Beginning his first epistle to the Corinthians (verses 1-9) Paul firmly places the whole letter on the foundation of the grace of God. He shows that in spite of all the problems in this church (problems that occupy most of the epistle) the Corinthian believers had already been "sanctified [set apart] in Christ", called and made holy in the sight of God. These were accomplished facts, not desires or ambitions. In short, they had been saved by grace and made eternally secure. Paul continues by pointing out that the abundance of spiritual gifts at Corinth was also a work of God's grace in which the church had been specially favoured. Why? Because the uniquely diverse character of the inhabitants of Corinth demanded that the church should be uniquely equipped to meet the opportunities and challenges of their city. Finally in verses 8-9 we learn that the grace of God is on-going for believers, becoming the spiritual "climate" in which they were privileged to live for the rest of their lives.
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