“Paul, called by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus, and our brother Sosthenes, to the church 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: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. I give thanks to my God always for you because of the 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—even as the testimony about Christ was confirmed among you—so that you are not lacking in any gift, as you 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. God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.“(1 Corinthians 1:1-9 ESV)
It’s surprising how often Paul uses the words “the Lord Jesus Christ” in this short passage. I count five cases of that exact phrase, with two more for “Christ Jesus” and another for “Christ” by itself. All this in only three sentences!
And it’s not just His name. Paul is super-focused on the Person of Jesus, exactly as he should be—as we should be. Why? Because we are the people who “in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” That’s what makes us Christians—not our morality, not our politics or family heritage or the holidays we celebrate. We are Christian because Jesus is the One we cling to—He is the One we call for help, day in and day out as we live in this broken world.
Martin Luther reminds us what a god is: “Whatever your heart clings to and confides in, that is really your God.” When someone nearly hits your car, what name jumps to your lips? When someone you love has a stroke or cancer—what do you call on for help? When you are in trouble at home or at work, and there is no justice, no safety, no protection—whom do you cry out to?
We cry out to Jesus. And we do it for good reason, because He is the One who came into this world to save us—God Himself, become a human being like us, to live and to die and to rise for us. He knows us better than anyone else. He loves us better than anyone else. And He has shown Himself faithful, all through His life on earth, all through our lives as we call on Him in every need and trouble.
The Bible tells us that “A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother” (Proverbs 18:24). That friend is God Himself come to be with us—Jesus, our Savior. We call on His name with confidence, knowing that He will hear us and help.
Prayer: Dear Lord Jesus, thank You that we can call out to You at any time and You will hear. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Kari Vo.
Originally published in The Lutheran Hour on January 11, 2023
Used by permission from International Lutheran Laymen’s League, all rights reserved
1. Other than Jesus, who is one person you call when you need help?
2. Why do you call that person in particular, and not someone else?
3. What do you see in Jesus’ personality and behavior that leads you to trust Him?