(2 Corinthians 10:7)
How many denominations, sects, groups, cults and churches exist under the banner of being Christians? I’m quite certain I have no idea, and nor does any other man upon this earth. Only God knows how many there may be. But there seems to have been a challenge within Christendom going back hundreds of years as new groups form and splinter off from other churches to follow Christ in their own way. And this is expected for we are told as much in the Bible.
Furthermore we are told that there will be divisions in the churches and that divisions are necessary. But with all of that upheaval it can be difficult to know truth from error, and it could become hard to decipher what is true and what is not, or who holds the keys to the truth.
So it becomes increasingly important to learn the truth for yourself and to seek it diligently, regardless of which church you may be affiliated with. In the end we will be judged as individuals, not as members of a church. The church serves an important purpose, but we must learn to stand and seek the truth that will enable us to stand regardless of what any specific church teaches. Continue reading
(2 Corinthians 10:4-6)
In my last post I discussed the fact that we are at war, but it is not a physical war against flesh and blood. Instead we are at war in the spirit for our enemies are spiritual, the primary enemy being the devil himself.
Physical weapons of war are no good in a Spiritual war
Needless to say, this is a different war, fought on a spiritual battleground. As a consequence it requires a different set of weapons from those used to wage a worldly, fleshly war. We do not use guns, knives, swords, tanks, explosives and bombs to fight this war, because the nature of this war is different.
Spiritual war is not about the capture or killing of people in the physical sense. It is about the capture of the hearts and minds, even the soul and life of people. The devil seeks to destroy our eternal life by snatching away salvation through the destruction of our faith. But in Christ we have the victory, if and when we come to Him and take the weapons of war designed to wage this spiritual war. So let us first look at the nature of this war and then consider what the weapons are we need to fight, and how to use them. Continue reading
(2 Corinthians 10:1-3)
Here is a reminder to all Christians, especially when they are under attack and feel everything is just too much. When you reach that point where you think you can’t go on, you need to remember that we are at war.
The war of the spirit must be fought by the spirit
The war we are fighting is not against the people of this world, but is a spiritual war. We are contending against a spiritual enemy whose whole purpose is to try and tear us away from the Lord Jesus and His salvation.
Those who choose to follow Christ have not chosen an easy path. Christians are put down, ridiculed, presented as pariahs, and treated as if they are of no account. Christian views are stomped on by those who oppose the Lord Jesus Christ, and yet they believe they are in the right to do so. However, if a Christian were to dare stand up for himself or herself, we are falsely accused of all manner of evil. That is why we must always remember this is not a worldly war and we should ask ourselves the question… Continue reading
(2 Corinthians 9:7-15)
This would be one of the few verses that most people would know and recognise, even among those who are not Christians in this world.
God loves a cheerful giver
It is a fundamental principle among people that if you are to give anything for any good reason, then it needs to be given cheerfully. Too often people have ulterior motives for giving. They give to get something in return, or to win favour, or perhaps to be looked at as someone special, even to assuage guilt.
But what is important in the eyes of the Lord is not that you should gain through giving, but that you should give cheerfully. And those who do so do indeed gain many things, as we will see. But the gain should never be the reason for the giving. Any gain at all is simply a by-product of the giving, nit the purpose for it.
(2 Corinthians 9:6)
This scripture speaks about reaping and sowing, as do many other verses in the Bible. It is an important point that all people, and Christians especially need to know and understand. The verse says this:
You reap what you sow. Good reaps good and evil reaps evil
”The point is this: he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.” (2 Corinthians 9:6)
Jesus used many analogies with sowing and reaping and so too the Apostles who followed Him, who were charged with the sowing of the Gospel and the reaping of disciples, also spoke in similar terms. And there are some interesting things we can learn from this verse and others, including a little piece of poor translation that sheds a different light on this verse.
(2 Corinthians 9:1-5)
Have you ever heard the expression “belts and braces?” It refers to the process of ensuring that something is checked and then double-checked to ensure it is right.
Using Belts and Braces to make double sure
If you look at the concept from a clothing perspective, it is like a man who is worried that his trousers might fall down. To ensure they don’t, he wears a belt AND he wears braces to hold his pants up. Are both belts and braces necessary? Probably not, but by wearing both he is making doubly certain that he will not be embarrassed if gravity takes a hold of his trousers!
In business, especially among engineers, the concept of “belts and braces” is often seen. When they want to make sure something is done correctly, or a design will work correctly and safely, they go to greater extremes than might otherwise be necessary. And in some cases this is what we want, especially to ensure something is safe.
(2 Corinthians 8:13-24)
How should the church be financed? What is the means by which the church should receive it’s funding?
How should the church be financed, by Tithing or by Giving?
Even though we know that money is not a priority in the Lord, there is a basic financial need in the church for it to operate. We need to pay for premises, whether rented or bought, we need money for songbooks, equipment, and wages for those who do the ministry. But what is the right way of raising these funds so that firstly, we are acting in accord with the gospel, and secondly, that greed and the love of money do not raise their ugly heads.
This is an important issue and it is done badly in many churches because they do not understand the processes that were established by the Lord to nesure this function is in harmony with the gospel. In fact it is so important that the wrong methodology can be devastating to a church, even when or if it appears to coincide with what the bible states! Continue reading
(2 Corinthians 8:1-12)
There are many people in the church today who suffer needlessly. They believe that they are sinners and could never be acceptable to God, and so they live lives of gulit and self-condemnation.
You are accepted for who you are
I am aware also of some churches that preach a similar dogma, stating that it is virtually impossible to be perfect. Some teach that the only people who will be saved will be the 144,000 mentioned in Revelation. Others claim that you cannot be baptised in water until you have cleansed all sin from your bodies, and are virtually perfect. As such only a few of their members are baptised.
Such teaching is wrong and such thinking is destructive. In Christ we were and are accepted for who we are and what we are. We do not have to be perfect to come to Him because the work of the New Covenant and the Gospel of Jesus Christ is what brings us to perfection. We come in weakness and are transformed into perfection as the Holy Spirit works in and with us as individuals.
(2 Corinthians 7:12-16)
Who can hide from God? Who can go somewhere or do something without God knowing? Nobody can because God is watching all of the time.
God is watching everything ALL the time!
This short section of scripture speaks of the comfort and confidence Paul has in the church at Corinth because they are obedient and working to ensure they are following the sure word as taught. We need to do likewise and so prove to be following the Lord correctly.
Obedience to the words of the Lord and seeking the truth that will please God is critical. God is watching everything that goes on in this world. He is in control of all the events taking place in the world on both the grand scale as well as in the smallest details in the lives of every individual. Continue reading