Unto the church of God which is at Corinth ,.... This epistle is inscribed to the saints at Corinth; who are described by their being "the church of God", a particular congregated church; a number of persons gathered out of the world, and joined together in holy fellowship, carrying on the worship of God together, and walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord; a very high character this, to be called the church of God, which is the pillar and ground of truth: and it may be observed, that this is here given to a people, among whom were many irregularities, errors, disorders, and divisions; which shows, that a church of God is not to be unchurched for everything that is amiss in them: they are further described by the place of their abode, Corinth, the "metropolis" of Achaia; a very large and opulent city, a place of great trade and commerce, and famous both for its wealth and wisdom; but not so famous for anything as this, that there was a church of Christ in it; of the city of Corinth; see Gill on Acts 18:1 ; and of the church; see Gill on Acts 18:8 . The members of it in general, for it cannot be thought to hold good of every individual, are said to be
sanctified in Christ Jesus ; not by baptism, for they were sanctified before that; but were set apart, or chosen in Christ from all eternity, to grace here, and glory hereafter; justified by the blood and righteousness of Christ, in which sense the word "sanctified" is sometimes used; and to whom Christ was made "sanctification" and righteousness; and in consequence of which they were sanctified by his Spirit in his name, out of that fulness of grace and holiness which is in him: wherefore it follows,
called to be saints ; for though they were chosen to holiness in Christ, and through sanctification of the Spirit unto salvation, yet before calling were unholy; though Christ had given himself for them to sanctify and purify them, yet whilst uncalled were impure; they fell in Adam, and became both guilty and filthy through his transgression; and by their first birth were unholy and unclean, and were so in their lives and conversations; nor are any holy by natural descent: these were not born saints, nor made so by their own free will, but were become such through the powerful grace of God in the effectual calling; in which not only desires after holiness, but principles of holiness were wrought in them; and by which they were called to the practice of external holiness, or to live an holy life and conversation. And this epistle is not only inscribed to these saints at Corinth, but to them,
with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord ; as in Corinth, so in any part of Achaia, of which Corinth was the chief city. Invocation of the name of Christ not only respects prayer to him, but includes the whole of religious worship: see Romans 10:13 ; and this being given to Christ, and perforated in his name, is a very considerable proof of his true and proper deity; and the Ethiopic version here styles him, "God, our Lord Jesus Christ"; for none but God is to be invoked; nor can any but a divine person, one that is truly and properly God, without idolatry, be regarded as the object of religious worship and adoration. The phrase
both theirs and ours , either, as some think, refers to "every place" and so read the Vulgate Latin, Syriac, and Arabic versions; and the sense is, that the apostle inscribes his epistle to all that call upon the name of Christ, whether in Judea or in the Gentile world, in the place where the apostle was, or the Corinthians were, or any of the other saints in Achaia were; signifying, that invocation of God is not confined to any particular place, but that men may now lift up holy hands prayer to God everywhere; or rather it refers to "our Lord", and shows that Christ is the common Lord of his people, whom they all invoke, and by whom they are called, and therefore ought to love one another.