1 Corinthians 1:1-9
Where there is sin, there is struggle. Where there is struggle, there is grace. And in this church that was struggling to live for the Lord, grace was very evident. Grace is undeserved and unrepayable kindness, a mercy given to sinners. One theologian goes so far as to describe the grace of God as “super magnanimous”—beyond all human comprehension!
Even among those who are sinning against their Savior, there is still a glimmer of grace that radiates from their lives. That hint of grace is present because God has “enriched” them. At the moment of salvation, God had spiritually furnished (or equipped) them to live His way. So, rather than complain or criticize, Paul graciously reminds his readers to recall the riches of God’s grace that are already theirs in Jesus Christ.
Notice in verse two that these Christians are described as already sanctified (set apart as pure) in Christ Jesus, but they are also called to be holy (to become set apart as pure). Which is it—are they set apart or not? This is an important question because it has a direct bearing on us and our response to the challenge of grace.
God has declared Christians as set apart in a right relationship with Him, because Christ’s holiness and righteousness has been freely given to them. In other words, a Christian’s status is “holy.” Positionally, every believer is sanctified and a saint, but practically, believers are also called to become holy—to live lives which more fully reflect God’s character and magnify His holiness. Having been made holy in Christ, Christians are now free to live more and more as the people He has made them to be—living in accordance with our “holy status” (c.f. Paul’s “change and grow” message in Ephesians 4:17-32).
The Corinthians would certainly need to remember God’s grace. Despite their sin, Paul chose to remind them that their sin-saturated lives could once again be a trophy of grace. Grace applied gives hope to the sinner. Here we see once again that God’s will assumes (runs concurrent with) His enablement!
What a staggering example that Paul leaves for us! Sin is serious and must be dealt with. But as sanctified believers, we can rest in God’s forgiveness and cleansing (1 John 1:9) and be useful to Him once more!
© 2018, Life Touching Life - Pastor Chris Juvinall Used by permission.