by Douglas Webber
I Corinthians 1:1-9
Good Morning. Today, this message is based on Paul?s first letter to the Corinthians. What I have in front of me today is a letter that hypothetically could have been written by someone else. Perhaps it was Paul's friend, Sosthenes, that is mentioned in the first verse of the epistle. What would Sosthenes have written? It's possible that it may have gone something like this:
I hope this letter finds you well and in good spirits. I've been quite busy here in Ephesus as of late. I would like to make a journey to see you sometime in the future. I will write and let you know when that will be.
In the meantime, I am with the most interesting gentleman, a Pharisee to be precise. His name is Saul, though he prefers to be called by his Roman name, Paul.
He just finished dictating a letter to our fellow believers in Corinth. Those Corinthians are certainly an interesting bunch. I'm sure you remember from your history how they tried to rebel against the Romans and that the rebellion was quashed. If it hadn?t been for Julius Caesar, who knows what would have become of them. More than likely, they would still be nothing more than a pile of rubble; a ghost town.
Now look at them. They are a well-to-do, independent and rebellious bunch. Paul has his work cut out for him. I don't envy Paul at all!
His letter to the Corinthians was quite interesting to say the least. When I come to see you, I will share what was in that letter.
Let us take a look in what was in the first few verses of that letter this morning.
In verses 1-8 and in verse 9 we see that the Corinthians were called. They were called by God, through His Son Jesus to live for Him, to do his work, to proclaim the Gospel. They were called to be a light in the darkness.
At the time of Paul's writing, the city of Corinth was a successful and important city. It was on a major East-West trade route and thus important to the Roman Empire. It also hosted the Isthmian Games every two years. These games were second only to the Olympics. Corinth was also known for its debauchery and that is why having a church established there was so important.
Like the Corinthians of old, God has called you as well. We too are called to proclaim his Gospel and to be a light in the darkness.
Paul goes further on to say, that the Corinthans were not only called, but they were enriched, they were empowered and equipped by the Holy Spirit. They had been called out of darkness into God?s marvelous light.
You also have been called out of darkness into God's marvelous light. Some of you have accepted that calling; some of you need to be obedient and heed that call.
The question that you may be thinking is: why Corinth? The answer is simple. Corinth was in a strategic location. Remember that it was on a major shipping route and that people from many locations would pass through or stop there. What a way to be able to spread the Gospel!
You are in a strategic location as well. Perhaps you may not be the most influential person in your community, but you do have influence in your family, your neighborhood, at school, your job or wherever God places you. You can be that light to a lost world. You need to be that light. If you don?t share the Gospel who will? How can anyone be saved if they have never been given the chance to repent of their sins and ask Jesus into their heart?
As you can see, what was true back in the time of the Corinthians, is true today. God's Word never changes. God never changes.
What are you going to do with the calling God has for you? He may be calling you to give up your worldly ways and accept His Son as your Lord and Savior. He may be calling you into full-time ministry. Whatever it might be, what are you doing with that calling? Are you saying yes, but not now? Are you saying no? Or are you being obedient and saying yes, Lord, whatever Your will is I will follow You.
Again, what are you doing with the calling God has for you?