(1 Corinthians 1:1-9) – “…who will sustain you to the end…”
I’m thrilled to begin this book. It’s been a source of great encouragement and exhortation in my life.
This church, right in the middle of a huge ancient metropolis, is well known for their areas of sin struggle.
Paul writes to them because much disorder existed in this congregation, and they needed a strong believer to help shepherd them through their unique challenges.
Opening words are important. Oftentimes they set the stage for the rest of what will be said.
What do we learn about what Paul is going to deal with based on these opening words
V.1 – Paul appeals to his God-given authority, laying the foundation for the reason why they should listen: this message is from God.
V.2 – Paul affirms their position as children of God, making clear that these people are in fact believers. He will appeal to them in this basis.
We should do the same when we approach other believers in sin. Appeal to their position in Christ.
V.3 – Paul wanted the best for these brothers and sisters.
V.4-7 – He acknowledges God’s work in their lives and encouraged them with the specifics of how he’d seen the Lord’s grace being evidenced in their hearts.
V.8 – He encouraged them with Gospel truth. In the previous few verses, he does this by reminding them of past grace.
Here, he encouraged them by reminding them of the grace available to them in the present.
V.9 – He reminds them of God’s faithfulness as well as the response they should give to all this grace.
They were called by God for the purpose of being in fellowship with Jesus; not just positionally, but personally in daily life too.
I encourage you to notice these truths as we read together. These things I’ve just mentioned provide a great outline for how we can handle approaching believers in their struggle with sin.
For us personally, know that God isn’t finished with you yet. You may be struggling right now like these Corinthians, but God is faithful and He will sustain you. The cross proves it.