What does 1 Corinthians 1:5 mean?
ESV: that in every way you were enriched in him in all speech and all knowledge—
NIV: For in him you have been enriched in every way--with all kinds of speech and with all knowledge--
NASB: that in everything you were enriched in Him, in all speech and all knowledge,
CSB: that you were enriched in him in every way, in all speech and all knowledge.
NLT: Through him, God has enriched your church in every way — with all of your eloquent words and all of your knowledge.
KJV: That in every thing ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge;
Verse Commentary:
Paul is writing a letter that will focus heavily on correcting wrong actions and attitudes among the Christians in Corinth. Still, he begins by giving thanks to God for them. He has made clear that they are already sanctified in Christ (1 Corinthians 1:2) and have received God's grace in Christ (1 Corinthians 1:4).

Now Paul adds that God's grace to these Christians in Corinth included being made rich in Christ in all speech and all knowledge. The word "speech" as used here may refer to speaking in tongues by the power of the Holy Spirit, something Paul will deal with at length later in his letter. Or, he may have in mind the idea of "speaking well:" being able to express ideas about Christ clearly and articulately. Such skill in communication was highly valued in the Greek and Roman culture of the day.

In addition, by God's grace and in Christ, the Christians in Corinth had been made rich in knowledge. Paul likely means they understood much about the things of God as he—Paul—had taught them during his time with them. In other words, they really "got it." Because of God's gift of grace to them, they truly understood and retained all the meaningful ideas Paul had passed on to them.

However, as this letter will later make clear, being rich in speech and knowledge does not always translate to being rich in love and faithfulness to God. Still, these are things Paul thanks God for giving to them.
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 7:54:05 PM
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