Sep 30, 2011

1 Corinthians 1:2-3 - Robert Hawker

"Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both their's and our's. Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. " [1 Corinthians 1:2-3]

Paul doth not write to the Corinthians, as Corinthians; neither to the men of Corinth as of a province or place; but to the Church of GOD then in Corinth. It is the Church, not the world. And this is most essentially necessary to be kept in view all along, and through every part of this, and all the Epistles. For to the inattention to this important point, is to be ascribed the gross perversion and misapplication of certain passages here and there scattered over the Apostolic writings, in considering them as of general meaning, when most evidently they belong, in special reference, only to the Church of GOD, as for example. In this very Epistle, 1 Corinthians 15:22, the Apostle saith, For us in Adam all die, even so in CHRIST shall all be made alive. And no truth can be more firm, and certain, and sure, when applied to the faithful in CHRIST JESUS. For, as the Church, as well is the world, is involved in the common death with all mankind, by reason of sin; so by virtue of the Church's union with CHRIST, the church becomes equally interested in the life, which is in, and by CHRIST JESUS. But what hath this to do with the unregenerate and such as have no union with CHRIST JESUS? There must be an union with CHRIST, before we can have communion with CHRIST. The Church, as well as the world, prove our union with Adam, by reason of sin, and as such partake alike in death, which is the sure consequence of sin. And, if we can equally prove our union with CHRIST by regeneration, as we do our oneness with Adam by generation; then, and not else, we take to ourselves the blessedness of this scripture: For as in Adam all die, even so in CHRIST shall all be made alive. But without this testimony, we have no part nor lot in the matter. I beg that this may be specially noticed by the Reader, according to its vast importance, not only in this place, but through the whole of the Apostolic writings. It is to the Church Paul writes. And it is of the Church, when speaking of privileges in CHRIST, Paul speaks.

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