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SECTION II. No. 5.
CHAPTER III. 1-IV. 20.
CONTENTS. The next matter of boasting, which the faction made use of, to give the pre-eminence and preference to their leader, above St. Paul, seems to have been this; that their new teacher had led them farther, and given them a deeper insight into the mysteries of the Gospel, than St. Paul had done. To take away their glorying on this account, St. Paul tells them, that they were carnal, and not capable of those more advanced truths, or any thing, beyond the first principles of Christianity, which he had taught them; and, though another had come and watered what he had planted, yet neither planter, nor waterer, could assume to himself any glory from hence, because it was God alone, that gave the increase. But, whatever new doctrines they might pretend to receive, from their magnified, new apostle, yet no man could lay any other foundation, in a Christian church, but what he, St. Paul, had laid, viz. that “ Jesus is the Christ;" and, therefore, there was no reason to glory in their teachers : because, upon this foundation, they, possibly, might build false or unsound doctrines, for which they should receive no thanks from God; though, continuing in the faith, they might be saved. Some of the particular hay and stubble, which this leader brought into the church at Corinth, he seems particularly to point at, chap. iii. 16, 17, viz. their defiling the church, by retaining, and, as it may be supposed, patronizing the fornicator, who should have been turned out, chap. v. 7–13. He further adds, that these extolled heads of their party were, at best, but men; and none of the church ought to glory in men; for even Paul, and Apollos, and Peter, and all the other preachers of the Gospel, were for the use and benefit, and glory of the church, as the church was for the glory of Christ.
Moreover, he shows them, that they ought not to be puffed up, upon the account of these their new teachers, to the undervaluing of him, though it should be true, that they had learned more from them, than from himself, for these reasons:
1. Because all the preachers of the Gospel are but stewards of the mysteries of God; and, whether they have been faithful in their stewardship, cannot be now known; and therefore, they ought not to be some of them magnified and extolled, and others depressed and blamed, by their hearers here, until Christ their Lord come; and then he, knowing how they have behaved them
selves in their ministry, will give them their due praises. Besides, these stewards have nothing but what they have received; and, therefore, no glory belongs to them for it.
2. Because, if these leaders were (as was pretended) apostles, glory, and honour, and outward affluence here, was not their portion, the apostles being destined to want, contempt, and persecution.
3. They ought not to be honoured, followed, and gloried in, as apostles, because they had not the power of miracles, which he intended shortly to come, and show they had not.
TEXT. 1 And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but
as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.
PARAPHRASE. 1 And I, brethren, found you so given up to pride and vain
glory, in affectation of learning and philosophical knowledge a, that I could not speak to you as spiritual, i.e. as to men not wholly depending on philosophy, and the discoveries of natural reason; as to men, who had resigned themselves up, in matters of religion, to revelation, and the knowledge which comes only from the Spirit of God; but as to carnal, even as to babes, who yet retained a great many childish and wrong
NOTES. 1 - Vid. ch. i. 22, and iii. 18.
• Here areupadoxos, spiritual, is opposed to capxoxòs, carnal, as, ch. ii. 14, it is to bruxixos, natural, or rather animal: so that here we have three sorts of men, 1. Carnal. i. e. such as are swayed by fleshly passions and interests. 2. Animal, i. e. such as seek wisdom, or a way to happiness, only by the strength and guidance of their own natural parts, without any supernatural light, coming from the Spirit of God, i.e. by reason without revelation, by philosophy without Scripture. 3. Spiritual, i. e. such as seek their direction to happiness, not in the dictates of natural reason and philosophy, but in the revelations of the
Spirit of God, in the Holy Scriptures. 1 Here orpxixòs, carval, is opposed to avevu alınds, spiritual, in the same sense,
that fuxixos, natural, or animal, is opposed to aveupe aloxos, spiritual, chap. ii. 14, as appears by the explication, which St. Paul himself gives here to capxixòs, carnal: for be makes the carnal to be all one with babes in Christ, v. 1, i.e.such as had not their understandings yet fully opened to the true grounds of the Christian religion, but retained a great many childish thoughts about it, as appeared by their divisions ; one for the doctrine of his master, Paul ; another for that of his master, Apollos; which, if they had been spiritual, i.e. had looked upon the doctrine of the Gospel to have come solely from the Spirit of God, and to be had only from revelation, they could not have done. For then all human mixtures, of any thing derived, either from Paul or Apollos, or any other man, bad been wholly excluded. But they, in these divisions, professed to hold their religion, one from one man, and another from another; and were thereupon divided into parties. This, he tells them, was to be carnal, and reports alrūv xalà ôxQpwmov, to
TEXT. 2 I have fed you with milk, and not with meat; for hitherto ye were
not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. 3 For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying,
and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men ? 4 For while one saith, I am of Paul, and another, I am of Apollos, are
ye not carnal ?
PARAPHRASE. notions about it: this hindered me, that I could not go so far, as I desired, in the mysteries of the Christian religion; but was fain to content myself with instructing you in the
first prineiples“, and more obvious and easy doctrines of it. 2 I could not apply myself to you, as to spiritual men', that
could compare spiritual things with spiritual, one part of Scripture with another, and thereby understand the truths revealed by the Spirit of God, discerning true from false doctrines, good and useful, from evilf and vain opinions. A further discovery of the truths and mysteries of Christianity, de
pending wholly on revelation, you were not able to bear, then; 3 nor are you yet able to bear; Because you are carnal, full of
envyings, and strife, and factions, upon the account of your
knowledge, and the orthodoxy of your particular parties . 4 For, whilst you say, one, “ I am of Paul;" and another, “I
am of Apollos "," are ye not carnal, and manage yourselves in the conduct, both of your minds and actions, according
NOTES. be led by principles purely human, i.e. to found their religion upon men's natural parts and discoveries, whereas the Gospel was wholly built upon divine revelation, and nothing else; and from thence alone those, who were avevpaloxol, took it.
That this is the meaning of the apostle's metaphor of milk and babes, may be seen Heb. v. 12–14. 2 Vid. chap. ii. 13.
(Vid. Heb. v. 14. 3 8 Kat' örbpwfov, “ speaking according to man,” signifies speaking according to
the principles of natural reason, in contradistinction to revelation : vid. 1 Cor.
ix. 8. Gal. i. 11. And so “ walking according to man" must here be understood. 4 h From this fourth verse, compared with chap. iv. 6, it may be no improbable
conjecture, that the division in this church, was only into two opposite parties, whereof the one adhered to St. Panl, the other stood up for their head, a false apostle, who opposed St. Paul. For the Apollos, whom St. Paul mentions here, was one (as he tells us, ver. 6) who came in, and watered what he had planted ; i.e. when St. Paul had planted a church at Corinth, this Apollos got into it, and pretended to instruct them farther, and boasted in his performances amongst them, which St. Paul takes notice of again, 2 Cor. x. 15, 16. Now the Apollos that he here speaks of, he himself tells us, chap. iv. 6, was another man, under that borrowed name. It is true, St. Paul, in bis Epistles to the Corinthians, generally speaks of these his opposers in the plural number ; but it is to be re
TEXT. 5 Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers, by whom ye
believed, even as the Lord gave to every man? 6 I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. 7 So then, neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that
watereth; but God, that giveth the increase. 8 Now he that planteth, and he that watereth, are one; and every
man shall receive his own reward, according to his own labour.
to barely human principles, and not as spiritual men, acknowledge all that information, and all those gifts, wherewith the ministers of Jesus Christ are furnished, for the propagation of the Gospel, to come wholly from the Spirit of God?
What, then, are any of the preachers of the Gospel, that you should glory in them, and divide into parties, under their 5 names? Who, for example, is Paul, or who Apollos? What
are they else, but bare ministers, by whose ministry, according to those several abilities and gifts, which God has bestowed upon each of them, ye have received the Gospel ? They are only servants, employed to bring unto you a religion, derived entirely from divine revelation, wherein human abilities, or wisdom, had nothing to do. The preachers of it are only instruments, by whom this doctrine is conveyed to you, which, whether you look on it in its original
, it is not a thing of human invention or discovery; or whether you look upon the gifts of the teachers, who instruct you in it, all is entirely from
God alone, and affords you not the least ground to attribute 6 any thing to your teachers. For example, I planted it
amongst you, and Apollos watered it: but nothing can from
thence be ascribed to either of us: there is no reason for your 7- calling yourselves, some of Paul, and others of Apollos. For
neither the planter, nor the waterer, have any power to make it take root, and grow in your hearts; they are as nothing, in
that respect; the growth and success is owing to God alone. 8 The planter and the waterer, on this account, are all one,
neither of them to be magnified, or preferred, before the other; they are but instruments, concurring to the same end, and therefore ought not to be distinguished, and set in opposition one to another, or cried up, as more deserving one than
membered, that he speaks su of himself too, which, as it was the less invidious way, in regard of himself, so it was the softer way towards his opposers, though he seems to intimate plainly, that it was one leader that was set up against him.
TEXT. 9 For we are labourers together with God : ye are God's husbandry,
ye are God's building. 10 According to the grace of God, which is given unto me, as a wise
master-builder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth
thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. 11 For other foundation can no man lay, than that is laid, which is
Jesus Christ. 12 Now, if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious
stones, wood, hay, stubble; 13 Every man's work shall be made manifest. For the day shall
declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire ; and the fire shall try
every man's work, of what sort it is. 14 If any man's work abide, which he hath built thereupon, he shall
receive a reward.
9 another. We, the preachers of the Gospel, are but labourers,
employed by God, about that which is his work, and from him shall receive reward hereafter, every one according to his own labour; and not from men here, who are liable to make a wrong estimate of the labours of their teachers, preferring those, who do not labour together with God, who do not carry on the design, or work of God, in the Gospel, or per
haps do not carry it on, equally with others, who are under10 valued by them. Ye who are the church of God, are God's
building, in which I, according to the skill and knowledge which God, of his free bounty, has been pleased to give me, and therefore ought not to be to me, or any other, matter of glorying, as a skilful architect, have laid a sure foundation,
which is Jesus, the Messiah, the sole and only foundation of 11 Christianity, Besides which, no man can lay any other. But,
though no man, who pretends to be a preacher of the Gospel, can build upon any other foundation, yet you ought not to cry up your new instructori (who has come and built
upon the foundation, that I laid) for the doctrines, he builds there
on, as if there were no other minister of the Gospel but he. 12 For it is possible a man may build, upon that true foundation,
wood, hay, and stubble, things that will not bear the test, 13 when the trial by fire, at the last dayk, shall come.
At that day, every man's work shall be tried and discovered, of what 14 sort it is. If what he hath taught be sound and good, and
will stand the trial, as silver and gold, and precious stones
NOTES. 11 i Chap. iv. 15. In this, he reflects on the false apostle, 2 Cor. x. 15, 16. 12 k Wheu the day of trial and recompense shall be; see chap. iv. 5, where he
speaks of the same thing.