I love 1 Corinthians 1:9. It’s been a favorite verse of mine since I was a teenager. As I was reading in the chapter, earlier this week, verses 4-9 jumped out at me in a way they had not before. They are grouped together. The paragraph ends with verse 9 declaring: “God is faithful through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Christ Jesus our Lord.”
It is a great verse to memorize. It stands on its own as a beautiful reminder of the faithfulness of God. Just the first phrase alone is true and is a comfort in troubling times: “God is faithful.” Taking it with the preceding verses, 1 Cor. 1:9 is like the final brush stroke on a portrait of God’s faithfulness.
“I thank my God always concerning you…” God is faithful. I can always be thanking Him as I think of you and pray for you, because He is always thinking of you and working in you.
“…for the grace of God which was given you in Christ Jesus…” God is faithful. He has through Jesus given you His grace. His grace is not only for salvation, but for growth and sanctification. It is the freely given power, or enabling, which brings about His divine purpose in us and through us.
“…that in everything you were enriched in Him…” God is faithful. He hasn’t missed anything. He has supplied everything we need. Not just in a matter-of-fact sense. Not merely adequately. Rather He enriches us. If the implication is not abundance, at the very least it is a nourishing that improves and increases and lasts.
“…in all speech and all knowledge…” God is faithful. He enriches us in all speech and all knowledge. “Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person” Colossians 4:6. In Philippians 1:9 Paul prays your love will abound in real knowledge and all discernment. God gives us what we need to understand truth and to communicate truth in love.
“…even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you…” God is faithful. The work He began in Christ – foretold through the prophets, announced to Joseph and Mary, introduced by John the Baptist, observed and attested to by the apostles and other disciples, and repeated through the ages – He has and does confirm through and in us, His followers.
“…so that you are not lacking in any gift…” God is faithful. By enriching us in all speech and all knowledge, He supplies all we need to rest in Him, abide in Him, and testify of Him. All the grace, the enabling, the power, to live for Him is ours. We have only to faith the faithful God.
“…awaiting eagerly the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ…” God is faithful. As hard as it is for some to accept, this relatively obscure, itinerant, peripatetic, Jewish teacher, who lived 2000 years ago, rose from the dead and promised to return. God is faithful to have continued to reveal Him to and through those willing to follow Him. And He will be faithful to that ultimate revelation of His return for His followers, just as He promised.
“…who will also confirm you to the end, blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ…” God is faithful. He will complete His work in You. He will complete His work in the world. When He does, He will confirm before all the validity of your faith in Him. When that day of confirmation comes, you will be confirmed blameless because of your faith in the finished work of Christ Jesus on your behalf.
The God who called you into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, truly is faithful. “Faithful is He who called you, and He also will bring it to pass” (1 Thessalonians 5:24). “For it is God who is at work in you both to will and to work for His good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13).