BLTC Press Titles

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Esoteric Buddhism

A. P. Sinnett

Vanity Fair

William Thackery

The Art of Worldly Wisdom

Baltasar Gracian

The Count of Monte Cristo

Alexandre Dumas

An exposition of the first epistle to the Corinthians

by Charles Hodge


By Christ Jesus, or rather, in Christ Jesus. This limits and explains the kind of favours to which the apostle refers. He renders thanks for those gifts which God had bestowed upon them in virtue of their union with Christ. The fruits of the Spirit are the blessings referred to. These inward spiritual benefits are as much gifts as health or prosperity, and are, therefore, as properly the grounds of gratitude. All virtues are graces, gifts of the grace of God.

5. That in every thing ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and (in) all knowledge.

This verse is explanatory of the preceding. Paul gives thanks for the grace which they had received, i. c. that in every thing they were enriched. In every thing (iv iravri), in every respect they were richly endowed with the gifts of the Spirit. In all utterance and in all knowledge; that is, with all the gifts of utterance and knowledge. Some were prophets, some were teachers, some had the gift of tongues. These were different forms of the gift of utterance. In all know

ledge, that is, in every kind and degree of religious knowledge. This interpretation gives a good sense, and is the one very generally adopted. The word (Adyos) translated utterance, may however be taken in the sense of doctrine, and the word (yvukris) translated knowledge, in the sense of insight. The meaning would then be, that the church in Corinth was richly endowed with divine truth, and with clear apprehension or understanding of the doctrines which they had been taught. They were second to no other church either as to doctrinal knowledge or spiritual discernment. Aoyos, according to this view, is the truth preached; yiww, the truth apprehended.— Meyer.

6. Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you.

Even as, i. e. because, inasmuch as. They were thus enriched, because the testimony of Christ, that is, the gospel, was confirmed among them. The gospel is called the 'testimony of Christ,' either because it is the testimony concerning God and divine things, which Christ bore; or because it is the testimony which the apostles bore concerning Christ. Either explanation is agreeable to the analogy of the Scripture. Christ is called the true witness; and is said to have borne witness of the truth. Compare John 3, 11. 32. 33. 8, 13. 14. On the other hand, the apostles are frequently called the witnesses of Christ, and are said to have borne testimony concerning him. The gospel, therefore, is, in one view, the testimony which Christ bore; and, in another, the testimony which the apostles bore concerning him. The former is the higher, and therefore, the better sense. It is good to contemplate the gospel as that system of truth which the eternal Logos, or

Was confirmed in you. This may mean either, was firmly established among you; or was firmly established in your faith. The gospel was demonstrated by the Holy Spirit to be true, and was firmly settled in their conviction. This firm faith was then, as it is now, the necessary condition of the enjoyment of the blessings by which the gospel is attended.

7. So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Such. was their strength of faith that the gifts of the Spirit were bestowed upon them as abundantly as upon any other church. This connection of faith with the divine blessing is often presented in Scripture. Our Lord said to the father who sought his aid in behalf of his demoniac child, "If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth," Mark 9, 23. And on another occasion, "According to thy faith be it unto thee," Matt. 9, 29. In his own country, it is said, he did not many mighty works "because of their unbelief," Matt. 13, 58. The Holy Ghost, therefore, confers on men his gifts in proportion to their faith. The word (xapuriin) gift, is used both for the ordinary and extraordinary gifts of the Spirit; most frequently for the latter. Here it includes both classes. The Corinthians had not only the inward gifts of repentance, faith and knowledge, but also those of miracles, of healing, of speaking with tongues, of prophecy, in rich abundance. No church was superior to them in these respects. The extraordinary gifts, however, seem to be principally intended. Paul's commendation has reference to their wisdom, knowledge and miraculous gifts, rather than to their spiritual graces. Much as he found to censure in their state and conduct, he freely acknowledged their flourishing condition in many points of view.

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