Today we start reading Paul’s letters to the Corinthians. He tells the believers there that they have been “sanctified (i.e., declared to be holy) in Christ Jesus” and “called to be saints together with all those who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus” (verse 2). All genuine believers are “saints” – that is, according to Paul’s definition of what makes someone a saint.

A saint is any person who is separated from the ways of the world and aims to make their character more like that of Jesus. Paul is the outstanding example of one who achieved this. He is concerned that the believers in Corinth are not making much progress in developing this although they had benefited from the wonderful “grace of God that was given you in Christ Jesus, that in every way you were enriched in him in all speech and all knowledge” (verse 5).

Initially they had put to one side the things the world counted as being of value, counting them to be worthless. They began a new life, they talked about the most important things and sought more knowledge about them – at least at first. But as Paul’s two letters show he has many concerns, coming to understand that many of them were not continuing in the way they started. He encourages them to “wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will sustain you to the end, guiltless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ” (verses 7,8).

This is a message for you and me. They must grow, says Paul, and become mature. “Among the mature we do impart wisdom, also it is not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age who are doomed to pass away. But we import a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glory” (2:6-8). God’s word is the source of that wisdom for us, let us make sure we feed our minds on it every day.