Summary: Remembrance, gratitude, thankfulness
I ALWAYS THANK GOD FOR YOU
1 Cor 1:4-9 (P806) November 27, 2011
My favorite people to worship with and talk about Jesus with are individuals who are overflowing with thanksgiving for their salvation…
You know the kind of folks I’m talking about…those who know without a double they were horrible sinners…The “Worst of sinners” and were rescued from the dark….like me, they constantly celebrate the fact they are “dogs rescued from the pound…
Those are my favorite people to be around…to share ministry with…to laugh, cry and pray with…for us…God’s amazing grace is overflowing syrup that covers our pancakes!!!!
It’s to these kinds of people that the Apostle Paul writes to in Corinth…Paul constantly celebrates his salvation through a heart immersed in gratitude….
Remember these words “I was once a blasphemer, a persecutor, a violent man…but I was shone mercy…the grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly….I was the worst sinner, but for that very reason I was shone mercy…so that the unlimited patience of Christ might be put on display in me” (1 Tim 1: 13-16)
Paul is now an Apostle…called by the will of God…called by Jesus Christ…But he doesn’t approach people from this lofty perch…He still approaches people through the doorway of grace…a grace he completely understands….Please church….
I MAKE GRACE THE STARTING PLACE
The Apostle Paul begins….”I always thank God for you because of His grace given you in Christ Jesus”
I think Paul and the Corinthians share that bond I was talking about…both have experienced “Abundant grace…poured out grace…extraordinary grace….amazing grace.”
It’s this connection of grace that causes the Apostle to thank god…always for the Corinthians. Grateful, graceful people who are surrounded by grateful, graceful people are in a wonderful place…even if the circumstances aren’t so wonderful.
Grateful, graceful people have been enriched in every way…their speech encourages and their wisdom is spirit filled. I looked at this text and wrote down a question… “What does it mean to have your testimony about Christ confirmed in another person?”
Paul, thanks God for the Corinthians…for the grace they share in Christ…that it has enriched their words and wisdom and then he says
“Because our testimony about Christ was confirmed in you!” (v6)
What does that mean?
It means they are the evidence that Christ lives!!! And not just the Corinthians…”All those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ---their Lord and ours!” (v2)
We are the evidence that Christ lives…and it all hinges on a heart that’s thankful for God’s grace….
Imagine if you will you are in one of the most metropolitan, eccentric cities in the world. Soldiers, Politicians, businessmen, sailors, and slaves…A city known for its passionate pursuit of sports…and its passionate pursuit of immorality…It’s Temple is housed by 1000 prostitutes…sexual sin is rampant drunkenness and immorality are the standard way of life.
This is the city of Corinth…and in the midst of this city is a small group of individuals who claim to follow Jesus….A Church….
What kind of people were they at one time…Remember this city? Here’s who they use to be…
1 Cor 6: 9-11 (p809)
This church in Corinth is filled with former adulterers and players…prostitutes and homosexuals, thieves and drunks, liars, gossips, greedy swindlers…
Paul says…”that is what some of you were…” The key word there….’WERE’ Paul at one time was a blasphemer, persecutor…violent man…” was”.
But then came forgiveness…abundant grace…Ignorance and unbelief became the words that described life before Christ…How is life after described…”But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of God…(1 Cor 6:10)
Paul testimony about Christ…He died for our sins as a perfect sacrificed, was buried and then rose victoriously from the grace…He appeared to me…a blasphemer, persecutor, a violent man…and called me, saved me, changed me by his grace… I now have seen that same truth confirmed in you. What are some of the evidences of this transformation by Grace…
II CHANGED PEOPLE LIVE EXPECTANT LIVES!!
Paul makes that statement about his testimony being confirmed in the Corinthian’s lives and then says…”THEREFORE”
Therefore is an important word in scripture….when you see it consider what it’s there…for.. .Paul says, because you are saved and changed by Jesus… (Therefore) you don’t lack anything you need for a victorious life. “No spiritual gift is lacking.” “He will keep you strong to the end” and then…”On that Day He returns you’ll be blameless”
Washed, Sanctified, justified…God has cleansed you in Christ, He’s set you apart for His service, and He’s declared you righteous…
He’s done everything needed in his grace to make you new and make you ready for His Kingdom. But these are new believers…they’ve brought their reputations into the church…Paul spends a year and a half as their pastor going over this good news, message and teaching and modeling how they should live out this new life and holiness in a community of believers..He then goes on his way to other towns and churches.