The Called Out: Part 1
For the next few weeks, I am going to be doing an intense study out of I Corinthians. As we’ll notice in the first verse of I Corinthians, we see that the writer of I Corinthians is Paul. He wrote this book in about 59 AD at the close of his three-year residence at Ephesus (Acts 20:31). This book is the 46th book of the Bible, has 16 chapters, 5 Old Testament prophecies, 13 new prophecies, 377 verses of history, 55 unfulfilled verses and 5 verses of fulfilled prophecy.
In I Corinthians we will learn about the human spiritual condition, what false doctrine needed to be corrected in the church, Standards Christians are expected to live by, Christian marriage, Christian liberties, Christian Worship, Spiritual Gifts and their exercise as well as the Resurrection. The reason I feel that this is an important book to study is that I see a lot of correlation between the Church at Corinth and the church today. i pray that you get as much from this study as I pray that I do.
As we mentioned, in verse one, it talks about who Paul is. He is an apostle. Apostle is not a term we use much any more except in reference to the twelve disciples of Jesus and Paul . So what exactly is an Apostle? Apostle comes from the Greek word: which means one sent by God. An Apostle has power from God to go into a place as God’s representative. Paul was letting the people of Corinth know that he was sent by God, and was appointed by God to give them the message of the Good News that Jesus Christ came give himself as the ultimate sacrifice for our sins.
To make sure that the Corinthians knew that he was who he said he was, he dropped the name Sosthenes. Who is Sosthenes? In Acts 18:17 in mentions that there was a Sosthenes who had been the ruler of the synagogue. Could this have been the same person? I don’t know, but I can tell you that whoever he was, the Corinthians knew who the man was and if Paul was good enough for Sosthenes, then he should be important enough for the church at Corinth.
In verse two of I Corinthians, we learn that this book was written to the Church of God at Corinth. We get the word church from the Greek word (Strong’s 1577) ekklesia which was a popular meeting especially religious. At the time of the early church it was used as a reference to Jewish synagogues, but became a word that referred to members of the new sect, the religious congregation of Christians both still living on earth and those who had died. The origins of this word interests me because it comes from two Greek words (1537) ek which refers leaving a point of origin. And (25640 kaleo which means whose name is called. So the word ekklesia literally means ones who have been called out from where they were originally.
To me prayer is talking with God. When i say talking with God, I don’t just mean monologues where I run down my laundry list of things I want God to deal with. Rather, I have dialogs with God. I’ll ask a question and I’ll get an answer. Often I know it is God and not me because what I am hearing back is NOT what I want to hear, but I also know that what is said is meant to help me grow. One day I was talking with God about life and I suddenly asked him, “How do I know I belong to you?”
The words were as clear as day, “My sheep hear my voice. You hear my voice, so you are one of mine.”
I knew that what he was doing was quoting John 10:14-16. He was telling me that because I could hear his voice, I was following him.
Today i ask you if you know that you have been called? Do you hear the Shepherd’s voice? Do you know that you belong to him?
When I worked at a drug and alcohol rehab center, one of the clients asked me how I knew what I knew about God. I didn’t quote scripture to him. Instead I told him to ask God to reveal himself to him. Then I prayed. I prayed that God would in fact reveal himself to him. Two days later, the young man came to me. He was excited because he had asked God to speak to him and that morning, God did speak to him and called him by name. One note about this young man, he never came back to the center as a client. He became a Christian counselor.
How about you? Are you not sure that God exists? Don’t take my word for his existence. You can know. You can be as sure as I am that he exists. Just ask him, and he will reveal himself to you. He will speak to you. You will discover that he is already calling you. Will you answer him?
Has God has spoken to you and his words have been a catalyst for your faith? I would love to hear about it. Would you be kind enough to share your experience in a comment?
I look forward to learning with you.
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WOO HOO! I am looking forward to this journey! I particularly appreciate your thorough research! You rock, Donna!