Faith Blog

PAUL'S RESPONSE TO CORINTHIANS

Paul starts 2 Corinthians 11 using a metaphor of engagement of marriage. Meaning if the Corinthians follow the false apostles, they will stray from Christ and be unfaithful to Him. Then they can no longer come to him as a “pure virgin” as it says in verse 2. It is also assumed that God’s ideal for marriage is no prior sexual relation and that a bride would come as a pure virgin to her husband as her husband would also come to her. Paul also brings to mind the rich OT and NT imagery of the Lord’s marriage to His people and His Bride.       

Paul knows that the false apostles are a dangerous spiritual threat, comparable to the serpent in Eden. We are seeing this today, as well in these end days where many of the bride of Christ are being deceived by men in the pulpit who are wolves in sheep clothing. There were also many people distorting God’s word and preaching contrary to what Paul was preaching and he was warning the Corinthians about these false prophets.

As the text goes on, Paul states in verse 7 that when he was in Corinth he supported himself and accepted help from other churches as well. Some of the Corinthians seem to have been offended by Paul’s refusal to accept their gift, probably offered to him in response to his preaching of the gospel to them. In ancient times, giving and receiving gifts was often used to establish and maintain friendships among social equals, as well as to signal dependents/ subordinates to patrons. In this system Paul’s refusal might come as an insult - a proud refusal to be involved with inferiors. However the apostle’s view of the relationship with the Corinthians, not from the standpoint of worldly social convention, but from the standpoint of the new creation in which he has been called to be an apostle and spiritual father.

BUILD OTHERS UP

Paul pens in 1 Corinthians 10 that “the Lord gave us authority for building you up, not tearing you down.”  Those who are leaders in the church must always seek to build up the folks God has placed under their care.  It is all too easy for leaders to tear down those whom they have authority over if they communicate with a spirit of harshness and criticism.

Just as in the church, so it is in the home.  Husbands should seek to build up their wives, not tear them down.  Parents in the same way should seek to build up their children and not unnecessarily make them angry or frustrated.  Children should also be taught to have that same spirit of building up their siblings and not use harsh words which tear them down.

We live in a society that in these Last Days is increasingly wicked and where tearing down and finding fault with others is becoming the acceptable norm.  Our church and our families can shine brightly for Jesus if we always seek to build others up.

Posted by David Marshall with

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