Today’s Reading: 2 Corinthians 11:1-15
But I will continue to do what I am doing, in order to cut off the opportunity of those who want an opportunity to be regarded just as we are in what they are boasting about. For such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ.
2 Corinthians 11:12-13
We need the Gospel Truth. God is jealous for us, and keeps us by the Truth of the Gospel. The word jealous is often used in a negative context. But in the case of God, it is a good thing for us. God’s jealousy for us means that God wants us all to Himself. He does not want any other entity competing against our faithfulness to Him. This is because He knows that fullness of life for us can only be found in relationship with Him. When Paul expresses his godly jealousy for the Church, he is describing his desire for the Church to belong exclusively to Christ. Paul wants a pure and holy relationship between Christ and His people, much like a faithful relationship that a husband and wife enjoy together. He pens this letter during a time when teachers called the super-apostles are growing a following in Corinth. These people are eloquent and charismatic – unlike Paul, who is not a very good public speaker. They are considered better than the original apostles. But there is a problem: thee super-apostles are not preaching the Gospel Message. They are bringing people away from God by their false teachings. This greatly concerns Paul, who warns the Church of the danger in being deceived by teachings which deviate from the Truth of the Gospel Message.
How do we know that what we are learning about Christ is true? In order to test the validity of any teaching, Paul encourages the Church to examine it against the teachings of the original apostles. Today, we read about these accounts of Christ in the Bible. Remember, the original apostles and followers of Jesus were the people who had been with Jesus. They traveled with Him, learned from Him, saw Him perform great miracles, witnessed His death, and even met Him after He had risen from the dead. They didn’t just know about Jesus. They knew Him as their friend, teacher, Lord, and Savior. Through Scripture, we have access to the revelation of Jesus that they witnessed firsthand, which God also wants to share with us. This is the Truth which we can examine against all other teachings of Christ.
Today, countless false teachers are bringing people away from “complete and pure devotion to Christ,” which Paul desires for the Church. People are being led away from Jesus because they do not know enough of God’s Truth to refute the lies which deviate from true teaching. Paul sacrifices a lot to ensure that the Truth of the Gospel is received by the Church for Christ’s sake. He teaches and preaches it free of charge, lives as an example of how to live by its standards, and continues in his work tirelessly in order that the Church would be presented to Christ as a pure and faithful bride.
The contrast between the super-apostles and the Apostle Paul show that the Gospel Truth is the difference between life and death of the Church. This is why it is so important to know God’s Truth of the Gospel, and to live in order to share it in its fullness.
My Lord and King, thank You for Your Gospel Truth, and for saving me by it. Thank You for granting me understanding of it by Your Grace. I pray that You would protect me by the Truth of Your Gospel, that as I grow to know it more fully, Your Message would keep me from being led away from You. Grow me closer to You, Lord, by Your Truth. I pray these things in Jesus’ Name, AMEN.
Thru the Bible in a year (credit: Biblestudytools.com): 2 Corinthians 11; 2 Kings 25; Habakkuk 2