Jim Humphrey Consulting


Vol 5, No 40

Introduction to the Corinthian Epistles, Part 3: The Righteous, Albeit Carnal Corinthian Saints Demonstrate both the Holiness and Sinfulness in All Believers:

Volume 5, Number 41
Created Date: May 12, 2022
Posted Date: May 12, 2022

The word “faith” occurs 7 times in the first epistle to Corinthians and 7 in the second. Seven in Scripture is the number for Spiritual perfection and the believers in Corinth were spiritually perfect. Paul addressed them: “Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be (“to be” not in the original) saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours:” 1 Corinthians 1:22 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:

. Thus we know the Corinthians (and all believers since) are:

• “Sanctified,” from the Greek hagiad’zo, G37 defined as: “set aside, made pure, holy, free from the guilt of sin” in Christ Jesus. Hagiad’zo is first found in the New Testament (NT) translated “Hallowed,” where Jesus Christ taught His 12 disciples: “After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, “Hallowed” be thy name.” Matthew 6:99 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.

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• “Saints,” Greek hag’ios, G40 defined as “blameless, holy ones, consecrated.” Hag’ios is first found in the NT translated “Holy,” in God’s name “Holy” Spirit: “Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the “Holy” Ghost (Spirit).” Matthew 1:1818 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.

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• “Called, Greek kletos’ G2822 defined as “divinely selected, invited, appointed.” The word Kletos’ is used later in 1st Corinthians: “But unto them which are “called,” both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.” 1 Corinthians 1:2424 But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.

. Therefore, it’s important to understand that believers are divinely selected, invited or appointed Saints, which is different than just being labeled/called/named a Saint.

Despite the fact the Corinthians were sanctified in Christ Jesus and divinely selected saints, Paul had to reprove them for their sinful lifestyles and failure to walk/live in the Spirit (which also describes many “Christians” today):

• There were divisions and contentions among them when they were supposed to be perfectly joined together in the same mind and judgement, 1 Corinthians 1:10 - 1710 Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.

11 For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you.

12 Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ.

13 Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?

14 I thank God that I baptized none of you, but Crispus and Gaius;

15 Lest any should say that I had baptized in mine own name.

16 And I baptized also the household of Stephanas: besides, I know not whether I baptized any other.

17 For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.

; 1 Corinthians 11:1818 For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it.

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• Paul had to speak to them as carnal, that is having the nature of the flesh, i.e., governed by mere human nature, not by the Spirit of God, 1 Corinthians 3:1 - 31 And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.

2 I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.

3 For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?

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• Some were fornicators, 1 Corinthians 5:1 - 101 It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father's wife.

2 And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you.

3 For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed,

4 In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ,

5 To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.

6 Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?

7 Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us:

8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

9 I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators:

10 Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world.

; 1 Corinthians 6:12 - 1812 All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.

13 Meats for the belly, and the belly for meats: but God shall destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for fornication, but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body.

14 And God hath both raised up the Lord, and will also raise up us by his own power.

15 Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid.

16 What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh.

17 But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.

18 Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.

; 1 Corinthians 10:88 Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand.

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• Some were covetous, idolators, abusive revilers, drunkards and extortioners, 1 Corinthians 5:1111 But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.

; 1 Corinthians 10:7 - 147 Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.

8 Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand.

9 Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents.

10 Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer.

11 Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.

12 Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.

13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

14 Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry.

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• Some defrauded fellow believers, resulting in lawsuits brought in the civil courts, 1 Corinthians 6:1 - 81 Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints?

2 Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?

3 Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?

4 If then ye have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church.

5 I speak to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you? no, not one that shall be able to judge between his brethren?

6 But brother goeth to law with brother, and that before the unbelievers.

7 Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you, because ye go to law one with another. Why do ye not rather take wrong? why do ye not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded?

8 Nay, ye do wrong, and defraud, and that your brethren.

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Thus, the Corinthian epistles logically follow Romans. This because Romans teaches: “Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:” Romans 3:22 - 2422 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:

23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:

. And that the Law is Holy, just, good and Spiritual, but it works death in mankind because of sin so that what the believer would do he knows not, but that which he hates, that he does, so it is no longer the believer that does it but sin that dwells within, Romans 7:12 - 1712 Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.

13 Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful.

14 For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.

15 For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.

16 If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good.

17 Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.

. “For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.” Romans 7:18 - 2318 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.

19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.

20 Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.

21 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.

22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:

23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.

18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.

19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.

20 Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.

21 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.

22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:

23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.

. First Corinthians demonstrates these truths in the lives of true believers.

The terms “old nature” and “new nature” are used by some to describe the “flesh” and the “inward Man” just quoted in Romans 7:18 - 23, however the terms “old nature” and “new nature” are not found in the NT. In 1st Corinthians Paul describes the “flesh” and the “inward Man” with different terms: “Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost (Spirit) teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” 1 Corinthians 2:12 - 1412 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.

13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.

14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

. In these 3 verses we learn that the “natural man” has the “spirit of the world,” which man’s wisdom teaches whereas the believer has the spirit which is of God to understand the things of the Spirit of God. The Greek word translated “natural” in verse 14 is psuchikos’ (G5491), which is found 4 times in 1 Corinthians where it is always translated “natural.” Otherwise, it only occurs in the NT once each in James 3:1515 This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.

and Jude 1:1919 These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit.

where it is translated “sensual.” It is defined “of or belonging to breath, having the nature and characteristics of breath, the principal of animal life, which men have in common with the brutes, the sensuous nature with its subjection to appetite and passion.” According to an online dictionary our English word “psychology” is formed by combining the Greek word “psyche,” meaning “breath, principle of life, life, soul,” with logos, meaning “speech, word, reason,” thus the study of the mind.

Different terms are used in other passages to describe the natural man who has the spirit of the world, and he who has the spirit which is of God. Jesus told the Pharisee Nicodemus: “That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” John 3:66 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

. Peter wrote that those called by the Lord Jesus are partakers of the “divine nature,” having escaped the corruption of the world through lust, 2 Peter 1:2 - 42 Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,

3 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:

4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

. John wrote: “Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.” 1 John 3:99 Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.

; 1 John 5:18 - 1918 We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not.

19 And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness.

. However, the spirit which is of God cannot refer to the believer as a whole because: “If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.” 1 John 1:1010 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

. “My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.” 1 John 2:1 - 21 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:

2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for our's only, but also for the sins of the whole world.

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However, the Apostle Paul differs from John and Peter as he writes to members of the Body of Christ during this age of Grace. He describes the believer as the “new man” as opposed to the “old man:” “That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.” Ephesians 4:22 - 2422 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;

23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;

24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

; Colossians 3:9 - 109 Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds;

10 And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:

. The new man is called “a new creation” in 2 Corinthians 5:1717 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

and Galatians 6:1515 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.

and is said to be “according to the image of Him that created him,” Colossians 3:1010 And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:

. “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature (creation). And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God.” Galatians 6:15 - 1615 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.

16 And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God.

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Paul’s prayer for believers is: “That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.” Ephesians 1:17 - 2317 That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:

18 The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,

19 And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,

20 Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,

21 Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:

22 And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,

23 Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.

. “That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.” Ephesians 3:16 - 1916 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;

17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,

18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;

19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.

. See also 2 Corinthians 4:1616 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.

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Hence the conflict between the inner man and the law of sin in the believer’s members continues until death ends the struggle so all true believers cry out with the Apostle Paul: “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.” Romans 7:24 - 2524 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?

25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.

. “For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven: If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked. For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life. Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit. Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: (For we walk by faith, not by sight:)” 2 Corinthians 5:2 - 72 For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven:

3 If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked.

4 For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life.

5 Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit.

6 Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord:

7 (For we walk by faith, not by sight:)

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Jim Humphrey
Vol 5, No 40