1Corinthians 1:4-9 I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given to you by Christ Jesus, that you were enriched in everything by Him in all utterance and in all knowledge, even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you, so that you come short in no gift, eagerly waiting for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will also confirm you to the end, that you may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
Paul starts by thanking God for the Corinthians and by acknowledging them. The same group of people he soon calls a bunch of spiritual babies when they should by this time be mature Paul thanks God for. They manifest the gifts of the Spirit, such as utterances (tongues) and prophetic gifts (knowledge), and stand firm in their testimony for Christ. They eagerly awaited the revelation – uncovering from heaven, the Second Coming – of Christ.
It is Jesus who confirms us and establishes us as guiltless to the end, when Christ returns. Our own righteousness cannot make us holy before God (Is 64:6), but only that which comes through our faith in Christ. Even as a believer, keeping the Law does not make us righteous, but only reflects our desire to be like Christ. Also note here it is Jesus who establishes us in the faith, not works or spiritual gifts. We will look more at this point when we study 1Corinthians 12 and 13.
The Kingdom of God is perfectly balanced. In Matthew 7:22 Jesus warns there will be those on judgment day who think they should be allowed into the Kingdom because of works, such as casting out demons, prophesying, and the like in Jesus name. In this number will be some who dedicated their lives to doing works in Jesus name, but their person lives and perhaps even doctrine do not demonstrate a knowledge of God.
Jesus declares to these, “But you had no interest in obeying the Father and the Kingdom, preferring to live as the heathen, and you did not fellowship with me. Depart from me, you who chose a life of iniquity, for I never knew you,” (My paraphrase, Matt. 7:23). He will not be angry, but sorrowful. He will stand there with tears flowing when He pronounces judgment. I know this because every time I read this and think on it, I feel some of His sorrow.
Compare this to the way some of the popular, big-name televangists and other church leaders (as well as church-goers) live today. They live among the rich and famous in extravagant lifestyles. They are proud boasters, manipulators whose true god is their bellies. They exhibit little if any spiritual fruit (Gal. 5:22-23). Not really knowing God or His ways, their thoughts are on obtaining the riches of this world and telling God what they expect Him to do for them – calling it a word of faith. Even worse, they teach others that this is what God wants, taking a few Scriptures out of context to support their ideas of God… But enough about them. Jesus does not know them.