Enriched in Every Way- 1 Corinthians 1:1-9

In this passage, Paul tells us that we as believers have been “enriched in every way”. We will examine this passage in some detail in order to determine just what Paul means here by “enriched”. Verse one begins with an introduction, in which Paul identifies himself as one “called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus”. The verb to be here is not included in the Greek text, which literally reads: “Paul, Jesus Christ’s called apostle”. The phrase “called apostle” here is comprised of the noun apostle and the adjective called. This phrase speaks of identity, an apostle is what Paul is, not just something he does, and what makes him an apostle? Being called by Jesus Christ! Paul is what Jesus says he is, and this awareness of his identity produces his behavior. This calling is according to the will of God, God determines our true identity (who we really are), and we find it only in Christ. We are what and who God says we are, and we can only discover our true identity in Christ. Paul then speaks to the church in verse 2, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus. The participle sanctified here is in the perfect tense, signifying something done in the past and still in effect in the present. Believers have been sanctified (set apart as belonging to God) and are “called to be holy”. The verb to be is not in the Greek here either, and actually gives the impression Paul is talking here primarily about our behavior. This, however, is not the case. The phrase “called to be holy” here is actually in exactly the same form as the phrase translated “called to be an apostle”, and literally reads: “called saints”, comprised of the adjective called and the noun saints. Just like Paul, our identity is not determined by what we do, but by what God says we are, and we also discover who we really are only in Christ. We are saints not based on our behavior, but based on our being “called” saints by God through Jesus Christ. This particular letter is written to the church in Corinth, which we will later see is a bit of a zoo, characterized by dissensions, factions, infighting and even incest. In spite of all this “unsaintly” behavior, Paul still refers to them as saints. This is because their identity is based in what God says they are, not in what they do, and much of Paul’s letter to them is an attempt to get their behavior to line up with their identity, for their behavior to become more “saintly”. He begins this attempt immediately by telling them they “have been enriched in every way”. Our next post will examine this phrase in much more detail, to determine how we have been enriched and how that enrichment can help us to behave more like the saints we really are.

1 Comment Christianity  //  Growing In Grace  //  Living with a Purpose

One Response so far.

  1. Shagow says:

    The hotsney of your posting is there for all to see

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