The Testimony of Christ

1Corinthians 1:6-9 Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you: So that you come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that you may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, by whom you were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord. 

‘Testimony’ [Greek: marturion] refers to the gospel of Christ which Paul had confirmed to people in all places by the gifts of the Holy Spirit (Rom. 15:18-19, 29; Acts 15:4, 12; 19:11).

‘So that you come behind in no gift’ – the gospel was fully preached and confirmed (1:6), to the end that believers come behind in no gift of the Holy Spirit (1:7; 12:4-11).

‘Waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ …’ this is the first New Testament prophecy in 1 Corinthians verses 7-8, unfulfilled. [Greek: apekdechomai] eagerly expecting. It is used in nearly every instance of looking for the coming of the Lord or the future hope of salvation.

‘Coming’ [Greek: apokalupsis] unveiling, revelation, manifestation. Revelation – when used of a revelation it always denotes that which has had the covering taken off and the mystery removed, so that all can see alike what is revealed (Rev. 1:1; Rom. 2:5; 16:25; 1Cor. 14:6, 14:26; 2Cor. 12:1, 7; Gal. 1:12; 2:2; Eph. 1:17; 3:3). When used of a person it means his visible appearance and manifestation to others (Luke 2:13; Rom. 8:19; 1Pet. 1:7). It is used of: The gospel light (Luke 2:32); the coming judgment (Rom. 2:5); the unveiling of truths previously hidden but now revealed (Rom. 16:25; 2Cor. 12:1, 12:7; Gal. 1:12; 2:2; Eph. 1:17; 3:3; Rev. 1:1); the coming glory (1Pet. 4:13); the second coming of Christ (1Cor. 1:7; 2Thess. 1:7; 1Pet. 1:7, 13); manifestation of the sons of God (Rom. 8:19).

There are four Greek words used of Christ’s coming: (1) Apokalupsis: revelation (Rev. 1:1; 2Thess. 1:7; 1Pet. 1:7, 13). (2) Epiphaneia: appearing (1Tim. 6:14; 2Tim. 4:1, 8; Tit. 2:13; 2Thess. 2:8). Use also of the first coming (2Tim. 1:10). (3) Phaneros: to shine, be manifest, be seen (1Jn. 2:28; 3:2; 1Pet. 5:4; Col. 3:4). (4) Parousia: personal appearance, presence. The word is generally translated “coming,” hence it is used for both the rapture (coming in the air for the saints) and the second coming (coming from heaven with the saints to earth). The word is used of the rapture in 1 Corinthians 15:20-23; 1 Thessalonians 2:19; 3:13; 4:15; 5:23; 2 Thessalonians 2:1; James 5:7-8 and 1 John 2:28. It is used of the second coming in Matthew 24:3, 27, 37, 39; 2 Thessalonians 2:8 and 2 Peter 1:16; 3:4.

‘Confirm you unto the end’ – As the testimony or the gospel of Christ was confirmed among you to attract you to Christ, so He will confirm you through this testimony until the end, that you may be blameless at His coming.

‘Blameless’ [Greek: anengkletos] not accused, unimpeachable.

‘Day of our Lord Jesus Christ’ – In the day when Christ comes to receive saints unto Himself (1Cor. 1:8; 5:5; 2Cor. 1:14; Php. 1:6, 10; 2:16).

‘God is faithful’ – this was a favourite expression among Jews of the integrity of God (1Cor. 1:9; 10:13; 2Cor. 1:18; 1Thess. 5:24; 2Thess. 3:3).

‘Fellowship’ [Greek: koinonia] the communion, fellowship, and participation with Christ in His sufferings, in the gifts and graces of the Holy Spirit in this life, and in the glories of the kingdom in the next life (2Cor. 13:14; 1Jn. 1:3; Php. 3:10).

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