1 Corinthians 1:4-9 ESV
“I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that was given you in Christ Jesus, that in every way you were enriched in him in all speech and all knowledge — even as the testimony about Christ was confirmed among you — so 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. God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.”
The Grace of God
What is the grace of God? People differ in opinion on this subject quite often. For some people see God’s grace as merely forgiveness of sin and as unconditional salvation and eternal life with God regardless of how one conducts his life while still here on the earth.
Still others believe that we must do something to earn God’s grace, as though we, in our flesh, can be righteous enough to be acceptable to God. Yet, they add to our salvation works done in the flesh, which are external, and which do nothing to change human hearts.
But then there are those who I believe have the correct biblical understanding of God’s grace. And, that is that Jesus died that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. He died that we might live no longer for ourselves but for him who gave his life up for us (1 Pet. 2:24; 2 Co. 5:15).
For, the grace of God, which brings salvation, instructs us to say “No!” to ungodliness and fleshly lusts and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives while we wait for our Lord’s return (Tit. 2:11-14).
Jesus Christ died on that cross, and he rose from the dead, not just to forgive us our sins and to promise us heaven when we die, but he died to deliver us out of our slavery (bondage, addiction) to sin and to free us to now walk in his holiness and righteousness, in his power and strength (Rom. 6:1-23; Rom. 8:1-17; Lu. 9:23-26; Eph. 4:17-24; 1 Jn. 1:5-9; 1 Jn. 2:3-6).
Enriched in Him
In Christ Jesus, by faith in him, we are given many spiritual blessings and gifts of God. We are given the strength and power of the Spirit of God to be delivered from our slavery to sin and to walk in Christ’s righteousness and holiness.
And, we are blessed with insight and wisdom into God’s holy word as we read it, and as we allow God’s Spirit to speak to us through it, and as we walk in obedience to what it teaches us. And, we are given fruitfulness in our labors of love in the Spirit of God so that, by God’s grace, and through our faithfulness, we are impacting other people’s lives for Jesus Christ, too.
And, we are gifted of the Spirit of God with spiritual gifts to be used for the encouragement and the maturity of the body of Christ. And, we all are necessary to that proper working of God’s body, too, so that we all reach maturity in Christ and unity in faith in Jesus Christ, our Lord (Rom. 12; 1 Co. 12-14; Eph. 4).
And, we are also empowered of the Spirit of God in our speech and knowledge in order that we might share Christ and his gospel of salvation from sin with the world around us and also with those who profess faith in Jesus Christ but who are not living the faith they profess.
And, we are given courage and willpower to withstand opposition and persecution and to keep speaking the truth of God’s word, and to remain steadfast in our faith and in our testimonies for Christ and for his salvation.
He Will Sustain You
This is a wonderful promise!! The Christian life is the only life that is worth living, and the only one that gives us the hope of deliverance from sin and the empowerment to live holy lives, and the hope of eternal life with God.
But this is not something we do in our own flesh. The Christian life is not a religion via which we follow a bunch of religious practices. We can’t be “Christian” just by living moral lives and by doing “good deeds,” either.
We can only come to faith in Jesus Christ because God first draws us to Christ, and then he gifts us with his grace and with the faith to believe in Jesus for salvation from sin. And, he grants us repentance, too. But since this faith comes from him, it submits to him as Lord. So, those who believe in Jesus will also repent of (turn from) their sins, and they will turn to Jesus to follow in obedience to his commands (his word).
Then, as followers of Jesus, we die daily to sin and self, and we walk daily according to the Spirit, and we no longer walk (live) according to the flesh. But all this is from God, too, who sustains us and who equips and empowers us to walk in holiness and to no longer live to please our sinful flesh. But we have to cooperate with God. And, we have to follow him in obedience.
And, he gives us everything we need to endure trials, to flee temptation, to resist Satan and to draw near to God. We just have to appropriate to our lives all that the Lord supplies for us. And, the Lord will carry us through to the end, guiltless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.
God is Faithful
This, too, is wonderful news!! We can depend on the Lord to do what he says he will do. If we are following him, and if we are doing what he says, this is very comforting to know that he will be faithful to every promise he has made to those who have humbled themselves before him and who have surrendered their lives to him, and who have made him Lord of their lives.
He will never leave us or forsake us. He won’t lie to us, trick us, betray us, turn against us, or abandon those of us who are his by God-given faith in Jesus Christ.
For, he is completely faithful in all that he does. So, we never have cause to fear anything or anyone, for he will uphold us, and he will not let us go. We can fully depend on him. We just have to trust him completely, believe in his sovereignty over all things, and believe he is with us all the way.
Be with Me, Lord
By Thomas O Chisholm
Be with me, Lord – I cannot live without THEE,
I dare not try to take one step alone.
I cannot bear the loads of life, unaided,
I need THY strength to lean myself upon.
Be with me Lord, and then if dangers threaten,
If storms of trial burst above my head,
If lashing seas leap ev’rywhere about me,
They cannot harm, or make my heart afraid.
Be with me Lord! No other gift or blessing
THOU COULDST bestow could with this one compare –
A constant sense of THY abiding presence,
Where’er I am, to feel that THOU ART near.
Be with me, Lord, when loneliness o’ertakes me,
When I must weep amid the fires of pain,
And when shall come the hour of “my departure”
For “worlds unknown,” O Lord, be with me then.
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