God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. (1 Corinthians 1:9)
God Is Faithful
The church of God at Corinth was a church full of problems. Paul had to address many challenges the Corinthians faced, from division, carnality, worldliness, immorality, marital problems, feminism, idolatry, abuse of the Lord’s Supper, apostasy, and many more. There was a lot to say to the church at Corinth. The list of problems grew with each paragraph Paul penned. His mind was filled with trying to sort out the individual and collective challenges needing correction and to do so with a spirit of love, gentleness, and the firmness of God’s discipline.
Paul begins his letter by thanking the church and commending them. Knowing the uphill battle they faced as the apostle unpacked each problem, Paul reminds them of a singular truth that would be the basis of each argument he makes to persuade them. The Lord had not rejected Corinth. Paul begins his letter with the affirmation they were still in a covenant relationship with God, and he wants them to start at that point of reference. He reminds them God is faithful. They had been called into the church by His grace through the gift of His Son. God was still in fellowship with the church. To fix the problems, the brethren need inspiration. God is faithful was their motivation.
No other church recorded in the New Testament faced as many hurdles as the Corinthian church. It was probable that many wrote the church off as a failure. God did not give up on Corinth. Paul did not lose hope for the possibilities found in the Corinthians. He knew they had the heart to change and make corrections. Knowing that God is faithful is the beginning point for any exercise for a change. Repentance begins at the faithful throne of God. A change of heart can only be created by those minds who believe change is possible and that God is always faithful to those who seek Him. The longsuffering of God is without measure. He will always be faithful for His faithful. The Corinthians faced the daunting task of making severe corrections in their lives and had to believe that God was faithful to accept them.
The first epistle to Corinth was not the only letter Paul wrote to the church. There was a second letter preserved, and the hope of God’s faithfulness is found in this letter. The church did repent. There were changes made. Hearts were sorrowed. Lives were touched. The gospel of Christ spread in the city of Corinth because the saints of Christ lived with the knowledge that God is faithful. People who do not live with the hope of faithfulness languish in despair and are unwilling to change. The early Christians embraced the protective care of God’s faithfulness as a part of their lives. Drastic changes had to be made, and these corrections were possible because of the simple idea that God is faithful.
It is easy to become discouraged either as an individual or a congregation. Personal problems challenge the soul attempting to dampen and despair the heart. Sin is a failure, but it is not the end. It is easy to focus on all the bad without acknowledging that level of faith retained in the heart of a Christian. Congregations can face uncertainty like Corinth and find themselves facing problems never imagined. The faithful heart will know that regardless of how the world responds or the challenges faced on a congregational level, try to dishearten the joy of serving Christ; God is still faithful. He has assured His people that He will never forsake them and He will never leave them. God is faithful. Hang on to that thought, and it will take you through the day – and for the rest of your life.