1 Corinthians 1 | Good Gifts Gone Sour?

by | May 25, 2018

I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given you in Christ Jesus, that in everything you were enriched in Him, in all speech and all knowledge,  even as the testimony concerning Christ was confirmed in you, so that you are not lacking in any gift, awaiting eagerly the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will also confirm you to the end, blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

1Corinthians 1:4-9 

The name Jesus Christ is mentioned nine times in the first ten verses of 1 Corinthians 1:1-9. In this first epistle to the Corinthian church, Paul immediately makes it clear that all we do and say should be centered on Jesus Christ alone!

Paul begins with thanksgiving, as he does with all of his letters. What is noteworthy about this particular greeting is the apostle’s thankfulness to God for the genuine giftedness in the Corinthian church. But, immediately following his expression of thanks, Paul quickly reveals their self-centered, creature-oriented boasting in the very gifts that are to bring joy and edification for the church and glorification to God who gives his gifts abundantly. It is evident that the people were on a dangerous slope allowing Satan to reign rather than God. Paul does not want the gifts of God given to these people to sour.  Paul implores them not to give occasion to be puffed up but to give all praise to God for the fruits of his grace.

After giving thanks for the blessings bestowed on this church, Paul continues his purpose of addressing the divisions and contentions which were generated in it. In the kindest and tenderest manner, he bids them to remember they are children of the same Father, members of the same body, and partakers of the same grace.  Paul’s grounds for thanksgiving is God-oriented and Christ-centered. Everything comes from God and is given in Christ Jesus.

The gifts given to us must prudently confirm it is not through our own efforts that we are holy but through the transforming power of Jesus Christ. They are a testimony of the gospel of Christ bearing witness to his deity, his incarnation, his obedience, his sufferings, his death, and resurrection. He alone sanctifies us who are by nature unclean. We have redemption by his blood, justification by his righteousness, pardon, and atonement of sin by his sacrifice.

In this prelude of a loving and characteristic Pauline correction, the apostle reminds us that it is for God’s purpose we are called. In obedient response to that call to confirm Jesus Christ by our testimony, Christ will also confirm us to the end. Though the expectation of salvation to come keeps us in suspense, we are assured that the Lord will continue to increase what he began.

God is faithful, through whom we are called into fellowship with His Son. The assurance of our confirmation in grace comes only through Jesus Christ, our Lord. We eagerly await that day when we will all appear before the judgment seat of Christ. God, who is always true to his promises will not allow his faithfulness to fail. We are called to partake of his grace, to enjoy communion with him and to be heirs of glory with him.