1 Corinthians 1:1-3 Paul, called as an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother, To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, saints by calling, with all who in every place call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. NKJV
Paul after seeing many convert to our Lord Jesus Christ and remaining there in Corinth for a year and a half decided to take “leave of the brethren and put out to sea for Syria” (Acts 18:18). Paul is the same Apostle who wrote these words to the Galatian believers, Galatians 2:20 “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.” NKJV Paul was no longer a man controlled by his own desires or wants, but he has now been so consumed by our Lord Jesus Christ that our Lord’s thoughts and desires have become Paul’s. Therefore, as our Lord Jesus made it clear to His first disciples when they came to Him telling Him that the people of the city were looking for Him after He had cast out many demons from people and healed many of diseases, these were the exact words of the discourse, Mark 1:35-38 In the early morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house, and went away to a secluded place, and was praying there. Simon and his companions searched for Him; they found Him, and said to Him, “Everyone is looking for You.” He said to them, “Let us go somewhere else to the towns nearby, so that I may preach there also; for that is what I came for.” NKJV And so Paul being himself now consumed with our Lord Jesus, as he said, “it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me” did likewise after spending that year and a half with these new believers departed from them to go elsewhere to proclaim the gospel of grace in our Lord Jesus Christ death, burial, and resurrection from the dead so that as many people as Paul could physically reach would be able to here this most important message in the whole world.
After Paul left the new believers in Corinth, he journeyed to Antioch, Ephesus, and Jerusalem and by all accounts was away from them physically for more than two years. Paul began receiving information from others that the Corinthian believers (despite his 11/2 year of teaching and disciple ling them) had reverted back to some of their old ways of living openly in sexual immorality, partying, and failing to so walk as they received our Lord Jesus Christ in repentance and faith. Paul had made this reality of being joined to Christ at the new birth to them as he did with the Colossian believers. Paul writing to the Colossian believers wanted them to know that although he was absent from them in the flesh, he was always present with them in spirit (Colossians 2:5-7). Paul because of these reports he received about these believers in Corinth needed to write them a letter reminding them of the same truth concerning their body of believers also. Paul was then compelled to write this first letter to them to give them further instruction on what it meant for them to now be followers of our Lord Jesus Christ. Paul wanted to warn them and to reprimand them, reprove them, and then restore them to a proper fellowship with each other and most importantly our Lord Jesus Christ. Paul begins his greeting to them by reminding them who he was (an Apostle, commissioned to be so by Christ Jesus our Lord Himself). Paul is here declaring his authority and responsibility in Christ Church to not only care for the flock, but to also correct the flock when any sheep have strayed from the right way or path. Paul then immediately reminds them who they are in Christ and he uses the English phrase “to them that are sanctified” which is translated by the Greek word hagiazo which means to make holy, to purify or to separate from profane things, to consecrate (set apart for a high purpose), mentally to venerate or reverence, free from the guilt of sin to purify internally by renewing of the soul. Paul wants these Corinthians who were brought out of extreme bondage and false worship and all manners of pagan practices that only led to their destruction physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually to remember who they now are in Christ.
Paul says to them that all believers (including them) everywhere in the known world are all under the Lordship of the very same Christ Jesus and He sees all as one in His Mystical Body, as it is written here, Colossians 3:1-11 Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory. Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry. For it is because of these things that the wrath of God will come upon the sons of disobedience, and in them you also once walked, when you were living in them. But now you also, put them all aside: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive speech from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices, and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him--a renewal in which there is no distinction between Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and freeman, but Christ is all, and in all. NKJV Paul greets them with the desire that they would be filled with the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ which will then automatically render their souls under the control of God’s Peace which cannot be understood by us mere mortal humans (Philippians 4:6-7). Paul has much to admonish these Corinthian believers about in this first letter written to them as we will see as we go along in the epistle, but despite all of that Paul (who led many of them to faith in Christ) knows them to be true believers and he declares that truth by saying of them they were “called to be saints” and it is a true fact that you desire to correct those you love the most always. It is not our Lord Jesus Christ purpose on the earth “through the Holy Spirit” to admonish or correct the devil’s children, but rather to correct His Beloved children when they veer off the beaten path.
“We have been sanctified in Christ in the purpose of God, but we must make our calling sure by living as saints. Note Paul’s liberality-it was enough for him if men called on Jesus as their Lord. Such he could receive as brothers. There was no strain of narrow sectarianism in his nature.” F. B. Meyer
“It was proper at any time, but necessary at this time, to assert his character, and magnify his office, when false teachers made a merit of running him down, and their giddy and deluded followers were so apt to set them up in competition with him. It was not pride in Paul, but faithfulness to his trust, in this juncture, to maintain his apostolical character and authority.” Matthew Henry
“Paul from the very beginning of his letter to these Corinthian believers wanted them to have their hearts and minds refreshed to the glorious high calling in Christ (being saints) that they have been called to bringing them out of the dead, depraved, and degrading lifestyles they once so casually lived in when they were darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God.” Clifford D. Tate, Sr.
If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ and His amazing healing power, pray this from your heart to the Lord Jesus Christ (you speaking directly to Him), Dear Lord Jesus, I confess to You that I am a sinner and I need Your forgiveness. I believe You shed Your Blood and died for my sins. I believe that You rose from the dead proving that You alone are God. I repent of my sins. I want to turn from my sins. I ask You Dear Lord Jesus to come into my heart and take control of my life. I want You to be my Lord, Savior, and my God. Amen...
Sincerely in Christ,
Clifford D. Tate, Sr.
Author of “Silent Assassins of the Soul - Are you Broken by Pornography and Masturbation? You can be Restored by the Lord Jesus Christ and brought into Deliverance, Freedom, and Victory! A Guide for Men and Women in the Enemy’s Crosshairs” e-book available now @ Amazon Kindle, @ Apple I Bookstore for IPod, Barnes and Noble for Nook, Reader Store for Sony Reade, Kobo, Copia, Gardners, Baker and Taylor, and eBookPie…