Today's encouragement comes from 1 Corinthians 1:2, where we read these words:
"To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all who in every place call on the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours . . . "
These are remarkable words (above) when we consider who it was to whom Paul wrote them. The Corinthian church was rent by schism, pride, heresy, and immorality. Still, in opening his epistle, the Apostle refers to *all* of them (who were still yet in the outward covenant of the church) as "sanctified," and as those "called to be saints."
If after Paul's many corrections of the Corinthian errors (mentioned above), the people left the church, or had to be excommunicated from it—then, they no longer had the privileged appellation of "saint," and "sanctified." But, if they repented, and showed themselves to be true—it all the more applied to them, and their assurance of grace in Christ was increased even further.
[Puritan quote of the day: "Souls that are big in hope, will not be long without sweet assurance.” —Thomas Brooks, in, "Heaven on Earth"]