Paul boasts in this section of scripture. But his boasts are not like the boasts of most men.
Here we see Paul boasting of his weaknesses and failings, not his strengths or achievements, as most men would do. Paul understood that all of the things he did well, all of his learning and the work he had done in the name of Jesus, were not really his work. The work he did and the things he achieved were done through the power of the Lord and by the working of the Holy Spirit in him.
And so if all the strong things, the good things and the achievements he made were done by the Lord, then all that is left are the weaknesses, the failures, the mistakes and the frailties. It is these he boasted of, not because he was proud of them, but rather because the Lord had shown him that, “My power is made perfect in weakness.”
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.
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 “Weapons Of War”
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 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 “A Spiritual War”
The great commandment in the law, as described by Jesus, is to love God with all your heart, mind and strength. He then adds that there is a second commandment that goes with this one, which is to love your neighbour as yourself.
The foundation on which both of these commandments are built is love, and indeed all of the commandments of God were based upon love, either love for God or love for our fellow man.
So we see that if we are to emulate Jesus Christ and be transformed into His image, we must learn to love as God loves us. To do this we need to develop love as the base attitude of the heart and so be guided by love as we live out the love of God. Continue reading “Attitude of The Heart”
Many times I have written that the purpose of the Christian faith is aimed at making believers perfect. In Christ we have the ability to become perfect, and we are told by Jesus Christ that we MUST become perfect if we are to stand before God.
Jesus made tis comment as one of the teachings in the sermon on the mount, saying, “You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Matthew 5:48) Perfection was not indicated as a suggestion for us. He did not say it would be nice if we could be perfect. Jesus told us clearly that you MUST be perfect.
So given that this was a command of the Lord, we need to seek and find the way that this can be done. We are fortunate that the work of perfection is not ours alone, but we still need to seek how this is to be done in Jesus Christ, and to understand what this perfection is. The verse in 2 Corinthians 7:1 gives us some clues.
Anyone who has faith will never doubt the power of God to protect and save. The examples in the bible are numerous where God has exercised His power to prevent calamity and death among His people. Paul recognized this power and shows us how the people of God are unbreakable in God's power.
These few verses are testimony to the depth of the power of God and how it works within us to protect and save. We are shown that even in the fragility of the human condition, and the weakness of our flesh, we become unbreakable.
This is testimony also to how we are being watched by God. It does not mean we will not go through troubles, trials and tribulations. Rather, He oversees all aspects of our lives so that we are not taken beyond our abilities to handle any crisis that may arise.
Deliverance is one of the many messages we hear Christians speak about. It is often used as a means to draw people into churches.
There is a church near where I lived some years ago where they had a sign out front announcing a weekly prayer meeting for people to come and get healing. And this is a great draw card because nobody likes to suffer.
Deliverance was at the root of many of the miracles Jesus performed while He walked on the earth. He healed the sick, lame, blind, deaf, paralysed and gave release from demonic possession to many people as part of His ministry. These people were delivered from all manner of afflictions and many followed Him purely because of the deliverance He gave.
But there is more to deliverance and a greater purpose, which is available to all still today through Christ Jesus.
One of the great concerns Paul had with the Corinthian church was about speaking in tongues, and especially the use of the spiritual gifts in the church setting.
The church in Corinth had obviously asked Paul about the spiritual gifts for he was answering their various questions. Of most importance Paul was telling them that if they desired the spiritual gifts, they should seek those that would assist in the ministry and the building up of the church.
Now speaking in tongues is one of the most common of the spiritual gifts for it is the sign of the spirit given to those who have received the Holy Spirit, either through laying on of hands or where God has directly intervened to give them the Holy Spirit. Examples of both instances can be readily seen in Acts 19:1-6 and Acts chapter 2 respectively.
But what is most important about tongues, as well as all the other gifts, is knowing when to use them properly and in an orderly manner, and Paul speaks to this issue in this and subsequent sections of this chapter.
In my recent posts I have been looking at the gift of tongues and breaking down some of the false teachings and myths. The only truth we should listen to is the truth that is from God as written in the bible, and much of the truth about speaking in tongues is contained in the words of this chapter of the bible.
I have covered the fact that tongues was not just given to the early church for the purpose of spreading the gospel and that after the gospel age they were no longer necessary. This teaching, common in the modern church, is a lie perpetrated by those who have not received the gift of tongues and who do not understand the purpose and power of the gift of tongues.
Now this section of scripture further strengthens the fact that tongues are not for spreading the gospel. We see Paul discuss one of the purposes tongues are for and he also shows another proof why tongues were not for spreading the gospel.
This chapter of Paul's letter to the Corinthians covers a great deal about speaking in tongues. In it we learn much about what speaking in tongues is, and what it is for.
There are many myths in the modern church about the gift of tongues and if people would read and understand this chapter, many of those myths would be torn down.
Speaking in tongues is important for the development of our walk with Jesus Christ. The gift is given to us for a very definite purpose, and this chapter covers a number of the aspects of that purpose.
So let us do some myth busting and see what this is all about in these few verses, and we will continue the discussion of tongues and the ramifications of having or not having the gift as we continue in the next few posts.