But unto them which are called - To all true Christians. See the note at I Corinthians 1:9.
Both Jews and Greeks - Whether originally of Jewish or Gentile extraction, they have here a common, similar view of the crucified Saviour.
Christ the power of God - Christ appears to them as the power of God; or it is through him that the power of salvation is communicated to them. See the note at I Corinthians 1:18.
And the wisdom of God - The way in which God evinces his wisdom in the salvation of people. They see the plan to be wise. They see that it is adapted to the end. They see it to be suited to procure pardon, and sanctification, and eternal life. It is God' s wise plan for the salvation of people; and it is seen by those who are Christians, to be adapted to this end. They see that there is a beauty in his character; an excellency in his doctrines; and an efficacy in his atonement, to secure their salvation. - We may remark on this verse:
(1) That when people become Christians, their hearts are changed. The views of Christians are here represented as diametrically opposite to those of other people. To one class, Christ is a stumbling-block; to others, folly; to Christians he is full of beauty. But those views of the Christian, can be obtained only by a change of heart. And the change from regarding an object or being as foolishness to regarding it as full of beauty, must be a radical and a mighty change.
(2) All Christians have similar views of the Saviour. It matters not whether they were Jew or Greek; it matters not whether they were born in a northern or southern clime - "whether an Indian or an African sun has burned upon them;" whether they speak the same or different languages; whether they were born amidst the same or different denominations of Christians; whether in the same or different countries; or whether they are people in the same or different Christian communities, they have the same views of the Saviour. They see him to be the power and the wisdom of God. They are united in him, and therefore united to each other; and should regard themselves as belonging to the same family, and as bound to the same eternal home.
(3) There is real efficacy in the plan of salvation. It is a scheme of power. It is adapted to the end, and is admirably suited to accomplish the great effects which God designs to accomplish. It is not a scheme intended to show its own imbecility, and the need of another and an independent agent to accomplish the work. All the effects which the Holy Spirit produces on the soul, are such, and only such, as the truth of the gospel is adapted to produce in the mind. The gospel is God' s plan of putting forth power to save people. It seizes upon great elements in human nature; and is adapted to enlist them in the service of God. It is just suited to man as a being capable of reasoning and susceptible of emotion; as a being who maybe influenced by hope and fear; who may be excited and impelled to duty by conscience, and who may be roused from a state of lethargy and sin by the prospect of eternal life, and the apprehension of eternal death. "As such" it should always be preached - as a system "wise," and "adapted" to the great end in view, as a system most powerful and "mighty to the pulling down of strong holds."
Other Barnes' Notes entries containing 1 Corinthians 1:24:
1 Corinthians 1:10
1 Corinthians 1:30
1 Corinthians 2:6
1 Corinthians 3:19
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