I thank God that I baptized none of you - None of those who now live in Corinth, except Crispus, the ruler of the synagogue, Acts 18:8. And Gaius, the same person probably with whom Paul lodged, Romans 16:23; (note). Dr. Lightfoot observes: "If this be Gaius, or Caius, to whom the third epistle of John was written, which is very probable when the first verse of that epistle ( 3 John 1:1;) is compared with Romans 16:23, then it will appear probable that John wrote his first epistle to the Corinthians. I wrote, says he, unto the Church - What Church? Certainly it must have been some particular Church which the apostle has in view, and the Church where Gaius himself resided. And if this be true, we may look for Diotrephes ( 3 John 1:9;) in the Corinthian Church; and the author of the schism of which the apostle complains. See the Introduction, Section 8.
I thank God - Why Paul did not himself baptize, see in 1 Corinthians 1:17. To him it was now a subject of grateful reflection that he had not done it. He had not given any occasion for the suspicion that he had intended to set himself up as a leader of a sect or party.
But Crispus - Crispus had been the chief ruler of the synagogue at Corinth; Acts 18:8.
And Gaius - Gaius resided at Corinth, and at his house Paul resided when he wrote the Epistle to the Romans; Romans 16:23. It is also possible that the Third Epistle of John was directed to this man; see 3 John 1:1. And if so, then probably Diotrephes 3 John 1:9, who is mentioned as one who loved “to have the pre-eminence,” had been one cause of the difficulties at Corinth. The other persons at Corinth had been probably baptized by Silas and Timothy.
The gospel workers in Corinth realized the terrible dangers threatening the souls of those for whom they were laboring; and it was with a sense of the responsibility resting on them that they presented the truth as it is in Jesus. Clear, plain, and decided was their message—a savor of life unto life, or of death unto death. And not only in their words, but in the daily life, was the gospel revealed. Angels co-operated with them, and the grace and power of God was shown in the conversion of many. “Crispus, the chief ruler of the synagogue, believed on the Lord with all his house; and many of the Corinthians hearing believed, and were baptized.” AA 249.1
The hatred with which the Jews had always regarded the apostles was now intensified. The conversion and baptism of Crispus had the effect of exasperating instead of convincing these stubborn opposers. They could not bring arguments to disprove Paul's preaching, and for lack of such evidence they resorted to deception and malignant attack. They blasphemed the gospel and the name of Jesus. In their blind anger no words were too bitter, no device too low, for them to use. They could not deny that Christ had worked miracles; but they declared that He had performed them through the power of Satan; and they boldly affirmed that the wonderful works wrought by Paul were accomplished through the same agency. AA 249.2
Though Paul had a measure of success in Corinth, yet the wickedness that he saw and heard in that corrupt city almost disheartened him. The depravity that he witnessed among the Gentiles, and the contempt and insult that he received from the Jews, caused him great anguish of spirit. He doubted the wisdom of trying to build up a church from the material that he found there. AA 250.1Read in context »
Is it necessary that in order to solve the problem of education one must commit robbery toward God, and refuse to give God the willing service of the powers of the spirit, soul, and body? God calls upon you to be doers of His word, in order that you may be thoroughly educated in the principles that will give you a fitness for heaven. No method of education should be followed that will crowd out the word of God. Let the word of God be the man of your counsel. The purpose of education should be to take in light in order that you may impart light by letting it shine forth to others in good works. The highest of all education is the knowledge of God. “Thus saith the Lord, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: but let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth Me, that I am the Lord which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the Lord.” Read the first and second chapters of 1 Corinthians with deep interest, and pray that God will give you understanding so that you may comprehend and put into practice the truths there revealed. “For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: but God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things that are mighty; and base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to naught things that are: that no flesh should glory in His presence. But of Him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: that, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.” “The Lord is exalted; for He dwelleth on high: He hath filled Zion with judgment and righteousness. And wisdom and knowledge shall be the stability of thy times, and strength of salvation: the fear of the Lord is his treasure.” FE 352.1
Time is short, and there are but few workers in the vineyard of the Lord. Several have been sent from this part of the world to be educated at Battle Creek, in order that they may become laborers together with God. It was hoped that the Holy Spirit would work with them for the salvation of those who are in the shadow of death. These students have been supported by the sacrifices of men and women who, to my certain knowledge, have hired money to pay the tuition and to cover the expenses. The world is to be warned; and yet you have thought it necessary to consume time and money in making an unnecessarily large preparation for the work that these students may be called upon to do. The same God lives today that Isaiah saw in his vision, and can give enlightenment to those who are acting a part in the work of fitting men for a solemn, sacred work. He says: “I the Lord love judgment, I hate robbery for burnt offering; and I will direct their work in truth, and I will make an everlasting covenant with them.” FE 353.1
Those who are directing in the work of education are placing too large an amount of study before those who have come to Battle Creek to fit up for the work of the Master. They have supposed that it was necessary for them to go deeper and deeper into educational lines; and while they are pursuing various courses of study, year after year of precious time is passing away, and golden opportunities are flitting by never to return. There is procrastination in setting these men to work; and students are losing their burden for souls, and are depending more and more upon an education in book-knowledge, rather than upon the efficiency of the Holy Spirit, and upon that which the Lord has promised to do for them. FE 353.2Read in context »
God declares, “I will be glorified in My people;” but the self-confident management of men has resulted in putting God aside, and accepting the devisings of men. If you allow this to continue, your faith will soon become extinct. God is in every place, beholding the conduct of the people who profess to represent the principles of His word. He asks that a change be made. He wants His people to be molded and fashioned, not after man's ideas, but after the similitude of God. I entreat of you to search the Scriptures as you have never yet searched them that you may know the way and will of God. Oh, that every soul might be impressed with this message, and put away the wrong! TM 481.1
We would do well to study carefully the first and second chapters of 1 Corinthians. “We preach Christ crucified,” the apostle declared, “unto the Jews a stumbling block, and unto the Greeks foolishness; but unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men. For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: but God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; and base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: that no flesh should glory in His presence. But of Him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: that, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.” The human being who undertakes to become wisdom for another will find himself coming short. TM 481.2Read in context »