1 Corinthians 1:1-9 – Various Notes


The church of Corinth consisted of
– Romans
– Greeks and
– Jews

And the Roman city of Corinth was a major economic center that also was very religious. It consisted of a polytheistic culture which included many temples for various gods (Hermes, Poseidon, Isis, Apollo, etc.)  over and including a major temple of Venus situated atop a hill.

~ Athletics & sports was in the air there as a nearby city, Isthmia hosted the Isthmian Games every 2-3 years.

Paul came to Corinth on his 3rd missionary journey and planted the Church there. He then ministered there for 18 months.


After having moved on from Corinth, and at a later time, Paul received news from members of the Corinthian church about problems there. These had to do with 1) gross immorality and 2) factions. Paul also received a letter from them requesting his guidance on 3) various matters such as marriage, divorce, eating food sacrificed to idols, spiritual gifts, collections for the poor and so on.

Further problems also were present – people questioning where Paul was an authentic apostle, Communion observance abuses, questions about the resurrection.

Walk Through 1 Corinthians 1:1-9 …

1 Paul, called by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus, and our brother Sosthenes,

~ Given that Paul’s credentials as an apostle were challenged, here Paul is stating that he in fact an apostle by God’s will.  Acts 1 lays out the qualifications for what constituted an apostle. An apostle had to have
1) been an witness to the Resurrection of Jesus Christ
2) been appointed by Jesus Christ and
3) finally he had to be able to authenticate his status as an apostle by way of miraculous signs.

So given these criteria, do you think was Paul an apostle?

Sosthenes might have been the ruler of the synagogue (in Corinth) mentioned in Acts 18:17. Given what the Sosthenes of Acts 18:17 went through.

Sosthenes (2nd from the left)

“Then the crowd there turned on Sosthenes the synagogue leader and beat him in front of the proconsul; and Gallio showed no concern whatever.”

It would not at all be surprising if he later on joined the church.

~ Sosthenes is also likely Paul’s scribe for this letter. That is to say that, Paul dictated and Sosthenes wrote.

2 To the church of God that is in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints together with all those who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours:

~ Note the use of the term “call” here. In verse 1 God called Paul not just to be a saint, but also to be an apostle. In verse 2, we see that all those who are believers – they are also called to be saints. So there is a general call to be a saint and there is also a specific call to be an apostle. The latter is not applicable to everyone.

~ Saints: Everyone who has accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour is regarded by the Bible as being a saint. You do not have to be an Church Father like St. Athanasius or some super individual like Mother Theresa who as per the canonization of the RC Church apparently became a saint. You are a Saint by virtue of the Holy Spirit dwelling in you.

3 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

{Research something here and update later.}

4 I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that was given you in Christ Jesus, 5 that in every way you were enriched in him in all speech and all knowledge—

~ All speech and all knowledge would have referred to:
1) Prophesying aka forth-telling aka giving a sermon aka teaching … even when the Church critiques culture
2) Prophesying aka foretelling aka predicting
3) Speaking in Tongues – glossolalia aka ecstatic speech
4) Speaking in Tongues – speaking in other languages like Aramaic or French
5) Speaking with eloquence and persuasively anywhere and everywhere.
6) Sharing the Good News with others
7) Good social skills
8) A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver. ~ Proverbs 25:11
9) …

6 even as the testimony about Christ was confirmed among you— 7 so that you are not lacking in any gift, as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ,

~ No Christian is without a gift. Every Christian has some kind of God given to him or her by God. This could be stewardship, encouragement, financial wisdom, counseling skills, preaching skills, being good at Art or Engineering, exhortation and so on. As regards the matter of tongues or Prophesying (type (2) above), its controversial as to whether they are still around today.

8 who will sustain you to the end, guiltless 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.

~ The Bible teaches that once one accepts Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, then it is forever. If you have genuinely converted then God bears the primary burden of seeing to it that you make it to Heaven without falling away. He will sustain you to the end and He cannot fail.


Exercise: I just covered 9 verses. In these 9 verses, how many times does Paul reference Jesus Christ?