Submitted by Visitor (not verified) on Fri, 14/01/2011 – 15:10
Year A (2010-2011)
Bible Book: 1 Corinthians / 1 Korintiers
Verse: 1 – 9
When Paul wrote this letter to the church in Corinth some serious problems were developing amongst them. I name a few: divisions that might lead to discord were noticeable (cf 1:10-12); although one of the Christians was “sleeping with his own stepmother” (5:1 – CEV), the rest of the church did not do anything about it; some Christians took one another to the public court (cf 6:1); some taught that there was no resurrection from the dead – implying that Christ had not been raised (cf 15:12).
However, Paul started his letter by acknowledging the many gifts the Corinthians had received from the Holy Spirit (cf v 4). All their eloquent words and all their knowledge made them a gifted church (cf v 5). Paul was sure that God would succeed in keeping them “strong to the end so that [they] will be free from all blame on the day when our Lord Jesus Christ returns” (v 8 NLT).
Paul thanked God for his grace in Jesus Christ for them. Through this grace the church in Corinth had been enriched and would be sustained. Paul celebrated the future with Christ, as well as with the Corinthian Christians (cf v 8-9).
That was the real identity of the Christians in Corinth: They had been “called by God to be his own holy people” (v 2 – NLT). Through Jesus Christ they were made holy.
Only through emphasising the strengths of the Christian church in Corinth and by acknowledging their true identity in Christ could Paul find a place from where he could speak to them about difficult and even hurtful issues.
To think about or discuss: Do we see the Lord’s gifts in our brothers and sisters and the grace of God in their lives or do we only focus on their mistakes?
Author: N du Toit (Ds)