Are you grateful for your Christian brothers and sisters? Even when they’re being a pain, not helping with your ministry (or maybe anything else), and generally annoying you?
1 Corinthians 1:4-9 is entitled in my Bible, “Thanksgiving”. You can access it (in a new window) at Biblegateway by clicking here. It will come up in my favorite Holman Christian Standard version, which you can easily change if you like when you get there.
My commentary, for what it’s worth. 😉
Fellow believers are a gift from God to be grateful for, though they may be troublesome at times. We have to believe (and pray) that God’s grace is at work in our spiritual siblings. (See the definition of grace in my last post.)
Spiritual and temporal gifts of all kinds are given by God. These gifts are things to be grateful for, not to brag about.
Jesus proved the stories of Himself were true by the things He did in the lives of the Corinthians.
Spiritual gifts were abundant in the Corinthian church. This was a good thing, a blessing, but not necessarily a sign of spiritual maturity.
Paul speaks of the Corinthians eagerly awaiting the revelation of Jesus Christ. Was he talking about Christ’s revelation of Himself through the lives of the Corinthian Christians, or about Christ’s return to the earth? As we’ll see from later parts of this letter, Paul felt the Corinthians were pretty proud of themselves. They probably already believed Christ was revealing Himself magnificently through their lives–or at least through their use of the gifts.
Paul may have been giving them a little motivational praise here, but I think he was, in fact, speaking about the return of Christ. I believe Paul was speaking of the rapture, which he describes in 2 Thessalonians 4:13-17. This is, at most, a cameo mention, but it seems to imply a pre-tribulational view of the rapture unless Paul believed the Tribulation had already started.
Jesus will confirm (show to be genuine) His saints through the end. It seems to me that by “the end”, Paul means the end of this life (or stage of life, since those who belong to Jesus do not truly die).
The day of our Lord Jesus Christ–the judgement of the saints in this case. We will be seen as blameless not because we have done good works, but because Christ’s righteousness is credited to us.
God gave me a cool revelation on this–let me see if I can put it into words. When we are born again, truly converted, it’s not just that God pretends we’re pure–not just that He forgives our impurity (though He does that), but that we really are new. We truly did die in Christ. We are actually in simple fact clean and new and pure and holy and perfect. It’s not that Jesus stands in front of us so that God doesn’t see our sin. Our sin is gone. We are genuinely pure.
God called us or else we would never have sought Him–He wants to hang out with us. Do you not feel wanted or accepted here? So what! God wants you. That’s enough to sing and shout about!
Of course, I’m not nearly as cool as God, but I want to hang out with you, too. Let me know what you think–good or bad.