1 Corinthians 1:9
God is faithful, by whom you were called to the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.
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(9) God is faithful.—The One who called them “unto the communion of His Son” is faithful, and therefore He will complete His work; no trials and sufferings need make them doubt that all will at last be well. The same confidence is expressed in Philippians 1:6, and 1Thessalonians 5:24.

1:1-9 All Christians are by baptism dedicated and devoted to Christ, and are under strict obligations to be holy. But in the true church of God are all who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, and who call upon him as God manifest in the flesh, for all the blessings of salvation; who acknowledge and obey him as their Lord, and as Lord of all; it includes no other persons. Christians are distinguished from the profane and atheists, that they dare not live without prayer; and they are distinguished from Jews and pagans, that they call on the name of Christ. Observe how often in these verses the apostle repeats the words, Our Lord Jesus Christ. He feared not to make too frequent or too honourable mention of him. To all who called upon Christ, the apostle gave his usual salutation, desiring, in their behalf, the pardoning mercy, sanctifying grace, and comforting peace of God, through Jesus Christ. Sinners can have no peace with God, nor any from him, but through Christ. He gives thanks for their conversion to the faith of Christ; that grace was given them by Jesus Christ. They had been enriched by him with all spiritual gifts. He speaks of utterance and knowledge. And where God has given these two gifts, he has given great power for usefulness. These were gifts of the Holy Ghost, by which God bore witness to the apostles. Those that wait for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, will be kept by him to the end; and those that are so, will be blameless in the day of Christ, made so by rich and free grace. How glorious are the hopes of such a privilege; to be kept by the power of Christ, from the power of our corruptions and Satan's temptations!God is faithful - That is, God is true, and constant, and will adhere to his promises. He will not deceive. He will not promise, and then fail to perform; he will not commence anything which he will not perfect and finish. The object of Paul in introducing the idea of the faithfulness of God here, is to show the reason for believing that the Christians at Corinth would be kept unto everlasting life. The evidence that they will persevere depends on the fidelity of God; and the argument of the apostle is, that as they had been called by Him into the fellowship of his Son, his faithfulness of character would render it certain that they would be kept to eternal life. The same idea he has presented in Philippians 1:6, "Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you, will also perform it until the day of Jesus Christ."

Ye were called - The word "called" here does not refer merely to "an invitation" or an "offer of life," but to the effectual influence which had been put forth; which had inclined them to embrace the gospel note at Romans 8:30; note at Romans 9:12; see Mark 2:17; Luke 5:32; Galatians 1:6; Galatians 5:8, Galatians 5:13; Ephesians 1:4; Colossians 3:15. In this sense the word often occurs in the Scriptures, and is designed to denote a power, or influence that goes forth "with" the external invitation, and that makes it effectual. That power is the agency of the Holy Spirit.

Unto the fellowship of his Son - To participate with his Son Jesus Christ; to be partakers with him; see the notes at John 15:1-8. Christians participate with Christ:

(1) in his feelings and views; Romans 8:9.

(2) in his trials and sufferings, being subjected to temptations and trials similar to his; 1 Peter 4:13, "But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings;" Colossians 1:24; Philippians 3:10.

(3) in his heirship to the inheritance and glory which awaits him; Romans 8:17, "And if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ;" 1 Peter 1:4.

(4) in his triumph in the resurrection and future glory; Matthew 19:28, "Ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit on the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel;" John 14:19, "Because I live, ye shall live also;" Revelation 3:21, "To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne."

(Immediately on our union to Christ, we have fellowship with him, in all the blessings of his purchase. This communion or fellowship with him is the necessary result of our union to him. On the saint's union to Christ, see the supplementary note at Romans 8:10.)

From all this, the argument of the apostle is, that as they partake with Christ in these high privileges, and hopes, and promises, they will be kept by a faithful God unto eternal life. God is faithful to his Son; and will be faithful to all who are united to him. The argument for the perseverance of the saints is, therefore, sure.

9. faithful—to His promises (Php 1:6; 1Th 5:24).

called—according to His purpose (Ro 8:28).

unto … fellowship of … Jesus—to be fellow heirs with Christ (Ro 8:17-28), like Him sons of God and heirs of glory (Ro 8:30; 2Th 2:14; 1Pe 5:10; 1Jo 1:3). Chrysostom remarks that the name of Christ is oftener mentioned in this than in any other Epistle, the apostle designing thereby to draw them away from their party admiration of particular teachers to Christ alone.

God is faithful: faithfulness is the same with veracity or truth to a man’s word, which renders a person fit to be credited. It is a great attribute of God, 1 Corinthians 10:13 1 Thessalonians 5:24. This implieth promises of God for the perseverance of believers, of which there are many to be found in holy writ. But these promises concern not all, but such only whom God hath chosen out of the world, calling them to a communion with Christ, which necessarily supposeth union with him. So as here is another argument to confirm them that God would keep them to the end, so as they should be blameless in the day of Christ; because God had called them into that state of grace wherein they were, and would not leave his work in them imperfect; he had called them unto the fellowship of Jesus Christ; see 1Jo 1:3; into a state of friendship with Christ, and into a state of union with him, into such a state as he would daily by his Spirit be communicating the blessed influences of his grace unto them. God is faithful, by whom ye were called,.... These words contain arguments, assuring the saints of their confirmation in grace, and of their being preserved blameless to the day of Christ, taken from the faithfulness of God, who is always true to his promises: whatever he has said, he will do it; he will never suffer his faithfulness to fail; and since he has made so many promises concerning the establishment of his people, and their perseverance to grace, they may assure themselves of them; and also from his having called them by his grace, for whom he effectually calls by his grace, he glorifies; and particularly from his having called them

into the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord; to partake of his grace, and to be heirs of glory with him; to enjoy communion with him in private and public exercises of religion, which is an evidence of being in him, and of union to him; for it is not merely into the fellowship of his saints or churches, but into the fellowship of his Son they are said to be called; and such are members of Christ, of his body, of his flesh, and of his bone; and shall never be lost and perish, but shall be confirmed to the end; be preserved in him blameless, and presented to him faultless, and have everlasting life.

God is {h} faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.

(h) True and constant, who not only calls us, but also gives to us the gift of perseverance.

1 Corinthians 1:9. Ground of this confident hope. Comp 1 Corinthians 10:13; 1 Thessalonians 5:24; 2 Thessalonians 3:3; Php 1:6; Romans 11:29. Were the ΒΕΒΑΊΩΣΙς on the part of Christ (1 Corinthians 1:8) not to take place, the divine call to the ΚΟΙΝΩΝΊΑ ΤΟῦ ΥἹΟῦ ΑὐΤΟῦ would remain without effect, which would not be compatible with the faithfulness of God, from whom the call comes, and who, by His calling, gives pledge to us of eternal salvation (Romans 8:30).

Rückert finds in διʼ οὗ, because God Himself is the caller, a veritable misuse of the preposition; and others, as Beza and Rosenmüller, explain it without ceremony by ὙΦʼ ΟὟ, which D* F G in fact read. But Paul is thinking here in a popular way of the call as mediated through God. It is true, of course, that God is the causa principalis, but the mediating agency is also God’s, ἐξ οὗ καὶ διʼ οὗ τὰ πάντα (Romans 11:36); hence both modes of representation may occur, and ΔΙΆ may be used as well as ὙΠΌ, wherever the context does not make it of importance to have a definite designation of the primary cause as such. Comp Galatians 1:1; Plat. Symp. p. 186 E, Pol. ii. p. 379 E. Fritzsche, a[152] Rom. I. p. 15; Bernhardy, p. 235 f.

The ΚΟΙΝΩΝΊΑ ΤΟῦ ΥἹΟῦ ΑὐΤΟῦ is the fellowship with the Son of God (genitive, as in 2 Corinthians 11:13; Php 2:1; 2 Peter 1:4), i.e. the having part in the filial relation of Christ, which, however, is not to be understood of the temporal relation of sonship, Galatians 3:26 f. (κοινωνίαν γὰρ υἱοῦ τὴν υἱοθεσίαν ἐκάλεσε, Theodoret), nor of ethical fellowship (Grotius, Hofmann, and many others), but, in accordance with the idea of the ΚΑΛΕῖΝ which always refers to the Messianic kingdom, of fellowship of the glory of the Son of God in the eternal Messianic life,[153]—a fellowship which will be the glorious completion of the state of υἱοθεσία (Galatians 4:7). It is the ΔΌΞΑ ΤῶΝ ΤΈΚΝΩΝ ΤΟῦ ΘΕΟῦ (Romans 8:21), when they shall be ΣΥΓΚΛΗΡΟΝΌΜΟΙ ΤΟῦ ΧΡΙΣΤΟῦ, ΣΎΜΜΟΡΦΟΙ of His image, ΣΥΜΒΑΣΙΛΕΎΟΝΤΕς and ΣΥΝΔΟΞΑΣΘΈΝΤΕς, Romans 8:17; comp 1 Corinthians 1:23; 1 Corinthians 1:29; 2 Thessalonians 2:14; Colossians 3:4; Php 3:20 f.; 1 Corinthians 15:48 f.; 2 Timothy 2:12.

[152] d refers to the note of the commentator or editor named on the particular passage.

[153] Comp. Weiss, biblische Theol. p. 310.1 Corinthians 1:9. The ground of Paul’s hope for the ultimate welfare of the Cor[110] is God’s fidelity. His gifts are bestowed on a wise and settled plan (1 Corinthians 1:21, Romans 8:28 ff; Romans 11:29); His word, with it His character, is pledged to the salvation of those who believe in His Son: πιστὸς ὁ Θεὸς διʼ οὗ ἐκλήθητε = πιστὸς ὁ καλῶν of 1 Thessalonians 5:23 f.; the formula πιστὸς ὁ λόγος of the Past. Epp. is not very different. διʼ οὗ is “through (older Eng., by) whom you were called”; cf. διὰ θελήματος Θεοῦ (1 Corinthians 1:1, see note), and διʼ οὗτὰ πάντα (of God, Romans 11:36); similarly in Galatians 4:7 : God had manifestly interposed to bring the Cor[111] into the communion of Christ (see, further, 1 Corinthians 1:26-28); His voice sounded in the ears of the Cor[112] when the Gospel summons reached them (cf. 1 Thessalonians 2:13). Christ (1 Corinthians 1:8) and God are both therefore security for the perfecting of their Christian life.—God’s accepted call has brought the readers εἰς κοινωνίαν τοῦ υἱοῦ αὐτοῦ Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ τοῦ κυρίου ἡμῶνi.e., not “into a communion (or partnership) with His Son Jesus Christ our Lord” (nowhere else has this noun an objective gen[113] of the person: see parls.), but “into a communion belonging to (and named after) God’s Son,” of which He is founder, centre and sum. In this fellowship the Cor[114] partake “with all those that call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 1:2); κοινωνία denotes collective participation. The κοινωνία τ. υἱοῦ is the same, both in content and constituency, as the κοινωνία τ. πνεύματος (see 1 Corinthians 12:13, 2 Corinthians 13:13, Php 2:1, Ephesians 4:4-6). Its content—that which the Cor[115] share in—is sonship to God, since it is “a communion of His Son,” with Christ for “first-born among many brethren” (Romans 8:29 f.; cf. Hebrews 2:10-16), and consequent heirship to God (Romans 8:17, Galatians 3:26 to Galatians 4:7). The title “our Lord,” added to “His Son Jesus Christ,” invests the Christian communion with present grandeur and certifies its hope of glory; Christ’s glory lies in His full manifestation as Lord (1 Corinthians 15:25, Php 2:11), and its glorification is wrapped up in His (2 Thessalonians 1:12; 2 Thessalonians 2:14; also 1 Thessalonians 2:12). 1 Corinthians 1:9 sustains and crowns the hope expressed in 1 Corinthians 1:8. For κοινωνία, see further the notes on 1 Corinthians 10:16 f.

[110] Corinth, Corinthian or Corinthians.

[111] Corinth, Corinthian or Corinthians.

[112] Corinth, Corinthian or Corinthians.

[113] genitive case.

[114] Corinth, Corinthian or Corinthians.

[115] Corinth, Corinthian or Corinthians.

DIVISION I. THE CORINTHIAN PARTIES AND THE GOSPEL MINISTRY, 1 Corinthians 1:10 to 1 Corinthians 4:21. Paul could not honestly give thanks for the actual condition of the Cor[116] Church. The reason for this omission at once appears. The Church is rent with factions, which ranged themselves under the names of the leading Christian teachers. On the causes of these divisions see Introduction, Chap. 1 Out of their crude and childish experience (1 Corinthians 3:1-4) the Cor[117] are constructing prematurely a γνῶσις of their own (1 Corinthians 8:1, see note), a σοφία resembling that “wisdom of the world” which is “foolishness with God” (1 Corinthians 1:18 ff., 1 Corinthians 1:30, 1 Corinthians 3:18 f., 1 Corinthians 4:9 f.); they think themselves already above the mere λόγος τοῦ σταύρου brought by the Ap., wherein, simple as it appeared, there lay the wisdom and the power of God. This conceit had been stimulated, unwittingly on his part, by the preaching of Apollos. Ch. 1 Corinthians 3:3-7 shows that it is the Apollonian faction which most exercises Paul’s thoughts at present; the irony of 1 Corinthians 1:18-31 and 1 Corinthians 4:6-13 is aimed at the partisans of Ap., who exalted his ὑπεροχὴ λόγου κ. σοφίας in disparagement of Paul’s unadorned κήρυγμα τοῦ σταύρου. Mistaking the nature of the Gospel, the Cor[118] mistook the office of its ministers: on the former subject they are corrected in 1 Corinthians 1:18 to 1 Corinthians 2:5 showing in what sense and why the Gospel is not, and in 1 Corinthians 2:6 to 1 Corinthians 3:2 showing in what sense and to whom the Gospel is a σοφία; the latter misconception is rectified in 1 Corinthians 3:3 to 1 Corinthians 4:21, where, with express reference to Ap. and P., Christian teachers are shown to be no competing leaders of human schools but “fellow-workmen of God” and “servants of Christ,” co-operative and complementary instruments of His sovereign work in the building of the Church. The four chapters constitute an apologia for the Apostle’s teaching and office, parl[119] to those of 2 Corinthians 10-13 and Galatians 1-3; but the line of defence adopted here is quite distinct. Here Paul pleads against Hellenising lovers of wisdom, there against Judaising lovers of tradition. Both parties stumbled at the cross; both judged of the Ap. κατὰ σάρκα, and fastened upon his defects in visible prestige and presence. The existence of the legalist party at Cor[120] is intimated by the cry, “I am of Cephas,” and by Paul’s words of self-vindication in 1 Corinthians 9:1 f.; but this faction had as yet reached no considerable head; it developed rapidly in the interval between 1 and 2 Cor.

[116] Corinth, Corinthian or Corinthians.

[117] Corinth, Corinthian or Corinthians.

[118] Corinth, Corinthian or Corinthians.

[119] parallel.

[120] Corinth, Corinthian or Corinthians.9. God is faithful] It will not be God’s fault, but our own, if the promises of the last verse are not realized.

the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ] The important word here rendered fellowship has unfortunately different renderings in our version. Sometimes, as in ch. 1 Corinthians 10:16 (where see note), it is rendered communion; and in 2 Corinthians 6:14, where it is thus rendered, another word is rendered fellowship. In 2 Corinthians 9:13, it is rendered distribution. Its usual signification would appear to be the sharing together, joint participation as common possessors of any thing. But it is impossible to go so far as Cremer in his Lexicon of the N. T. and assert that it never has the active sense of communication, in the face of such passages as Romans 15:26 (where it is rendered distribution); 2 Corinthians 9:13. Here it refers to the life which by means of faith is common to the believer and his Lord. Cf. Galatians 2:20.1 Corinthians 1:9. Πιστὸς, faithful) God is said to be faithful, because He performs, what He has promised, and what believers promise to themselves from His goodness.—ἐκλήθητε, ye were called) Calling is a pledge of other benefits, [to which the end, 1 Corinthians 1:8, will correspond.—V. g.]—Romans 8:30; [1 Thessalonians 5:24]; 1 Peter 5:10.Verse 9. - God is faithful. He will not leave his promises unfulfilled or his work unfinished (1 Corinthians 10:13; 2 Thessalonians 3:3; Hebrews 10:23; Romans 8:28-30). Through whom. By whom, as the moving cause and agent in your salvation. Ye were called. The calling was a pledge of the final blessing (Romans 8:30). Into the fellowship of his Son. Union (koinonia, communion) with Christ is the sole means of spiritual life (John 15:4; Galatians 2:20). Through the Son we also have fellowship with the Father (1 John 1:3). The perfect sincerity of the apostle is observable in this thanksgiving. He speaks of the Church in general in terms of gratitude and hopefulness, and dwells on its rich spiritual endowments; but he has not a word of praise for any moral advance such as that which he so lovingly recognized in the Thessalonians and Philippians. Faithful (πιστὸς)

Emphatic, and therefore first in the sentence. See on 1 John 1:9; see on Revelation 1:5; see on Revelation 3:14. Compare 2 Timothy 2:13.

Ye were called (ἐκλήθητε)

See on Romans 4:17.

Fellowship (κοινωνίαν)

See on 1 John 1:3; see on Acts 2:42; see on Luke 5:10.

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