All through March, you can get 1 Corinthians by Roy A. Harrisville for free!
Paul’s letters to the Corinthians are incredibly relevant to today’s church member. The disunity and conflict common to the Corinthians church, still plagues congregations today. Contemporary Christians face a culture bent on imposing its views of sexuality, marriage, and morality. All this and more is discussed in 1 Corinthians.
Now through the end of the month we’re giving away a commentary on this important book of Scripture. You can also add a commentary on 2 Corinthians for $0.99.
1 Corinthians and the role of God’s servants
These two commentaries, authored by respected scholars, offer solid insights into the situation at Corinth. In 1 Corinthians 3:5–9, Paul writes regarding the role of God’s servants:
What then is Apollos? And what is Paul? They are servants through whom you believed, and each has the role the Lord has given. I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. Now the one planting and the one watering are one in purpose, and each will receive his own reward according to his own labor. For we are God’s coworkers. You are God’s field, God’s building. (HCSB)
Paul uses agricultural imagery to explain the various roles played by God’s coworkers. While this would be very familiar for the original audience, it requires some unpacking for most of us today. Roy Harrisville, author of the 1 Corinthians volume, notes:
The reference to reward (RSV: wages) is jarring. It summons up the ancient notion of a day when punishment or bliss would be meted out according to whether the evil or good done in this life had tipped the scales. Verses 10–17 make clear that for Paul that Day and each shall receive his ‘reward’ were still correlative.
Fortunately, as believers, we are not judged on our merits. Harrisville continues with an incredible devotional thought:
Grace is the giver, grace the empowerer, but never in the abstract, never in the timeless, always in the temporal, historical, and for this reason spelling “labor,” for each to whom “the Lord has given” is never done with doing, since grace is never done with seizing. And if “each will have his own reward” that can only mean that grace is not a possession but a continually being possessed, through a word needing continually to be heard—for we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building (v. 8).
With verse-by-verse commentary, the Augsburg commentaries on 1 and 2 Corinthians allow you to quickly understand the background and intended meaning of the Apostle Paul, as he writes to this body of believers.
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The Augsburg Commentary on the New Testament traces the influence of Scripture on important influences throughout church history, such as Augustine, Luther, Barth, and more. After you download your free book (and get another for $0.99) enter to win the entire 15-volume commentary set—that’s a $229 value!
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