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CALLED TO BE HOLY

Daily Devotional 1 Corinthians 1:1–9


Is this person “the one”? Should I pursue this job or that one? Is now the time to move or invest or retire? Whenever we are confused or concerned about more specific questions of calling, God’s general call anchors us.


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.

1 CORINTHIANS 1:2


When we don’t know what to do, we ask God for wisdom, walk in faith, and pursue what He asks of all His followers all the time. While we may not even know how to pray, the Spirit utters groanings (Rom. 8:26).


In today’s passage, Paul introduced himself to the church at Corinth—one of the largest cities in the Roman Empire, strategically located on a major trade route. Paul had spent many months in Corinth during his second missionary journey, establishing this church. Corinth, however, was also full of sin: immorality, idolatry, greed.


Three years later, Paul learned that the Corinthian church was struggling. He begins his letter by reasserting his own credibility: “Paul, called [kletos] to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God” (v. 1). God had given Paul this position and bestowed on him the authority to speak on His behalf.


He reminded the Corinthians of God’s call on them to be “holy” (v. 2). They were to be set apart and pure. This expectation was not unique to them! Paul explained that it was for “all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (v. 2).


Ancient letters typically included a word of thanks after the greeting, and Paul follows that convention (vv. 4–9). Despite the corruptness in Corinth, Paul expressed gratitude for God’s grace to them—in the form of teaching and spiritual gifts. Paul’s hope was in God who is faithful, and who had called (kaleo) the Corinthian church into fellowship with Christ.


>> When we are confused about a difficult decision, we can be anchored by our faith in Christ and God’s call for us to be “holy” (v. 2). How does Paul’s challenge for believers to be set apart for God’s purpose affect your choices?


Pray with Us


Father, from sinful temptations to worldly pressures, the Enemy has many tactics to distract and misdirect us. Help us pursue You with all our heart and with all our soul and with all our strength (Deut. 6:5).

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