What is most remarkable about these verses is that they are even here at all. This whole letter is a scathing rebuke. This church was seriously messed up in nearly every category. We have spent two years studying all of their dysfunction. And yet the last words Paul has to say to them is, My love be with you all in Christ Jesus.
What? He loves them? How could the Apostle love such a messed up group of spiritual nutcases and whiners and complainers like these Corinthians?
The same way God loves a messed of group of Christians like us. Here is 1 Corinthians; 16 chapters of, You have blown it!! The last words? I still love you.
Friends, this is the gospel on vivid display. It is not that we are a perfect church filled with perfect people. We are all too often sinful non-loving ingrates yet God loves us anyway. He doesn’t quit on us or throw us under the bus. This is the love of God. There is hardly a sin or attitude that you can confess that wasn’t happening in Corinth. Maybe like them, you’ve blown it big time. You think, there’s no way God would let me in his church! You’re a Corinthian. We’re all Corinthians. None of us deserve to be here. If the truth were known about any of our hearts, we would die of embarrassment and quickly leave. Yet God knows our hearts and yet his final word is, I love you. This doesn’t eliminate the need for repentance and Paul strongly condemns any that don’t love Christ in v. 22. Yet, for any who receive Christ’s love and forgiveness, there is unending grace from God to us.
If there was love for even the Corinthians, than there is love and grace for us. And if there is love and grace for us, than there is love and grace for you.
You see, because of Christ, God’s love toward us bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. God’s love for us, never ends.
How should we respond? Wonder. Love. Commitment. Dedication. Worship.
Scripture quotations are taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
© 2011 Steve DeWitt. You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce and distribute this material in any format provided that: (1) you credit the author, (2) any modifications are clearly marked, (3) you do not charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction, (4) you include Bethel’s web site address (http://www.bethelweb.org/) on the copied resource.
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