i wish you would bear with me in a little foolishness. do bear with me! for i feel a divine jealousy for you, since i betrothed you to one husband, to present you as a pure virgin to Christ. but i am afraid that as the serpent deceived eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ. for if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it readily enough. indeed, i consider that i am not in the least inferior to these super-apostles. even if i am unskilled in speaking, i am not so in knowledge; indeed, in every way we have made this plain to you in all things. [2 cor 11:1-6]
the corinthian church was facing the danger of false teaching of a false gospel by false apostles (sarcastically called super apostles), making claims of another way to God, another way to satisfaction, another hope in life and death. and we are no stranger to this same danger. false teachings, false promises of satisfaction, and false hope is all around us. if you say this is not true for you, friend, open your eyes!
we reach for our comforts quickly, usually with instant gratification, having fulfillment of every desire at our fingertips, be it food, phone, porn, shopping, television, gaming, human affirmation, fitness, you name it, we can have it.
we are quick to listen to ideologies that feed into our comforts. where God says, “forgive,” the world says, “teach them a lesson.” where God says, “love the Lord your God with all your heart,” the world says, “make a name for yourself.” where God says, “deny yourself and follow me,” the world says, “you deserve more.” and where Jesus says, “i am the way, the truth, and the life. no one comes to the Father but through me,” the world says, “everyone determines their own truth.” all of these false words sound a lot like the serpent in the garden, who whispered, “did God really say…” don’t be fooled. whoever is gaining the whole world is forfeiting his soul. we cannot serve two masters.
paul is not claiming to be an amazing, dynamic speaker. but he knows he has made the gospel clear. and so should we.
he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. – 2 cor 5:21
by sending his own son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh. – romans 8:3
he bore our sins in his body on the tree. – 1 peter 2:24
Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God. – 1 peter 3:18
if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. – rom 6:5
“if the most terrifying news in the world is that we have fallen under the condemnation of our Creator and that he is bound by his own righteous character to preserve the worth of his glory by pouring out his wrath on our sin… then the best news in all the world (the gospel!) is that God has decreed and enacted a way of salvation that also upholds the worth of his glory, the honor of his Son, and the eternal salvation of his elect. Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners.” – j. piper
we have much to celebrate today! God is reconciling a fallen world to himself, right now! let’s hold fast the confession of our faith, and let’s raise our thanksgiving today for his endless mercy and grace given through his Son, Jesus Christ.