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First Corinthians

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1 Cor. 1:1-3 Introduction & Greetings

1 Corinthians 1:1

In the opening verse of chapter one, the apostle Paul introduces himself to his intended audience. Within this brief introduction, Paul tells his audience three things about himself:

(1) Why he became an apostle,

(2) How he became an apostle, and

(3) How he fulfilled the office of an apostle.

Before we look at the above mention list we need to understand what is an apostle.

What is an apostle?

  • An apostle is one who is a special messenger.
  • Apostle is generally reserved for individuals who were personally instructed by Jesus Christ. These included the following:
    • The original twelve; Mark. 3:13-19
    • Matthias; Acts 1:23-26
    • Paul; Acts 9:1-19

Why Paul became an apostle; he was called by God.

  • This calling was an invitation to become a guest or a member of a select group.
  • This is a calling that was generated by God.
  • Paul accepted this calling.

How Paul became an apostle; God's personal preference.

  • God's will is His intentions based upon His personal desires.
      • God can use any individual for any task; Matthew 3:9 & Romans 9:20-21.
      • God does have a preference on whom He will used to carry out His intended purposes; Eph. 2:10.
      • Paul was God's intended preference for this particular apostleship.
  • God's will, His intentions, cannot be resisted by any individual.
    • Paul could not refuse or resist his calling; Job 9:12, 23:13-14; Isa. 46:10-11 (cf. Gen. 50:20; Dan. 4:35; Mk. 14:21; Acts 2:23,4:27-28).
    • Refuse & resisted are describing mankind being disobedient to God's intentions.
      • They do not describe mankind as stopping, altering, or even slowing down God's purposes.

How Paul fulfilled the office of an apostle; by the will of God.

  • God's will is both the means as well as the tool.
      • The will is employed in the activity of apostleship.
      • The act of apostleship is not carried out by Paul, but by God's will.
      • God's will is the tool that directly accomplished (through Paul) the work of apostleship.
  • Paul is just the vehicle (the means) by which God's will is delivered.
    • Paul was God's choice for that will to work through.
    • Paul was the host God chose to work through to carry out the particular function of apsotleship.

1 Corinthians 1:2

In the opening verse, Paul introduced himself to his audience by telling them that he was an apostle, why he was an apostle, how he became an apostle, and how his office of apostleship was fulfilled. Now, he turns his attention to greeting his intended audience, and this greeting begins by identifying them.

A proper understanding of church [ekklesia/ ek-klay-see-ah].

    • Ekklesia does not translate into the literal meaning of called out ones




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