – 1 Cor 1:1-3

1Cor 1:1-3

We are beginning on a journey of working through the Book of 1 Corinthians. I will be developing my outlines at the same pace as Pastor Tom Leake preaches through the book at Hope Bible Church. This will give me the opportunity to integrate some of his comments and analysis into my final epanded pdf commentary version which will be published at the conclusion of the study.

BIG IDEA:
GOD’S CALLED SAINTS NEED TO HEED THE MESSAGE FROM GOD’S CALLED APOSTLE

BACKGROUND TO THE EPISTLE:

(This section will be included in the final published version of the commentary.)

I. (:1) THE DIVINE CALLING OF THE AUTHOR — DIVINE APOSTOLIC AUTHORITY LENDS CLOUT TO PAUL’S INSTRUCTION TO THE SAINTS

  1. Author = Apostle Paul: "Paul, called as an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God"
    1. His Identification
      1. Paul’s pre-Christian Roots
        1. Upbringing
        2. Persecution of the church
      2. Paul’s Conversion on Road to Damascus
      3. Paul’s Connection with the Church at Corinth
    2. His Apostolic Calling
      1. Concept of a "Calling"
        1. Implies Divine Initiative and Determination
        2. How does this relate to our spiritual giftedness and role in the church?
        3. How did this relate to Paul’s tentmaking role on different occasions?
      2. Apostolic Function and Credentials
        1. Basic Mission of Apostle
        2. Foundational in the building of the church
        3. Nature of Apostolic Authority
        4. Credentials of Apostle
      3. Representative of the Head of the Church = "of Jesus Christ"
      4. Divine Initiative and Determination: “by the will of God”
  2. Co-Author – Accompanied/Assisted by Brother Sosthenes – Family Intimacy Also Lends Clout to These Instructions to the Saints: "and Sosthenes our brother"
    1. Principle: Differing roles of authority in the church do not compromise equality of brotherhood in terms of personal relationships in the church of Jesus Christ
    2. Principle: Paul’s ministry is always portrayed as part of a larger team effort, not as a one man crusade.
    3. Probably the same individual identified in Acts 18:17 as ruler of the synagogue at Corinth during Paul’s first visit there. Thus you would have two former Jewish leaders, former opponents of the church of Jesus Christ, who are not united as brothers in their concern for the saints at Corinth. (see Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible)

II. (:2) THE DIVINE CALLING OF THE RECIPIENTS – HOLINESS SHOULD CHARACTERIZE THE CHURCH OF GOD BECAUSE OF THEIR INTIMATE CONNECTION TO THEIR LORD JESUS CHRIST

  1. A. Application to the Local Church at Corinth: "To the church of God which is at Corinth"
    1. the church belongs to God . . . not to the Apostle Paul
    2. Significance of membership in local church
    3. Context of situation in Corinth
  2. Identified as Saints
    1. Historical misuse of this term by Roman Catholic Church
    2. Sanctified by Virtue of Our Union with Jesus Christ: "to those who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus"
    3. Saints by Calling (and by Nature): "saints by calling" (same root word)
  3. Application to the Universal Church
    1. Extends to All Believers Without Exception: "with all"
      1. Ethnic Background — Gentile vs Jew
      2. Gender — Male vs Female
      3. Age — Young vs Old
      4. Social Class — Rich vs Poor
      5. Not limited by Time – back then or today
    2. Not Limited by Physical Location (John 4:24): "who in every place"
    3. Common Faith = Distinguishing Characteristic of Believers: "call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ"
      1. Background from earliest times – concept of Progressive Revelation: Gen. 4:26
      2. Background from days of Abraham: Gen. 12:8; 13:4; 21:33
      3. Background from Psalms of David: Ps. 116:4
      4. Characteristic of Believers in Church Age: Romans 10
      5. Characteristic of Believers in the day of the Lord: Joel 2:32; Acts 2:21
      6. What do we call on Jesus for? : For Salvation, Deliverance, Provision, Guidance, Protection…
      7. Connection to Prayer – the lifeline for believers
      8. Significance of "the name" = the character
        1. – need to get to know Jesus Christ better so we can better call on His name
    4. Common Allegiance: "their Lord and ours"

Cannot have a possessive or exclusivistic approach as if our particular local church or denomination has some special claim on the Lord

How can people take a stand against "Lordship salvation" and claim that calling on the name of Jesus bears no connection to a willingness to own Him as our Lord and God?

Call to Holiness and conformity to the divine will and character runs throughout the epistle.

III. (:3) THE CALLING FOR DIVINE PROVISION OF SPIRITUAL RESOURCES — GRACE AND PEACE SUM UP THE UNIVERSAL NEED OF SAINTS

  1. Two Essential Provisions
    1. "Grace"
    2. "Peace"
  2. Two Reliable Providers
    1. "from God our Father" – our inclusion in the family of God
    2. "and the Lord Jesus Christ" – our allegiance to the head of the Church