Thursday after the Ninth Sunday after Trinity Sunday
Scripture: 2 Corinthians 11:1-18 (NKJV)
1 Oh, that you would bear with me in a little folly—and indeed you do bear with me. 2 For I am jealous for you with godly jealousy. For I have betrothed you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. 3 But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. 4 For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted—you may well put up with it!
5 For I consider that I am not at all inferior to the most eminent apostles. 6 Even though I am untrained in speech, yet I am not in knowledge. But we have been thoroughly manifested among you in all things.
7 Did I commit sin in humbling myself that you might be exalted, because I preached the gospel of God to you free of charge? 8 I robbed other churches, taking wages from them to minister to you. 9 And when I was present with you, and in need, I was a burden to no one, for what I lacked the brethren who came from Macedonia supplied. And in everything I kept myself from being burdensome to you, and so I will keep myself. 10 As the truth of Christ is in me, no one shall stop me from this boasting in the regions of Achaia. 11 Why? Because I do not love you? God knows!
12 But what I do, I will also continue to do, that I may cut off the opportunity from those who desire an opportunity to be regarded just as we are in the things of which they boast. 13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. 15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works.
16 I say again, let no one think me a fool. If otherwise, at least receive me as a fool, that I also may boast a little. 17 What I speak, I speak not according to the Lord, but as it were, foolishly, in this confidence of boasting. 18 Seeing that many boast according to the flesh, I also will boast.
Through his preaching and teaching St. Paul brought the Corinthians to faith in Christ. In this he considered himself the matchmaker for a wedding made in Heaven. “For I have betrothed you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.” Jesus Christ is the bridegroom and the Church is the bride.
However, the actions of some “false apostles, deceitful workers: were seeking to tear apart what God had joined together. St. Paul did not regard their action as an unimportant thing. As the called man of God, the ambassador of Christ, St. Paul was jealous because these infiltrators were messing with Christ’s bride. He saw their deceitful action as similar to the way “the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness.” Yes, it must be said that it is satanic to try to separate Christ and His Church. These who falsely claimed to be apostles were of a different spirit, a different gospel, and were seeking to present another Jesus to Christ’s bride.
You should want your pastor to follow the lead of St. Paul, to be as diligent and protective of your congregation. You want him to betroth you to one husband, Christ. He should allow no other teaching to lead you astray. Adam didn’t speak up in the garden, but you want Christ’s minister to provide and protect as he proclaims Christ’s message.
We pray: Heavenly Father, send faithful men to lead Your congregations to Christ alone. Amen.