Paul…to the church of God that is in Corinth, to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints…” vss. 1-2a1 Corinthians 1:1-4
Paul had lived in Corinth for some time in the course of his first missionary journey, and had founded the congregation there. Mostly Gentile, they had continued to be faithful to the gospel and had kept in contact with Paul after he had gone on to Ephesus. Not only had they written him a letter with some questions, but he had been getting other reports too, some of which had disturbed him. While he would have liked to have visited in person, he contented himself with offering guidance and direction through letters. From his salutation we can see that he believed that the Corinthian believers were part of the one universal church of God in Christ, and that they had already been sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be saints. His choice of words is important and reminds us that sanctification is a journey, and not a destination. Being a saint is not something that we aspire to be, it’s something that we already are! And we do not need to continually monitor our behavior and be mortified by our sinful condition. That’s just our nature! And we are never going to fall from grace no matter how twisted our lives become. Of course that doesn’t mean our behaviors are inconsequential–Paul let the Corinthians know clearly that they had gone astray. But they never stopped being saints, and neither will we!
Thought for the Day: Why are we reluctant to think of ourselves as saints?