Have you ever been in a conversation with a name-dropper? These people look for every opportunity to tell you about all the powerful or important people they know. The reason for this behavior is not hard to discern. By highlighting their relationship with these important people, they hope to gain admiration and respect.
This week we are focusing on another gift we have received in the coming of Jesus—the gift of relationship. Because Christ came to earth to live among us, we can have a close relationship with Him. For the next days, we will examine what makes the relationship possible, several different aspects of it, and what this gift of relationship means for the believer.
In today’s reading, Paul opens his first letter to the church in Corinth by highlighting their relationship with Christ. Three times he reminds the Corinthians that they are “in Christ” (vv. 2, 4, 5). This phrase emphasizes our close connection to Him. We aren’t just inching closer to Him, we are intimately connected. Our identity is bound up with His (Rom. 6:1–14).
Paul gives thanks to God for the grace that has been given to the Corinthians “in Christ Jesus” (1 Cor. 1:4). Through this relationship, God has provided them with spiritual gifts to help them minister in the present (v. 7). He will also help them endure faithfully until Christ returns (v. 8). Everything they have in Christ is a gift from their initial conversion, to their continued growth in holiness, to their secure hope for the future. Paul reminds them of their primary calling. God has called them, first and foremost, “into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord” (v. 9).
>> The word “fellowship” means much more than a surface friendliness. At its root, the word communicates the idea of “sharing” or of “being a shareholder” in something. As believers, we share in the life of Christ. How can you deepen your fellowship with other believers?
Heavenly Father, guide us into deeper relationship with Christ, and from the growth of this relationship—into more perfect fellowship with other believers. Thank You for the consolation and comfort to know You personally.