And it begins! I’m going through Corinthians as my Bible has it broken down. Every Bible is different so don’t be discouraged if it’s not identical. My Bible is also New King James Version. I love to read things in the Message version first because it’s simpler to understand. Then, I like to reference the NKJV. It’s just my preference.
Scripture for this study:
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.
As I was reading through different explanations of this first section I ran across this which I thought was interesting.
A modern memo uses this familiar introductory format:
A first century letter between Greeks used a similar introductory format:
We can tell from the first few verses it’s a letter. “From” would have been filled in with “Paul and Sosthenes” and “To” would have been filled in with “Members of the Church at Corinth”; however, I think this could also be filled with our names. Scripture states, “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” indicating to me anyone who is sanctified in Christ needs to listen up and hear what is being said.
So who is Paul? Plainly put, he is someone who was persecuting Christians, experienced a vision of an angel of the Lord who spoke to him on the road to Damascus, was blind for 3 days until a man named Ananias was told to pray for him to return his sight. Ananias argued with the Lord (for Paul’s reputation preceded him) but the Lord spoke and said Paul is HIS “chosen vessel”. As Ananias began to pray something like “scales fell from his eyes”. Paul could see. He converted to Christianity and shared the Gospel but many did not believe him due to his previous nature. This is important for us to realize… when you turn the page into something new in life, remember, your previous company may not believe your changes. This is also why it might be necessary to drop those whom you call friends and find new ones.
Now, who is Sosthenes? Not much is known of him except he is mentioned one other place, Acts 18. He is obviously important enough to be mentioned as a “From” in this letter; however, other than that I have not been able to find much on him besides theories of his existence.
Like any good letter, a greeting is made. Technically the entire first 3 lines are a greeting; however, Paul goes beyond the average greeting to wish grace and peace upon his readers.
Next section: 1 Corinthians 1:4-9 “Spiritual Gifts at Corinth”