Paul reminded the Christians in Corinth about their relationship both with God, and with other Christians.
So, at the start of his letter, Paul called them: ‘the church of God’. That means ‘the people whom God has separated for himself’. He also called them ‘the saints’, in other words, ‘the holy people’. Paul used the word ‘saints’ to describe all Christians. ‘Holy’ means that a person belongs to God. Paul also said that God had ‘sanctified’ them. That means that God had made them holy.
Because they are now holy, that should have an effect on their lives (3:16). They should not continue to act in a wicked manner (6:9-13). They should love other people (1 Corinthians chapter 13), and they should respect their leaders (12:28-31).
Paul emphasised their connection with other Christians, both in Corinth and elsewhere. Some groups in Corinth were acting as if they were the only real Christians (1:11-12, 14:36). They were even taking each other to court (6:1-8). Paul had to tell them that all Christians need each other (12:12-31). He had to warn them about proud attitudes (4:6-7).
These Christians belonged to the church of God in Corinth because they lived there. But everyone who serves Christ belongs to God’s church. They are all people whom God has separated for himself. They all have a relationship both with God, and with all other Christians.
And the nature of that relationship should be love (1 Corinthians chapter 13; John 13:34; 1 John 4:8-12; Mark 12:29-31).
Next part: Paul’s prayer (1 Corinthians 1:4-9)
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© 2014, Keith Simons.