Here we are in the second section of our 1 Corinthians study. Remember, I’m breaking down the sections accordingly with how my Bible has it broken down. Yours might be different. This section was interesting because for only a few short verses, WOW, a lot of information was there. I’m sure pages could be written on it but I didn’t feel like writing a research paper, lol.
The scripture for this section:
1 Corinthians 1:4-9
4I thank my God at all times for you because of the grace (the favor and spiritual blessing) of God which was bestowed on you in Christ Jesus, 5[So] that in Him in every respect you were enriched, in full power and readiness of speech [to speak of your faith] and complete knowledge and illumination [to give you full insight into its meaning]. 6In this way [our] witnessing concerning Christ (the Messiah) was so confirmed and established and made sure in you 7That you are not [consciously] falling behind or lacking in any special spiritual endowment or Christian grace [[a]the reception of which is due to the power of divine grace operating in your souls by the Holy Spirit], while you wait and watch [constantly living in hope] for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and [His] being made visible to all. 8And He will establish you to the end [keep you steadfast, give you strength, and guarantee your vindication; He will be your warrant against all accusation or indictment so that you will be] guiltless and irreproachable in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah). 9God is faithful (reliable, trustworthy, and therefore ever true to His promise, and He can be depended on); by Him you were called into companionship and participation with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
Paul begins this section of his letter with a positive message. He is telling them how thankful he is for them. It’s important to reinforce one’s importance – because only constantly getting beat down will never lead to a positive influence. Paul then begins speaking of the enrichment in “readiness of speech” and “complete knowledge” we are able to have through Christ. Let’s go over some definitions to fully understand this:
tr.v. en·riched, en·rich·ing, en·rich·es
1. To make rich or richer.
2. To make fuller, more meaningful, or more rewarding: An appreciation of art will enrich your life.
3. To add fertilizer to.
4. To add nutrients to.
5. To add to the beauty or character of; adorn.
6. Physics To increase the amount of one or more radioactive isotopes in (a material, especially a nuclear fuel).
ut·ter·ance 1 (tr-ns) n.
NOTE: The amplified bible says utterance in the subject of speaking your faith. Also in the NKJV “utterance” is used instead of the word “speaking”.
a. The act of uttering; vocal expression.
b. The power of speaking; speech: as long as I have utterance.
c. A manner of speaking: argued with forceful utterance.
2. Something uttered or expressed; a statement.
NOTE: The amplified bible says knowledge in the subject of to give you full insight into its meaning.
a. The theoretical or practical understanding of a subject.
b. What is known in a particular field or in total; facts and information.
c. Philosophy true, justified belief, certain understanding, as opposed to opinion.
d. Specific information about something.
e. Facts, information and skills acquired by a person through experience or education.
2. Awareness of familiarity gained by experience of a fact or situation.
Based on Matthew Henry’s Commentary (via http://www.biblegateway.com) I was able to understand these verses to say this: God has given two gifts. If you speak without knowledge – your words are empty. If you have knowledge but never speak it, it’s wasted. But to use both… we are useful. If He has given these gifts two you then He expects you to use them and for the correct reasons. They have a purpose. Nothing we are given from God serves purposeless. Signs, wonders and gifts – all gifts from the Holy Ghost – were happening in this day. The apostles were attempting to teach people but let’s face it… it’s hard to teach people about Christ sometimes. Whether they just refuse to hear it, you mess up in your walk which causes them to not want to believe, or whatever other reason exists… it can be difficult. As these signs were happening it was acting as evidence to the apostles of their mission and doctrine. The more the spiritual gifts poured out on the church, the more it accredited the apostles and what they were teaching. The more evidence they had (think of a court case) the more confirmation existed for their own missions which had them living in expectation of what they already knew. It reinforced what they already knew. When the church of Corinth was nourished with both knowledge and utterance – praise was given to God. Especially when these gifts were used to testify to the truth of Christian doctrine. Hebrews 2:4 (AMP) says, “[Besides this evidence] it was also established and plainly endorsed by God, who showed His approve of it by signs and wonders and various miraculous manifestations of [HIS] power and by imparting the gifts of the Holy Spirit (to the believers) according to His own will. I loved reading this in one of the commentaries:
It is the character of Christians that they wait for Christ’s coming:
1. We believe it. 2. We hope for it. 3. It’s the business of our lives to prepare for it.
Verse 8 talks about “…He will establish you til the end…”. God will see us through as He is our strength and endurance. Everyday is a struggle to make it through the “crap” if you will but with Him it’s all possible. Nothing is impossible. In order to make it though we have to see the “big picture”. If you choose to focus on the little things you are only going to get frustrated and want to quit. By holding on to God throughout all of it – He will not only endure us til the end but also hold us blameless in the day of Christ. This doesn’t happen because God decides He is based on principle – this happens by gracious absolution. But… what is that?
Let’s read some more definitions:
1. Formal release from guilt, obligation, punishment
2. An ecclesiastical declaration of forgiveness of sins
1. Of or relating to the Christian Church
1. Courteous and kind and pleasant, especially toward someone of lower social status
1. A fundamental truth or proposition that serves as the foundation for a system of belief or behavior or for a chain of reasoning
2. A rule of belief governing one’s personal behavior
Think about these definitions… it’s really quite amazing. If you want to live by your own law – it’s going to cost you. If you will live by God’s law – it’s free. Remember this final verse because it rings in my ears even as I just sit and type them, not even reading them aloud. “He, who has called us into the fellowship of His Son is faithful, and will do it.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:24. God is faithful to do the things He says He will do!