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First Corinthians 1:1-31

This letter (epistle) was written by the Apostle Paul to the holy-people (sanctified-people, Christians, saints, children of the only true God) who were living in the area of Corinth. Paul had lived and preached the good-message (gospel, evangel) for eighteen months there before journeying to other areas (refer to Acts 18:1-18).

Since that time the Corinthian holy-people should have been behaving correctly in accordance with God's Word. They already knew what Paul had previously taught them. They had personal knowledge - which was a combination of the knowledge that they may have received from God or from the Lord Jesus Christ via the gift of holy spirit, and from Paul, and their knowledge of the previously revealed written Word of God.

However, after Paul traveled away from the area of Corinth he received correspondence containing some questions from them, and also he heard regarding some of the things going on in their meetings, etc.

Paul wrote this letter in accordance with the information that God and the Lord Jesus Christ revealed to him via his holy spirit-life, which included answers to some of their questions plus additional information that they had not been taught previously.

I Corinthians 1:1-3:
1:1Paul, called, an apostle of Christ Jesus by means of (the) intention of God, and Sosthenes, the brother - .2to the church of God, the (church) being in Corinth, (consisting of people) having been made-holy2 in Christ Jesus, called, holy, together with all the (people) calling-upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to-themselves in every place, theirs and ours; .3grace to you and peace from God our Father and (our) Lord Jesus Christ.

Paul begins this letter by first identifying himself by name (Paul) to those to whom he is writing, and then he states his standing (called) and his working or service relationship (apostle) with Christ Jesus [some Greek texts read "Jesus Christ"].

The word "called" could also be translated as "invited" - Paul was an invited person. He had been issued an invitation by Christ Jesus and he had accepted it.

Paul’s service was to do the work of an apostle. An "apostle" is a person sent-forth or sent-away by someone on a specific mission or assignment to someone else. In the context here, we read that Paul was an apostle of Christ Jesus...

Christ Jesus did not apostle him without this being God's will. The intention of God was the action or agency by way of which the initiated progress passed-through (for Paul to become an apostle) in order to reach its accomplishment. God's intention was interposed between the start and the result of him being an apostle of Christ Jesus.

It is clear that Paul had not decided this all by himself, nor was there some "unknown force" driving him to do the things that he was doing, nor was he deluded into thinking that he was somebody else, nor did he decide that he had reached the level of being "good enough" to be an apostle to his neighbors or to the whole world (he was not self-appointed), nor was there a committee involved in this decision, nor had he "forced" God or the Lord Jesus Christ into making him an apostle!

I Corinthians 1:1 also includes...

Whose brother was Sosthenes? Paul is not referring to his biological/natural state of having the same mother and/or father as all the other people in the church in Corinth, nor because of his race, skin-color, or political-affiliation, nor is he referring to the fact that everyone has the same blood flowing through their veins passed-down from Adam and Eve – but Paul is referring to his spiritual relationship. Sosthenes had received the gift of holy spirit from God by means of the Lord Jesus Christ, just the same as Paul and all the other holy-people. He was their brother in the spirit category because God is the Father of all those who have holy spirit-life within them.

[Note: verbs with a superscript 2 (2) immediately following them indicate the "perfect" tense - details are provided in the "Relevant Notes" link of this study.]


A printed paperback book of the complete study of First Corinthians may be purchased at:



True Bible Study - First Corinthians

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