1 Paul, called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and our brother Sosthenes, 2 To the church of God that is in Corinth, to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, together with all those who in every place call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours: 3 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 4 I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that has been given you in Christ Jesus, 5 for in every way you have been enriched in him, in speech and knowledge of every kind— 6 just as the testimony of Christ has been strengthened among you— 7 so that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ. 8 He will also strengthen you to the end, so that you may be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 God is faithful; by him you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
Nine verses. Nine times Paul refers to Christ, Christ Jesus, Jesus Christ. Christ is the Greek equivalent of Messiah. It means the anointed one, the chosen one. It is not Jesus’ surname or simply a title attached to his name. ‘Christ’ is an essential explanation of the way that God has acted and is acting in the person of Jesus. God is deliberately reaching out, responding to the turmoil of human lives with more than just a message. God responds with an invitation into transforming relationship. The call to be saints is not a call to be pious but an invitation to allow ourselves to be transformed, to discover a fresh perspective and a new relationship.