While the world chases fleeting riches, God enriches you in Christ Jesus through His Word.
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1 Corinthians 1 (ESV)
1 Paul, called
by the will of God
to be an apostle of Christ Jesus,
and our brother Sosthenes,
2 To the church of God
that is in Corinth,
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,
both their Lord
3 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
4 I give thanks to my God always for you
because of the grace of God
that was given you
in Christ Jesus,
5 that in every way you were enriched
in all speech and all knowledge—
6 even as the testimony about Christ was confirmed among you—
7 so that you are not lacking in any gift,
as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ,
8 who will sustain you to the end,
guiltless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.
9 God is faithful,
by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
10 I appeal to you, brothers,
by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,
that all of you agree,
and that there be no divisions among you,
but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment.
11 For it has been reported to me
by Chloe’s people
that there is quarreling among you, my brothers.
12 What I mean is that each one of you says,
“I follow Paul,”
or “I follow Apollos,”
or “I follow Cephas,”
or “I follow Christ.”
13 Is Christ divided?
Was Paul crucified for you?
Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?
14 I thank God that I baptized none of you
15 so that no one may say that you were baptized in my name.
16 (I did baptize also the household of Stephanas.
Beyond that, I do not know whether I baptized anyone else.)
17 For Christ did not send me to baptize
but to preach the gospel,
and not with words of eloquent wisdom,
lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.
18 For the word of the cross
is folly to those who are perishing,
but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
19 For it is written,
“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.”
is the one who is wise?
Where is the scribe?
Where is the debater of this age?
Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?
21 For since, in the wisdom of God,
the world did not know God through wisdom,
it pleased God
through the folly of what we preach
to save those who believe.
22 For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom,
23 but we preach Christ crucified,
a stumbling block to Jews
and folly to Gentiles,
24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks,
Christ the power of God
and the wisdom of God.
the foolishness of God is wiser than men,
and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
26 For consider your calling, brothers:
not many of you were wise according to worldly standards,
not many were powerful,
not many were of noble birth.
27 But God
chose what is foolish in the world
to shame the wise;
chose what is weak in the world
to shame the strong;
chose what is low and despised in the world,
even things that are not,
to bring to nothing things that are,
29 so that no human being might boast in the presence of God.
30 And because of him
you are in Christ Jesus,
who became to us
wisdom from God,
31 so that, as it is written,
“Let the one who boasts,
boast in the Lord.”
1 Corinthians 1 Summary
In our fast paced lives we always just want to cut to the chase, to fast forward through the boring stuff at the beginning and get to the point. Paul's letters always seem to follow the same pattern as they open, so it's tempting just to skip over the first few verses. But look at what you miss when you don't soak those words in:
You are part of the Church - a gathering of people belonging to God. You are connected to these people in Corinth who lived millenia ago, and "all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ." This letter was written to you!
You have been sanctified (made holy) and you are considered by God to be a saint (a holy person).
The two things that you need above all else each day - grace and peace - are given to from both God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ as you read these words.
It's interesting to see that right off the bat, the early church divided up into factions, which Paul calls them on the carpet for. So then, is it wrong for today's church to be divided up into denominations or associations?
Yes and no.
It certainly isn't God's design for the church to be splintered into so many sub-groups, but at the same time denominations allow people to remain true to their core theological convictions while maintaining unity with their congregation.
Our own denomination, the Christian Reformed Church, recently demonstrated that a large majority of its members seek to live under the authority of scripture as it's described in our Reformed Confessions.
While we hope that all of our denominational brothers and sisters will remain with us in this conviction, it's becoming clear that a few will not. In this situation, the best way to preserve Christian unity may be to encourage this small minority to find fellowship elsewhere rather than continuing to push against what the gathered Church, in prayer and study of Scripture, has found to be true.
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: God our Father (v3) the one who is faithful and who has called you into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ (v9)
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Pray that God will sustain you as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ (v7)
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED: