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Thursday, January 14, 2016

Living Enriched Lives

In 1 Corinthians 1:4-8, Paul began his encouragement and entreaty to the Corinthian Christians. He began his letter reminding them of the most important thing – God’s grace is all-sufficient. In these five verses, Paul taught very succinctly the four most important things about God’s grace. Most importantly, he said, God’s grace enriches believers’ lives. We today can and need to learn and hold on to this teaching.
First, remember God’s grace is His loving-kindness and mercy given to a person without him or her deserving it. His grace is more than this though. One Corinthians 1:4-8 is where Paul unpacked it for the Corinthian believers. 

God’s grace enriches a believer’s life in his or her speech and knowledge. He fully enriches every believer in all ways so the believer’s words, speech, declarations, thoughts, meditations, reasoning, intelligence, understanding of God and the Christian faith are deeper, more perfect, and enlarged. The understanding by the believer of God and the Christian faith is so enriched and illuminated he or she explains his or her faith with power.
God’s grace acts in a believer’s life so it is visible. His grace enriching the believer’s knowledge and understanding of Him and the Christian faith spoken and testified with power and conviction leads to the believer’s life confirming his or her testimony of his or her faith in Jesus Christ. Faith in God came from His gift and gave His undeserved grace to the believer. That grace then makes itself evident in the gift of knowledge, understanding, and speech of the believer when he or she that testifies of God and the Christian faith
In addition to these, Paul stated God’s grace gives and shows in the believer’s expectant, eager, and watchful hope for the return of Jesus Christ. God’s grace, which provides salvation and adoption, gives hope for the future expected return of Jesus the Christ, a time when all things on earth return to perfection. His grace affects the mind of the believer, affects the believer’s thinking and hope for present and future times. Living with this evident hope testifies to God’s grace.
Finally, Paul said, God’s grace confirms the believer to the end so he or she is blameless and innocent before God. God’s grace given through the blood of Jesus Christ establishes and makes sure the believer is blameless of sin on the day of judgment and for eternity. His grace seals the believer for eternity.
This statement by Paul seems so small when considered in the totality of his writings, yet it is profound though concise. God’s grace enriches a believer’s life in speech, knowledge and insight so he or she lacks no gift from God. The conviction of this faith and the depth of knowledge and illumination manifests itself in the believer’s life and words to confirm his or her testimony of believing in Jesus Christ. God’s grace gives and shows in the believer’s expectant, eager, and watchful hope for the return of Jesus Christ. Finally, it confirms the believer to the end so he or she is blameless before God.
Have you experienced God’s grace?
Is your life a living testimony to God’s grace?
Like the Corinthian Christians who were divided into factions, we need to remember we must choose to live the life God’s grace put into us so our words and actions show His grace to the world as a testimony so others will want to come to know Jesus Christ, too.