Greetings and Thanksgiving

Scottish minister Alexander Whyte was known for his uplifting prayers in the pulpit. He always found something for which to be grateful. One Sunday morning the weather was so gloomy that one church member thought to himself, “Certainly the preacher won’t think of anything fo … More


Paul wrote this letter to the Church in Corinth while he was visiting Ephesus during his third missionary journey (Acts 19:1-20:1). While in Ephesus he had heard about problems in the Corinthian Church. He knew it well because he had spent 18 months there during his second missionary journey. Paul begins his letter by voicing his authority and explaining that he is truly an apostle (v. 1). Sosthenes may have been Paul’s secretary who dictated this letter. He also may have been the Jewish synagogue leader (Acts 18:17) and thus was well known to the members of the Corinthian Church. Because of this Paul may have used his name in the opening of this letter.


Paul addresses this letter to the “church of God” which is at Corinth but also stresses that it is to “all who in every place call on the name of Jesus Christ our Lord” (v. 2). In other words, he is making it clear this is not a private letter even though it deals with specific issues facing the Church at Corinth. Paul opens his letter by commending the church for its good things. Afterward he will rebuke it for the things that were wrong. He commends it and gives thanks:


1.     For the grace of God given these people by Jesus Christ (v. 4).

2.     For the testimony of Christ confirmed in them (v. 6).

3.     That the ones to whom he is writing are expectantly waiting for the Lord’s coming (v. 7). 

Paul guarantees the Corinthian believers that God will consider them “blameless” when Christ returns (vv. 8-9). This guarantee was not because of their great gifts or abilities but because of what Jesus Christ has accomplished for them through His death, burial, and resurrection. All who believe in the Lord Jesus will be considered blameless when He returns.


Just as Paul begins his letter by sharing positive things, it helps for me to affirm with people what God has already accomplished in them before I am tempted to correct them. 

I Corinthians 1:1-9 (English Standard Version)

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