Wednesday, August 09, 2006

1 Corinthians 1:1-3

1 Corinthians 1:1-3 (ESV) Greeting 1 Paul, called by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus, and our brother Sosthenes, 2 To the church of God that is in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints together with all those who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours: 3 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. I am hoping to try something a little different in my personal Bible study and blog. For the last several years I have been reading through my Bible in it entirety using various Bible reading plans. I have found that to be of great value to me, but often I would like to take some more time on a specific book in the Bible and spend time considering and meditating on it in depth. So after some consideration, I thought I might do that with 1 Corinthians. I considered doing Acts, but for some reason 1 Corinthians seems more appropriate. With that in mind, I hope to post my thoughts on various passages as I work my way through. Whether you find them helpful or not, or even insightful at all, I will try to post them. As I considered these opening verses in this letter, the first thing that struck me was in verse 2 the phrase, "to those sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints" What struck me was the repeated use of words that point to holiness. Those who are sanctified are those who are set aside as holy to God. The saints are the holy ones. As I considered what I know of the Corinthian situation--the well known wickedness of the city of Corinth itself, the sin in the congregation of the Corinthians seen in things like the sexually immorality of a man having his father's wife, the divisions among the congregation with some following Paul, some Apollos, some Cepheus, and things like that--this reminder of the calling of the people to be holy ones and their being sanctified in Christ seems very appropriate. The Corinthians needed that reminder that holiness is basic to the call and working of God in their life in Christ. In today's world, where wickedness is found on all sides, where sex is flaunted and used to sell, where coveting is encouraged by the advertising industry to sell more product, where people seek to design their own definitions of what is right and wrong, where millions of unborn babies are put to death, and the list goes on; this word is needed. I need it, because I can very easily start to forget the importance of holiness. Not forgetting in an intellectual manner, but in a practical one. I need to be encouraged by these words to realize that God's working in me in Christ is to sanctify me and call me to be a holy one, so that I seek to live that calling in my day to day life, fleeing from temptation and striving to live as God has called me in love for him. Since it is God who calls me and all those who are his to this, I think that implies that for us to live it out can only be done by his enabling. In ourselves we do not have what is needed, but in Christ we are sanctified. So, for us to live sanctified lives requires living in Christ every day, abiding in him as he called us to do. It is only in him and from him that the reality of this will ever work its way out in the day to day living of life as one called to be a saint.


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