Archive for November 24th, 2010

2 Corinthians 2

2 Corinthians 2 seems to be a somewhat painful chapter for Paul to write.  He talks much about pain – pain caused by issues in the church.  There has been a rift in the church and someone has caused pain that has impacted the entire body.  So how are we to handle things when there is a problem in the church?  Too often the church doesn’t handle this well at all.  We sometimes “shoot the wounded” so to say rather than deal with the issues that come into the body God’s way.  What does Paul tell us?  “You should rather turn to forgive and comfort him…..reaffirm your love for him”.  That doesn’t sound like the way most churches deal with issues does it?  But it is exactly how Jesus modeled life for us.  We have to learn to forgive and love!

Why?  Paul says it is so “I might test you and know whether you are obedient in everything”.  Forgiveness is not an emotion.  It is an act of the will – to set someone free even when they don’t deserve it.  I was listening to a talk show this week which was addressing the reaction of a couple small communities where two women working in convenience stores were murdered.  The talk was whether or not the shooter deserved forgiveness.  Local pastors were calling for that – not because the young man deserved it – but because it was what Jesus told us to do.  Forgiveness is an act of obedience as Paul says – an act of the will.  It sets both the person who has committed the wrong and the person wronged free.  Without forgiveness bitterness takes up root and causes the wrong result.  Paul says it is important that “we would not be outwitted by Satan”.  The enemy wants us to hold on to wrongs and cause us to be bitter and controlled by our past.  God wants to set us free from that with forgiveness.

Paul goes on to talk about the work of the ministry.  “We are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing……as men of sincerity, as commissioned by God, in the sight of God we speak in Christ”.  Do you stink for Jesus?  OK – maybe that is a bit course – but the reality is that our lives should smell of the gospel and people should know when we are in their presence that we are serving Christ.  Do they know that about you?  Are you causing people to come to grips with the reality that there is a choice between life and death – salvation and perishing – and they must make a choice if they want eternal life?  Paul lived that way.  We need to as well!

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