1 Corinthians 1
Paul is writing specifically to the church at Corinth, but his words are meant for all Christians ‘who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ’. Christ is Paul’s Lord, the Corinthian Christians’ Lord, and our Lord.
The grace of God enriches us in every way, so that we are lacking in nothing. Because of the faithfulness of God, Christ will sustain us until the end when we will be reunited with Him and remain with Him forever.
(10-17) Divisions in the Church
Paul pleads with the Corinthian Christians to have no divisions among themselves, but to live and work and worship together in unity. They are not to separate themselves into different followings behind Paul, Apollos, or Cephas. Rather, they are all to follow Christ and Christ only. Paul does not seek for people to follow him or to baptize many people. He only desires to preach the Gospel, plainly and with simple words, so that the cross of Christ will not be emptied of its power.
(18-31) Christ the Wisdom and Power of God
To those who are not yet believers, the message of the cross is foolishness. But to those who believe, the cross is the wisdom and power of God. The signs that the Jews demand and the wisdom that the Greeks seek is all found in the cross, but instead of embracing the crucified Christ, the cross is a stumbling block to the Jews and folly to the Greeks/Gentiles. People who approach the cross in their own might and power and have pride in their own efforts, will find it hard to see the wisdom and power in the work of the cross. Only those who approach in weakness and shame and have no personal efforts in which to glory, can see the cross as a point of wisdom, power, grace, and redemption, by which they can be saved.
Favorite verse: (18) For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.