Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


1 Corinthians 1:2

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

The Church of God which is at Corinth - This Church was planted by the apostle himself about a.d. 52, as we learn from Acts 18:1; (note), etc.

Sanctified in Christ Jesus - Ἡγιασμενοις, Separated from the corruptions of their place and age.

Called to be saints - Κλητοις ἁγιοις, Constituted saints, or invited to become such; this was the design of the Gospel, for Jesus Christ came to save men from their sins.

With all that in every place, etc. - All who profess Christianity, both in Corinth, Ephesus, and other parts of Greece or Asia Minor; and by this we see that the apostle intended that this epistle should be a general property of the universal Church of Christ; though there are several matters in it that are suited to the state of the Corinthians only.

Both theirs and ours - That is, Jesus Christ is the common Lord and Savior of all. He is the exclusive property of no one Church, or people, or nation. Calling on or invoking the name of the Lord Jesus, was the proper distinguishing mark of a Christian. In those times of apostolic light and purity no man attempted to invoke God but in the name of Jesus Christ; this is what genuine Christians still mean when they ask any thing from God for Christ's Sake.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

Unto the church of God which is at Corinth - For an account of the time and manner in which the church was established in Corinth, see the introduction, and the notes at Romans 1:7.

In Christ Jesus - That is, “by” ἐν enthe agency of Christ. It was by his authority, his power, and his Spirit, that they had been separated from the mass of pagans around them, and devoted to God; compare John 17:19.

Called to be saints - The word “saints” does not differ materially from the word “sanctified” in the former part of the verse. It means those who are separateD from the world, and set apart to God as holy. The idea which Paul introduces here is, that they became such because they were called to be such. The idea in the former part of the verse is, that this was done “by Christ Jesus;” here he says that it was because they were called to this privilege. He doubtless means to say that it was not by any native tendency in themselves to holiness, but because God had called them to it. And this calling does not refer merely to an external invitation, but it was that which was made effectual in their case, or that on which the fact of their being saints could be predicated; compare 1 Corinthians 1:9; see 2 Timothy 1:9; “Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace,” etc.; 1 Peter 1:15; the Romans 1:6-7; Romans 8:28 notes; Ephesians 4:1 note; 1 Timothy 6:12 note; 1 Peter 2:9 note.

With all … - This expression shows:

(1) That Paul had the same feelings of attachment to all Christians in every place; and,

(2) That he expected that this Epistle would be read, not only by the church at Corinth, but also by other churches. That this was the uniform intention of the apostle in regard to his epistles, is apparent from other places; compare 1 Thessalonians 5:27; “I charge you by the Lord that this Epistle be read unto all the holy brethren;” Colossians 4:16; “And when this Epistle is read among you, cause that it be read also in the church of the Laodiceans.” It is evident that Paul expected that his epistles would obtain circulation among the churches; and it was morally certain that they would be soon transcribed, and be extensively read - the ardent feelings of Paul embraced all Christians in every nation. He knew nothing of the narrowness of exclusive attachment to a sect. His heart was full of love, and he loved, as we should, all who bore the Christian name, and who evinced the Christian spirit.

Call upon the name of Jesus Christ - To call upon the name of any person, in Scripture language, is to call on the person himself; compare John 3:18; the note at Acts 4:12. The expression “to call upon the name” ἐπικαλουμένοις epikaloumenoisto invoke the name, implies worship, and prayer; and proves:

(1) That the Lord Jesus is an object of worship; and,

(2) That one characteristic of the early Christians, by which they were known and distinguished, was their calling upon the name of the Lord Jesus, or their offering worship to him. That it implies worship, see the note at Acts 7:59; and that the early Christians called on Christ by prayer, and were distinguished by that, see the note at Acts 7:59, and compare the note at Acts 1:24, also Acts 2:21; Acts 9:13; Acts 22:16; 2 Timothy 2:22.

Both theirs and ours - The Lord of all - both Jews and Gentiles - of all who profess themselves Christians, of whatever country or name they might have originally been. Difference of nation or birth gives no pre-eminence in the kingdom of Christ but all are on a level, having a common Lord and Saviour; compare Ephesians 4:5.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
All Christians are by baptism dedicated and devoted to Christ, and are under strict obligations to be holy. But in the true church of God are all who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, and who call upon him as God manifest in the flesh, for all the blessings of salvation; who acknowledge and obey him as their Lord, and as Lord of all; it includes no other persons. Christians are distinguished from the profane and atheists, that they dare not live without prayer; and they are distinguished from Jews and pagans, that they call on the name of Christ. Observe how often in these verses the apostle repeats the words, Our Lord Jesus Christ. He feared not to make too frequent or too honourable mention of him. To all who called upon Christ, the apostle gave his usual salutation, desiring, in their behalf, the pardoning mercy, sanctifying grace, and comforting peace of God, through Jesus Christ. Sinners can have no peace with God, nor any from him, but through Christ. He gives thanks for their conversion to the faith of Christ; that grace was given them by Jesus Christ. They had been enriched by him with all spiritual gifts. He speaks of utterance and knowledge. And where God has given these two gifts, he has given great power for usefulness. These were gifts of the Holy Ghost, by which God bore witness to the apostles. Those that wait for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, will be kept by him to the end; and those that are so, will be blameless in the day of Christ, made so by rich and free grace. How glorious are the hopes of such a privilege; to be kept by the power of Christ, from the power of our corruptions and Satan's temptations!
Ellen G. White
The Acts of the Apostles, 301-2

With remarkable clearness he proceeded to answer the various questions brought forward by the church, and to lay down general principles, which, if heeded, would lead them to a higher spiritual plane. They were in peril, and he could not bear the thought of failing at this critical time to reach their hearts. Faithfully he warned them of their dangers and reproved them for their sins. He pointed them again to Christ and sought to kindle anew the fervor of their early devotion. AA 301.1

The apostle's great love for the Corinthian believers was revealed in his tender greeting to the church. He referred to their experience in turning from idolatry to the worship and service of the true God. He reminded them of the gifts of the Holy Spirit which they had received, and showed that it was their privilege to make continual advancement in the Christian life until they should attain to the purity and holiness of Christ. “In everything ye are enriched by Him,” he wrote, “in all utterance, and in all knowledge; even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you: so that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ: who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.” AA 301.2

Paul spoke plainly of the dissensions that had arisen in the Corinthian church, and exhorted the members to cease from strife. “I beseech you, brethren,” he wrote, “by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.” AA 302.1

Read in context »
Ellen G. White
The Sanctified Life, 84-5

In his letter to the church at Ephesus, Paul sets before them the “mystery of the gospel” (Ephesians 6:19), the “unsearchable riches of Christ” (Ephesians 3:8), and then assures them of his earnest prayers for their spiritual prosperity: SL 84.1

“I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, ...that he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God” (Ephesians 3:14-19). SL 84.2

Read in context »
Ellen G. White
SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 6 (EGW), 1082-3
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