I Corinthians 1
First Corinthians is the longest of Paul's epistles recorded in the Bible. The first chapter is introductory. I Corinthians 1 may be divided into three major parts as follows:
- Salutation (I Corinthians 1:1-9)
- Schism (I Corinthians 1:10-16)
- Salvation (I Corinthians 1:17-31)
I Corinthians 1:1-9
As with most of Paul's epistles, this one begins with an instructive salutation.
1. The Greeters in the Salutation (I Corinthians 1:1)
"Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother" (I Corinthians 1:1). The opening lines of the epistle says who is sending the epistle.
- • The apostle. The first greeter is the primary greeter, the author of the epistle. First, his apostleship. "Apostle of Jesus Christ." This is an official office with extraordinary authority in the early church history. It is inseparably related to Jesus Christ. The word means "messenger." It was an unique office for the early spreading of the Gospel. There is no such thing as apostolic succession. Second, his authority. "Through the will of God." The office could not be assumed by just anyone; you had to be appointed by God Himself (thus Matthias [Acts 1:26] was not the man who replaced Judas Iscariot—Paul was the Divine replacement of Judas Iscariot).