1 Corinthians 1:1–9 – Paul, called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and our brother Sosthenes, 2 To the church of God that is in Corinth, to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, together with all those who in every place call on 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. 4 I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that has been given you in Christ Jesus, 5 for in every way you have been enriched in him, in speech and knowledge of every kind— 6 just as the testimony of Christ has been strengthened among you— 7 so that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ. 8 He will also strengthen you to the end, so that you may be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 God is faithful; by him you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
Summary – The first letter of Paul to the Corinthian church includes a remarkable greeting. Paul with Sosthenes writes this book. Sosthenes was the Jewish leader who apparently sought to persecute Paul, but it seems Sosthenes had been won to Christ after that (see Acts 18:12-17). Now Sosthenes writes with Paul to convey instruction to the Corinthians. Despite many problems in the Corinthian church, Paul calls them saints in Christ Jesus. He confers grace and peace to them from God the Father and the Lord Jesus. He gives thanks for the Corinthian believers and indicates by way of foreshadowing a major theme in the book, that they will not lack any needed spiritual gift. Paul encourages them to persevere because the God who called you is faithful. He has called the Corinthians into fellowship with Jesus.
Insight – Through the apostle, God speaks to His people a word of kindness to confirm their identity as saints, despite their sins: “those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, together with all those who in every place call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours.” This is true of all Christians, despite our level of maturity or our problems. We are sanctified in Christ Jesus, that is set apart in union with Him. We are called saints, that is sanctified ones or holy ones. We are also part of the people of God in every place that call on the name of Jesus. This is who we are and this is how we are to see our own identity. God has called us as His people and we are His not because we have it all together. Rather, it is “by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption” (1:31).
Child’s Catechism – What are believers in Jesus called? Saints.
Discussion – What are some of the problems that existed in the Corinthian church and how are they like problems in our lives today?
Prayer – Almighty God You have give to us the Son of Your love in order that through Him who is wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption, we may be called saints in Him. Grant that as we trust in the Lord Jesus Christ, that we may grow ever more into His likeness in our sanctification. In Christ’s name we pray, Amen.