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God's Holy Calling

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God’s Holy Calling

 

In the eleventh century, King Henry III of Bavaria grew tired of court life and the pressures of being a monarch. He made application to Prior Richard at a local monastery, asking to be accepted as a contemplative and spend the rest of his life in the monastery. "Your Majesty," said Prior Richard, "do you understand that the pledge here is one of obedience? That will be hard because you have been a king."

"I understand," said Henry. "The rest of my life I will be obedient to you, as Christ leads you."

"Then I will tell you what to do," said Prior Richard. "Go back to your throne and serve faithfully in the place where God has put you." When King Henry died, a statement was written: "The King learned to rule by being obedient." When we tire of our roles and responsibilities, it helps to remember God has planted us in a certain place and told us to be a good accountant or teacher or mother or father. Christ expects us to be faithful where he puts us, and when he returns, we'll rule together with him. 

In many of Paul’s writings, he emphasizes our calling as saints. In the first chapter of 1 Corinthians Paul talks a great deal about his calling and our calling. In 1:9 he says, “God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ, is faithful. In 1:23-24 he says, “but we preach Christ crucified; a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God.” Even in the opening couple of verses he mentions his calling to be an apostle, our calling to be holy, and everyone who calls on the name of the Lord.

This morning I am going to talk about Paul’s calling as an apostle and our calling to live obediently under what God has inspired him to write.

 

Context -

 

Whenever Paul planted a church, or was instrumental in its founding, he wrote them letters. These served as his personal substitute as he could not just hop on a plane or a car or call them up immediately. He did not write these letters to wish good tidings and joy. They serve as pastoral words to ensure they stand in their faith. Paul did not conceive of his mission as successful if his converts initially believed his gospel and then lapsed. His work was in vain unless his converts persisted in the faith (1 Thess. 3:1-10). Thus, his letters were part of his missionary work, written to encourage believers to continue in their newfound faith, even through adverse trials and difficulties and doctrinal errors.

 

Structure –

 

When we write letters today, we place our names at the end of it, but ancient Greeks did not write their letters this way. Almost all letters from the Greco-Roman period begin with a threefold greeting: Name of the writer, to the Addressee (receiver), Greetings. Paul’s letters follow this standard form; however, he modifies it with a distinctly Christian flavor. In the letter to First Corinthians, Paul is the writer. Paul is not your average correspondent. Paul writes with apostolic authority from God. You will also notice Paul mentions “Sosthenes our brother.” It is unclear exactly why Paul mentions him here, perhaps he helped pen the letter with Paul. Sosthenes, of course, is the same Sosthenes mentioned in Acts 18. He had been a leader of the synagogue at Corinth, probably replacing Crispus, the former leader who had become a believer (Acts 18:8). The recipients of Paul’s letter are not ordinary people but a community in Corinth established and set apart by God. The greetings are not ordinary good wishes but blessings of grace and peace that reflect the spiritual reality brought about through God’s act in the death and resurrection of Christ (Garland, 24).

v  Called– Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ

Ø  What is an Apostle?

§  broad meaning

·         at the outset it must be made clear that the answer to this question depends on what one means by apostle. Today, some people use the word apostle in a very broad sense , to refer to an effective church planter or missionary. If we were to use the word in this sense today, everyone would agree that there are still apostles today.

¨      three verses the NT has this broad meaning

Ø  Phil. 2:25

Ø  2Cor. 8:23

Ø  John 13:16

§  narrow meaning

·         There is another sense for the word apostle that is much more specific and frequent in the NT denoting an actual office – apostle of Jesus Christ. In this narrow sense of the term, there are no more apostles today, and we are to expect no more.

·         This is the way we see Paul described – an apostle of Jesus Christ.

§  Qualifications for an apostle

·         having seen Jesus after his resurrection with one’s own eyes (an eyewitness of the resurrection)

¨      Acts 1:22 – Peter says the person who is to replace Judas “must become a witness with us of his resurrection…”

·         having been specifically commissioned by Christ as his apostle.

¨      Acts 1:23-26

§  To review, the word apostle can be used in a broad or narrow sense. In a broad sense, it just means messenger. In a narrow sense, the most common sense in the NT, it refers to a specific office, “apostle of Jesus Christ.” These apostles had unique authority to found and govern the local church, and they could speak and write words of God.

§  No one can just suddenly decide they are an apostle of Jesus Christ. They must be eyewitnesses of the resurrected Christ and personally sent forth by Christ.

§  In light of all these facts, there have been no apostles since Paul. There are no apostles today.

Ø  Paul is an apostle of Christ called by the will of God

§  Paul meets the qualifications

·         Eyewitness

¨      Paul meets this qualification, albeit in an unusual way. Christ appeared to him in a vision on the road to Damascus and appointed him as an apostle in Acts 9:4-6.

¨      When Paul defends his apostleship to the Corinthians he says in 1 Corinthians 9:1 – “Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord?”

¨      When recounting the people to whom Christ appeared after his resurrection, Paul says, “then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all he appeared to me also…” (1 Corinthians 15:7-8).

·         Called

¨      1 Corinthians 1:1 – called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God

¨      He was called while traveling to Damascus

Ø  Acts 26:16-18 – “Now get up and stand on your feet. I have appeared to you to appoint you as a servant and as a witness of what you have seen of me and what I will show you. I will rescue you from your own people and from the Gentiles. I am sending you to them to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.”

¨      In fact, Paul speaks of being called or set apart by God as an apostle “at his mothers womb” in Galatians 1:15-24.

Ø  What is striking is the emphasis on God’s sovereignty in the calling of Paul. Serving as an apostle was scarcely Paul’s idea; he was a bright, shining light in Pharisaism, outshining his contemporaries (Gal. 1:14). His devotion to the oral law, that is, to the ancestral traditions, was well-known, and he was doubtless praised for his insightfulness and sharpness.

Ø  How can we explain Paul’s turnaround, his abandonment of Pharisaism and his devotion to Jesus of Nazareth? His most promising career was to stay where he was, to quickly raise in the ranks of Pharisaism. The remarkable change of course is ascribed to God himself; his induction into the ministry was due to God’s “good pleasure, God’s separating, God’s calling, and God’s revealing. In other words, the radical change in Paul’s allegiance can only be attributed to God himself.

Ø  Like the prophet Jeremiah, he was arrested by God and summoned into service. God called him to preach the gospel and he could do no other. This was his calling. This was the will of God.

Ø  Corinthians doubted and questioned his authority and apostleship

§  An interesting facet about Paul’s letters is you can almost always outline them by the contents of his introduction. With this introduction, Paul puts a strong emphasis on his calling to be an apostle. So much so, that he almost sounds redundant in his opening line of “called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus” and “by the will of God.” This is significant because some believers in Corinth doubted and questioned the authority of Paul. The Corinthians are a church at odds with their founder

·         they are judging him

¨      1 Corinthians 4:1-5

¨      1 Cor. 9:3 – “This is my defense to those who sit in judgment on me…”

·         they are examining him as to his apostleship (1 Cor. 9)

§  Paul wants to make it clear from the beginning right through to the end that he is called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God. This is not a matter of a title to which he has the right and by which he is properly to be called. This is not a matter of pride or self-glory. He was not flaunting his position of authority, as some speakers and writers often do with their titles, degrees, and accomplishments. Self-glory was the farthest thing from his mind. Later in this same letter he refers to himself as “the least of the apostles, who am not fit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God (1 Cor. 15:9).He doesn’t want them to address him as “Apostle Paul” or “Paul, the Apostle.”

§  Sometimes, however, it is important to establish one’s right to speak authoritatively on a subject. A person, for instance, who has no medical degree or training or experience would never get a hearing at a conference on medicine. A person’s credentials give some indication as to whether or not what he has to say should be taken seriously. Paul did not mention his apostleship in order to gain honor as an individual but to gain respect as a teacher of God’s Word.

§  At the outset he wanted to establish that what he had to say was said with God’s own authority. Since his message was so corrective, this was of great necessity.

I stress all of this today because the Corinth church had started to doubt and question the authority of Paul’s apostleship. When Paul spoke, he spoke with the power and authority of God. When Paul wrote, he wrote with the power and authority of God. When we read God’s word today, it is still vested with that same power and authority. This means we cannot pick and choose what we like or dislike about Scripture. We cannot sit in judgment upon Scripture and think to ourselves, “this is relevant, but this is not relevant…this applies to me but this does not apply to me…this makes me happy so I will keep it, this makes me sad so I will throw it out.”

It is a well known fact that Thomas Jefferson did just that. If you were to pick up his bible today, it would be full of holes because he literally took a pair a scissors and cut out everything he thought shouldn’t be in there. You say, I would never do that, or think that part of scripture is irrelevant or has nothing to teach me, and perhaps you are right, perhaps you never think that in quite so many words. However, let me ask you, when was the last time you read Leviticus? When was the last time you read through the Minor Prophets like Amos, Obadiah, Micah, Malachi, Joel, or Hosea? Are they still relevant for today? Can we learn anything about God and life from those books? Isn’t all Scripture profitable? To properly understand the NT you must first understand the OT because it is the foundation for the NT. Unfortunately, even though it comprises 66% of the bible, we never read. It is no wonder so many people get the teaching of Christ, Paul and the apostles wrong. It’s because they don’t understand the foundation, the OT!

Additionally, each time you fail to submit fully to God’s word your actions are saying it. When you willfully sin, you are saying by your actions what you won’t say with your lips – that you know better than God, you are smarter than God, you know what is best for your life, not God. This is a problem that goes all the way back to Adam and Eve. God made his will for Adam and Eve clear. God told them they can eat from any tree in the garden, but you must not eat from this tree, for when you do you will surely die. That sounds pretty simple and free from confusion? There is nothing hard to understand about that, but nevertheless, Adam and Eve both thought they could pick and choose what they like and don’t like about God’s word and ate from the tree and paid the penalty of sin. Ever since then, being the prideful people we are, we keep trying to do things our way instead of God’s way. God makes truth plain and simple in Scripture and each day we muddy it up with our pride.

Brothers and Sisters in Christ, Scripture is vested with the full authority of God and it sits in judgment over you. Scripture gives joy to the heart, it revives the soul, it is more precious than gold, and it is sweeter than honey, in keeping it there is great reward. That is why we make it central in our fellowship, praying, singing, preaching, and everyday life because it is God speaking to us in full, unadulterated, unchanging, absolute truth! These are the very words of God! Not man made dreams, myths, and fables but God’s very words! Saturate yourself then in them! Set your heart to meditate day and night upon them that you might not sin against God.

Paul wrote with full authority to the church of Corinth as an apostle of Jesus Christ called by the will of God, and we today can read what Paul wrote, knowing it is still vested with that authority and we can learn from it, be strengthened by it, and be made more into the image of Jesus Christ by it. Praise God that it pleased him to set apart Paul for the ministry of the gospel.

Context –

Remember last week we began looking at 1 Corinthians 1:1-3. This is Paul’s greeting to the church in Corinth. Just as with most of his letters, he follows the standard threefold greeting of writer, addressee, and greetings. We noted God’s calling of Paul to be an apostle. Paul is emphasizing this right from the beginning because some at the church in Corinth had begun to doubt and question his authority as an apostle. So Paul makes it clear right from the beginning that he is God’s called apostle so everything he writes and says is vested with the full authority of God. This morning we are going to explore God’s calling of his church in Corinth and His calling for His people to be holy.

In the eleventh century, King Henry III of Bavaria grew tired of court life and the pressures of being a monarch. He made application to Prior Richard at a local monastery, asking to be accepted as a contemplative and spend the rest of his life in the monastery. "Your Majesty," said Prior Richard, "do you understand that the pledge here is one of obedience? That will be hard because you have been a king."

"I understand," said Henry. "The rest of my life I will be obedient to you, as Christ leads you."

"Then I will tell you what to do," said Prior Richard. "Go back to your throne and serve faithfully in the place where God has put you." When King Henry died, a statement was written: "The King learned to rule by being obedient." When we tire of our roles and responsibilities, it helps to remember God has planted us in a certain place and told us to be a good accountant or teacher or mother or father. Christ expects us to be faithful, to be holy where he puts us, and when he returns, we'll rule together with him. 

God’s Holy Calling – The Church of God

1)      The Church of God

a)      Paul reveals the nature of the church, the extent of the church, and the substance of the church in verse two.

i)        Its Nature

(1)   What it is not

(a)    The church is not a building, no matter how impressive it may be or beautiful it may be. Often hear people express – my what a beautiful church that is.

(b)   The church is not a denomination, although denominations are composed of local churches.

(c)    The church is not man’s idea; it is not a man made creation

(d)   The church is not owned by a group of individuals or a single person.

(e)    Although we do perform these things, the church is not designed primarily for to be a club for social gatherings like games, food, and fellowship. It is not a place we go to just for “hanging out” and “good times.”

(2)   What it is

(a)    Called out assembly - Ecclesia

(i)     Derived from two roots (ekkaleo), the first meaning “out of” and the second “to call.” The compound word is best understood as meaning “to call out from” or “the called out ones.”

(ii)   These people who are called out have been called to leave one place and come to another. The link with this to the church is obvious. We are a called out assembly. We have been called out from the world, our former manner of life in sin, to a heavenly, holy relationship with God.

(iii) We are a called out assembly gathered together to worship the one and true God. So what is the church? It is those whom God has called. It is called out people. The church, whether  it meets in a home, or a park, or under a canopy is still a church when God’s called out people are there.

(b)   “of God”

(i)     Church is God’s idea; it is “of God.” It is his creation.

1.      It is God ‘s possession which he bought

a.       Acts 20:28 – “keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood.”

2.      It is God who builds it

a.       Matt. 16:18 – “I will build my church…”

b.      Acts 2:47 – “the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.”

3.      It is God who preserves it

a.       Matt. 16:18 – “I will build my church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it.”

4.      It is God through Christ who is purifying her

a.       Eph. 5:25-27 - …Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.

(ii)   It stands to reason then that God is passionate about his church. He called it into existence, bought it, is building it, is preserving it, and making it holy and blameless.

1.      I encourage you then to search your hearts this morning and ask if you have that same passion for the church of God, or is it just kind of like going through the motions anymore? What part are you taking in building up the body of Christ, the church of God? How are you serving God for his glory through his church?

2.      It also stands to reason that because the church belongs to God we must seek Him in determining the course of actions the church will take. We don’t just do whatever we want, willy nilly. We must seek the Lord through prayer and study for his direction and leading. We must constantly be coming back to the question of are we doing this God’s way or man’s way? Is this biblical or not? Church isn’t about time-honored traditions. Its about honoring God, his Son, and His truth.

ii)      Its Extent

(1)   Local and Universal – In the NT the word “church” may be applied to a group of believers at any level, ranging from a very small group meeting in a private home all the way to the group of all true believers in the universal church. Paul makes clear reference here to two manifestations of God’s church. He speaks of the church “in Corinth” and the church “in every place…”

(a)    Local

(i)     “…in Corinth”

1.      This is a striking comment that is easy just to pass over and not think twice about, but when you pause and think about how Paul has addressed this church in Corinth it really is quite an amazing statement.

2.      Paul says, “to the church of God in Corinth…” Note that he is writing to the church as it is manifested or appears in one place, namely, Corinth.

a.       This demonstrates that an individual assembly of believers is never regarded as only a part or component of the whole church universal. The church is not a sum or composite of the individual local groups. Instead, the whole of the church of God is found in each place. Each community of believers, however small or large, represent the total community, the church.

3.      The church, in all of its glory, is in Corinth. It is the church of God in miniature, a replica of the whole, giving visible and temporal expression to the invisible and eternal and universal church.

4.      The church, in all of its glory, is in Newberry. We are the church of God in miniature, a replica of the whole, giving visible and temporal expression to the invisible and eternal universal church.

(ii)   How important than it becomes for us to be a good reflection of the church universal.

1.      How often have you had people not want to come to church because of bad impressions from other churches…it only takes one bad church to spoil the rest.

(b)   Universal

(i)     Paul quickly moves to their bond “…with all those in every place who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours.” This makes reference to the universal church of God.

1.      The Church of God extends beyond Corinth just as it extends beyond Newberry. The church of God in Corinth and the church of God in Newberry has an invisible, unbreakable bond with all those everywhere who call on the name of the Lord. We are not “the only pebble on the beach” (Thiselton, 2000) nor do we “possess Christ for ourselves” (Robertson and Plummer, 1914). It extends to “every place” people “call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

2.      The NT regularly refers to believers as those who “call on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.”

a.       Acts 2:21 – Peter recounts the prophet Joel who says, “and everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

b.      Romans 10:12-14 – “for there is no difference between Jew and Gentile – the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?”

3.      Lord Jesus Christ

a.       To confess someone as one’s Lord expresses an attitude of subserviency and a sense of belonging or devotion to the one so named. Calling upon the Lord acknowledges that he is master and we are his slaves. It is to commit oneself in trust to the one whose nature and character have been disclosed as worthy of this trust.

b.      This same confession of Lord Jesus Christ binds us all to the one Lord and to all other believers.

i.        This served as a reminder to the well-to-do in Corinth to get over their “superiority complex” and as an exhortation to for them to stop quarreling and being divisive.

ii.      Talk about chpt. 12:12-27

iii.    So you can begin to see why Paul emphasizes right from the beginning the “church of God in Corinth” and those who “call upon the name of the Lord in every place.” We are all bound to the same Lord, he is the master over all of us, and we are all his servants. God shows no partiality between any of us. We are all bound together to be stewards of God’s church.

iv.    None of us can say, I am better than you, or I don’t need you, or you can’t help me, etc. We are all in this together. We are joined together as a church of God.

iii)    Its Substance – This church of God that is both local and universal is composed of those whom God has called out of the world, sanctified and called to be holy ones, or saints.

(1)   sanctified

(a)    We are sanctified in Christ Jesus. That is, God has made us holy by setting us apart from sin for His work. As a believer in Jesus Christ, no matter what you do, you are holy, you are a saint (share story here of saints). You are sanctified. This is our position before God because we are in Christ Jesus. We are not holy because we do holy things, we do holy things because we are made holy by God.  

(2)   As sanctified ones, we are called to be holy.

(a)    Honor

(b)   Exhortation

(i)     As we all know, Christians don’t always act like Christians. Paul then adds an exhortation to holiness.

(ii)   As a Christian, you are holy, sanctified because you are in Christ Jesus, but holiness is more than a state. It is also a process, or an action. Just like if you are in a state of anger, then you would also act like your angry. If you are in a state of happiness, then you would act like you are happy. It should be obvious. Paul is saying here, since you are sanctified in Christ Jesus, live up to your calling, be holy! If you are sanctified, then act like your sanctified!  

(iii) Let us live like we are sanctified! If there is anything Paul is trying to get across to them is this, live like a Christian! You are sanctified!  Walk the walk! That’s a message that never gets old because we are very inconsistent people.

1.      Inconsistent

a.       There is the story of the stressed-out woman who was tailgating a man as they drove on a busy boulevard. When he slowed to a stop at a yellow light, the woman hit the horn, cussing and screaming in frustration and gesturing angrily. As she was still in midrant, she heard a tap on her window and looked up into the face of a police officer who ordered her to exit the car with her hands up. He took her to the police station and placed her in a holding cell. An hour later, the officer returned and said, “I’m sorry, Ma’am. This has been a big mistake. When I pulled up behind you, I noticed your ‘What Would Jesus Do?’ license plate holder and your ‘Follow Me to Sunday School’ bumper sticker. I assumed the car was stolen!”

i.        This was the problem at Corinth. A failure to live according to their calling. A disconnect from God making them holy, to living holy lives.

ii.      Perhaps there is a disconnect in your life. You are here this morning and you are sanctified in Christ Jesus but there is sin in your life depressing you, loading you down…

Stop playing with sin. Stop dabbling in it. Don’t be content with your sin. Don’t stay in your sin. Flee from it, hate it, abhor it, pray for deliverance from it! Flee towards holiness. You have been sanctified, set apart from unholiness to holiness. Live like it! God’s grand design for our lives, his purpose for our lives, what he is calling us to is holiness. Stop trying to walk the fence and be a pleaser of men and a pleaser of God.

2.      Fading  - make the connection that if your living inconsistently your fading away into sin. Instead of having a salt and light influence you are blending in.

a.       Two cars of an excursion train from Kinston, North Carolina, plunged into an open drawbridge on the Elizabeth River – and eighteen of the passengers were drowned or killed. The signal man insisted that he had displayed his red flag in time for the engineer to stop the train before entering the open draw. Other employees corroborated his assertion. The engineer however, contended that it was a white flag that was shown, and he took it as a signal that the road was clear. The flag was produced and the mystery solved. It had faded and might have been mistaken for a white flag.

i.        It seems to me that many Christians today are like that flag. They have faded. No longer are they living holy lives. No longer are they having a salt and light influence for God’s glory. They just kind of blend in.

ii.      Things had gotten so bad at Corinth that they had no problem with one of their members being sexually involved with their step-mother!

iii.    Perhaps you are like some who upon first receiving Christ were full of joy and peace and wonder and awe because you couldn’t get over the wondrous love, mercy, and grace of God but now, over the years, that joy, wonder, and awe have all but vanished and you are struggling just to hold on. It has faded.

My encouragement to you this morning then is to run to Christ! Cling to Christ! He will lead you into all holiness. He will coach you, train you, build you up in holiness. Even right now he is in your midst calling to you, “Be holy as I am holy, be perfect as I am perfect, cling to me, follow me, I will help you be holy. You can’t do it on your own. You need me.” Whether you are young or old, teacher or student, mother or daughter, father or son, God is calling you to holiness by his word, through prayer, and through fellowship with other believers of like and precious faith. What is God’s will for your life? Be holy. Is this what your passionate about?

Strive after holiness, pursue it, love it, endure everything for it. Get off your easy chairs and couches, stop settling for mediocrity in Christ, don’t be content with just getting by, and strive for excellence. Start climbing the Himalaya’s of God’s glory and holiness. May I humbly remind you you get one try at life, after this judgement. That’s all. Just one life. And the lasting measure of that life is Jesus Christ. You are sanctified in Christ Jesus, now be holy! Honor Christ the King in all you say and do and think. Brothers and sisters in Christ we are far too easily pleased by things that are insignificant in the long run. How pleased are you with God and his holiness? One life. Don’t waste it away pursuing after fleeting joys and pleasures. Live a life that is holy because God is the thrice holy God.

2)      God’s Holy Calling – Grace and Peace

a)      This is the usual manner in which Paul greets those to whom he is writing to. Most, if not all of his letters to the churches include this greeting.

b)      It sounds a bit odd to us today, we just don’t really talk this way anymore, but it is rich with deep theological truth about the grace and peace which flows from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

i)        Grace –

(1)   “The sum total of all God’s activity toward his human creatures is found in the word ‘grace’; God has given himself to them mercifully and bountifully in Christ. Nothing is deserved; nothing can be achieved. ‘Tis mercy all, immense and free” (Fee, 35).

ii)      Peace

(1)   “The sum total of those benefits as they are experienced by the recipients of God’s grace is found in the word peace” (Fee, 35).

(2)   Means “well being, wholeness, welfare.” It is not the absence of strife, but the presence of positive blessings. It is the prosperity of the whole person, especially spiritually speaking.

c)      Peace flows out from grace and both flow together from God our Father and were made effective in human history through our Lord Jesus Christ.

d)     So, although odd to our ears today, it would be valuable for us today, and each day, to pray for this grace and peace in each of our lives. We could all use it, as undeserving as we may be of it.  

e)      “A final note, therefore, about the salutation as a whole, namely its Christological emphasis. Paul is an apostle of Christ Jesus; the Corinthians have become believers in Christ Jesus; Christians universal are designated as those who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; and grace and peace from God the Father are effected through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Fee, 35).

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