Called to be Saints

1Corinthians 1:1-3 Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother, Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. 

‘Apostle’ [Greek: apostolosa] delegate, one sent with the full power of attorney to act in the place of another, the sender remaining behind to back up the one sent. In the case of Christians, it means God sends them to do what He, Himself would do if He went. It is found 81 times and translated apostle 78 times; messenger twice (2Cor. 8:23; Php. 2:25); and once he that is sent (John 13:16). The last apostle [New Testament recorders] was John the apostle as John the Baptist was the last prophet [writers of the Old Testament]. Only twenty-four apostles are recorded: Simon Peter and his brother Andrew (Matt. 10:2); James, son of Zebedee and John his brother (Matt. 10:2); Philip and his brother Bartholomew (Matt. 10:3); James, son of Alphaeus and Judas his brother (Luke 6:16) and Matthew, son of Alphaeus, perhaps brother of James and Judas (Mark 2:14; Luke 6:15); Thomas (Matt. 10:3); Simon Zelotes, brother of James and Judas, according to tradition (Luke 6:15); Judas Iscariot (Matt. 10:4); Matthias (Acts 1:26); Barnabas (1Cor. 9:5-6; Acts 13:1-3; 14:4, 14; Gal. 2:9); Andronicus (Rom. 16:7); Junia (Rom. 16:7); Apollos (1Cor. 4:6-9); James, the Lord’s brother (Gal. 1:19; 2:6; Jas. 1:1); Silas (1Thess. 1:1; 2:6); Timothy (1Thess. 1:1; 2:6); Titus (2Cor. 8:23); Jude (Jud. 1:1); Paul (Gal_1:1; Gal. 2:8); Jesus Christ (Heb. 3:1). For lists of the twelve apostles see Matthew 10:2-4; Mark 3:16-19; Luke 6:14-16 and Acts 1:13, 26.

‘Through the will of God’ – by God’s own appointment and will. ‘Sosthenes’ perhaps the same man as in Acts 18:17.

‘Corinth’ – the capital of Greece at this time and seat of the Roman proconsul (Acts 18:12), as Athens was its centre of learning. It was 74 kilometres west of Athens. The worship of Aphrodite [Latin: Venus] and the Ashtoreth of Judges 2:13 was carried on here, with all the Eastern immorality, probably introduced by Phoenicians (1Kin. 11:33). Paul started this congregation in about 52 A.D.

‘Sactified’ [Greek: hagiazo] set apart or consecrate Greek: hagiazo, to separate from a profane to a sacred use; to consecrate self wholly to God and His service. The primary meaning is separation, not making holy. It means to make holy only when the person or thing sanctified needs to be cleansed from sin or defilement in order to be fit to be separated unto God and His service.

‘Saints’ – the salutation is to: The congregation of God at Corinth; those who are sanctified in Christ and saints. All saved people are saints, so there are no grounds for making people saints after death (Acts 9:13, 32, 41; 26:10; Rom. 1:7; 1Cor. 6:1-2; 2Cor. 1:1; Eph. 1:1; Php. 1:1; Col. 1:2; 2Thess. 1:10; Jude 1:3; Rev. 5:8; 13:7, 10; 17:6).

‘With all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord’ – this proves that Paul intended that this epistle should be the general property of all congregations.

‘Both theirs and ours’ Jesus Christ is the common Saviour of all people. He is not the exclusive Lord of any one nation or denomination.

‘Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ’ – this part of the salutation is in every one of Paul’s epistles except those to Timothy and Titus.

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