Sunday, January 30, 2011

Noble or Nosy?

 In reading 1 Corinthians and 2 Corinthians, these things are clear:
-Paul brought the Gospel to Corinth
-Many received the Gospel, but sin and false teaching crept in quickly
-Paul is very gentle and meek in dealing with them; however, they mistook his demeanor for weakness

This reminds of a Martial Arts instructor I know who used to say, “don't mistake my kindness for weakness”.

To some extent that is how some are viewing Paul; however, that doesn't bother Paul, because Paul is all about glorifying Jesus Christ. But what does bother Paul is the rumblings he is hearing that the brethren are living in unrepentant sin. Paul is warning them that they will see just how much Christ is speaking in him if he shows up and unrepentant lifestyle is the way of it. I don't know what that looks like; obviously Paul isn't going to beat them up or something, but Paul makes it clear that they will not like seeing him this way.

2Corinthians 13:2-3 I warned those who sinned before and all the others, and I warn them now while absent, as I did when present on my second visit, that if I come again I will not spare them--
3 since you seek proof that Christ is speaking in me. He is not weak in dealing with you, but is powerful among you.

Paul says he WILL NOT spare:
Spare: To use tenderly; to treat with pity and forbearance; to forbear to afflict, punish or destroy.
Remember in chapter 12 how Paul finished up with a list of unrepentant sin and a warning to those that practice them? Isn't it interesting that within 5 verses of this list he gives the command to examine yourselves? We tend to tackle the “biggies” and gloss over the “little ones”; but we need to get our mind and heart around the fact that they are all “biggies”.
2Co 13:5 Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?--unless indeed you fail to meet the test!

Notice how Paul said, “Jesus Christ is in you”.......but did you catch what word followed?


UNLESS INDEED YOU FAIL TO MEET THE TEST! Paul even uses the exclamation point (however that looked in the writing style of the day)

Paul goes on to say that he writes and speaks all things for edification, not for destruction.

Edification A building up, in a moral and religious sense; instruction; improvement and progress of the mind, in knowledge, in morals, or in faith and holiness.

2Co 13:10 Therefore I write these things being absent, lest being present I should use sharpness, according to the authority which the Lord has given me for edification and not for destruction.

Consider this. If I warn my nephew about the dangers and destruction of Meth Amphetamine, family and friends would consider this a noble undertaking even if my nephew may tell me off and tell me to mind my own business. But if I tell my nephew (who is basically a good kid by the worlds standards) that unless he repents of his sinful lifestyle and surrenders to Jesus he is going to hell when he dies; he may tell me off and everyone wonders, “why doesn't Steve mind his own business and quit pushing his beliefs on everyone.”

Isn't that amazing!? Both of these conversations are intended to edify my nephew. Neither are meant for his destruction. Yet, one is noble and one is nosy.  The only one that would be appreciative would be the one that gets saved, and they would be eternally grateful, just as we are for the one(s) the Lord used to save us.  Will you go along to get along at the expense of your loved ones eternal condemnation?

Tell somebody about Jesus.

You be this person:

“I'm nobody, trying to tell anybody about Somebody that can save everybody”

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