Good morning friends! We only have two days left in our study of 2 Corinthians. As we begin to wrap up our time in Corinthians try and reflect on what this (these) book(s) has taught you. How have Pauls arguments either swayed you or caused you defend your own stance? It's okay to push back on your beliefs! I think that is one of the biggest signs of growing discipleship is confidence in ones convictions. :) Remember that Corinth was infamous at the time of the writing for being a city with extremely loose morals. It was one of those places where you would lock your doors driving through and not stop unless necessary. But the witness of Paul is that he not only stops once, but three times and continues to write to them, continues to stay in relationship with them, continues to see the good in them despite their many slip ups. Isn't that the very message of the Bible and God's relationship with God's people? If we're honest with ourselves, isn't that the message of our very lives too? Corinthians is an inspiration to go beyond our comfort zones while also coming to love the face we see in the mirror, imperfections and all. With that said, lets begin to close this book out.
Scripture to Read
Questions to Consider
Why do you give to the church or other organizations? How do you decide what to give to and how much?
Are 'false prophets' and teachers still a part of the body of Christ? Why or why not?
- Commentary -
The text today (and tomorrow) will deal with conflicts that Paul is having with some of other teachers and prophets in the area. We don't know the reason for why the people did not like Paul but we can easily gather that there was a healthy amount of slander being tossed around in Corinth. Perhaps it was envy or a common case of different ideologies. We can gather from Paul what his issue is with them though - self promotion. Paul is critical of his enemies because they view themselves as the 'perfect Christian' and judge everyone else by their own standards whereas Paul is saying a true Christian judges themselves against Christ in humility recognizing that we will never get anywhere near Christ (though we strive for it nevertheless!) Paul offers some defense for his own integrity by going on a long rant of humble brags about the things he has endured, the churches he has started, the people he has saved, and more trying to make the point that he could brag if he wanted to but doesn't because that would defeat the very point of the thing he is preaching.
This is a message that is highly against the prosperity gospel that pervades the western culture where people teach that we are perfect little cupcakes that deserve God's blessings because we are faithful and that God wants to make us rich, give us bigger homes and to flaunt our wealth as a witness to how good God is. Paul would be the silent millionaire that drives around a half rusted out soccer van, not the man throwing massive parties in his mansion. I always love it when the conflicts of the Bible feel so relevant to our culture. It gives a good place to anchor down to what God wants and what culture wants. It's easier to discern for ourselves what is "false teacher" now a days. (I'm not really a fan of that term but that's a different conversation for a different day. Except Joel Osteen. That quack is a false teacher. Screw him.)
Praying the Hymns
Our prayer for today is inspired by hymn 313 - Christo Vive (Christ is Risen) It's been awhile since we've done a foreign hymn. Just like the spirit of pentecost (Acts 2) this is a chance to experience what it is like to be divided in language but one spirit as we meditate on its words. I can't find the exact translation in our hymnal but this is the closest to the words.