I Thank My God Always Concerning You

“I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given to you by Christ Jesus, that you were enriched in everything by Him in all utterance and all knowledge, even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you, so that you come short in no gift, eagerly waiting for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will also confirm you to the end, [that you may be] blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.” {1 Corinthians 1:4-9 NKJV}

In this passage, Paul expresses his thankfulness for the brethren in Corinth. This is not an unusual sentiment for the apostle:

  • “First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world.” {Romans 1:8 NKJV}
  • “Therefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers:” {Ephesians 1:15-16 NKJV}
  • “We give thanks to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of your love for all the saints;” {Colossians 1:3-4 NKJV}

Paul’s thankfulness for the Corinthian brethren was not unique to those brethren. However, it may surprise some to hear Paul’s thankfulness for these brethren considering some other things Paul had to say about this church:

  • They were divided and contentious: “For it has been declared to me concerning you, my brethren, by those of Chloe’s [household], that there are contentions among you. Now I say this, that each of you says, ‘I am of Paul,’ or ‘I am of Apollos,’ or ‘I am of Cephas,’ or ‘I am of Christ.'” {1 Corinthians 1:11-12 NKJV}
  • They were spiritually immature: “And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual [people] but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ. I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able [to receive it], and even now you are still not able; for you are still carnal. For where [there are] envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like [mere] men?” {1 Corinthians 3:1-3 NKJV}
  • They were arrogant: “Now some are puffed up, as though I were not coming to you. But I will come to you shortly, if the Lord wills, and I will know, not the word of those who are puffed up, but the power.” {1 Corinthians 4:18-19 NKJV}
  • They were tolerating sexual immorality in the church: “It is actually reported [that there is] sexual immorality among you, and such sexual immorality as is not even named among the Gentiles–that a man has his father’s wife!” {1 Corinthians 5:1 NKJV}
  • They were taking each other to law: “But brother goes to law against brother, and that before unbelievers!” {1 Corinthians 6:6 NKJV}

So, how could Paul be still be thankful for these brethren? The keys are in the text we started with:

  • “The grace of God which was given to you by Christ Jesus”
  • “The testimony of Christ was confirmed in you”
  • “That you may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ”
  • “You were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ.”

Paul was thankful for the shared relationship in Christ. It was not about his brethren being perfect, but about them being fellow heirs in Christ. His desire for them was that they would reach their full potential in Christ.

Are we only thankful for brethren with whom we share common interests or with whom see as spiritually strong and mature? We should be thankful for all of our brethren and pray for them to reach their spiritual potential in Christ!

Dan Fontenot
(Note: Verse references are clickable links that will open the verses in context in BlueLetterBible.org)

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