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Thanksgiving June 8, 2011

Posted by flashbuzzer in Books, Christianity.
Tags: , , , ,

Here are my thoughts on 1 Corinthians 1:4-9.

Summary: Paul begins by thanking God for His favor – and its inherent blessings – to the Corinthian believers because of their union with Christ. In particular, they have been given the gifts of speaking and (religious) knowledge. This has occurred because of their conviction of the truth of the Gospel message. The ordinary and the extraordinary gifts of the Spirit have been abundantly bestowed on them while they long for the second coming of Christ. Besides giving the Corinthian believers the gifts of the Spirit, God will bless them by keeping them from falling; when Christ’s second coming occurs, nobody will be able to accuse them. God will fulfill all of His promises to them, as they have been renewed by the Holy Spirit and made like Christ – they are called to share in His life and His glory.

Thoughts: This passage makes it clear that the Corinthians have been richly blessed due to their strong faith in the Lord, and Paul expresses his thankfulness for this fact. In his commentary on verses 4, 6-7 Hodge notes:

He gives thanks for those gifts that God had bestowed on them in virtue of their union with Christ…This firm faith was then, as it is now, the necessary condition of the enjoyment of the blessings by which the Gospel is attended…Such was the strength of their faith that the gifts of the Spirit were bestowed on them as abundantly as on any other church…Much as he found to censure in their state and conduct, he freely acknowledges their flourishing condition in many ways.

Given what we know of the numerous flaws and evils that hampered the Corinthian church at that time, it is simply remarkable that Paul is able to offer constructive criticism in this epistle. In this passage, he makes a point of noting the strengths of the Corinthian believers; later he will detail their weaknesses and exhort them to make the requisite improvements. Clearly Paul had God-given spiritual insight, which allowed him to know that the Corinthians actually possessed spiritual gifts – implying that they were genuine believers; this awesome fact gave Paul great joy in light of his special relationship with them.



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