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BASIC CHRISTIANITY

1 Corinthians 1:4-9

Thankful Paul: Grace, Gifts, Knowledge, and Faithfulness

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Eternal Life

• Paul thanks God for the grace He has given in Christ Jesus, so that the Corinthians were enriched in all speech and knowledge.

1. Thankfulness. Thankfulness takes several distinct actions on your part. Each element will determine whether you give proper thanks to God.

(a) Your Outlook. You must see God’s grace before you will thank Him for your grace.
(b) Your Attitude. You must focus upon others, rather than upon yourself. Paul saw and then understood what God had done at Corinth.
(c) Your Decision. You must decide to be thankful for what God is doing in the lives of other believers. Instead of envying or detesting, you should be thanking God for His gracious activity.

2. Grace of God. The object of Paul’s thanksgiving was God’s Grace. Paul saw how God bestowed His unmerited favor upon the Corinthians. They never deserved all the blessings God gave, but Paul could certainly see it. What are you looking at?

3. Enriched. God enriched the Corinthians. The text indicates that God has bestowed completely and absolutely His greatest blessings upon the Corinthians. They were enriched in two distinct ways.

(a) First, the Corinthians were enriched in all speech. God had blessed these believers with speech from God.
(b) Second, God had enriched them with all knowledge.

• Paul focuses upon the testimony of Christ being confirmed in the Corinthians. He can see the operation of Christ and His work continuing at Corinth, in the saints there.

4. Testimony. The Corinthians had received the testimony concerning Christ, and it was confirmed in them. This word “confirmed” (“ἐβεβαιώθη”) means to be made sure, proved, and established as true.

• Paul thanks God for the gifts present at Corinth, and their attitude: we want to see Jesus, soon!

5. Gifts. The Corinthian church had every gift, coupled with the perfect attitude. The plethora of gifts described later in this epistle certainly caused problems, but it also presented great opportunities for growth and development. Furthermore, with their earnest expectation that Christ would return, they knew were waiting for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ.

• Paul also knows of the Corinthians’ standing with Christ. In Him, they are blameless, and He will present them blameless in the day of the Lord Jesus Christ.

6. Blameless. Christ will confirm you to the end. As in verse 6, Christ confirms His word, and keeps believers blameless. Considering the balance of the letter, this statement refers to the spiritual position of the believers. Once Christ has forgiven you, you have nothing left to blame yourself over.

7. Day of our Lord Jesus Christ. The Corinthians had a strong belief that they would see the Lord Jesus Christ, at the time he would be revealed (verse 7) and at the time when they would be presented to him (verse 9).
• Paul returns here to one his favorite themes: God is faithful. Because ours salvation rests in God alone, His power and strength sustain us. Furthermore, God alone called us into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

8. God is faithful. The confidence of Paul rests upon the power of Jesus Christ, not the Corinthians. Paul knows that God will confirm them, not themselves. He called them into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ.

Applications:

1. Go back and look at some of the bold words above. These characteristics should be a part of every day Christian living. We should constantly see how God works in the lives of other Christians, and thank God for that activity.

2. Every true believer stand blameless before Christ. Can you see yourself that way? If not, take time to ponder that Christ made you blameless.

3. Notice that the true basis of fellowship with each other is fellowship first with Jesus Christ. The Father called us into fellowship, and confirms us in grace, so that we can have fellowship with each other.