Useful Bible Studies > 1 Corinthians Commentary > chapter 1

Why Paul did not carry out many baptisms

1 Corinthians 1:14-17

It surprises us to read that Paul did not carry out many baptisms in Corinth. Baptism is an important ceremony in the Christian church, as Paul explained in Romans 6:3-4. It shows that a person has left his former life in order to begin a new life with Christ. The first Christians usually carried out that ceremony soon after a person began to trust Christ (Acts 2:38; Acts 8:34-38).

Paul only carried out a few baptisms because he had an even more important task to carry out. He declared Godís good news in Corinth. He told people that everyone has done wrong things against God. He explained to the people that Christ had died for them. Because of Christís death, God can forgive their evil deeds. And so Paul urged the people to confess their evil deeds to God, and to invite Christ into their lives.

The result of Paulís work was that many people in Corinth believed in Christ. They accepted baptism but, clearly, one of Paulís friends carried out that ceremony (Acts 18:8). As each person believed, Paul went immediately to speak to the next person. Clearly, Paul was extremely busy.

The result was that Paul only had time to carry out a few baptisms. Crispus was a leader of the Synagogue in Corinth (Acts 18:8). A Synagogue is a building where people meet to pray. Gaius was probably a wealthy and generous man; Paul mentions him in Romans 16:23. Stephanas was the first person in Corinth who became a Christian (16:15). Perhaps Paul had time for his baptism because not so many people wanted to speak to Paul then.

Next part: The cross is the power of God to save (1 Corinthians 1:18)


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© 2014, Keith Simons.