Saturday, October 7, 2017

Saved, Called and Equipped - 1 Corinthians 1:1-9

God has saved you. He has called you. He has equipped you for fellowship with his Son. We are going to look at 1 Corinthians in the upcoming weeks.

1 Cor. 1:1-9 – (NASB) 1 Paul, called as an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother. To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, saints by calling, with all who in every place call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given you in Christ Jesus, that in everything you were enriched in Him, in all speech and all knowledge, 6 even as the testimony concerning Christ was confirmed in you,

Again, we are “sanctified in Christ Jesus, saints by calling, with all who in every place call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours” (NASB)
The NIV says we are “sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be his holy people, together with all those everywhere …”
The Message paraphrase calls “sanctified” people “believers cleaned up by Jesus and set apart for a God-filled life.”

When our life is “God filled,” a part of that is God’s infilling. He fills us with His Spirit. There is a deposit … in us … of His own essence. So among other things, we are “cleaned up” from the inside out. We want to walk with Him because we want to be in right relationship with Him. That is one meaning of “righteousness,” in the original Greek language. We want to live from the inside out. We want to be authentic, something real, to be sincere, not fake. Contrast this with religious legalism, working from the outside in.

As a practical model for this, when a child only lives to obey a parent out of fear of anger or perhaps violence, they obey when the parents are around. When the parents are absent, rebellion arises. If the parent instead has a strong, personal, intimate relationship with the child, the child will want to do what is right, even when the parent is not around. The child has a deposit from the adult and wants to do what will protect that parent’s heart of love. “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.

Ultimately, the Holy Spirit is perfect love. God is love, and His Spirit is described as our Helper . So the more honestly we can relate with God, the better off we will be. Often, David got real with God, at times outright raw and brutally exposed before him. And God called him a man after His own heart.

This condemnation of living the fake life is not an original idea. In "Abba’s Child", Brennan Manning calls this outward persona the “Imposter.” Glennon Doyle Melton calls this her ”representative” in her book “Love Warrior: A Memoir.” In “The Cure,” John Lynch calls this living “behind the mask.” Whatever you call it, it is fake. God calls us to honest living. The woman at the well was revealed as a phony when she told Jesus she had no husband. He gently pointed out her troubled past and current compromise. She now had a choice. This challenge could be resisted and avoided or it could utterly revolutionize her life. Note: God will never ask you to do anything that you cannot do. He will give you the power to do what he has called you to do. The woman dropped her water pot and ran back to her city telling everyone about Jesus.

In the book we are looking at, 1 Corinthians, the church has some messy situations. The Lord uses Paul to offer ways to true holiness. Let us come along with these people as they move from being fake to truly living, “enriched in Him, in all speech and all knowledge.” The Message says of them “You don’t need a thing – you’ve got it all!” They are described in verses seven through nine
as “not lacking in any gift, awaiting eagerly the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ, 8 who will also confirm you to the end, blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.9 God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.” You already have everything you need for successful and fruitful living. You don’t need a thing. Time is on your side. Some of this new life will be in seed form. Some will be growing into visibility. Other aspects will flourish soon and grow before your very eyes. Jesus came that we might have life to the full (John 10:10).
 Let His Spirit within you nourish you, drawing you closer to Him.

Love Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton

Abba's Child by Brennan Manning

The Cure by John Lynch