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.
Today Paul speaks about the marriage of Christ the Bridegroom and His Holy Church, the Bride, and how his speaking the truth of God’s Word at Corinth made them part of that chaste Virgin being presented to Christ when He returns.
However, Paul fears that another might come speaking to them about another Jesus, a different Spirit and a different Gospel than they had accepted, and they just would put up with it. Paul is fearful for their complacency.
Mankind’s experiences, feelings, intellect, and traditions, are four areas that attract people the most when determining the truth of God’s Word. Unfortunately the end-result will always be complacency! That’s because each of these areas will always turn one inward to gaze at himself, his own accomplishments, rather than outward, to Christ, His life, His death and resurrection.
Why do you think Christ our Lord said, “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness” (Matt. 6:33), or “If you abide in My Word, you will know the truth” (John 8:31)? It is to get us to stop focusing upon our own wants, needs and desires, and drive us to start thinking about God’s will and our neighbors needs.
How do you think Paul continues to boast in Achaia about the faithful at Corinth in spite of all their problems? Because the truth of Christ is in him; the very same way that Christ is in us, “For as many of you as were baptized into Christ, have put on Christ there is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise” (Gal. 3:28-29).