Archive for May 20th, 2020

2 Corinthians 11:1-4

In 2 Corinthians 11:1-4 Paul asks the Corinthian church to bear with him as he makes a point. Paul does not call the defense of his apostleship folly because it is stupid or nonsense. He calls it folly because he does it reluctantly, knowing his time and effort could be spent on far better things. He calls it folly because he knows that the things he believed to be honorable about his apostleship would be regarded as foolish by some of the Corinthian Christians. He views it as a waste of time, but necessary because of the obsession that some in the church have questioning his authority and leadership.

It is important that the Corinthian Christians understand and trust Paul’s apostolic credentials because Paul is jealous with a godly jealousy for their hearts. Paul’s godly jealousy is a good thing. “I wish you would bear with me in a little foolishness. Do bear with me! I feel a divine jealousy for you, for I betrothed you to one husband, to present you as a pure virgin to Christ.” Paul is like the friend of the groom, who watches out for the bride in the period between the betrothal and the wedding. The time of betrothal wasn’t taken lightly in Paul’s culture. If someone was unfaithful during the betrothal period, it was considered adultery, and a betrothal could only be broken by divorce. Paul is committed to helping the church be ready for their meeting with Christ at judgment day.

Paul’s concern was based on the experience of mankind with the enemy. Satan began his campaign to destroy mankind back in the Garden when he deceived Eve and has had all Christ Followers in his sights ever since. Paul wants to make the church aware of the attacks and schemes so they don’t fall prey to the cunning way the enemy attempts to derail us. “But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ.” Paul understood that Satan’s deception of Eve in the Garden of Eden is an example of Satan’s deceptive tactics. His lie to Eve was surrounded by half-truths and enticing deception. It’s how he works to deceive us.

The troublemakers among the Corinthian Christians who stirred up contention against Paul didn’t only attack Paul; they also attacked the true Jesus by preaching another Jesus. “For if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you  accepted, you put up with it readily enough.” Paul warned against receiving another Jesus. There is one Jesus, one spirit, and one gospel. There are false teachers in the church today; the problem is that the church puts up with them and embraces them. Christians of this generation, like Christians of many generations, will have to answer to Jesus for their lack of discernment and willingness to allow false doctrine to be taught.

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