1 Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother,
2 To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all who in every place call on the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours:
3 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Paul mentions Christ nine times in his introduction in verses 1-9. Paul deals with many problems in the Corinthian church, but he begins his letter by reminding them who they are in Christ — sanctified ones.
called to be an apostle (v.1) — should be “called an apostle” — lit. “an apostle by calling” (not by career choice or appointment). The call, here, as in v.2 regarding saints, made him an apostle in fact.
Sosthenes (v.1) — He had been the chief ruler of the synagogue in Corinth (Acts 18:17). He was apparently now in Ephesus, with Paul.
church of God (v.2) — generally used of a local assembly
sanctified (v.2) = set apart
Christ Jesus (v.2) — emphasis on His deity — who emptied Himself
Jesus Christ (v.2) — emphasis on His humiliation — who was glorified
called to be saints (v.2) — should be “called saints” — saints by calling
saints (v.2) = separated ones — separated from sin, guilt and hell and separated unto the Lord — It doesn’t mean “those who strive for holiness” because many in this church weren’t striving.
with all (v.2) = together with — The letter was not just to the Corinthians, but to all who believe.
both theirs and ours (v.2) — May well be meant to emphasize particularly the unity in Christ between the Judaean believes and those from among the Gentiles. Certainly the former were included among “all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.” — Stam, page. 24.
grace to you and peace (v.3) — the ancient greeting of Israel is now fulfilled in the person of Christ.