Day 47…1 Corinthians 1:

December 7, 2010 at 1:46 PM Leave a comment

1 Corinthians 1:1-9: Paul’s Greeting

When people become Christians, they don’t at the same moment become NICE! This always comes as something of a surprise. Conversion to Christ and his ways doesn’t automatically furnish a person with impeccable manners and suitable morals.

The people in Corinth had a reputation as being unruly, hard-drinkers, and sexually promiscuous. When Paul arrived with the Message of Salvation, many of them became believers in Jesus and they brought their reputation with them right into church.

Paul spent a full year with them, teaching them how to live as believers in holiness as a community of believers. Then he left to plant other churches in other towns. Unfortunately Paul rec’d a letter from Corinth asking for help with those in the church who had falling back into their old ways. Factions had developed, morals were in disrepair, worship had degenerated into selfish grabbing for the supernatural.

So Paul wrote this letter we are going to study in the next few months to the church of Corinth as a pastoral response: affectionate, firm, clear and unswerving in the conviction that God was among them and they needed to live their lives accordingly. Paul doesn’t disown them, doesn’t throw them out because of their immoral behaviour and doesn’t berate them because of their irresponsible ways. He takes it all more or less in stride, but also takes them by the hand and goes over all the old ground again, directing them in how to work all the glorious details of God’s saving love into their love for one another. – DEG paraphrase of MSG

v.1-3, Paul takes the first 9 verses at the beginning of this pastoral letter to greet those he is writing to. He tells them who the letter is from (Paul, apostle of Jesus Christ) and who it is to (church of God in Corinth & future believers who will read this letter–you and me). “Grace (Greco-Roman) and peace (Jewish)” was a special greeting from Paul that he Christianizes with the addition of the origin of grace and peace “from God our Father and Lord Jesus Christ.”

v.4-9, Then Paul gives thanks to God “always” (every time he thinks of them OR prays for them) because only by the grace of God can anyone come to believe and be accepted into God’s family and only through Jesus–this is the essence of the Gospel Message. This same grace enables these believers to become “rich in every way” including speaking about their faith and their spiritual knowledge and understanding–facts seen by Paul and reported by others. The changed lives of these Corinthian believers validated that truth of the Gospel Message that they had heard and believed. Paul finishes off his greeting with a guarantee: they have everything they need to live the Christian life, to stand against the paganism and immorality of Corinth. They have “every spiritual gift” to help them battle sin both in the church and outside in the world. And because they lacked nothing they could eagerly look forward to the return of Jesus. Paul says they will be “blameless” when Christ returns, which was not because of their great gifts but only because of what Jesus accomplished through his death and resurrection. Finally Paul says believers need never doubt God’s grace, his gifts or his promise to give eternal life because God is faithful. God himself had called all the believers in Corinth into “fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord…” and that call will never be taken away.

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN TO ME? Before Paul tackles the problems that are plaguing the church he describes his hope for them. The hope that they would be considered blameless when Christ returns, not because of their great gifts, but because of what Jesus accomplished for them through his death and resurrection. Not just these believers but all who believe in Jesus will be considered blameless when Jesus returns–that includes me, not matter how much I have strayed from my “first love.”

WHAT AM I GOING TO DO ABOUT IT? First, I want to make sure I continually live for God, spend time with him regularly, focus on living my life for him each day. But not so I will be considered blameless! No, that brings me to my second point, I need to be so thankful for what Jesus did for me.

Thank you Jesus for your death and resurrection and my forgiveness of sins!

Entry filed under: Journey Thru the Bible.

1000? Mini-vans???

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