3) 1 Corinthians

1.1.3 The self-understanding of the communities as reflected in the prescript of 1 Corinthians

It is evident that the expression ‘The church of God’, “…immediately evokes for Paul the idea of consecration as God’s holy People…”p.12 because this phrase is qualified by those who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, saints by calling. The result of God’s action of sanctifying Christians, “…defines their existence as ἐκκλησία.” [the church]p.12 Paul can simply call Christians saints “…the consecrated members of the holy community.”p.13

The following phrase is just as important for the self-understanding of the christian community: with all who in every place call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Cor 1:2). In the Old Testament, those who call upon the name of the Lord are by definition God’s people, as opposed to those who do not, who are pagans.

Since, by the nature of the case, there can be only one privileged object of God’s love (cf. Rom 1:7 ἀγαπητοὶ θεοῦ), only one ἐκκλησία τοῦ θεοῦ (I Cor 1:2; cf. I Thess 1:1), only one cult-holy community (cf. Rom 1:7; I Cor 1:2 κλητοὶ ἁγιοι, ἁγιασμενοι) and only one community of those who ‘invoke the name of the Κυριος’, the terms and expressions that we have examined in this chapter show that Paul and the christian communities regarded themselves as the beloved, chosen, cult-holy People of God, and heirs to the titles and prerogatives of Israel in place of the Synagogue.p.13-14

Updated 2009-09-27 (build:50) by Andrew Fountain