If you’re following the schedule, you should read these chapters today: Genesis 47, Luke 1:1–38, Job 13, 1 Corinthians 1. Click on any of those references to see all the passages in one long page on BibleGateway. If you can't do all the readings today, read 1 Corinthians 1.
Was there ever a more mixed-up group of Christians than the believers in Corinth? Although they were blessed by the ministries of several faithful men (v. 12), they could not receive each man’s teaching as part of God’s complete instruction to them. Instead, they took sides claiming to follow one of these men as if they were in opposition to each other instead of co-workers for Christ. In addition to their divisions, they were confused about what God’s grace meant and about several points of Christian doctrine. We’ll read about all of this in the coming days, but just know or remember that the church in Corinth had a lot of problems. Yet, Paul addressed his letter to them: “To the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be his holy people, together with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ—their Lord and ours: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”
This greeting gives me great hope. It reminds me that we don’t belong to Christ because we volunteered and worked hard morally to become his. Instead we are “sanctified in Christ Jesus.” Sanctified means “set apart” and, in this context, refers to our membership in God’s family by faith. It is our association with Christ—being “in Christ Jesus”—that caused us to be set apart to belong to him. It is through the gospel Jesus preached that they and we were “called to be his holy people” (v. 2). And, despite our many differences, we are one in Christ “with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ—their Lord and ours” (v. 2). If you find this description of the Corinthian church to be encouraging, take a minute and share with us what exactly about it encourages you. Or share with us your thoughts on other parts of today’s devotional: What stood out in your Bible reading for today? What questions do you have about what you read? What are your thoughts about what I wrote above? Post them in the comments below or on our Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/calvarybiblechurch/. And, feel free to answer and interact with the questions and comments of others. Have a great day; we'll talk scripture again tomorrow.