Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother,
All Commentaries on 1 Corinthians 1:1 Go To 1 Corinthians 1
Cornelius a Lapide
Sosthenes. He was chief ruler of the synagogue at Corinth; having been converted to Christ by Paul, he was severely beaten for his faith before Gallio, the Proconsul ( Acts 18:17), and after his death was placed among the Saints.—November28th.
Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints [supply, Paul writes and salutes in praying], grace be unto you and peace from God. For called to be saints the Syriac translates, called and saints. For in the Greek it is not the participle Î»ÎµÎ³ÏŒÎ¼ÎµÎ½Î¿Ï‚ or ÎºÎµÎºÎ»Î·Î¼ÎÎ½Î¿Ï‚, i.e, summoned, named, called; but, ÎºÎ»Î·Ï„Î¿Ì€Ï‚ a word which denotes having a call to holiness, or holy by way of call, called to holiness.
Note first, that Paul throughout this chapter and everywhere else holds up to admiration this benefit of calling. Secondly, that this and all other benefits he humbly and devoutly ascribes to the Divine benevolence and to the power of humility. Chrysostom has here a noteworthy passage in the moral part of his first homily.
Thirdly, it is plain from this, in opposition to Pelagius, that, not for our merits, but by the mere grace of God, have we been called to the faith and the grace of Christ. Again, that all Christians were formally called Saints: not because they were really Song of Solomon , but by way of call, profession, duty.
Fourthly, he calls them saints in Christ, that is sanctified through the merits of Christ, namely, in Baptism and its consequent gifts.
Fifthly: "the church," and the "called to be saints" are the same thing. For the latter is in opposition and is explanatory of the former: so that if you ask, What is the Church? I shall answer from this passage of S. Paul: It consists of those called to be saints, or it is a congregation and assembly of the faithful, who have been called to holiness.
Whence, sixthly, it is evident from here that the Church is visible; for Paul writes these things not to an abstract idea, but "to the church which is at Corinth," which was able to read and see his letters, as is plain.
Seventhly, from this place it is evident that there is the same Church everywhere, a part of which was the Church at Corinth. Whence he says: "With all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours;" i.e, all Christians, wherever they exist: whether with me in this place of ours, or in any other place you please. Theirs, then, viz, of the Corinthians, and ours, viz, of me and Sosthenes. He adds this, that no one might suppose when he said Jesus Christ our Lord, that he meant to say that Christ is the Lord of Paul and Sosthenes alone, So Chrysostom says: "By this Paul tacitly enjoins the Corinthians that they ought to lay aside contentions and to be of one mind, as being members of the same Church, and of the sane Head, Christ." Next, he reminds them that he writes this letter specially indeed to the Corinthians, but, nevertheless, that he wishes it to be a circular letter to all Christians, in the same way that the letters of the other Apostles and of the Bishops in those first ages were circular letters.
Cajetan"s interpretation of "ours," that it means, "Our jurisdiction extends itself to Corinth and to the Corinthians, so that the city and district of Corinth is both theirs and ours," is forced. Lastly, why that is called the Church, or the summoning, or the assemvly of those called to the faith, which formerly was called the synagogue, that Isaiah , the congregation; and what it Isaiah , its nature and its marks, see in Bellarmine in his sound and learned dissertation on the Church (lib. i, c1 , 2et seq.)