we still need grace

CALLED FROM BROKENNESS TO HOLINESS

February 2016 (21)1 Corinthians 1:1-3

1 Paul, a called missionary of Jesus Christ by God’s choice, and Sosthenes the brother, 2 to the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, holy ones by calling, with all who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, theirs and ours: 3 May grace be given to you and peace from God our Father and from Lord Jesus Christ.

we still need grace

Paul’s salutation as he begins his letter to the Corinthian believers is more than just a formality. As we read this letter, we will be more and more convinced that the church fellowships in Corinth are a confused a broken group. There was a lot of dysfunction there. Yet, Paul called them all “holy ones by calling” and said that they all had been “sanctified in Christ Jesus.” He was speaking of their positional sanctification by virtue of their being in Christ, and their calling to live up to that positional sanctification by manifesting holy lives – “holy ones by calling.”

The Corinthian Christians were having trouble living up to their call to holiness, and so do we. Paul’s prayer for grace to them was no mere formality. It was a fervent plea for the God who saved them by his grace to sanctify them by that same grace. We still need grace too.

LORD, finish the work you began on the cross. Change us into the people who reflect your holiness, because that is what you called us to be.

{For more on the subject of sanctification, see my book, An Advent Christian Systematic Theology, chapters 42 and 52.}

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About Jefferson Vann

Jeff is a Christian missionary.
This entry was posted in change, dependence upon God, grace, holiness, Paul, sanctification and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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