UNTO THE CHURCH OF GOD which is at Corinth, to THEM that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours: I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ; That in everything ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge; Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you: So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord. (1Co 1:1-9)
Nine verses acknowledge the STANDING these people had in Christ – But their STATE was a mess! They were true believers in Christ. They were sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, and rated alongside all other saved people who called upon the name of Jesus Christ. They were looking for the soon return of Jesus Christ. They were promised that they would be confirmed unto the end of their lives and would stand blameless in the day of Christ’s return. This is their standing and not their state.
How did they get such a standing with God? The foundation goes back to the day God promised to make a nation of Abraham and he believed God. Abraham believed God and HE counted Abraham’s faith as righteousness. Let’s look at the summary.
And being not weak in faith, he (Abraham) considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sara's womb: He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.
And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness. Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification. (Rom 4:19-25)
Our situation is different from Abraham but the principle is the same. God is asking us to believe that His Son died on the cross for our sins, was buried and rose again from the dead. If we respond to God’s gift of salvation, He will count that response as perfect righteousness. He will impute (transfer) the righteousness of Christ to our account. Through this transaction, we have perfect standing with God. The Christians in Corinth had standing with God in the first nine verses of the first chapter.
And, dear friend, if you are a true believer in Christ, you too, have the righteousness of Christ imputed to you. (I am repeating.) You have perfect STANDING with God through Christ. Your standing is perfect in Christ because God has imputed the righteousness of Christ to your account. Christ’s righteousness is not faulty, not flawed. When we stand before God, we will not be wearing the ragged garment of self-effort. We will be wearing the royal robe of righteousness given to us through His death on the cross. Because we have that perfect robe of righteousness, we are to work daily at bringing our flawed state up to our perfect standing. And now we return to verse ten.
Suddenly, after the fanfare of their standing in Christ, they are belted with verse ten. Their STATE OF BEING before God is another matter altogether. Their behavior is far below their standing. They are on their way to heaven but they are not walking well. In fact, the rest of the book of 1Corinthians deals with the ragged, untaught state of the believers in Corinth. He opens with:
Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. (1Co 1:10) These saved people are behaving like little babies and toddlers.
And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men? For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal? (1Co 3:1-4)
Notice, he does not suggest that they may not be saved. He does not accuse them of being in cahoots with the devil or beat them with a stick in a fit of anger. His words are carefully chosen to deal with the problem.
Paul mixes rebuke and teaching and pleading and urging. He is going to go visit them and talk to them face-to-face about their problems. In conclusion, after four chapters of deep plowing, he says: WHAT WILL YE? SHALL I COME UNTO YOU WITH A ROD, OR IN LOVE, and in the spirit of meekness? (1Co 4:21)
The Scofield Reference Bible makes this summary after the word: “them” in verse one:
…them (1Co_1:2-9); in contrast with 1 Corinthians 10-13, illustrate a distinction constantly made in the Epistles between the believer's position in Christ Jesus, in the family of God, and his walk, or actual state. Christian position in grace is the result of the work of Christ, and is fully entered the moment that Christ is received by faith; (Joh_1:12); (Joh_1:13); (Rom_8:1); (Rom_8:15-17); (1Co_1:2); (1Co_1:30); (1Co_12:12); (1Co_12:13); (Gal_3:26); (Eph_1:3-14); (Eph_2:4-9); (1Pe_2:9); (Rev_1:6); (Rev_5:9); (Rev_5:10).
The weakest, most ignorant, and fallible believer has precisely the same relationships in grace as the most illustrious saint. All the after work of God in his behalf, the application of the word to walk and conscience; (Joh_17:17); (Eph_5:26) the divine chastenings; (1Co_11:32); (Heb_12:10); the ministry of the Spirit (Eph_4:11); (Eph_4:12) the difficulties and trials of the path (1Pe_4:12); (1Pe_4:13) and the final transformation at the appearing of Christ (1Jo_3:2) have for their object to make the believer's character conform to his exalted position in Christ. He grows in grace, not into grace.
(Note: The Scofield Reference Notes are weak in the book of Genesis. D.C.) Ω
`Read Through the Bible in a Year
JUNE 8, 2017 – THURSDAY
A.M. 2Chron 26-28 P.M. John 17
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Memory Verse This Month:
My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children. (Hos 4:6)
Song for Today:
What A Friend We Have (4:04) (Acapella Quartet - Samonte)
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