In everything you were enriched in Him, in all speech and all knowledge, even as the testimony concerning Christ was confirmed in you, so that you are not lacking in any gift.
–1 Corinthians 1:5-7
In 1 Corinthians 1, we find three practical benefits of grace. Yesterday we saw that God’s grace provides forgiveness from the past. There was a point in time at which God forgave us of all our sins. We cannot forgive ourselves; only God in His grace can do that.
Second, His grace gives us gifts for the present. Look at verses 5-7: “In everything you were enriched in Him, in all speech and all knowledge, even as the testimony concerning Christ was confirmed in you, so that you are not lacking in any gift.” The context here is ministry. Paul assumed if you have received the grace of God, if you are a saint who has been selected by God, you are going to be actively involved in ministry. So he was saying, “Because you are a recipient of grace, you have everything you need for ministry.”
Paul said we have “all speech”–that is, God will guide us in what we say when we are talking to somebody about Jesus Christ (v. 5). And we have “all knowledge”–that is, everything we need to know for ministry is contained in Scripture (v. 5). And we “are not lacking in any gift” (v. 7). When we are saved, God gives us a unique spiritual gift, a special desire and empowerment to be used in ministry. But Paul was also talking about the gift of the Holy Spirit Himself. The moment we are saved, God gives us everything we need to live a holy and productive life.
Finally, Paul said grace gives us not only forgiveness from the past and gifts for the present but also hope for the future. Look at verses 7-9: “You are . . . awaiting eagerly the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will also confirm you to the end, blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son.” Because you are a recipient of grace, because you have been stamped with the Holy Spirit of God as His guarantee, one day you can know for sure God is going to usher you into His presence.
How do we prepare for that inevitable day when we are going to face God? One way is to make sure we are living an obedient life, one that is consistent with our calling in Christ. Are you living right now in anticipation of the day when God is going to usher you into His presence? Are you living in a way consistent with who your heavenly Father is? I believe our study of 1 Corinthians over the next few months will help you learn how to do just that.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Straight Answers to Tough Questions” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2010.
Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org.