What does 1 Corinthians 1:4 mean?
ESV: I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that was given you in Christ Jesus,
NIV: I always thank my God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus.
NASB: I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given you in Christ Jesus,
CSB: I always thank my God for you because of the grace of God given to you in Christ Jesus,
NLT: I always thank my God for you and for the gracious gifts he has given you, now that you belong to Christ Jesus.
KJV: I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ;
Verse Commentary:
Paul begins his letter to this troubled church with some remarkably positive words for them. These are also encouraging for all of us who are Christians. This opening is even more striking because of the bold words of correction Paul will use later. He is writing to respond to wrong behaviors and attitudes he has heard about among them. At the same time, he seeks to answer their questions about how to live as believers in a godless culture.

Paul starts, though, by declaring that his first thought when the believers of Corinth come to mind is to thank God for them. He does this "always," meaning regularly and continually. He expresses that he is truly grateful to God for these people he spent so much time with. Next Paul describes why he is so grateful for them. First, he gives thanks because they have been given grace from God in Christ Jesus. In other words, God has already welcomed them into His family and given them a place with Him in eternity because they came to Him through faith in Christ.

Neither we nor the Corinthians deserve that enormous gift. We have earned quite the opposite with our sin and, in many ways, we continue to fail to live up to the good God has given to us. Paul is so glad for the grace they have received, even as they continue to fail to do what is right in some important ways.
Verse Context:
First Corinthians 1:4–9 is about God's grace to the Corinthians. Before beginning to address problems in the church, Paul first declares his thanks to God for the people. Specifically, he is thankful for God's grace and the good gifts God has given to them. Those gifts confirm that the Corinthians are truly in Christ. This means Christ will sustain them all the way to the end. Because they are in Christ who has paid for their sin with His blood, they will stand blameless before God on the day of the Lord.
Chapter Summary:
Paul's letter to the Christians in Corinth begins with thanks for the great and powerful gifts God has given to them by His grace and through their faith in Christ. They will stand blameless before God in the end. Right now, though, they must stop dividing themselves according to which Christian teacher they follow and become unified in and around Christ. The gospel message of Christ's death on the cross is weak and foolish to the world, but God has given faith in Christ to those who believe it and find God's power and wisdom.
Chapter Context:
First Corinthians 1 begins Paul's letter to the Christians in Corinth, a big, bustling city on a major trade route. Paul knows them well, having spent a year and a half leading people to Christ and establishing the church there. He writes from Ephesus to correct some of their wrong attitudes and behaviors and to answer some of their questions. First, though, he thanks God for His grace to the Corinthians, knowing they will stand blameless before Him on the day of the Lord. Still, they must stop being divided and unite in and around Christ.
Book Summary:
First Corinthians is one of the more practical books of the New Testament. Paul writes to a church immersed in a city associated with trade, but also with corruption and immorality. These believers are struggling to properly apply spiritual gifts and to resist the ungodly practices of the surrounding culture. Paul's letter gives instructions for real-life concerns such as marriage and spirituality. He also deals with the importance of unity and gives one of the Bible's more well-known descriptions of love in chapter 13.
Accessed 4/18/2024 8:18:09 PM
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