Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
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.
1 Corinthians 1:3–9
Today’s passage describes how God had greatly blessed the church in Corinth with an abundance of spiritual gifts to help them wait for the day of the Lord. The Corinthians had a variety of spiritual gifts: the utterance of wisdom, the utterance of knowledge, faith, gifts of healing, the working of miracles, the gift of prophecy, the ability to distinguish between spirits, the gift of speaking in tongues, and the gift of interpreting tongues (1 Corinthians 12:4–11). Everything in today’s passage only highlights the beautiful things God had given them and was about to do for them. The Corinthians were not lacking in any gifts.
However, today’s passage is also a foreword to the many problems Paul needed to address in the Corinthian church. God’s gifts were meant to sustain the saints to “the end” so that they may be guiltless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. Yet despite the many spiritual gifts within the church, the Corinthians were nevertheless problematic in multiple ways. They struggled to maintain unity (1 Corinthians 1–4), they failed to uphold sexual purity (1 Corinthians 5–7), they argued over food laws (1 Corinthians 8–10), they misused their spiritual gifts in ways that distracted people from true worship (1 Corinthians 11–14), and some even embraced heretical teachings that denied the resurrection (1 Corinthians 15).
As we count the many blessings God has showered upon Hope College, upon Holland, upon the country we live in, let us reflect on the purposes of His abundant gifts upon us. His gifts are to help us wait for the Lord’s return as we flourish and bear His image wherever He sends us. Let us uphold unity and purity and use our God-given blessings to build faith, hope, and love as we learn to worship our Lord Jesus Christ.
Mr. Samuel Pang is an assistant professor of music instruction and director of orchestras at Hope College.
Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.