Read 1 Corinthians 1 v 1-3
The church Paul had established in Corinth was young, full of life, and just as full of problems. As Paul sat down to write to them, they were threatened with self-destruction.
How should Paul start? Which of the deadly issues would he tackle first? None…
Which means that God cares about their church—and yours and mine, too.
This word means “declared holy and righteous”.
Christians, whatever their weaknesses, mistakes and challenges, don’t need to labour under condemnation. Through faith in God’s Son, Jesus’ holiness and righteousness are given to us. If we are Christians, we are sanctified. Not through the goodness of our efforts, but through the object of our faith—the Lord Jesus.
They need to become set apart, pure, godly, in how they think and speak and live. But aren’t they already sanctified?! Are Christians set apart, or not?!
God has declared Christians holy through faith in Christ. Our status is “holy”. But God also calls Christians to become holy, to have lives which more fully reflect Christ. We’re to live more and more as the people God has made us to be.
As we’ll see, neither undeserved mercy nor friendship and calm were hallmarks of this congregation!
With all the problems evident in Corinth, we might expect Paul to skip his opening encouragements. But the reason he doesn’t is because of all the problems there. When we face difficulties as Christians, we need most of all to remember we are Christians: sanctified, called to be holy, enjoying grace and peace. Thank God that these things are true of you right now!