SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 6 (EGW)

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Chapter 1

1. See EGW on ch. 9:13-18. 6BC 1082.8

1-8. Guard the Church Against Deception—The instruction in this epistle is addressed to the church of God at Corinth, and directed to be sent to every place where there were companies of saints who had faith in Jesus Christ. As members of the church of Christ, they are said to be “sanctified in Christ Jesus,” and “called to be saints.” By baptism they pledged themselves to a ministry of good works in seeking to save others who knew not the truth. 6BC 1082.9

The church at Corinth was largely made up of Gentiles. Paul had labored earnestly among them, and had brought them to a knowledge of the truth. But after Paul had left them, false teachers had arisen, who had questioned the apostleship and ministry of Paul. They spoke contemptuously of him, and tried to make comparisons between themselves and him that would belittle him in the eyes of the church. 6BC 1082.10

Paul did not seek to exalt himself. But when falsehoods threatened to destroy the effects of his ministry, faithfulness to his mission made it necessary for him to honor God by vindicating his character and magnifying his office. He claims to have a divine mission—that he is “called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God.” 6BC 1082.11

Paul had been called to his work by the Prince of life. While Paul had been engaged in the work of cruelly persecuting the followers of Christ, the Saviour had appeared to him and called him to be an apostle to the Gentiles. As an apostle of our Lord, he felt a sacred responsibility for the welfare of the church in Corinth. Under his administration they had not only received but they had taught the truth to others. They had been so enriched as to come behind in no gift. They had been brought into near and dear relation to Christ. 6BC 1083.1

Paul could not, by silence, allow himself to be driven from the field by false teachers—teachers who would introduce false sentiments and theories that might lead honest souls away from the truth. The churches must be guarded, and warned against deception. Christ gave Himself for us, to redeem us from all iniquity, that He might purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. His church must be kept free from all false doctrine (Manuscript 46, 1905). 6BC 1083.2

10. Unity in Diversity—The strength of God's people lies in their union with Him through His only-begotten Son, and their union with one another. There are no two leaves of a tree precisely alike; neither do all minds run in the same direction. But while this is so, there may be unity in diversity. Christ is our root, and all who are grafted into this root will bear the fruit which Christ bore. They will reveal the fragrance of His character in the talent of speech, in the cultivation of hospitality, of kindness, of Christian courtesy and heavenly politeness. 6BC 1083.3

Look at the flowers in a carpet, and notice the different colored threads. All are not pink, all are not green, all are not blue. A variety of colors are woven together to perfect the pattern. So it is in the design of God. He has a purpose in placing us where we must learn to live as individuals. We are not all fitted to do the same kind of work, but each man's work is designed by God to help make up His plan (The Review and Herald, July 4, 1899). 6BC 1083.4

10-13. See EGW on Galatians 5:1, 2. 6BC 1083.5

13. Christ the Uniting Stone—Paul asks, “Is Christ divided?” Have we not one spiritual Head? Christ has been the uniting stone, the chief cornerstone, in all ages. The patriarchs, the Levitical priesthood, and Christians of today, all have their center in Him. He is all and in all (The Review and Herald, January 3, 1899). 6BC 1083.6

21. See EGW on Romans 1:20-25. 6BC 1083.7

25-29. God Measures Not by Man's Standard—Because of the pride and ambition of the children of men, God has chosen to perform His mighty works by the most simple and humble means. It is not the men whom the world honors as great, talented, or brilliant, that God selects. He chooses those who will work in meekness and simplicity, acknowledging Him as their leader and their source of strength. He would have us make Him our protector and our guide in all the duties and affairs of life.... 6BC 1083.8

The Majesty of heaven works by whom He will. His providence sometimes selects the humblest instruments to do the greatest work, for His power is revealed through the weakness of men. We have our standard of reckoning, and by it we pronounce one thing great, and another small; but God estimates not according to the standard of men; He does not graduate His scale by theirs. We are not to suppose that what is great to us must be great to God, and what is small to us must be small to Him (The Signs of the Times, July 14, 1881). 6BC 1083.9