This epistle applies the wisdom of the cross—the heart of the Gospel—to practical concerns that continue to face the church today. “The word of the cross” (1 Cor 1:18) is the basis for the church’s unity (1 Corinthians 1–4), holiness (5–7), freedom (8–10), worship (11–14), and resurrection hope (15–16). St. Paul firmly and evangelically calls the members of a fractured congregation to live according to their baptismal unity in Christ.
This commentary is particularly strong in its exegetical treatment of controverted issues. Dr. Lockwood upholds the inspired and authoritative Word of God as it addresses, for example, lawsuits, homosexuality and immorality, singlehood, marriage, and divorce (chapters 6–7). Christian freedom is balanced by the imperative to avoid idolatry and syncretism (chapters 8–10). The real presence of Christ’s body and blood and the apostolic mandate in 1 Cor 11:27–30 require the historic practice of closed Communion for the Lord’s Supper, whose benefits the commentary extols.
Dr. Lockwood compares the spiritual gifts in Scripture to modern phenomena and upholds the ministry of the Word and Sacraments, which are the vehicles of the Spirit (chapters 12-14). He accepts the apostolic delineation of the role of women in the church, including the ecumenical practice of not ordaining women to the pastoral office. Chapter 15 expounds the fact of Christ’s bodily resurrection as the foundation of Christian hope. Chapter 16 concludes with an accent on missiology and evangelism.