Having finished blogging through the book of Colossians, I now intend, if God allows, to do the same with the book of I Corinthians. Today we will look at the opening verse of that book:
Paul, called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and our brother Sosthenes. (I Corinthians 1:1 NIV).
Paul here is writing a letter of encouragement and admonishment to the Corinthian church from somewhere else, probably across the Aegean sea in Ephesus. Sosthenes, possibly a Jewish believer from Corinth (Acts 18:17), is traveling with him, sending his greetings in Paul’s letter.
In this letter Paul calls himself an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God. This is a reminder to us that God is the one who ordains our legitimate ministry. We cannot obey God while doing whatever we want. We must do what He wants. There have been some whom God has chosen for public ministries who were reluctant to accept them (Exodus 44:10-11, Jonah 1:2-3). Likewise, there have been others who have desired a specific, important ministry, yet God chose not to give it to them (Numbers 16:9-10, I Chronicles 17:4). We need to trust our futures to God, and serve him faithfully as pastor, janitor, missionary, prisoner, or whatever else he calls us to. If you are a young person planning your future, be sure to seek God’s will and ask Him what He wants you to do. Just because you enjoy Christian ministry–or dread it–may not necessarily indicate whether or not you are called to vocational ministry. You must honestly try to do not what will make you “happiest” but what is best for the church at large. You must be willing to submit to God and change your plans if God reveals to you that your dreams are the result of your own selfish desires. Do not follow after your dreams, but change your dreams as God reveals to you the need for them to change.