Online Bible Commentary
Jesus is Lord
1 Corinthians 1:1 Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother, 2 To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all who in every place call on the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours: 3 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 4 I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given to you by Christ Jesus, 5 that you were enriched in everything by Him in all utterance and all knowledge, 6 even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you, 7 so that you come short in no gift, eagerly waiting for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ, 8 who will also confirm you to the end, that you may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. (NKJV)
The writer of 1 Corinthians is the apostle Paul. He wrote this letter to the church at Corinth, Greece during his third missionary journey. The church was established by Paul during his second missionary journey when he ministered in Corinth for a year and a half during A. D. 51-52.
Paul wrote this letter during his two year and three month ministry in Ephesus, Asia in A. D. 54-56. It was actually his second letter to the church (1 Cor. 5:9). However the first letter obviously was lost. The purpose of this letter is to emphasize that Jesus is our Lord and Master.
Paul begins his salutation by introducing himself as “an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God” (v. 1a). He is accompanied at this time by “Sosthenes”, a fellow Christian (v. 1b). This may be the same Sosthenes who, as the Jewish ruler of the synagogue in Corinth, was beaten by the Gentiles (Acts 18:17). If so, this Jewish ruler has now become a Christian.
The letter is addressed to “the saints”, the Christians, in Corinth (v. 2a). As saints they were “sanctified in Christ Jesus” (v. 2b). These new believers struggled with morality, including sexual morality. The reference to them as “sanctified” was a positional statement but not a practical statement.
Next, Paul states that Jesus is Lord, not just of the new believers in Corinth but of all believers (v. 2c). This is the purpose and main theme of this letter.
Paul then completes the salutation with his traditional greeting “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ” (v.3). In doing so he implies the equality of Jesus Christ with God the Father.
Paul thanks God for the grace that He has given to the new believers (v. 4). This grace includes enriching them “in everything…in all utterance and all knowledge” as the word of Christ from Paul was lived out by them (vv. 5-6). They were making progress in their spiritual walk but were still struggling with issues.
Paul’s wish was that they would not “come short” in their spiritual gifts (v. 7a). There was some abuse in the use of their spiritual gifts. The new believers were prideful in their gifts instead of being humble as they waited on the second coming of Christ (v. 7b).
Paul assures the new believers that the Lord will complete the good work He is doing in them, so that “to the end…you may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ” (v. 8). The Day of the Lord is a period of time that begins with the rapture and continues through the end times.
So “God is faithful” and has “called” them into “the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord” (v. 9). God is faithful to complete His work in them because they have been called.
With this introduction Paul has emphasized the character of Christ for the encouragement of all Christians. Jesus is Lord. He enriches us with His grace and spiritual gifts. And He is faithful to complete the good work that He has begun in all of us.