1 Corinthians 1:7b ~ 20121209 ~ Pastor Rodney Zedicher ~ Ephraim Church of the Bible ~ www.ephraimbible.org
12/09 1 Corinthians 1:7b Waiting for Jesus to be Revealed
1 Παῦλος κλητὸς ἀπόστολος ⸂Χριστοῦ Ἰησοῦ⸃ διὰ θελήματος θεοῦ καὶ Σωσθένης ὁ ἀδελφὸς 2 τῇ ἐκκλησίᾳ τοῦ θεοῦ, ⸂ἡγιασμένοις ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ, τῇ οὔσῃ ἐν Κορίνθῳ,⸃ κλητοῖς ἁγίοις, σὺν πᾶσιν τοῖς ἐπικαλουμένοις τὸ ὄνομα τοῦ κυρίου ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ ἐν παντὶ τόπῳ ⸀αὐτῶν καὶ ἡμῶν· 3 χάρις ὑμῖν καὶ εἰρήνη ἀπὸ θεοῦ πατρὸς ἡμῶν καὶ κυρίου Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ.
4 Εὐχαριστῶ τῷ θεῷ ⸀μου πάντοτε περὶ ὑμῶν ἐπὶ τῇ χάριτι τοῦ θεοῦ τῇ δοθείσῃ ὑμῖν ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ, 5 ὅτι ἐν παντὶ ἐπλουτίσθητε ἐν αὐτῷ, ἐν παντὶ λόγῳ καὶ πάσῃ γνώσει, 6 καθὼς τὸ μαρτύριον τοῦ Χριστοῦ ἐβεβαιώθη ἐν ὑμῖν, 7 ὥστε ὑμᾶς μὴ ὑστερεῖσθαι ἐν μηδενὶ χαρίσματι, ἀπεκδεχομένους τὴν ἀποκάλυψιν τοῦ κυρίου ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ· 8 ὃς καὶ βεβαιώσει ὑμᾶς ἕως τέλους ἀνεγκλήτους ἐν τῇ ἡμέρᾳ τοῦ κυρίου ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ. 9 πιστὸς ὁ θεὸς δι’ οὗ ἐκλήθητε εἰς κοινωνίαν τοῦ υἱοῦ αὐτοῦ Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ τοῦ κυρίου ἡμῶν.
Paul thanks God for the sin-sick, sidetracked, self-centered church of God in Corinth. He thanks God because God's grace, his free gift of undeserved favor, had been poured out on sinners in the city of Corinth through his preaching of the cross; sinners believed and sinners became saints and a church was born. The apostle made it his habit to thank God for them. He thanks God that they were enriched in Christ Jesus in every way; in all speech and all knowledge; they had been given spiritual insight into the truth of the gospel. He thanks God that the testimony of Christ; the witness of who Jesus is, the invisible God become human, who lived the righteous life in perfect communion with his Father that we were meant to live, who took our sins and died on a cross, bearing the wrath of his Father against our rebellion, who rose victorious from the tomb, appeared alive to a multitude of witnesses, and ascended to the right hand of his Father, where he now reigns on high; this testimony of Jesus, that whoever believes has eternal life and will live with him forever, this foolish message was believed and proved to be genuine among the Corinthians. The testimony of Christ was confirmed. He thanks God that they were not lacking in any grace-gift. God had abundantly supplied them with every spiritual blessing in the heavenlies in Christ. They did not fall short. They had a real relationship with Jesus and in that they had everything that truly matters.
Next on Paul's list of things to thank God for in this wayward church is that they were waiting for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ.
[Christmas present illustration: What is this? What's in it? When do you get to find out? Even if you already know what it is, when do you get to have it?] Waiting is something that is characteristic of believers in Jesus. There is a natural expectation, a longing, a desiring, a forward looking hope. The author of Hebrews says
It is characteristic of Christians to eagerly wait for the return of Jesus. The first believers, who saw Jesus ascend into heaven, were gazing into heaven and had to be told by two angels:
Paul tells the Philippians:
Peter reminds us to:
Already and Not Yet
Peter says that there will be grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. There is a future grace to set your hope on. But Paul has told us in 1 Corinthians that we lack no grace-gift. We have been been abundantly supplied, enriched in him in every way. And yet we wait. There is a tension in the life of the Christian between the already and the not yet. There is tension between what we have been given in Christ Jesus, and that which is yet to come. Let's review the grace-gifts that are currently in our possession as believers, and then we will look at some of the promised blessings that are yet to come.
What are some of the grace-gifts that have been given to us by God? We are told in Ephesians 2:8 and 2 Timothy 2:25 that we have been given the gift of faith and repentance. Jesus claims to be the one who gives eternal life (Jn.10:28). He said 'whoever believes has eternal life' (Jn.6:47). God gave Jesus as the propitiation for our sins, appeasing his own righteous wrath toward us (Rom.3:25; 1Jn.4:10). In Ephesians chapters 1 and 2, Paul lists some of the spiritual blessings we have been freely given in Christ. We were chosen. We were predestined for adoption into the family of God. We have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses. We have obtained an inheritance. We have been sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who comes to live in us. We have experienced regeneration, or the new birth; being dead we were made alive. We have experienced reconciliation – having been separated and alienated, we have been brought near.
In Romans 8, Paul outlines the purpose of God for us. He says we were foreknown by God, predestined to be like his Son, called, justified, and glorified. And here we get a hint of the 'not yet'. All these words are in the past tense. We have been foreknown, predestined, called, and justified. Our sins are paid for. We have been bought with a price. God's wrath against our sin has been satisfied. We have peace with God. We have been adopted into his family. We have the gift of eternal life, and we have God's Spirit living inside of us. But we are not yet glorified. This is in the past tense because it is as certain as if it had already happened. He goes on to say that nothing can separate us from the love of God, and that since God has already demonstrated his great love for us in giving us the most costly gift imaginable, his own Son, we can be sure he will graciously give us all things.
Our glorification, from our perspective, is still future. We wait eagerly for God to fulfill all his promises to us. If we look earlier in Romans 8, we see what he means by glorification:
We have received the Spirit of adoption as sons; we are now children of God. We are heirs with Christ. But we have not yet been revealed as sons of God. We have not yet been glorified. We groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, specifically the redemption of our bodies. We have been transformed inwardly, spiritually. But we have not yet been transformed outwardly, physically. It is coming. It is guaranteed. But it has not happened yet. We hope. We wait for it with patience.
Paul says in:
We now have justification; the legal standing of righteousness before God. All our sins are gone and Christ's righteousness has been imputed to our account. But practically, in our thoughts, words and deeds, we are far from righteous. Paul expresses it best in Romans 7
We ourselves eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness. We have been justified, but we do not yet act like who we are. Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!
Our citizenship has already been transferred. We no longer belong to this evil world. We belong to heaven. But we are waiting for our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. By his own sovereign power he will transform even these lowly bodies to be like him.
Jude gives glory to God who:
That is something worth looking forward to! Think of that. To be presented before the presence of his glory -blameless! With great joy!Or listen to this:
One day Jesus will no more be doubted, despised and rejected by men (Is.53:3). One day,
Already, we have been given every spiritual blessing in Christ. Already we have no grace-gift lacking. We have been given faith, eternal life, election, adoption, propitiation, redemption, forgiveness, reconciliation, regeneration, justification, the indwelling Spirit, an inheritance. And yet, there is more to come.
Waiting for Jesus
What is it specifically that Paul thanks God that the Corinthians are waiting for?
They are waiting for a person. Jesus is coming again. Jesus promised that he would come. He said:
Jesus prayed to his Father
Jesus promised to come to us. He promised to prepare a place for us. He promised to come again and take us to himself, that where he is we may also be. He prayed for us that we would be with him, that we would see him as he is. We wait for Jesus. We wait for our Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus is Lord. He is King of kings, the Alpha and Omega, the great I AM, the sovereign one. He is Lord over all. But not just Lord over all, he is Lord over us. He is our Lord. He rules over me. He is my King. He is the one to whom I submit. He is Jesus, God come in the flesh, God become human. Immanuel, God with us. Jesus, who will save his people from their sins. He is the Christ, the Messiah, the Anointed One, our great Prophet, Priest and King. We wait for our King, Jesus, the promised Messiah. We wait for him to be revealed.
What does it mean for him to be revealed? The word choice here is interesting. It points to something hidden that will be revealed. The Corinthians, who prided themselves on knowledge, had to acknowledge that there was more yet to be revealed. There were things they didn't know. The Corinthians, who prided themselves on their abundance of spiritual gifts, had to see that there was something they didn't have yet, something that they were looking forward to, waiting for. They were waiting for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ. The revelation of Jesus will mean different things for different people. For all who depend solely on Jesus,
But for others,
The thought of Jesus being revealed should strike either intense joy or sheer terror into your heart, depending on your relationship with Jesus. Paul thanks God that the Corinthians were waiting for Jesus, looking forward to Jesus coming.
Practical Benefits of Waiting
What are some practical benefits of waiting? Waiting roots out pride and fosters humility. Waiting reminds us that we are not in control – God is. What we wait for, as well as what we already have, is a gift flowing out of God's generosity. We didn't earn it and we don't deserve it, so we have no room to boast in it.
Waiting also keeps our eyes fixed on the prize and our hearts in the right place. Jesus said “where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Mt.6:21). If Jesus is our greatest treasure, and we are eagerly waiting for him, that will be reflected in how we spend our time and resources.
Waiting encourages camaraderie in community. Notice, we are waiting for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ. We are fellow travelers on the same journey, weary pilgrims on the way, and we are not home yet. We all have the same end, the same goal in mind. When he says that you lack no spiritual gift, the you is plural. You the individual do not have every spiritual gift. God distributes gifts according to his purpose, and what you the individual lack, he has given to you the group, the body of Christ. We need one another. Waiting becomes more bearable when it is done with others.
Waiting also has a sanctifying effect. John says:
If what we are waiting for is seeing Jesus, which means for us total transformation and Christ-likeness, we begin to become like what we long for. When we see who Jesus is, the one who paid the ultimate price to save us from our sin, we are energized to put to death the sin that entangles us, fix our eyes on Jesus and more passionately pursue him.
I Thank God that together we are waiting for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ, and I pray that the practical benefits of waiting would become more and more evident in our lives. Come Lord Jesus!