Thursday, October 25, 2018

Daily Bread for Dec 6, 2 Cor 10-12

Today's readings are 2 Cor 10-12

In 2 Cor 10, Paul tells us that the opinions of others are not what should be sought after. God's affirmation is the most crucial approval we will ever seek and the most important one. It is, at times, at odds with the approval of men. Therefore seeking approval and acceptance of those around us can be dangerous. It is not always in harmony with God's best.

Paul's sarcastic wit dominates 2 Cor 11. A group of "super-apostles" has been preaching a perversion of the gospel (2 Cor 11:5). To Paul, they are not apostles at all but false teachers. They teach a different gospel and are led by a different spirit. They have accused Paul of being "unskilled at speaking." Paul is anything but unskilled yet remains humble claiming skillfulness in knowledge instead.

As Paul continues his diatribe against false teachers, we see that Paul garners his support from other churches he has planted (2 Cor 11:8) while he was starting the Corinthian church. Early I his ministry, Paul supported himself. As the churches he planted began to grow, he drew his support from them. “A workman is worthy of his wages.”

Paul enumerates the sufferings and ordeals he has endured as a validation of his commitment to the gospel and the church (2 Cor 11:16-33).

In 2 Cor 12, Paul is surprised by how quickly the Corinthian church has fallen away from true apostolic teaching. The false teachers have gone so far as to accuse Paul's tenderness and affection for the church as a sign of weakness. False teaching frequently disguises itself as strength, But, it is invariably a man-centered strength.

Paul responds by relating a vision he had about ten years prior. Even at that, Paul mentions that his real strength is not in visions or signs but in his own weakness which allows the power of Christ to be magnified. 

The letter ends with a promise to return to Corinth but a warning that Paul will deal with their sin when he gets there. He encourages them to examine themselves before his arrival and repent of any sin that is revealed. It's an excellent example for all of us to follow in preparation for the Lord's return. 

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