Greeting: The Author and the Recipients Established (vv.1-3)
Prayer: Thankfulness for the Corinthians’ Blessings (vv.4-9)
- The ability to communicate or express scriptural concepts (v.5a). They were acquainted with “every saying” of their Bible.
- The objective knowledge of what the scriptures meant (v.5b). However, this word ‘gnosis’ is not as strong as ‘epi-gnosis’ as in Heb. 10:26. It is an outward, speculative, intellectual knowledge, not necessarily a inward, deep, conscious knowledge of conviction (or, recognition).
- The testimony of Christ’s character reflected among them by Paul and others during his eighteen-month stay in Corinth (v.6). A tremendous benefit; seeing the truth of God presented in a godly manner!
- The possession of many gifted local brethren (v.7a). But gift is not godliness, and it is no substitute for a right spirit. The gifts that the Corinthians valued most highly were the sign gifts; 1 Cor. 12, 14. In the course of this epistle Paul sets straight their understanding of which gifts were truly “the best gifts”, and what spiritual quality (love) was better than all the gifts combined.
- The knowledge that Christ is returning to set up His kingdom (v.7b). It isn’t the Rapture that is in view, but the appearing of Christ. The Rapture is more of a personal thing, the Appearing is more public. This is a basic element of Christianity; the looking forward to the time when all things will be set right.
- The possession of an all-the-way-home Savior (v.8a)! No matter the poor conduct of the Corinthians at the present time, Christ would preserve them in His High Priestly grace until the end of the wilderness pathway.
- The prospect of being outwardly blameless in the day of Christ (v.8b). The Day of Christ is the day of Christ’s display of glory, when we will be manifested with Him. It is after the judgment seat of Christ, when we will appear before the world in the perfection of our standing in Christ.
- The introduction into the one true Christian fellowship. It is not fellowship with His Son, but “the fellowship of His Son”. It is that fellowship which has the Person of Christ as its common object (see Gal. 2:20), and Whose Person characterizes all in that circle. Many fellowships have been set up by men that distract from this one true fellowship; but it still endures. Every believer that is indwelt by the Spirit of God is in this fellowship. The Church or Assembly of God is the fellowship of God’s Son, because it is founded on that very truth; Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God (Matt. 16:16)! There is a solemn responsibility for those in it, to not dishonor His Name.
Not including benedictory prayers at the ends of his epistles, Paul records twenty-eight of his prayers! It is nice to trace these prayers through his writings. We are very thankful for them because they give us: (1) an insight into the heart of the apostle, and (2) a pattern for the way we should pray.Thirteen of them are petitions (asking for something). Eleven of them are prayers of thanksgiving, like this one. Four of them are a combination of both: a note of thanks, then a request. Read more…