Grace and the Testimony of Christ: 1 Corinthians 1:4-6
Scripture: 1 Corinthians 1:4-6
By Bob DeWaay
Paul uses “eucharisteo_” (the verb form of our word eucharist – see 1 Corin. 11:24) as the word that describes his thanking God for the Corinthian believers. Since this church is known for many problems, we learn something from Paul’s attitude of thanksgiving for them. Paul knew that God had given them grace since he had spent some time preaching there. This grace was given at their conversion. The “enrichment” that they received included “speech and knowledge” (logos and gnosis). This speech and knowledge was misused by many in that church as we learn later in the epistle; but God was the giver and Paul was thankful for that.
Ironically, many today misuse gifts in very similar ways the Corinthians did. We give some examples in the course of this sermon. God gives gifts for the enrichment of the body of Christ and to further testimony about Christ. It was God who had called Paul to preach Christ and enriched these believers through Christ. Gifts such as knowledge and wisdom (gnosis and sophia) are to benefit the whole body and testify about Christ. In the sermon we deal with 1 Corinthians 12:7-8 about “word of knowledge” and “word of wisdom.” The common understanding about these gifts is false and very misleading. These are not about gaining secret, spiritual knowledge but about speech that exalts Christ and benefits all believers. Gifts are never given to make some people appear more pious and important than other Christians. We need to be thankful, trust God, preach Christ, and care for one another.