“Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours:” (1 Corinthians 1:2, AV)
It is a good thing to sit back and contemplate who you are and how that fits into the overall scheme of things. In the previous devotion, I mentioned serving as an officer in the United States Army in Germany. Being overseas in a foreign country placed our soldiers in a position where they were representatives of the United States Army. As such, they were to conduct themselves properly in those times when they were permitted off base. I would like to say that our troops aways behaved in a manner that reflected highly on the Army and the United States of America. However, on occasion it did not work out that way. When a military person misbehaved, especially in public, that soldier would fall under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. He or she could be court marshaled. The lowest form was that of the Article 15, a non-judicial form of punishment handled at the local unit.
Once two of our soldiers had an issue with their cars while off base. It was serious enough to be handled at the battalion level instead of the company. I testified in the hearing in front of the Battalion commander to give evidence of mitigation regarding their duty performance, in order to have their punishment lightened. They ended up fined but not demoted, but they learned their lesson. The process was more of a rebuke and a reminder that they represented the United States Army in Germany.
As mentioned previously, the church at Corinth had many issues. They had forgotten that they represented the King of kings and Lord of lords. As Paul began this letter, he addressed them as usual. In this address there is a reminder that they have been made part of something much greater than themselves. This is something that they should not forget.
First, Paul addressed them as the “the church of God which is at Corinth.” The church, the ekklesia, refers to the called-out assembly of believers. He indicated that this was “the church of God.” It was God’s church and as such what went on in the church represented the one true God.
Second, Paul wrote “to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus.” The word “sanctified,” hagiazo, means to be made holy (Strong G37), set apart from sin for the purposes of God. The verb is in the perfect tense and passive voice, which means that the Lord has rendered them as holy and they are still considered as such. He has set apart the church for His glorious purposes.
Third, they have been, “called to be saints.” Not only have they been positioned as sanctified, holy, but they have been called to be “saints,” hagios, sacred, morally pure, most holy ones (Strong G40). They were called to reflect the glory of God in the world.
Moreover, they were not in this alone. They were in this with all churches and true believers everywhere that “call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.” They are part of something much larger, the universal church. They were part of a collected effort to display God’s glory in a fallen world.
The church today needs this reminder. What the church does has a direct influence in the world. The church, above all institutions, must realize that it is God’s church, set apart for His glory, and called to display His glory through the pursuit of holiness and righteousness by every believer.