Thanksgiving Part 3 of 4 (series: Lessons on 1 Co.)

by John Lowe
(Woodruff, S.C.)

Some will say that they don’t know whether the apostle is talking about the Rapture or the Second Coming (see See 1 Thessalonians 3:1318) ; but I believe it must be the Second Coming, since the Lord doesn’t set foot on the earth when He raptures the church; we will meet Him in the air. The second coming of Christ, so clearly predicted by himself and by his apostles, connected as it is with the promise of the resurrection of his people and the consummation of his kingdom, was the object of longing expectation to all the early Christians.

of our Lord Jesus Christ:
He will appear for a second time, come in great glory, will raise the dead, and judge both the quick and dead. At that time, gifts will cease and will no longer be useful; but, until that time comes, they should be diligently made use of, and even improved for the service of Christ; who will surely come again, and call his servants and churches to an accounting of the talents he has entrusted them with. For Christians, His coming is to be believed, loved, looked for, and hoped for by all that love Him.

8 Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Who shall also confirm you unto the end,
Some scholars refer back to God as the antecedent of "who" in this place; but Guthrie seems correct in seeing here an exhortation for the Corinthians not to trust in spiritual gifts which they had received, but that they should look to Christ who would be their strength even to the end. It is "a gentle reminder that the Corinthians had not yet `arrived' at perfection, despite their many gifts." Full redemption for all people must await THAT DAY when the Lord shall come in His glory and all His holy angels with him (2 Timothy 4:819). But until THAT DAY, Paul gives them some encouraging hopes, founded on the power and love of Christ, and the faithfulness of God. He who had begun a good work in them, and carried it on thus far, would not leave it unfinished. Those that wait for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ will be kept by him, and confirmed in the end. Brothers and sisters, He will make you safe and keep you strong in the midst of all your trials, and all the efforts which may be made to shake your faith, and to remove you from that firm foundation on which you now rest.

God had not only enriched them with the gifts of the Spirit, but he would also confirm them. The one was an assurance of the other. Those to whom God gives the renewing influence of the Spirit, he thereby pledges himself to save; for 'the first fruits of the Spirit' are, of the nature of a pledge. They are an earnest, as the apostle says, of the future inheritance (see Ephesians 1:1420 and 2 Corinthians 1:21, 2221).

that ye may be blameless
They cannot be blameless in themselves, because no man is without his faults; none of God's children are without their failings and weaknesses; they have no one to blame but themselves, and they may be blamed by God too, if it were not for one advantage they have; that they are so much in Christ their Lord, being justified by His righteousness, and washed in His blood that in the sight of God, they are considered in Christ; and will appear as such. And they will be blameless in the day of Christ: not based upon the principle of strict justice, but gracious pardon; not in the strictness of the Law, but from rich and free grace. How wonderful it is to be confirmed and kept by Christ for such a purpose as this! How glorious are the hopes of such a privilege, whether for ourselves or others! To be kept by the power of Christ from the power of our own corruption and Satan’s temptations, so that we may appear without blame on that Great Day: Free from blame when they are
called to meet the Lord.
Blameless does not mean perfect, but it denotes those against whom there is no charge of crime; that are not accused, and against whom there is no grounds for accusation. It does not mean that they were personally perfect, but that God would keep them, and enable them to demonstrate a Christian character, which would give evidence that they were his friends, and completely escape condemnation in the last day. There is no man who is without faults; no Christian who is not conscious of imperfections; but it is the will of God to keep his people safe, and to justify and sanctify them through the Lord Jesus, so that the church may be presented "a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle" Ephesians 5:27 in the day of judgment.
in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The day of our Lord Jesus Christ is

that day when he shall descend from heaven, and take his saints to him, and present them to himself as a glorious church, without spot or wrinkle, or any such thing. On that day the Lord Jesus will come to judge the world; and it will be called His day, because it will be the day in which he will be the great and conspicuous object, and which is specially appointed to glorify him. "When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe" (2 Thessalonians 1:10).

9 God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.

God is faithful, by whom ye were called
The faithfulness of God is a favorite expression among the ancient Jews; and by it they give evidence of a proper understanding of the integrity of God in preserving whatever is entrusted to him. It is a wonderfully true testimonial that our God is faithful, and unchangeable, and will keep all his promises. He will not deceive. He will not promise, and then fail to perform; he will not begin anything which he will not perfect and finish. He is one in whom we may confide; one who will fulfill all his promises. The apostle's confidence in the steadfastness and final perseverance of believers was founded neither on their own strength and desire to persevere, nor on any assumption that the precepts of religion in their hearts were indestructible, but simply on God's faithfulness. The thing that the apostle had in mind here by introducing the idea of the faithfulness of God is to show the reason for believing that the Christians at Corinth would be kept unto everlasting life. The evidence that they will persevere depends on the faithfulness of God; and the argument of the apostle is, that since they had been called by Him into the fellowship of His Son, His Son’s faithfulness of character would make certain that they would be kept by eternal life until the Day of Jesus Christ. It is the same idea he presented in Philippians 1:6: "Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you, will also perform it until the day of Jesus Christ." Those that come at his call will never be disappointed by the hopes they have in him. If we are faithful to God, we will never find him unfaithful to us. He will not suffer his faithfulness to fail, Ps. 89:33. Bad as conditions were in the church at Corinth, God's purpose would continue to operate on their behalf.

The word "called", as it is used here does not refer merely to an invitation or an offer of life, but to the effective influence of the Holy Spirit which created within an individual the need to be free from the bonds of sin and inclined him or her to embrace the gospel. In this sense, the word “called” often occurs in the Scriptures (See Mark 2:1722; Galatians 1:623).
unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord;
Fellowship includes union and communion. The original word, koinonia, signifies participation, as in 10:1624 ('sharing in the blood of Christ'). We are called to share in Christ; share in his life, as members of his body; and therefore, share his character, his sufferings here and his glory (see Romans 8:3025) hereafter. We are partakers of his grace, and we are heirs of glory with him; to enjoy communion with him in private and public exercises of religion, which is an evidence of being in him, and of being joined to him; because we are not called merely into the fellowship of his saints or churches, but into the fellowship of his Son. We are members of Christ, of his body, of his flesh, and of his bone; and shall never be lost and perish, but shall be kept safe until the end; be preserved in him blameless, and presented to him faultless, and have everlasting life.

Observe: the name of Christ is mentioned nine times in as many verses, and is found more often in this than in any other Epistle.
1 1 John 1:7 (KJV) But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. But if we walk in the light. We walk in the light by following Christ, the Light of the world. We have fellowship. All who are walking in the light have this in common; fellowship with Jesus. The blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. Cleansed of sin by the blood of Christ, and thus made holy, we are made ready for heavenly communion.
2 Romans 1:8 (KJV) First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world. Every time I hear Paul use the phrase “you all”, I think he must be a southerner.

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