1 Cor.1:1,2 – Paul, called by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus, and our brother Sosthenes,
¶To the church (EKKLESIA)) of God that is in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints together with all those who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours:
The word for our local Christian gatherings is Ekklesia in the New Testament Greek and literally means called out ones. We are called out of one community and called to be part of another one. We are the called out ones of Jesus. Th implications are obvious. He is jealous for us, after all He told Moses, “I the Lord your God am a jealous God”. There is a trend in much of the body of Christ to stay relevant to the world by actually conforming to many of their practices. That is exactly not what the Lord is calling for here. He wants a people for Himself not polluted by the sins of this present age.
This passage is filled with passion for a holy people, loyal to Him. First, He calls us the ekklesia, the called out ones. Then He says we are sanctified in Christ Jesus. Sanctified also implies called out. Sanctify literally means called to be holy or belonging to the Lord. Then He says we are called to be saints. He has called us with us words of love to be his saints, hagios or holy ones. This entire passage is a passionate call to forsake the world and come to be with Him.
The whole point of calling and holiness is intimacy with God. He takes us in our sins, washes us with His blood, changes us by His Spirit, and begins a walk of love with us. The beauty of this is how it all begins, it begins with the Lord calling us. With the fishermen in Galilee it was “Come follow me and I will make you a fisher of men”. For Paul it was, “ But rise and stand on your feet; for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to make you a minister and a witness both of the things which you have seen and of the things which I will yet reveal to you and I will make you a light to the Gentiles”.
He is calling out His lovers again today. In this crazy, confused world He says come and be with Me, I will do the rest.