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April 24, 2016

"EQUIPPED FOR THE JOURNEY"

TEXT: 1 Corinthians 1: 1-9
READING:
 Psalm 84: 1-12

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SUBJ: The provisions in salvation that equip us for the trials, temptations and oppositions met in this present world as we are found waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

AIM: That we might apply ourselves in the use of the things given us as they are characterized as Grace and Peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

INTR: The First Epistle to the Corinthians is one of great importance in view of the wide variety of topics addressed such as marital issues, lawsuits, meats offered to idols, preacher’s pay, spiritual gifts, bodily resurrection and true benevolence.
1. Of course, the reason of dealing with many of these topics was errors they exhibited in dealing with many of these matters.
2. Paul is careful to add sound principles of truth in addressing these issues such as: For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it? 1 Corinthians 4:7
3. But, in spite of all their problems of conduct, Paul addressed them with endearing terms and dealt with them as one of the Lord’s churches and verified the Lord’s interest in them.

THESIS: In particular, Paul finds occasion for thanksgiving with regard to the Corinthians and so should we in that the lessons for them are for us as well and especially as we would lay claim to the grace given them as we continue on this pilgrimage before us.

I. A matter of calling and identity (vv. 1-3)
1. The importance of realizing that Paul apostleship was of the Lord and the special ambassadorial office manifested in him and others – “we beseech you in Christ’s stead.”
2. The Church of God at Corinth – a spiritual assembly, belonging to Christ by right of redemption and constituted to do the Lord’s work:
1) Including them who are sanctifies in Christ Jesus
2) Called to be saints (holy ones)
3) Along with all who call (we carefully note that the called are those who call) upon the name of our Lord!
4) The ultimate common bond is submission to Christ!
3. Grace and peace as a product of the covenant work of the Father and Son
1) Grace for salvation and life
2) Peace provided as a matter of assurance in the presence of God and as we face the world!

II. A matter of provision for the objective (vv. 4-7)
1. The reason of thanksgiving is the Grace of God given by Christ:
1) This is not the mere knowledge of grace given – it is rather the evidence manifested in the gifts given them (See 1 Corinthians 12:4-11)
2) In that it is by God in Christ we may not omit such things as adoption, justification, regeneration and sanctification along with the active aspects of repentance, faith, hope, love and the list goes on.
2. The purpose clause (hoti) showing a matter of divine interest
1) By Him or in Him – either way, Christ is the source of this enrichment and it is not material!
2) We are reminded of: For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich. 2 Corinthians 8:9. See also: But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Ephesians 2:4.
3. Of utterance and knowledge (v. 5) – Logos and Gnosis (From Kiste. That is, with their mouths they confessed the spiritual knowledge they had in their hearts.) AND compare: And I myself also am persuaded of you, my brethren, that ye also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another. Romans 15:14
4. The testimony of Christ confirmed (v. 6)
1) The recognition of His Deity, His Lordship and their submission to both
2) The Gospel as it is seen in Him and received as the message of salvation and
3) An understanding of regeneration working in them and so
5. They (we) are equipped (lacking no gift) as we wait for the coming of our Lord.
1) The creation: For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. Romans 8:19
2) The adoption: And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. Romans 8:23
3) The manner of waiting: But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it. Romans 8:25
4) Eagerly: For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. Galatians 5:5
5) From Heaven: For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: Philippians 3:20

III. A matter of confirmation and assurance (vv. 8-9)
1. The confirming work of God (see v. 4) in us and to us (Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ: Philippians 1:6).
1) By faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ as a way of involvement in our eternal life.
2) By the active engagement of the gifts purchased and given us in Him
3) By the sense of our need of His confirmation!
2. It is He, who through the blood of the covenant, shall present us every whit whole and fully acceptable in and compatible with Heaven and Himself – all through Christ and at His day!
3. We look with confidence to His faithfulness and we experience now and forever the ultimate end – fellowship with His Son Jesus Christ our Lord!