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

1 Corinthians 1: 1-3

 

Even the greeting in Paul’s’ letters carries weight. It has content and meaning. The Apostle tells us something about the way that he views God’s people and about the way that God desires for His entire kingdom to live. God called this man Paul out of the life that he had settled quite comfortably into, and the Lord had redirected him toward a life of service to the gospel of Jesus Christ. That change of course was radical in the extreme. Now Paul was already an all-in engaged worker in service to God. However, the problem was that Paul had no idea of who God truly was or about the way that the Lord was already working out the salvation of His creation.

 

So, the risen Christ pursued Paul, in a real sense He hunted him down, and Paul turned to Christ as his true Lord and master. From that point forward all of Paul’s life was committed to following Christ and to living as a servant of God’s will. As Paul greets the people of the church in Corinth and includes them with all of Christ’s followers in other places, he indicates that they all are recipients of the cleansing salvation that God granted through Jesus Christ and that they too, like Paul, were called by God into service to His kingdom. In Paul’s view of things he did have a special calling as an apostle that carried with it certain obligations and duties, but all people who follow Christ are called to live in a like manner.

 

We are granted the blessing of adoption into God’s holy family. Thus, we are all placed under the authority and the lordship of Christ. We are not just granted the gift of grace which saves us from our sinful state of existence, but we are filled with Christ’s grace which frees us to engage with our world fully and totally as Jesus, Himself, did while bodily on earth. Christ also provides His people with the peace of eternity that allows us to live in the center of love with its calming influence on our hearts and minds. This is a peace that spreads the holy oil of God’s blessing upon the troubled waters of our world. This is a peace that allows God’s grace and His desire for reconciliation the opportunity to speak salvation to the lost. As followers of Christ, we are all called, like Paul, to live continually in the reality of God’s grace and peace, and we are also commissioned by God to be a source of that same grace and peace in our world.