This morning I started reading 1 Corinthians. On Sunday morning, a friend sent me a text at 6AM that contained 1 Cor. 2:9 and that he was praying for me. How grateful I am for six o'clock prayers! As I was reading 1 Corinthians, I was struck by several of Paul's introductory phrases. First, he describes the church as those "sanctified in Christ Jesus" and "called to be saints together with all those who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ." Our only hope for sanctification is in Christ and we were never called to be saints individually but "together!" This is part of my burden for why church membership matters. We need each other and it's God's Will that we rely on one another (Rom. 12:3-8).
Reading further, I was encouraged as Paul told the Corinthians that while they were waiting on Christ to return they could rest assured He "will sustain you to the end, guiltless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ." What great hope for us today! What great fuel for worship! Paul has not one shred of doubt that Jesus will fail in seeing the Corinthian believers persevere. No matter what we are going through now or what the future holds, our confidence is not that we are strong enough (because we are not!) Our confidence is that Christ is strong enough - HE WILL SUSTAIN YOU. For how long? TO THE END! And on top of that hear the glorious word that drips with God's grace - GUILTLESS. If there was anything the Corinthian church was on their own it was not guiltless. They were even doing stuff that the pagans didn't do (1 Cor. 5:1). Yet over these wretched sinners a greater word is spoken - Guiltless. Is there any doubt that our friends, family, co-workers, and strangers we meet today need to hear this Gospel word?
One final word: Do you know how we can be certain of what Paul is saying? The answer is in 1:9 - God is faithful! Here's the grounding of our confidence. God is faithful. And He is the One "by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord." We were called "by" Him. The One who called is the Faithful One. The One who called is the Sovereign One. The One Who called is both just and the justifier of those who have faith in Jesus (Rom. 3:26).
SUSTAINED and GUILTLESS - meditate much on these two Truths today dear friends and see if our hearts are drawn more in love with the One who Sustains and had our Guilt placed on Him.