And so we begin

Paul, called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and our brother Sosthenes,

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:

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 1:1-3

Although he has followed his typical structure in beginning this letter to Corinth, we can see right away that this isn’t his typical greeting. Here he isn’t merely an apostle of Christ, he is an apostle “by the will of God.” As we have seen in the past, Paul often adjusts his greeting and thanksgiving to emphasize the message of his letters; Philemon provides a good example of that. Here, considering that Paul is writing to Corinth to correct a number of serious problems, he reminds them that God’s will stands behind him and his message.

I always thank my God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus. For in him you have been enriched in every way—with all kinds of speech and with all knowledge—  God thus confirming our testimony about Christ among you. Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed. He will also keep you firm to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.  God is faithful, who has called you into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

1 Corinthians 1:4-9

Paul reminds his readers that God has confirmed his (Paul’s) testimony to them about the Lord Jesus in that He has provided them with every gift they need to prosper in the faith. They have received all of the gifts of God to sustain them (there is no Greek word for “spiritual” in the original text).

Notice that Paul wraps this up telling them that God will see them trough until the end, and they will be blameless in His sight. We might conclude that this is an important bit of encouragement before we get to everything they have messed up. Of course, Paul won’t just tell them where they’ve gone wrong, he will also tell them how to correct their problems, and the fact that he has just reminded them that God’s blessings upon them have confirmed his reliability is a nice touch as well.

About Don Merritt

A long time teacher and writer, Don hopes to share his varied life's experiences in a different way with a Christian perspective.
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3 Responses to And so we begin

  1. photojaq says:

    A good beginning. I always love verses 4-9 and have both prayed them for others, and included them in cards, letters, and emails.
    (Aside: Do you have an email address. I’d like to share an OLD poster I made when I taught 1 Corinthians about 30 years ago. it’s a small illustration I drew that summarized each chapter.)

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