Enriched in Every Way- 1 Corinthians 1:1-9

We now turn to our examination of the phrase “enriched in every way”, and we find Paul telling us three things about our enrichment: 1) who has been enriched 2) What enrichment really is 3) why they have been enriched. We begin with the who, which we find in verse 4 and 5. Here we see that “in him” we have been enriched, and those in him are those who are “in Christ Jesus”, which is one of Paul’s normal ways of referring to Christians, so all Christians have been enriched. We then turn to the question of what it means to be enriched. The term enriched here is ploutizo in the Greek, the verbal form of the noun ploutos, literally “riches”. The thing which must be determined here is just what Paul means by “riches”. In the Judaism of Paul’s day, their were three different parties. The first being the Sadducees, and for them riches meant material or financial blessings, that material prosperity was a sign of God’s favor. The second is the Essenes, an ascetic sect which lived in caves and rejected any form of materialism. For them, true riches were not of this earth but found in heaven. The third is the Pharisees, for whom riches were defined by knowledge of the law, that riches were found in understanding. Paul was a Pharisee, so for him riches would be defined as knowledge, they are not material but spiritual. This is confirmed by Paul’s explanation inserted into his argument (the phrase between the hyphens in NIV), “in all your speaking and in all your knowledge”. The term “speaking” here is logos, whose root in the Greek means “to explain”, here in its noun form, our “explanations”. We must note here Jesus is referred to as the logos, He is the explanation of all things, all things find their true meaning only in Him, and we are enriched in that we can know and explain the true meaning of all things (including ourselves and our lives) in and through Him. We are also enriched in all our “knowledge”, with the term knowledge here being gnosis, experiential or relational knowledge. This relational knowledge speaks of our growing intimacy with Christ, growing to know Him, and as we grow to know Him, we grow to know ourselves (the meaning and purpose of our lives), and consequently grow to know others. This enrichment in the Corinthians was confirmed to Paul in the fact that many of them had found meaning and purpose in their lives, which was reflected in improved relationships with others. This enrichment means that you do not lack anything you need (spiritual gift here) to be what God wants you to be and to do what God calls you to do as you wait for Jesus’ return. The idea here is you will have all you need to do God’s work for as long as you live. We all will be kept “strong to the end”, with “end” here being telos. This Greek term refers to end as in “goal or purpose”, not time frame. God will give us the strength to do His will and live out His purpose in our lives until it is accomplished. All of this relies only on God’s faithfulness, based upon our fellowship with Jesus Christ our Lord. As can be clearly seen here, to be “enriched” has nothing to do with material gain, but means that we may be able to find the true meaning and purpose of our lives, to live out that purpose, and in living out that purpose to find out who we really are, and live this out in improved relationships with others.

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