Will of God

1 Corinthians 1:1-3 

1Paul, called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and our brother Sosthenes, 2To the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be his holy people, together with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ—their Lord and ours: 3Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.


            Do want you to learn from the Holy Scripture? How serious are you? If you are very serious, what one practical matter do you desire to know personally and clearly from the word of God? Have you known the will of God for you, yet?

Do you know how you may discover the will of God specifically for you?

The will of God is most desired but only serious believers had discovered it.

            May each of us come to know the will of God specifically as we embark on a series of sermons from 1 Corinthians! According to traditional belief, Apostle Paul had written four letters to the church in Corinth but only two letters had survived. The book of 1 Corinthians is assumed to have been written between A.D. 53-55.

            Apostle Paul was informed about problems in the church in Corinth, and he addressed them in his letter. He made sure that the church knew that his letter contain his name as the writer. He also included his calling as apostle of Christ.

1.  Call

1Paul, called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and our brother Sosthenes,

            Paul was very confident that his call as apostle of Christ is the will of God. His confidence that he was called as apostle was exhibited in his sincere service to Christ. The term “apostle” is properly translated as, “messenger sent on mission.” Missionaries are messengers sent on missions; they are the present day apostles.

            The Lord Jesus Christ personally sent Apostle Paul on a mission to take the gospel to the Gentiles. Initially, Apostle Paul tried to preach among Jewish people, but they persecuted him, instead of listening to him. Why? Specifically, Apostle Paul wrote in Galatians 2:8, 8For God, who was at work in Peter as an apostle to the circumcised, was also at work in me as an apostle to the Gentiles.

God had designated other apostles to reach out to the Jewish people and not Apostle Paul. Surely, God allowed Apostle Paul to follow his instinct to preach among Jewish people. Why? When he was persecuted by Jewish people, his faith was tested. The grace of God is sufficient enough to sustain him nevertheless.

Sometimes, God allows persecutions to redirect us to the right path of our calling. Every believer has been given a specific calling. What is your calling? Some believers are called into fulltime ministry. God situates us where we testify.

Have you discovered where God wants you to testify of his transformational work in your life? If you are not sure yet about your calling, remain where you are in the mean time, and pray for enlightenment. Don’t make rush conclusion, just for the sake of making decision or just to show off to others that you were called.

Am I called as Missionary?

The Lord may have been calling you, but make sure if you were called as missionary, preacher, pastor, teacher or evangelist. Where can you start with?

Be prayerful and get involved in ministries you were invited to join.

Personally, I was inspired by life stories of many missionaries in the past. When I joined a local mission, I had fantastic moments in sharing the gospel to strangers. Initially, I assumed that I was called to serve the Lord as missionary.

One professor told me, “Lorenzo, if you return from missions, and you are financially broke, you answered the wrong call.” I took my family to the mission field. It was a very memorable time, and we experienced provision of the Lord.

After we return home from the mission field, I wasn’t very sure if I continue as career missionary. I prayed for guidance and waited, and now, we are here.

You heard of difficult missionary struggles. Our share of challenges was not comparable to the sufficient grace of God that we have cherished in mission field.

Apostle Paul testified of the assurance that the Lord stated in 2 Corinthians 12:9: 9“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”

The grace of God is sufficient, specifically for believers who respond to his call. The Lord provides everything we need for godly life as practical proof of his sufficient grace. When observers see how God sustains us, they may praise him.

Jewish people persecuted Apostle Paul, and he’s persecuted by the Gentiles also. He testified about his struggles while sharing the gospel of Christ wherever he went. He mentioned the name Sosthenes at the beginning of his letter. Why?

It says in Acts 18:17, 17The crowd there turned on Sosthenes the synagogue leader and beat him in front of the proconsul and Gallio showed no concern whatever.

The Jewish people complained before the proconsul Gallio but they were ignored. They persecuted Sosthenes because he was Synagogue leader, and he allowed Apostle Paul to preach the gospel of Christ in their synagogue. Despite persecution, why did Apostle Paul keep serving wherever the Lord sent him?

Grace from God sustained him; he also looked forward to eternal reward.

Colossian 3:23-24 says, 23In all the work you are given, do the best you can. Work as though you are working for the Lord, not any earthly master. 24Remember that you will receive your reward from the Lord, who will give you what he promised his people. Yes, you are serving Christ. He is your real Master. (ETRV)

Let us be reminded of our purposes and mission as a church: To reach out to people for Christ, nurture and disciple them to Christ-like maturity, equip them for their ministry in the church and mission in the world, for the glory of God.

            The Lord has given us mission purposes individually. He mandated us to be his witnesses and to make disciples; he had already prepared someone to hear from us and believe in his name. Pray for divine appointment to identify potential believer that we may disciple. By the way, how did the church come out with that mission statement? Church leaders prayed and wrote the idea that came to their mind; they presented to the congregation, and church members approved it.

2.  Church

2To the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be his holy people, together with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ—their Lord and ours:

When believers agree to assemble in the church building, they’ll say, “Let’s go to church!” What is the “church?” The Greek term “Ekklessia” translated as “church” in English is properly interpreted as congregation or assembly of believers. Why is it that a building where a congregation of believers assembles is often called “church” instead of saying, “church building?” It testifies to confusion or laziness of saying the complete term “church building.” Can you accept that?

What can we do to avoid confusion of what we believe as the true meaning of church? How can we educate believers that the church is a congregation of believers and not the building where we assemble? How about if we agree and  come up with a proper name for our TMEC Building like: MapleSquare, MapleCity, MapleGarden, MapleCentre, MapleLife or TMECLattan. What do you think?

Apostle Paul wrote to the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be his holy people, together with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ—their Lord and ours:

Observe the pronoun “those” as description of the church; it is not singular.

The plurality of pronoun “those” pertains to a congregation or an assembly of believers in the city of Corinth. Apostle Paul made it very clear when he wrote “to the church of God in Corinth, he wrote to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be his holy people.” He expected them to read his letter.

Certainly, a building cannot read the letter of Paul, a building cannot hear when the Lord calls for holiness to him, a building cannot call on the name of the Lord, right? When Apostle Paul added, “together with all those everywhere who call on the name Christ,” proper grammar dictates that the pronoun “who” pertains to persons who can read; a building can’t read.

The English term “church” properly pertains to congregation of believers who were called to be sanctified in Christ and set apart as holy people of God.

Are you sanctified in Christ, consecrated, purified, set apart holy for him?

Personally, what transformation have you practically experienced in your life yet?

When the Lord calls us, he sets us apart from worldly behavior and transforms us. When we are transformed, we desire to obey and serve the Lord.

The Lord gives us his Hoy Spirit when by faith we believe in Christ. And he also gave us spiritual gift. Our spiritual gift helps us know which ministry the Lord prepared for us to serve him. We can serve God as a church or individually.

When the church is healthy, we function together; it’s gratifying also.

It declares in Romans 12:4-8, 4For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 6We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; 7if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; 8if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.

            Discover your spiritual gift and you would certainly sense gratification in your Christian life. The pandemic has exposed that it is not very desirable to be isolated. Right? Discover and get involved in the ministry that God had prepared for you. Start with discovering your spiritual gift. If you are not very sure yet which ministry God has called you to be involved with, pray for discernment.

            When you hear an invitation, as if a small voice is calling you and you sense some sort of enthusiasm, join. Once you discovered which ministry God has called you to be involved, for sure, you’ll sense more of his grace, peace and clemency.

3.  Clemency

3Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

            Before we have peace with God, we were subjected to his wrath. When by his grace, through faith in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, God exhibited his clemency and mercy, and believers in Christ have experienced his forgiveness.

            Clemency is compassionate mercy and not just about the forgiveness of sin but also tolerance, patience and forbearance of God, especially, when we disobey him intentionally or accidentally. It is when we sense the clemency of God that we also sense peace from him. Why? Sin causes guilt and shame. With his clemency or compassionate mercy, God forgives us when we sincerely repent of our sins.


            Do you know of any individual who was falsely accused and imprisoned? When one is imprisoned because he was falsely accused of a crime, then he was found not guilty, will that prisoner be thankful when he was given freedom?

            But is if a prisoner admitted a crime, he was imprisoned, and then after a while the government gave him a pardon and relieved him from all of the legal consequences of his criminal conviction, he is certainly be thankful, do you agree?

            Similarly, we sense gratitude in our heart, when by his grace God forgave us of our sins. God has shown us his compassionate mercy and clemency even while we were still sinners, he sent his Son Jesus Christ to redeem us from sin. Reflect on Romans 3:23-26, 23All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. 25God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished — 26he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.

            Have you sincerely repented of your sins and receive forgiveness from God? Do you accept that Jesus Christ had redeemed you from the slavery of sin? Do you personally accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior?

If so, it’s very appropriate for you to join our celebration of the Lord’s Supper as we remember his great love for us exhibited at his sacrificial death on the cross.

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