1 Corinthians 15:1 Now I would remind you, brothers and sisters, of the good news that I proclaimed to you, which you in turn received, in which also you stand, 2 through which also you are being saved, if you hold firmly to the message that I proclaimed to you—unless you have come to believe in vain.
Here the apostle Paul gets to one of his most important points in his letter to the church in Corinth. It would appear that some in Corinth who heard the gospel from Paul and became Christians are falling away from the faith, from the church, from the source of life that is the gospel.
v.2a (through the gospel) you are being saved…
To Western readers, saved” is generally thought to mean “saved from hell at judgment”. We think it’s about going to heaven one day in the by and by. I don’t believe that’s all that Paul is referring to here.
Yes, being saved includes spending eternity with God in the life to come, but it also means living in the ways of life and blessing now. When we become children of God by faith we accept God’s will and ways as exemplified by the life of Jesus. We obey God’s commands, by the power of the spirit. Do we do so perfectly? No. That’s why God made provision for us to confess our sin and be restored to the him through his abundanct grace and mercy.
v.2b … hold firmly to the message that I proclaimed to you—unless you have come to believe in vain.
What’s Paul getting at here? While God will never walk away from us, we can certainly walk away from God. We walk away from God when we walk away from the will and ways of God – ways of being and living that give us life the way God intended.
When we reject God’s ways and return to our own ways, or the ways of the world, we embrace death masquerading as life.
I’ve mentioned in this space before that I’ve been focusing on keeping the Sabbath, which is one of God’s 10 commandments. It’s sort of a big deal to God or it wouldn’t have made that list. Yet I have not been good at keeping the Sabbath over the years.
When I don’t take time to rest with God I find myself running on fumes. I find that I’m not able to give my best to the people I love the most because I’ve already given away the best part of my day to others. In essence, my own family can get the leftovers if I’m not careful. Know what I mean?
Another application of this principal for me is writing this blog first thing in the morning. It’s a way that I give to God the first fruits of my day, and I find it always makes the rest of the day much more fruitful. It’s great to orient my day by spending time in the word of God. At last count there are over 1,100 who receive this blog every day. We do this together, which is a way of honoring the Father, who will honor us as well.
Question: where might you be walking away from the will and ways of God? Walking away from God is something that tends to happen one small step at a time, over the course of months or years. If you’re not careful, you’ll look up and be very far from God indeed. If you’ve been walking away, NOW is the time to recognize this, repent of your sin, and be restored to the Father. TODAY.
Heavenly Father, you know that we love you and want to abide in you. Yet, you also know we tend to walk away from you. It happens slowly, one small step at a time, but it does happen. Today we confess to you the ways we’ve drifted from you. Give us grace to, once again, embrace your ways. Help us to walk in obedience and experience true life now and forever. Amen.