1 Corinthians 1:8-9
“He will also keep you firm to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, who has called you into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.”
The Church at Corinth surpassed most of its contemporaries in gifts and talents. They had no shortage of teachers and notable personalities. They also had a number of problems and their share of infighting, finger pointing, and divisive individuals, who among other things were looking for personal gain. How were they ever going to stand firm to the end? What would unify this fragmented fellowship of believers? No single individual was to blame, there was enough of that to go around for sure. How would God ever be glorified in this mess?
God is Faithful
The Church at Corinth like all believers was invited into this fellowship with Christ. In the midst of this mess that Paul was addressing he tells the Church that “God is faithful, who has called you into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord” 1 Corinthians 1:9. This and this alone was the answer to all their problems; “God is faithful.” He and He alone as their active partner in this relationship, could make them blameless on the day of Christ.
Paul knew that this was God’s work by grace and grace alone. God Himself would enable all believers to eventually stand before Christ blameless and without spot. He had prayed this very thing for the Thessalonian Church a few years before: “May he strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all his holy ones” (1 Thessalonians 3:13).
All who genuinely love God in Christ, will eventually stand before Him on that last day blameless. In our passage Paul says “God is faithful.” The word faithful here is “pistos,” which carries the idea of being absolutely trustworthy, and reliable. Paul was teaching this truth to all the Churches. They could never be blameless before God by keeping the Law, no matter how hard they tried. Nothing from within themselves could ever be strong enough to overcome the natural fallen human tendency to sin. This “sin problem” was already overcome for them by Jesus Christ himself.
Secured by God’s Keeping Power
Before telling the Church God is faithful, Paul tells them what it is that God can be counted on to accomplish for them. In verse 8 of our passage he says “He will also keep you firm to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Burn that statement into your consciousness! The word “keep” here is “bebaiosei” which means to establish, guarantee, as well as to stabilize! “He will also keep you firm to the end” is God’s work not theirs, and therefore not ours either.
Like the Church at Corinth, God’s people always had a tendency to occasionally make a mess of things. He assured His people in the Old Testament that He would be faithful to keep them by His own power; “Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments” (Deuteronomy 7:9). Today, not being under the Law but under grace, the commandment we keep by God’s grace is to Love – God and others (John 13:34, 1 John 3:23). His grace is more than sufficient to empower us to cooperate with Him!
Believe God is Faithful and Will Keep You as well
Believe in God’s faithfulness. Believe in His keeping power to secure and to establish you in the faith. God is ready willing and able to clean up and straighten out any mess, if you will call on Him and believe Him to do it for you and in you. Do not lose hope regardless of how bad thing may be. Be “confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6 ). Be filled with hope, Be always in fellowship with Him who called you to it, Be confident in Him, and Be Encouraged! -JSP