This past Sunday we began our journey through the book of 1Corinthians, and what a journey it’s going to be! As we think about the book of 1 Corinthians, we’re confronted with a church that had some serious issues! Yet, what is stunning is to see is that Paul begins the book not with a rebuke, but with a reminder of the glorious grace and work of Christ! It’s meant to jar the Corinthians (and us) back to a perspective rooted in and seen through the person of Jesus. As we think about these first nine verses, we see that: We are called into God’s community through Christ’s work.
1. We Embrace our Call from God: v.1-3
In Paul’s greeting, we see an emphasis around God’s calling both to Paul and to the church. In fact, there are three areas of calling that are worthy of note.
One, we see the calling to a role. Paul is called to the role of Apostle. All believers are called to a specific role in the Kingdom of God. God calls each of us to a specific role in the Kingdom of God. Loved one, play your role! Fulfill your ministry! Inasmuch as this call comes with a mandate, it also frees us from worrying about someone else’s call!
Second, we are called to a community. This is a crucial point that Paul makes and we must pay attention to. We are called to a community, not to individualistic spirituality. We can’t disconnect our spirituality from the community it’s meant to be rooted in. Here are a 4-ways we talked about committing to our community: Commit to being at church; commit to discipleship; commit to membership; commit to serving.
Third, we see that we are called to grace and peace. Ok, we’re not called, but it’s given to us by God.
2. We Thank God for Christ’s Work: v.4-9
In the second section, we see Paul expressing thanks to God. It’s almost as if Paul is sending a thank you to God and he lets the Corinthians in on it. This run-on sentence can be confusing to grab all that Paul is referring to here. It may be helpful to think of it in two broader senses: We thank God for the riches of His grace and we thank God for His faithfulness. In verses 4-7, we see an emphasis around the riches of God’s grace. These riches are seen in other people, in the grace that God gives us, that we’re enriched in Jesus, confirmed in Jesus and given every spiritual gift! It’s incredible! Then, in verses 8-9, we see the faithfulness of God. It’s seen in God sustaining his people, making his people guiltless and calling them into fellowship with Him! This too is incredible!
On Sunday, we used the image of being caught and carried by a wave in the ocean to try and depict the sense of what this text should do in our lives. As we see again the magnificent work of Christ, we are drawn under and overwhelmed by its work and implication. I pray that this week as you read this, you are reminded of the incredible wonders, greatness, glory and splendor of our God. I pray you are reminded of Christ’s work and it moves you to worship. That in considering God’s calling of us into His community, that Jesus becomes greater, sweeter and more treasured to you.