I am writing to God’s church in Corinth, to you who have been called by God to be his own holy people. He made you holy by means of Christ Jesus, just as he did for all people everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours. May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace.1 Corinthians 1: 2-3
This afternoon we had a late lunch with a couple we’ve known most of our adult lives. One of the topics we listened to was the idea of expository preaching or teaching. Considering the teaching of the Bible verse by verse causes us to confront passages that may be a bit challenging to our faith. Expository teaching doesn’t easily allow us to pick and choose what we want.
In Paul’s first letter to the church at Corinth, he addressed a number of issues that are relevant today just as they were nearly two thousand years ago. A timely Biblical message is just that – it doesn’t matter if it was recorded in 2023, 1962 or in AD 54.
When Paul addressed his letter to the Corinthians sometime around AD 53-55, the church was heavily influenced by the Greeks and Romans and their circumstances differed little from ours today so the state of the church was often chaotic and disruptive.
The opening verses above connect us to this church as we are “sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints together with all those who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” The words for sanctified and saints here refer to one of the major themes of this letter as Paul calls for every member of the church to grow into maturity as followers of Christ as we live lives that are set apart for Him.
When our lives are different, people will take notice. That is true in more than one way. Inconsistent lives are noticed. Hypocritical lives are noticed. Lives that reflect Christ at work in our lives are noticed too.
Let’s pay attention to what Paul has to say to the Corinthians and apply the message to our lives.