Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Blessed Christian Greetings

1Co 1:1 Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother,
1Co 1:2 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:
1Co 1:3 Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
1Co 1:4 I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ;
1Co 1:5 That in every thing ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge;

Paul was so gracious in his salutations to the brethren of various churches. Here, he bestows wishes of God's grace, peace and enrichment upon the Corinthian believers.

But what is easily overlooked is that another brother accompanies Paul in this Apostolic blessing, Sosthenes.

This saint is worthy of some consideration. That blessed brother's name "Sosthenes" means "safe strength. And, there is much in a name. Read what Jamison Faucett Brown has to say about this man's Christian history...

Associated by Paul with himself in the inscription, either in modesty, Sosthenes being his inferior [Chrysostom], or in order that the name of a “brother” of note in Corinth (Acts 18:17) might give weight to his Epistle and might show, in opposition to his detractors that he was supported by leading brethren. Gallio had driven the Jews who accused Paul from the judgment-seat. The Greek mob, who disliked Jews, took the opportunity then of beating Sosthenes the ruler of the Jewish synagogue, while Gallio looked on and refused to interfere, being secretly pleased that the mob should second his own contempt for the Jews. Paul probably at this time had showed sympathy for an adversary in distress, which issued in the conversion of the latter. So Crispus also, the previous chief ruler of the synagogue had been converted. Saul the persecutor turned into Paul the apostle, and Sosthenes the leader in persecution against that apostle, were two trophies of divine grace that, side by side, would appeal with double power to the Church at Corinth [Birks].

May the lot of us believers rise to the level of our brother Sosthenes. Might others find in us a safe strength. May we be counted worthy of the title, "Trophies of Grace."

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