One Thursday night, I was playing games with children in the church’s gym. It was time to leave, but they wanted to continue playing.
Their Hispanic mom spoke something to them in Spanish that got them moving at the speed of light.
I don’t know what she said, but I recognized the universal “mom” tone of voice that got her kids on the move.
The word, “entreat,” in the next verse has a similar meaning to the mom’s words to her children. It is a strong word, meaning “come join me right now.”
— 2 Corinthians 6.1-2 – As we work together with him, we entreat you also not to accept the grace of God in vain. For he says,
“At an acceptable time I have listened to you,
and on a day of salvation I have helped you.”
Look, now is the acceptable time; look, now is the day of salvation!
Paul wrote this letter to the church and he strongly encouraged them to not “accept the grace of God in vain.”
Members of the church were in danger of committing apostasy. What is that?
The best definition of apostasy is that of someone who knows and understands the truth but makes a conscious choice to walk away from it.
Paul’s confrontation with the Corinthians is a good reminder for us. It is dangerous to walk right up to the truth, only to turn and walk away.
I have seen this happen too many times and it never turns out well.
Please note that Rudy Ross connects this passage with Isaiah 48-54. Please take a few minutes to listen to Rudy on our YouTube video today.
If you take the time to meditate on Isaiah with Corinthians in mind, you will be blessed.
One Long Sentence
Verses 3-10 are one long, but an extremely powerful sentence. I have broken it into sections for this article.
Please take a few minutes to savor the beauty and truth of these words.
— 2 Corinthians 6.3-10 – We are putting no obstacle in anyone’s way, so that no fault may be found with our ministry,
But as servants of God we have commended ourselves in every way:
In great endurance, afflictions, hardships, calamities, beatings, imprisonments, riots, labors, sleepless nights, hunger;
In purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, holiness of spirit, genuine love,
Truthful speech, and the power of God; with the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and for the left;
In honor and dishonor, in ill repute and good repute.
We are treated as impostors and yet are true,
As unknown and yet are well known,
As dying and look—we are alive,
As punished and yet not killed,
As sorrowful yet always rejoicing,
As poor yet making many rich,
As having nothing and yet possessing everything.
What made Paul different?
“Wisdom” teachers were the model for public speakers in Corinth. I have put “wisdom” in parenthesis because these teachers were seldom wise.
They looked and sounded good, but there was little substance to their message.
Like today’s entertainers, they captured the crowd, but seldom imparted anything of value.
The alternative to “wisdom” teachers was the sage. A sage would be able to relate to Paul’s run-on sentence and catalog of his life’s experiences.
Whether Paul presented himself as a sage or not, is not important. Paul’s goal in life was to live a Jesus-kind-of-life.
If the church ended up following the “wisdom” teachers, they risked losing the full impact of the gospel message.
If they followed Paul’s teaching and example, they would surely grow in their spiritual lives. They would be effective witnesses to the people of Corinth.
One pastor told a complaining church member, “Criticism is not a spiritual gift.” Saying that discernment is a spiritual gift.
We do well to be discerning when following leaders. Paul provided two criteria for discernment.
(1) What is their example? Do they live a Christ-like life?
(2) Do they teach sound doctrine? Are their words based on the whole Biblical revelation of God?
Rudy Ross provides excellent insight into Isaiah in today’s video. It can be found on the Bob Sprading channel.
Please email your prayer request to firstname.lastname@example.org or private message me on Facebook. The Maywood prayer team will pray for you.