Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which
also you received, in which also you stand secure, through which also you
are saved, since you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you
1. Which you received: They heard and accepted. The verb is paralambanō
as an aorist active indicative. They took to the side, that is personally
embraced the gospel message, which is the same as receiving Christ himself
as seen at John 1:12.
"But as many as received (lambanō)
Him, to them He gave the authority to become children of God."
And these are said to be born "out from God."
2. in which you also stand: en plus the locative case = in the sphere of
which, in the sphere of the gospel.
The verb is histāmi
as a perfect active indicative. Here the verb means to take up a position.
You have taken a stand in the past with the result that you are right now
standing secure. But what does it mean to stand in the sphere of the gospel?
It refers to their position of security.
To stand in the sphere of the gospel means to stand in all that the gospel
provides; that is the whole salvation package.
Paul writes about our salvation status in many ways. At Rom. 5:2 he
described it as, standing in the sphere of grace.
"Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through
our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we also have obtained our introduction
by faith into this grace IN WHICH WE STAND."
Here Paul uses the same perfect tense of histāmi
to indicate the POSITION of security within the sphere of the whole
Thus, here at 1Corinthians, the next thing he lists is salvation so as to
basically explain what their STANCE in the sphere of the gospel provides.
3. through which you are also saved: sodzō
as a present act indicative.
The present tense indicates the present or on-going condition of salvation
that exists based on the initial decision to "take to the side" the message
of the gospel.
And of course, the issue in being saved is salvation from the eternal
punishment for sin. Rom. 6:23.
"the wages of sin is (spiritual) death, but the free gift of God is
everlasting life in Christ Jesus our Lord."
And now we deal with the crucial IF clause.
The word, if, is a 1st class condition of a fulfilled action - or THOUGHT in
It should be rendered as SINCE.
It indicates something that has ALREADY been done and is therefore the basis
for their salvation security.
5. you hold fast the word: This is the verb, katechō
as a present active indicative and means to hold onto, or hold in your
possession. As was indicated at verse one with paralambanō,
they have taken the gospel message personally to their side. That is within
"SINCE YOU ARE HOLDING ONTO." or "since you believe."
It is the other side of the same coin here (faith).
To hold onto the gospel is to believe in Christ.
Just like "obey the son" and obedience to the gospel is FAITH in Christ.
So, the one who takes hold of the gospel is the one who believes - and such
a one IS SAVED - unless -
6. unless: Here is the conditional factor that indicates whether they are
really saved or not.
7. you believed: The use of the verb believe (pisteuō,
as an aorist tense) at this point, shows that taking hold of the gospel;
making the gospel your "own" possession - that they clearly did, is the same
The aorist tense corresponds with that initial choice of "received," which
is also in the aorist tense.
8. in vain: eikā
means "without due consideration."
That is, without THOUGHT, which refers to wrong motives and/or influence.
Without thoughtful purpose.
Many people "believe" through emotionalism without thoughtful consideration
of the gospel message.
Exciting music, dancing, singing, gibberish.
Or from peer pressure, family, and even friends (which of course can go two
different ways). From your sweetheart, "I will marry you if you believe in
Thus, not a GENUINE faith in Christ. Wrong motivations do not constitute
genuine trust in Christ as Savior.
Expositer's uses the term, "levity of faith."
So the condition is not whether they KEEP ON BELIEVING or fall into sin.
The condition is whether they had genuine faith in the first place.
At 1Cor. 6:11, Paul previously made it perfectly clear that IN SPITE of the
many sins prevalent in the Corinthian church, "Such (sinners) were some of
you; but you WERE washed, but you WERE sanctified, but you WERE justified in
the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God."
The three aorist tenses of "washed," "sanctified," and "justified," indicate
the COMPLETE and SECURE condition of their salvation. Just as Paul wrote at
Rom. 5:1, "having been JUSTIFIED by faith, we HAVE peace with God."
And as Hebrews 10:14 indicates, "for by one offering He has perfected for
all time those who are SANCTIFIED."
Incidentally, we need to distinguish between "vain" at verse 2, which is eikā.
And "vain" at verse 14, which is kenos.
And "vain" at verse 17, which is mataios.
Three different words; three different ideas.
At verse 14, kenos means without content, result, profit or effect.
If there is no resurrection, then our message has no genuine CONTENT or
And your faith is faith in NOTHING and therefore does not accomplish the
promised result - salvation from sin.
At verse 17, mataios means empty and useless, without meaning.
This is saying that if the object of faith is faulty, then the promised
result of faith is faulty and will not accomplish salvation.
Likewise, this applies to faith in "another gospel."
One might have FAITH, but if the object is wrong, then the faith does not