Who Will God Use in 2022?
By Toby Crowder
“Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother, Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.” – 1 Cor 1:1-3
Here we are at the beginning of another New Year… and many will resolve to do things like lose weight, exercise, or fulfill “bucket list” items. As fun and challenging as these things can be, how often do we consider including God in our plans for the coming year? While none of us want to be unfruitful… or unfaithful… it seems that commitment is sometimes difficult to find. It does not take very long in studying the Bible to find that God has always used His people to help accomplish His plans. It is crucial for us, as the church, to realize the importance of answering this question.
In our scripture above, Paul is addressing the church at Corinth… and it was full of problems. There were divisions, fornication, and even litigation, as well as several other issues that he would address in this letter. Even though Paul had much to say to this church before he began his letter… he saluted them. This salutation reminded them of who he was, but also reminded them of who (and whose) they were. With that in mind, consider with me this thought… “Who will God use in 2022?”
I believe that God will use the REDEEMED. Notice that instead of signing letters at the end, as we do, Paul immediately identified himself. Here Paul reminds them of his calling for he is an apostle of God…through God’s will! This was not what Paul had planned for his life. It was not his will… it was God’s. Not only does he remind them of his purpose, but he reminds them in v.2 that they are the church of God! They are sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be saints! There was work there for them in the church, and this is who God would use. He addressed them as “the church which is at Corinth.” This word for church is ecclesia… “the set apart.” Regardless of where we are serving, we are the redeemed, the saved, the blood-bought; and that is who God uses both in Paul’s day as well as our day.
Second, notice that He will use the RIGHTEOUS. Even though this was a church that had its share of problems, (which Paul would address later in his letter), their position in Him is secure… “sanctified in Christ Jesus.” There is no other way to be sanctified or to achieve righteousness. It is only by being sanctified in Christ Jesus that these were to be called the saints of God. At salvation, our standing changes before God, and our position changes from guilty to justified. While justification is an act, sanctification is a process, and we grow in His grace and knowledge (2 Pet 3:18) as we serve Him.
Finally, I believe that God will use the RESOLVED. Resolve means to: make a decision, or to “settle an argument.” Notice in v.3 that Paul salutes them with Grace and Peace from the Father and also from the Lord, Jesus Christ. Grace was the Gentile greeting of the time, and Peace was its Jewish equivalent. By using these together, Paul was reminding them that they were all ONE in Christ! They were those, regardless of origin, who claimed Him as Lord. Many say that we claim Him as Lord…. But do we recognize Him as such? Are we resolved to know Him as Lord and allow that Lordship to guide us as we serve together?
While the apostle Paul had a unique calling, the same God that called him to be faithful enables us to do likewise as we serve Him. Who will God use in 2022? In Christ Jesus, we are the REDEEMED and the RIGHTEOUS … But will we also be resolved? Who will God use this year… will it be you?
Toby Crowder serves as Pastor of Mt. Carmel Baptist Church in Spruce Pine. He and his wife Leslie have been married for 26 years and have two daughters, Emilee, and Katy. He can be contacted via the church’s website MCfamilyforChrist.org or email@example.com
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