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TEXT. 15 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
the Israel of God. 17 From henceforth let no man trouble me; for I bear in my body
the marks of the Lord Jesus. 18 Brethren, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.
PARAPHRASE. to me, and it has no more influence on me, than if it 15 were not. For, as to the obtaining a share in the king
dom of Jesus Christ, and the privileges and advantages of it, neither circumcision nor uncircumcision, such outward differences in the flesh, avail any thing, but the new creation, wherein by a thorough change a man is dis
posed to righteousness, and true holiness, in good works . 16 And on all those, who walk by this rule, viz. that it is
the new creation alone, and not circumcision, that availeth under the gospel, peace and mercy shall be on them, they being that Israel
, which are truly the people of 17 God'. From henceforth, let no rnan give me trouble
by questions, or doubt whether I preach circumcision or no. It is true, I am circumcised. But yet the marks I now bear in my body, are the marks of Jesus Christ, that I am his. The marks of the stripes, which I have received from the jews, and which I still bear
in my body for preaching Jesus Christ, are an evidence 18 that I am not for circumcision.” “ Brethren, the fa
vour of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.
NOTES. 15 • See Eph. ii. 10. and iv. 24.
16f St. Paul having, in the foregoing verse, asserted, that it is the new creaation alone, that puts men into the kingdom of Christ, and into the possession of the privileges thereof, this verse may be understood also, as assertory, rather than as a prayer, unless there were a verb that expressed it; especially considering, that he writes his epistle to encourage them to refuse circumcision. 'To which end, the assuring them, that those, who do so, shall have peace and mercy from God, is of more force than to tell them, that he prays that they may have peace and mercy. And, for the same reason, I understand the Israel of God” to be the same with those, who walk by this rule," though joined with them, by the copulative xai, and; no very unusual way of speaking.
FIRST EPISTLE OF ST. PAUL
WRIT IN THE YEAR OF OUR LORD 57, OF NERO NI.
SAINT Paul's first coming to Corinth was anno Christi 52, where he first applied himself to the synagogue, Acts xviii
. 4. But finding them obstinate in their opposition to the gospel, he turned to the gentiles, ver. 6. out of whom this church at Corinth seems chiefly to be gathered, as appears, Acts xviii. and i Cor. xii. 2.
His stay here was about two years, as appears from Acts xviii. 11, 18, compared : in which tiine it may be concluded he made many converts; for he was not idle there, nor did he use to stay long in a place, where he was not encouraged by the success of his ministry. Besides what his so long abode in this one city, and his indefatigable labour every where, might induce one to presume, of the number of converts he made in that city; the scripture itself, Acts xviii. 10, gives sufficient evidence of a numerous church gathered there.
Corinth itself was a rich merchant-town, the inhabitants greeks, a people of quick parts, and inquisitive, 1 Cor. i. 22. but naturally vain and conceited of themselves.
These things considered may help us, in some measure, the better to understand St. Paul's epistles to this church, which seems to be in greater disorder, than any other of the churches which he writ to.