To those that have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, and called to be saints…

Greetings to you all in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. I am looking forward, to finally arriving in Zurich and being able to fellowship with you all in person as we get to know one another, and as Anne and I serve you to the glory of God in this next season of His church. 

This Sunday, Lord willing we will be beginning a preaching series focused on a letter inspired by God and written by Paul to the church that God had established at Corinth. Paul had been instrumental by God’s grace in planting this church in around AD 51 while on his 2nd missionary journey. (Acts 17vs16-18vs17) However, at the time of writing Paul was at Ephesus on his 3rd missionary journey approximately 4-5 years later. The letter we will be examining is 1 Corinthians, which is actually Paul’s second letter to the church. (1 Cor 5vs10) His first letter has been lost, and so what we have recorded are his 2nd and 3rd letters to this church. (1 and 2 Corinthians.)

You might be wondering why our “new pastor” has chosen to preach from this letter, so if this is your question let me share some reasons. 

First, I have spent much time praying and waiting upon our Lord these past couple months, and I find myself repeatedly being led back to this letter. I believe the contents of this letter are extremely valuable and relevant to any church into today’s world.  Corinth was a relatively young church yet in a very short time it became negatively affected by the world around them. Paul wrote to primarily address some of the issues that had arisen as he called the believers to live as the people of God. The advantage for us is we have an opportunity to learn from history. As we take heed to the valuable lessons from this church, they will ensure we avoid the same pitfalls that would potentially prevent us from being the church that God intends us to be. 

Secondly, Paul’s letter wonderfully gives us insight to our God who ordains, establishes, and organises His church according to His sovereign will, Christ who is the head of His church and the Holy Spirit who empowers and equips His church. All aspects of “church” that must remain first and foremost in our minds within the society we find ourselves.

Thirdly, it is a valuable letter covering many different topics, which has the ability to offer guidance and answers to many of the questions relating to issues being faced by the believer and God’s church today. Therefore, it remains relevant and if its contents are heeded and put into practice it will continue to build up and strengthen any church in Christ. 

Fourthly, in Paul’s opening verses he makes reference to “the church of God… those sanctified in Christ…called to be saints…” Now I don’t know if you have ever thought about yourself as being a saint, or what about your fellow believers, do you see them as saints? What does it mean to be a saint or live as a saint? I am assuming we know what it means to be sanctified, but what does living a sanctified life look like? Paul guided by God makes this very clear in his letter. 

Therefore, as we prepare together for this series, I encourage you to be in prayer, asking God to make us open and receptive to what He wants to say to us. As you look forward with anticipation to what God would say to us, I would also encourage you to take the time to read through the letter itself a few times to become familiar with its contents.

Your fellow servant in Christ

Dave

 

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