1 Corinthians 1: 17-18

Just as I gave my own personal reflection on the sixth chapter of the Gospel according to the Apostle John, so too I wish to give my reflection on these two signifcent verses.

17

For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not with the wisdom of human eloquence, so that the cross of Christ might not be emptied of its meaning.

Paul makes a distinction between his apostleship and the Apostleship of the Twelve: The Twelve are sent to baptize and preach the Gospel, being given the office of Apostle, whereas Paul is sent to simply preach the Gospel, being given the title of apostle. Paul also says he dose not preach the Gospel with wisdom; this is to refute the claims of those who accuse him of being a snake, cunningly swaying many to believe in Christ with a silver tongue. He is a simple man and not a wise speaker.

18

The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

Paul explains that the Gospel is the message of the Cross, the message that God has triumphed over evil and has redeemed mankind in Christ by His sorrowful death, and he explains that this message is paradoxical: those who are perishing in Hell by their sins don’t believe the Gospel, whereas those who work out their salvation are witnesses to the power of the Gospel. In ancient Rome, it was believed that the Emperor was a god and that his words saved the world from destruction and brought peace to all men; but Christ shatters this illusion and proves that only God is God and that it is His Word which has the power to save men and bring peace. By using the phrases “perishing” and “saved”, Paul refutes the claims that Christians are automatically saved from Hell by baptism or by faith only and that non-Christians automatically go to Hell.

Was Paul ever a priest, or, at that time a bishop, I wonder? Do we have that information?

What person in their right mind would persist in Christianity as a second-class citizen, as they do in places like Egypt and India unless they had knowledge of something better. When you think about it, it is hard to blame an unbeliever for thinking Christians are a little touched. It makes no logical sense in a worldy way.

Take large families. From every angle of this modern world, it makes perfect sense to have one, two, or no children at all. It seems ideal. Yet, it pleases God immensely to put this matter in His hands. He abundantly blesses the couple who is generous in this regard, though it rarely appears that way from the outside. It is very definitely a cross for those who follow it. Yet, worldly people do not receive the favors and consolations that only God can bring, and do not know what they are missing. They look at the world from a different POV, or paradigm. A very powerful verse.

I don’t think Paul was ever ordained. But I know he was a holy man.

One of the definitions of “ordain” is to set apart or separate someone for a specific service. In Acts 13:2 we read:

While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.”

It sounds here like Saul (Paul) and Barnabas were ordained by the Apostles.

The apologetists agree with you. :slight_smile:

Thanks for the correction, namesake of the saint :smiley:

Now that you mention it, I had always taken for granted he was ordained. He had authority over his congregations and Timothy was his prodigy, and it was passed on to him.

I think perhaps it was a step up to be an actual apostle as opposed to a 2nd gernerationer.
:slight_smile:

But, what could he have meant about not being sent to baptize but to preach? He is sometimes obscure.

Protestants seem befuddled by the fact that they don’t refer to themselves as priests, or even as bishops.

Perhaps because it was already well known by Christians. Paul uses the term “bishop” in familiarity, as if the Christians he is writing to are already familiar with the term. Or maybe they didn’t use the title bishop for themselves but for their successors, preferring to call themselves apostles.

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