1CORINTHIANS 1:1-9 (NIV – UK)
1 Paul, called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and our brother Sosthenes, 2 To the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be his holy people, together with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ – their Lord and ours: 3 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
4 I always thank my God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus. 5 For in him you have been enriched in every way – with all kinds of speech and with all knowledge – 6 God thus confirming our testimony about Christ among you. 7 Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed. 8 He will also keep you firm to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 God is faithful, who has called you into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
GOD HAS CALLED YOU
We join the Apostle Paul as he opens his first letter to the church in Corinth. Paul is writing specifically to the church in Corinth in his letter, however, in verse 2 he makes his first statement of unity; ‘together with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.’ The church in Corinth is not solitary, but part of a much wider network of people – all those who call on the name of Jesus. When Paul writes to the Corinthians, he writes to every follower of Jesus – he writes to you – we are united together with Christians all over the world.
It is by the grace of God in Jesus that we receive all our spiritual blessings. It is only because of God’s grace towards us that we can know him and speak of him. Knowing God is life-giving and enriching to us both individually and as a church (v. 4-5). Paul has been to Corinth previously, and he testified about Jesus there – but he can’t do it by himself – it is God who confirms that proclamation through the enrichment of the church and through the bestowing of spiritual gifts. Paul scatters the seed, but only God can make it grow (v.6-7). It is the same for you and I when we share Jesus with our friends and family – we can testify to Jesus, but it is only God who can apply our words to their hearts.
Do you think of yourself as ‘called by God?’ If you are a follower of Jesus, you have recognised God’s calling on your life. Twice Paul refers to Jesus’ followers as ‘called’ (v.2 & 9). God is calling every single person into fellowship with his Son, that is why he sent his Son into the world (John 3:16). That is the calling that Paul proclaims to the world and that is the calling we must proclaim to the world, to our families, our friends, our neighbours.
Question: God is calling you to a life with his Son – do you accept that calling?
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