Monday, May 10, 2010

2 Corinthians 11:1-12:18 (Picking Fights)

Paul tells the church that she has been gathered together as Christ’s bride. Any teaching or belief that diverts the church away from that truth or the instructions He left her constitutes spiritual adultery. Paul guards the church jealously. This is the pastoral aspect of his ministry. Those who teach false doctrine are compared to Satan. False teachers will not always appear false. Satan is often seen as a good guy. False teachers tend to be popular as well.

Paul discounts the false teachers’ reliance on their own credentials when he simply relies on his call and on God. However, since the Corinthians are impressed with selling points and superficial (foolish) things, Paul lists his. At the same time, he also points out that he is a nobody. Still, being a nobody is not important because he is God’s chosen apostle. This is a good model to follow in our own little “victories” and positions. We may be given small responsibilities and privileges in the Kingdom and we can rejoice in our usefulness but… all the while we need to acknowledge our own worthlessness and the source of our grace and abilities.

Sometimes, when reading Paul I get the impression I may not have liked him very much in person. Then again, it is probably the aversion I have to politics in the church in general. In that case I might have liked him a lot though, because it looks like when push came to shove he took no crap from the power seekers and deceivers.

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