the Week of Proper 3 / Ordinary 8
Smith's Writings Smith's Writings
- 1 Corinthians
by Hamilton Smith
The First Epistle to the Corinthians.
The First Epistle to the Corinthians views the assembly of God in its privileges and responsibilities on earth, and presents God's appointed order for carrying out these responsibilities locally.
The grave disorders that existed in this assembly were the immediate occasion for the Epistle being written; it is therefore a corrective epistle. But it is evident that the apostle Paul, led by the Spirit of God, not only corrects the abuses in a local assembly in those early days, but also gives us divine and inspired instructions for all time as to the maintenance of holy discipline in the house of God, and the divine order for God's people, as forming the body of Christ, when come together in assembly gatherings.
In the course of the Epistle we learn that there existed in this assembly moral laxity, assembly disorder and doctrinal error. One evil leads to the other. Experience has often proved that worldliness and moral laxity will be found behind assembly disorder and that assembly disorder opens the door to doctrinal error.
The main divisions of the Epistle deal with these evils in this order:
First, in 1 Corinthians 1 to 10 the apostle deals with the moral laxity by bringing in the Cross of Christ and the Holy Spirit to exclude the wisdom of this world and the licence of the flesh, and gives us directions for the maintenance of discipline amongst the people of God.
Secondly, in 1 Corinthians 11 to 14 the apostle deals with assembly disorder by presenting the free action of the Holy Spirit in the assembly viewed as the body of Christ.
Thirdly, in 1 Corinthians 15 he deals with the false doctrine that undermines the gospel and attacks the Person of Christ by denying the resurrection of the dead.