Summary: Looking at Gods grace to the Corinthians from 1 Corinthians 1:4-9 Among things it is deeply personal but also corporate, its saving grace and enriching grace but also sustaining and all sufficient grace.
God’s Grace - 1Corinthians 1.4-9
Paul opens up this section of his letter with a V4 The Prayer of Thanksgiving - towards God for the Corinthian believers; . What are the specifies of his Thanksgiving?
(i) It flows from a personal encounter with God I give thanks to my God.
(ii) It flows upward towards God , I give thanks to my God. Can I ask are you thankful to God this morning? Do you give Him thanksgiving? With your lips & with all your heart, Do you lay down the whole of your life before Him as an act of thanksgiving?
(iii) It flows outward upon the Corinthian Believers I give thanks to my God For You’ have encountered the Grace of God.
Where does it flow from? A thankful heart; Where does it flow to? To God Who does it flow upon? Others.
Consider your own prayers this morning do you see these three key elements of thankfulness coming from your own heart flowing toward God and being poured outward with thankfulness towards others. If our prayers are going to reflect something of Pauls then the pivotal truth principle must be that we must have encountered the grace of God in our own lives, this is something the Apostle Paul knew,
Oswald Chambers writes, the Grace of God is the overflowing favour of God and you can always count on it being available to draw upon as needed. But notice Paul here is referring to the Corinthians new birth as being an act of the grace of God ‘the grace of God that was given to you in Christ Jesus’. This is where the overflowing favour of God begins.
1. God’s grace is a saving grace 4 I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that was given you in Christ Jesus Eph 2:8
They had received God’s unmerited favour towards hell bent sinners who have been set apart as sanctified, saints.
1a. The Gospel - How do we receive the God’s saving grace? Paul says, it was given to you in Christ Jesus. Through His death & resurrection we have access to come back to God through repentance & faith, believing in Jesus Christ as our Saviour & Lord we can encounter the new birth, being baptised & filled with the Holy Spirit. This is the Gospel of Grace that saves;
In the gospels we see this fleshed out Mark 1:15 Jesus said, repent for the Kingdom of heaven has come near, John 3:36 Jesus said Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.
(i) Paul’s Personal encounter of Saving Grace - Paul had encountered the grace of God which saves in his own life ( Acts 9 Pauls conversion) Truly thankful people towards God are those have encountered the grace of God that saves. Otherwise you might be thankful towards a god you have created, a god that you do not know, a god that’s removed & distant, a god you’ve never encountered or experienced. But the God of the Bible He is known, He is present, personal, He is encountered and his saving grace is experienced.
Consider the shepherd boy David, who later became King David. Psalm 23 The Lord is my Shepherd, The Lord is my Shepherd story ~ I recited the 23rd psalm, but this knows the good Shepherd. Do you honestly know Him this way? Are you able to say, ‘The Lord is my Shepherd’ like David & ‘I give thanks to my God.’ Like Paul.
(ii) Paul’s thanksgiving directed toward the Corinthians Paul is not giving thanks for his own salvation, but for the grace of God which had swept through Corinth, forming the Corinthian Church. God’s grace that saves through Jesus Christ had impacted this Church at Corinth big time, look what some of these people were before the grace of God saved....
1Cor 6: 9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous[a] will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality,[b]10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
Life Application. Our Thanksgiving - for the Church community – Is it our desire this morning and every new day to give thanks for those of us who have received his saving grace in Christ Jesus. This is the Churches unique dynamic, it cannot be found anywhere else, this marks a true Church out, people are saved by Grace through faith. As a result we should always be able to give thanks to God for one another in bringing salvation to others as well as ourselves, others in our community will encounter Gods Grace that saves in Christ Jesus their lives.