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#914 – Called as Saints in Christ Jesus (1 Corinthians 1:1–2)

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Hey, I’m David Platt. I want to thank you for joining us for Pray the Word where we just spend time each day on this podcast just reading through a verse or two of scripture, talking about what we just read and then praying based on God’s word. If you’ve followed Pray the Word for very long, you know that we usually walk through entire books of the Bible over the course of several days or weeks and just choose a verse or two from each chapter, and move from chapter to chapter each day.

But today we’re going to start something a little new for a series through 1 Corinthians, where we’re going to spend an entire week of Pray the Word episodes. So seven Pray the Word episodes in one chapter. Part of this is because McLean Bible church, where I have the privilege of pastoring in greater Washington DC, we’re walking through a sermon series where I’m preaching from a chapter in 1 Corinthians on one Sunday. And then the rest of that week, each day we’re reading the same chapter. Instead I’ve got a reading for breadth as far as a lot of scripture reading for depth, and really diving deep into that chapter.

So I thought it’d be helpful not just for the members of our church who fall along with Pray the Word, but also for other Pray the Word listeners even if you’re not following along in that kind of Bible reading plan, which you’re obviously welcome to do. We invite you to read along through 1 Corinthians. If you’d like, but even if you’re not, it’ll give an opportunity to really pray through different verses in one particular chapter of scripture. So we’ll spend about seven days on one chapter of scripture, then move on the next week to the next chapter and spend seven days there, and just really soak in the 16 chapters in 1 Corinthians. I hope it will be edifying, encouraging to you as we really meditate on what God’s word is teaching us in 1 Corinthians and pray according to it.

“Paul, called by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus and our brother Sosthenes, to the church of God that is in Corinth. To those sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints together with all those who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours.”
(1 Corinthians 1:1–2)

There’s so much here just in these first couple of verses, and specifically verse two. So I want you to think about the church of God that is in Corinth and how the church is described. Two things I think stick out: one is they’re described as those who are sanctified and called to be saints. Like the picture here, sanctification, saints, it’s like a picture of holiness. It’s a picture of a righteousness. But you read through the rest of this book and you realize the people at Corinth were pretty messed up.

Lord we give You thanks for calling us to Yourself. Please continue to make us more like Christ. Sanctify us by Your grace today.

There are major issues going on there. There are some major challenges. There are people giving into all kinds of temptations. This is a church that’s struggling in a lot of different ways. Yet from the very beginning, like verse two says you’re saints and you’re sanctified. That in and of itself is an awesome reality. Because you look at our lives, our churches, we’re pretty messed up too. We given the temptations, we have all kinds of different struggles. But to realize that because of what Jesus has done for us, we are saints! We’re sanctified in Christ Jesus. We’ve been made righteous in Christ. We are being made Holy more and more and more as we follow Christ. This is an awesome reality that you and I would be called saints. Like who are you? Who am I to be called a Saint, to be called sanctified in Christ Jesus?

You might think, “Wait, I’m way too messed up to be called that,” but that’s kind of the point in the gospel. We’re all messed up. And by the grace of God in Christ Jesus, we are made saints, sanctified in him through what he did for us. Which leads to the second thing just to think about: we’re called to be saints, to gather with those who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. So the way that word calling is used from the very beginning, that we’re called to be saints. That’s a picture of God’s grace in our lives. Why are we saints? Because God called us to himself, because God sent his son Jesus to die on a cross for us. And then he sent his spirit to draw us to himself. We are saints solely by the gracious calling of God. He’s called us to salvation.

What is salvation? Salvation is calling upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. So we have been called by God in Christ, and we call on God through Christ. So we pray, God, thank you for calling us to yourself. Thank you for calling us saints. We don’t deserve this. Who are we before you, God? Even right now, you would say of us we are sanctified in Christ Jesus. Called to be Saints. Oh, God, we praise you for your grace and we pray we want to live in this. We want to walk in this.

We want to experience the fullness of our identity in Christ. So just as we called upon the name of Jesus to save us from the start, from the moment you called us to yourself, we call upon you today and we ask you, make us Holy. Make us righteous, make us pure. God, make us more like Jesus. We pray. Help us to live out the fullness of what you’ve called us to in sanctification. Make us Holy. Today we pray all by your grace, all by your mercy, all by your power working in us. All by your power working in us, your spirit sanctifying us. May it be so today we pray as your saints called by your name, in Jesus name we pray. Amen.

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radical.net/biblereadingplan

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David Platt serves as pastor at McLean Bible Church in Washington, D.C. He is the founder and president of Radical. He is the author of several books, including Radical, Radical Together, Follow Me, and Counter Culture.
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