Just about everyone today is seeking riches – so they can enjoy various pleasures and, hopefully, be without stress. We reflected on this as we started reading Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians today. This letter of Paul, even more than most of his letters, needs to be read carefully – to get the correct sense of its’ context.
In what sense were the believers “enriched”? This had happened to them, “in every way” [1 v.5] His letter is addressed “to those sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints together with all those who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours …” [v.2] Let us make sure we are “enriched” and are among them.
What does “sanctified” mean? We do not use this word today! It is linked to the word “saints” – the converts in Corinth were “called to be saints” – that is to become ‘holy’ – the opposite to the godless spirit that surrounded them! It is exactly the same today. At Corinth they were worshipping idols – today we have different kinds of idols!
Paul told them that “in every way you were enriched” – in what ways? What kind of enriching? Paul says they “were enriched in Christ, “in all speech and all knowledge“[v.5] A complete contrast to the “knowledge” that fillsthe vacuum in human minds today. The result was, says Paul, “that you are not lacking in any gift, as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will sustain you to the end, guiltless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.” [v.7,8] Let us make sure we are among them.
Paul is not writing about a spiritual gift’ that would enable them to do miraculous things. It is the gift of true wisdom and understanding. We read on into ch. 2 where Paul says, “among the mature we do impart wisdom … a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glory. None of the rulers of this age understood this, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.” [v,7,8]
Those who crucified Christ were sure they knew all that was important! Today, is it any different? No, although what they “know” today is so different to what they thought they knew then.!
What Paul next writes calls for our deepest meditation, he states, ” it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him” What riches of understanding does Paul mean! Those who truly “love him” – are also, “knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God’s mystery, which is Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” [Coloss. 2 v.2,3]
It was the Spirit that caused the Scripture to be written! See 2 Tim. 3 v.16,17. We have this in our hands, the Corinthians didn’t. Let us read and absorb them so that “in every way” we will be “enriched.” – and as a result – be “guiltless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.” [1 Cor. 1 v.8]
By Bro D.Caudery
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