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Upfront 7/5/2022

Upfront Info:

Star Wars and Roe V Wade: Kevin DeYoung. So many people in christian circles are just responding with nothing but criticism…

The Only Hope for Dirty Disciples... is Christ

1 Corinthians 1:1–9 ESV

Paul, called by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus, and our brother Sosthenes, To the church of God that is in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints together with all those who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that was given you in Christ Jesus, that in every way you were enriched in him in all speech and all knowledge— even as the testimony about Christ was confirmed among you— so that you are not lacking in any gift, as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will sustain you to the end, guiltless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

We have to consider the context:

Corinth was the capital of Achaia bordering Macedonia to its north it was actually one area, that the Romans divided(which was Greece)… you often see them together… Corinth is about 40 miles west of Athens - on a clear day… you could see Athens.

In this introductory section, Paul gives us an example of filthy people who experienced the cleansing power of Christ, and gives his exhortation to the church… know that you have been called... it is an encouragement to all of us dirty disciples!

1. Your calling is the intensely personal

1 Corinthians 1:1 ESV "Paul, called by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus, and our brother Sosthenes..."

Called: Paul uses the words kaleō (29 times), klēsis (8 times), and klētos (7 times) almost always with the sense of divine calling.

  • Kletos is a "keyword" in 1 Cor 1 occurring 3 times - 1 Co. 1:1; 1 Co. 1:2; 1 Co. 1:24 and

  • kaleo in 1 Cor 1:9, so that one of the primary themes or subjects in chapter 1 is what it means to be called.

  • Literally, kletos means invited or welcomed and was originally used to designate those invited to a banquet (THOUGHT - Believers as the Bride of Christ are in fact invited to a banquet called the marriage supper of the Lamb Rev 19:7-9+).

  • In the NT kletos are generally used by one who has received a calling to become a member of a select group.

1. Pauls Calling:

a. Paul called to salvation: Acts 28, Gal 1:11-16, 1 Cor 15:3-8

Gal 1:11-16For I would have you know, brothers, that the gospel that was preached by me is not man’s gospel. For I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ. For you have heard of my former life in Judaism, how I persecuted the church of God violently and tried to destroy it. And I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my own age among my people, so extremely zealous was I for the traditions of my fathers. But when he who had set me apart before I was born, and who called me by his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son to me, in order that I might preach him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately consult with anyone;

“A distinction about calling. There is a two-fold call.
(i.) There is an outward call, which is nothing else but God’s blessed tender of grace in the gospel, His parleying with sinners, when He invites them to come in and accept of mercy. Of this our Saviour speaks: “Many are called, but few chosen” (Matt. xx. 16). This external call is insufficient to salvation, yet sufficient to leave men without excuse.
(ii.) There is an inward call, when God wonderfully overpowers the heart, and draws the will to embrace Christ. This is, as Augustine speaks, an effectual call. God, by the outward call, blows a trumpet in the ear; by the inward call, He opens the heart, as He did the heart of Lydia (Acts xvi. 14). The outward call may bring men to a profession of Christ, the inward call brings them to a possession of Christ. The outward call curbs a sinner, the inward call changes him.” --Thomas Watson

b. Paul was called to special service (here): as an apostle

i. Acts 1:22 “beginning from the baptism of John until the day when he was taken up from us—one of these men must become with us a witness to his resurrection.” So there are no apostles today in this way.

ii. Eph 2:20 “built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone”

c. Paul was Called to Corinth… Macedonian call led him in this direction...second missionary journey (Acts 15:39—18:22). Much happened in Macedonia. Lydia’s conversion (Acts 16:14–15), the deliverance of a fortune-telling slave girl (Acts 16:16–18), Paul and Silas’ imprisonment in Philippi (Acts 16:16–28), the conversion of the jailer and his household (Acts 16:29–34), and Paul’s preaching in the Areopagus in Athens (Acts 17:16–34) then

i. Paul planted several churches in Macedonian cities. Philippi (Acts 16:40), Thessalonica (Acts 17:4), and then south to Corinth (Acts 18:1–11).

ii. Because he followed God’s call in his life people were saved, churches were planted, and five of the New Testament Epistles end up written to three of these churches.

iii. A personal call to Paul

2. A personal call to “Sosthenes”, was also called. “our brother”

Not much is known about the man named Sosthenes in the Bible. There is a quick mention of Sosthenes in Acts and the second mention in 1 Corinthians.

In Acts 18, Paul arrives in Corinth, where he meets fellow believers Priscilla and Aquila (verse 2). Being tentmakers as they are, Paul stays with them while he plies his trade and teaches in the synagogue (verses 3–4). but, the Jews reject the gospel, and so he moves on to preaching to the Gentiles instead. Paul goes to stay with a Gentile Christian named Titius Justus, Justus’s home was next door to the synagogue (verse 7). Paul is preaching and Crispus, the ruler of the synagogue, along with many other Corinthians, become believers. Apparently, Crispus left his position at the synagogue and we see a few verses later that Sosthenes is named the leader of the synagogue.

After Paul had been in Corinth for about 18 months, the Jews, led by Sosthenes, united in an attack on Paul, bringing him before the Roman proconsul, Gallio. As this city was under Roman rule, the Roman court was the ultimate authority in major disputes. The charge against Paul was that “this man . . . is persuading the people to worship God in ways contrary to the law” (Acts 18:13). Gallio wanted no part of this “I will not be a judge of such things,” he said, and he ejected the Jews from the court (Acts 18:15). At that point, Sosthenes was seized and beaten verse 17 says by “the crowd” Now, Sosthenes is humiliated, and rejected himself…but somewhere along the way… he heard the call of God… The last time you saw him, he was beaten at the judgment seat of Gallio. Next time we might see him, he will be at the judgment seat of Christ, covered by the blood of Christ spotless. an enemy… now our BROTHER SOSTHENES. You never know who God is going to call.

We are encouraged by meditating on the personal call of God our your life.

  • Isaiah 43:1 ESV But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.

  • Jeremiah 1:5 ESV “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”

  • Revelation 3:5 ESV The one who conquers will be clothed thus in white garments, and I will never blot his name out of the book of life. I will confess his name before my Father and before his angels.

Jesus said:

John 15:16 ESV

You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.

The point was, Paul was called, even Sosthenes was called, and they were called.

  • 1 Corinthians 1:9 ESV God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

  • Ephesians 2:5–6 ESVeven when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace, you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,

  • The only way dirty people come clean is to hear the call of God to repent and be forgiven, to put your faith in Christ and be made clean!

It is a personal work of Christ...

2. Your calling is for the benefit of the church: “Called together with the saints everywhere.”

1 Corinthians 1:2 ESV

To the church of God that is in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints together with all those who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours:

The same God who called you into personal fellowship with His son, is the same God who calls you into public fellowship with his saints. T

Baptist Faith and Message 2000: “A New Testament church of the Lord Jesus Christ is an autonomous local congregation of baptized believers, associated by covenant in the faith and fellowship of the gospel; observing the two ordinances of Christ, governed by His laws, exercising the gifts, rights, and privileges invested in them by His Word, and seeking to extend the gospel to the ends of the earth.”

Paul’s description of the Corinthians in v2 mirrors elements of his self-description in v1.

• He is an apostle by calling; they are holy people by calling.

• He is an apostle of Christ Jesus; they are sanctified in Christ Jesus.

• He is an apostle by the will of God; they are the church of God.

If Paul claims for himself a lofty position in v. 1, in v. 2 he equates that with his understanding of the dignity of the church in spite of the dirtiness he knows of them.


"the verb - sanctify means to cleanse. And as sin is presented under the twofold aspect of guilt and pollution, to sanctify, or to cleanse from sin, may mean either to expiate guilt by an atonement, or to renew by the Holy Ghost... The church consists of those whose guilt is expiated, who are inwardly holy, and who are consecrated to God as His peculiar people." --Charles Hodge.

He wants us to live in happiness together, and in harmony together, but make no mistake… he wants us to live in holiness together!

Have been sanctified (perfect tense = their permanent state or condition; passive voice = set apart by God's supernatural act = divine passive) (37)(hagiazo from hagios = holy, set apart = "saint") means to set apart from the profane (godless world) and to the Perfect (God), to make a person or thing (OT altars, days, priests, etc) the opposite of koinos, which means profane or common. While hagiazo means to consecrate, it also carries the thought of the resultant holiness of character in those who are consecrated! In other words, those who have been sanctified have a holy position that makes possible holy practice.

Hebrews 12:14 ESV

Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.

to Walk with Christ:

Saints by calling - “Sanctified sinners who are now saints bestowed with amazing grace and supernatural gifts should live holy lives so that their practice matches their position. This might have a touch of sarcasm, for though they were set apart ones in position before God because of their position in Christ into which they had been supernaturally called, many of these saints by "position," were far from being saints by their "practice." What a sad oxymoronic picture of "unsaintly (unholy) saints!" They were positionally saints who were practically "aint's!" That is, the saints at Corinth "ain't" living (bad grammar but good theology) according to their high calling!”

“The reality is that the Lord never calls the qualified; He qualifies the called.” ― Henry Blackaby

So you can worship Christ:

Call upon (1941) epikaleomai = middle voice of epikaleo from epí = upon + kaléo = call) literally means to call upon and was often used in secular Greek to refer to calling upon deity for any purpose, especially for aid. It also means to invoke (to petition for help or support, make earnest request) a deity for something as in Peter's quote from Joel 2:32+ "WHOEVER WILL CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED.”

And apply the WORDS of Christ:

with all who in every place” - Paul uses this phrase to remind the Corinthian believers that they are part of a larger church family. They dont have uniqueness or special treatment. They must conform to the whole body of Christ in doctrine and practice.

Ill: Law enforcement… they pull you over… they man your going to fast for conditions…

He says it 4 times:

1 Corinthians 4:17 ESV

That is why I sent you Timothy, my beloved and faithful child in the Lord, to remind you of my ways in Christ, as I teach them everywhere in every church.

1 Corinthians 7:17 ESV

Only let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him. This is my rule in all the churches.

1 Corinthians 11:16 ESV

If anyone is inclined to be contentious, we have no such practice, nor do the churches of God.

1 Corinthians 14:33 ESV

For God is not a God of confusion but of peace. As in all the churches of the saints,

He has saved us and called us to a holy life together...

2 Timothy 1:9 ESV

who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began,

If they were a boat, they were sinking...

Here is the reality, our children are much more infatuated with becoming rock stars and pro athletes, more interested in learning about beers and wines; we teach them to idolize singers, and politicians… instead of being separated, saints of God...

Boyer: If Paul were to write a letter to the evangelical, Bible-believing churches of America, I believe it would be much like I Corinthians. Their world was like our world: the same thirst for intellectualism, the same permissiveness toward moral standards, the same fascination for the spectacular. And their church was like our churches: proud, affluent, materialistic, fiercely eager for intellectual and social acceptance by the world, doctrinally orthodox [at times] but morally and practically conforming to the world.”

Whats the answer?

1 Corinthians 1:31Let him who boasts, boast in the Lord…”

1 Corinthians 3:21, 23So then, let no one boast in men. For all things belong to you… And you belong to Christ; and Christ belongs to God.”

The Gospel Message of Christ’s Crucifixion and Resurrection Brings God’s Wisdom to Bear on the Practical Problems That Are Rooted in Man’s Pride and Selfishness. It is ironic that the Corinthian Christians are described no differently from other people in Corinth. They act as though they belong to the world rather than to God. It only proves, that the only hope for dirty disciples is Christ.

“If two angels were to receive at the same moment a commission from God, one to go down and rule earth’s grandest empire, the other to go and sweep the streets of its meanest village, it would be a matter of entire indifference to each which service fell to his lot, the post of ruler or the post of scavenger; for the joy of the angels lies only in obedience to God’s will, and with equal joy they would lift a Lazarus in his rags to Abraham’s bosom, or be a chariot of fire to carry an Elijah home.” John Newton

Discipleship is dirty work… our only hope, our only hope is to hear the call of God, and be made clean by Christ

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