From Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians we read,
- “I wish that you would bear with me . . . for I am jealous of you with a godly jealousy, for I betrothed you to one husband, that to Christ I might present you as a pure virgin. But I am afraid, lest as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds should be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.” (II Corinthians 11:1-3 – NASB)
The believers at Corinth were a real test for the apostle Paul, a most difficult challenge. He desired so passionately that they would not be “deceived” and “led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.” He had a “godly jealousy” for them and he went to great lengths to counsel them, to reprove and correct their constant straying from the faith.
In his first letter to them (I Corinthians) the apostle dealt with a body of believers that were characterized by,
- divisions (1:10-11)
- carnality (3:1-9)
- incest (5:1-8)
- worldliness (5:9-13)
- lawsuits (6:1-8)
- fornication (6:12-20)
- abuse of liberty (8:1-13; 10:23-33)
- demon worship (10:19-22)
- insubordinate women (11: 12-16)
- abuse of communion (11:17-34)
- false doctrine (15:12)
Quite a list, would you not agree? And the apostle, with great love for the believers at Corinth, aggressively addressed these areas of concern, of sin, and labored in writing to correct them. Paul did not shy away and allow sin to go unaddressed but rather, with great love for the brethren and a greater devotion to “Christ” and how He desired His church to be set apart in the truth . . . he corrected the Corinthian’s wayward ways.
But, correcting one’s steps does not come easy. We believers can be a stiff-necked people, not liking it when we are reproved, when we are corrected. And the Corinthian believers found themselves continuing to rebel against the authority of God’s servant.
Second Corinthians finds Paul defending his apostleship and continuing to challenge the believers at Corinth to turn from their sinful practices and turn back to the truth, that truth by which he had labored to set them apart by. His concern was great for them for they were being “deceived” by false brethren. False teachers were amongst them, and in their chaotic state, made so evident by Paul’s first letter, they were accepting,
- “. . . another Jesus whom we have not preached . . . a different spirit which you have not received . . . a different gospel which you have not accepted” (II Corinthians 11:4 – NASB)
The church at Corinth was being led down a path of false teaching, and they were turning away from the faith. Paul’s two letters to them are a trumpet call to the church today! A call that says to each of us that professes Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, to each of us that makes up the body of Christ . . . there is something to always be alert to . . . lest we be “deceived” as they were being “deceived.”
Have a good day . . . and as you walk be in the Word that you might be guarded by its truth against the schemes of the devil.
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