Most of us grew up with a nickname or two. Some names were intended to build up, and sadly, some would tear down. The sweetest of these names came to me as a child. No matter what I had done, I knew where I stood with my dad when he called me “pumpkin”. This was a term of endearment and one that communicated that I was his daughter and I was deeply loved regardless of my imperfections.

Names are a powerful thing. They can identify position, personality, value, and worthiness. They can also identify a lack thereof. As Paul approached the church in Corinth, he knew the state of their community. He knew of their sin and their self-centeredness, but he also knew of their intrinsic value as children of God.

In Paul’s greeting to the Corinthians, he takes the opportunity multiple times to remind these people of who they are in Christ. In verse 2 of 1st Corinthians, he calls them saints; sanctified together. Verse 5 says that because of the grace that they have in Christ Jesus, their speech and knowledge is rich. Verse 6 reminds them that Christ’s testimony has been confirmed amongst them. In other words, Paul sees clear evidence of their faith in Christ; the gifts that God had bestowed were evident in their community and served as a testimony for Christ. Then Paul makes a bold declaration in verses 7 and 8 saying, “Now you have every spiritual gift you need as you eagerly wait for the return of our Lord Jesus Christ. He will keep you strong to the end so that you will be free from all blame on the day when our Lord Jesus Christ returns.” He calls them blameless, pure, and holy. He declares their sainthood and reminds them of God’s faithfulness by inviting them into fellowship with other believers because of their relationship with Jesus Christ their Lord.

Over the next year, as we journey with Paul and the church in Corinth, we will see that these people are far from perfect from a human perspective. Yet God, with full awareness of their imperfections, gives them a name: holy.

If you are a child of Christ then he has called you holy as well. Yet this is not just a term of endearment. This is the Creator of the universe declaring you righteous and he will give you the strength to live as such until the day of his return. Go live in this power!

Lynette Fuson
Director of Care & Counseling

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