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January 14, 2007 - EPIPHANY 2 - 1 Corinthians 1:1-9

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INTRO: A quick reminder that Epiphany means appearance (or manifestation). During Epiphany we come to see Jesusí appearance as the very Son of God. Last month during Advent and Christmas we saw Jesus as the Son of Mary and Joseph. In this Epiphany season the Light of the world is fully revealed. Christ has come as the very Word of God, which shines in a dark place. Here is the miracle worker at the wedding of Cana. We are thankful to be able to see Godís grace fulfilled in Christ the Lord, Jesus our Savior. Scripture also declares that fact: "For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men"(TITUS 2:11). This is Godís grace: Godís Son and the Son of the carpenter revealed to us. We agree with Paul in the words of todayís text: I always thank God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus (verse 4). Thus we discover the sermon theme for today. ALWAYS THANK GOD BE-CAUSE OF HIS GRACE. We are thankful always because I. Our God calls believers into his church, and; II. Our God richly provides for his church.


A. In verse 1 Paul puts to rest his detractors. It was God who called him to serve Christ Jesus.
1. Paul was not self-appointed, far from it. It was Godís free grace that saved / called him.
2. Verse 2 reminds the believers of Godís grace, which also called them to be saved.

B. An entire series of sermons could be written just on verse 3. Here is Paulís ultimate godly greeting.
1. Grace is Godís undeserved love. One translation: God treats us much better than we deserve.
2. Godís peace is that peace that the world cannot provide. Godís peace is from forgiveness.
3. Godís grace and peace was Paulís wish and blessing for these believers always.

C. Paul knew now what it was to experience Godís grace and peace. His early life was misspent.
1. It is no wonder we find Paul thankful, almost beyond words. Verse 4. Thankful Ė always.
2. In verse 9 Paul writes of the faithfulness of God. This faithful God has called believers, grace..

D. God is faithful! We are faithless but our God remains faithful. We are imperfect and our God remains perfect. We are hurtful and full of sin but our God is loving and full of forgiveness. Though we truly de-served eternal punishment God does not treat us as our sins deserve. This is Godís grace. Adam and Eve destroyed Godís perfect creation with disobedience and sin. God did not destroy them. In his grace God promised a Savior. As God promises so he does. "Know therefore that the LORD your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commands"(DEUTERONOMY 7:9). Always thank God because of his grace.

E. Notice the emphasis of Godís grace in the words