Grow in the gifts while expecting Jesus

Thursday, Nov 30: 1 Corinthians 1:3-9

Live in expectation of Jesus, making full use of the gifts of Jesus in pursuing His mission

3 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

4 I always thank my God for you because of His grace given you in Christ Jesus.

  • Paul honours the church, not as his but as the Lord’s. Paul also gives thanks for the church in Rome, honouring them in a similar way Romans 1:8

5 For in him you have been enriched in every way – with all kinds of speech and with all knowledge…

  • Referring to spiritual gifts of speech and revelation. Later, Paul cites the word of knowledge, a revelatory gift, in a list of spiritual gifts 1 Cor. 12:8

6 …God thus confirming our testimony about Christ among you.

  • Paul and companions had preached the Gospel to Corinth and they had accepted it. Moreover, their changed lives and growing in spiritual gifts (v.5, v.7) gave evidence to this. The word used for “confirming” was used in legal documents in the sense of guaranteeing.

7 Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed.

  • “As you eagerly wait…” An active, expectant kind of waiting.
  • “To be revealed” — similar language is used in 1 Thess. 1:7

8 He will also keep you firm to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.

  • “Keep you firm” is the same word as “confirm” in v.6. “The day” is the Day of the Lord and “the end” is the end of the age. The expectation set out in this letter is that the prospect is fairly immediate.

9 God is faithful, who has called you into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

  • This waiting with anticipation is faith-stretching exercise — at which God meets us as the Faithful One.

Application

The church in Corinth is waiting for the Lord Jesus to be revealed, in His visible return. Meanwhile they were celebrating their changed lives with a growing experience of the Gifts of the Spirit. Together this was creating an experience of the Lord’s presence and a sense of anticipation which was attracting others. What is the Holy Spirit saying to us and our present day church situations through this account? Is He calling us to raise our expectation of the return of the Lord, and while we are waiting, expectation of some real encounters with the Lord?

Discussion starters

  1. Having asked (Q.6), whether the Lord will alert His people to His moves, HOW might He do this, and what assumption does this letter make of its readers or hearers (verses 5 and 7)?

  2. To what extent is today’s church ‘enriched’ and ‘not lacking in any spiritual gift’ — or needing to be?

  3. When we meet together, how do we expect the Lord to presence Himself, visibly or otherwise?

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