Grace in Sin City

Jul 01, 2012 By: Pastor Joseph LoSardo Series: The Church in Sin City Scripture: 1 Corinthians 1:4-9
Paul’s epistles typically move from a salutation to a word of thanksgiving, but this was more than mere convention but was a genuine overflow of a heart full of love for a church that he planted. There was much instruction and rebuke needed in the church at Corinth, but his initial thanksgiving was no ploy or technique to butter them before ‘lowering the boom;’ his thanksgiving is sincere. Paul thanks God, not for anything the Corinthian church had accomplished, but for what the grace of God has done in them. Even though there was a strong tendency for the people to bring their worldly ideas into the church, nevertheless their changed lives bore witness that their faith was genuine and wrought by God. Paul uses the salutation and ensuing thanksgiving in order to prepare his readers for what is follow. They are sanctified as saints (v.2), and so should live as such. Their past mercies, privileges and honors are recounted (vss. 4-7), so they should therefore live in thankful service. They have much to look forward to in the revelation of the day of the Lord (vss. 8-9), so they might live a holy blameless life looking forward to that day. More than anything, as you read verses 4-9, what stands out is how earnestly Paul is striving to turn the church’s mind toward God and Christ. The reason for this is that ultimately the church’s carnality and sin is the result of having forgotten God. Christ was becoming less and less to them, and so the leaven of sin was permeating their loaf. So from the onset of this epistle, it is Paul’s intention to flood their and our minds with thoughts of Christ. There is no better remedy for the divisions in a church than to preach Christ.