May 1, 2020:
Today, as I read 2 Corinthians 6: 1 – 18, was reminded by my Lord how I should live, and how it should actually be fleshed out in real time life in my home, local congregation and city.
Paul instructs the Corinthians that both he, along with Silvanus, Timothy and even Titus and are workers together with Christ as being ones that have received the Grace of God! He emphasized too that he hoped that grace was not in vain (empty and meaningless in their lives) as well! In other words, did they really receive the Grace of God or had their messages and work among the Corinthians been in vain? Receiving Grace means it works every time and brings about many spiritual realities which can be visibly observed in people.
Paul emphasizes also that “today is the day of salvation” i.e., I think, specifically emphasizing that the Gospel dispensation, the New Covenant, is here and is alive and well. God is saving souls! He is building His ‘called out body or people’ who will make up the bride of Christ and they are to band together as one local visible group to carry out the ministry also! He had spoken of this subject to the Ephesians also. The ministers and Apostles in that day were to be teaching, training, encouraging, and praying for them to be able to do also the “work of the ministry”! Grace in other words “works”!
I. MARKS OF THE JOINT MINISTRY OF PAUL THE APOSTLE AND HIS FELLOW HELPERS, DEVELOPING THROUGH THE WORD OF GOD AND THE PRESENCE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT WILL BE SEEN IN WHAT TAKES PLACE IN PAUL AND HIS ASSOCIATES!
- THEY ARE SENT BY GOD! – 1 CORINTHIANS 6:2-3
“For He (God) says, “In an acceptable time I have heard you, And in the day of salvation I have helped you…….”
2. NOTICE THE OUTWARD DISPLAYS OF WHAT TAKES PLACE NOW AS THEY SERVE CHRIST IN THIS WORLD! – 1 CORINTHIANS 6:4-18.
Much Patience – In Tribulations – In Need – In Distresses – In Stripes (beatings) – In Imprisonments – In tumults – In Labors – In Sleeplessness – In Fastings – By Purity – By Knowledge – By Longsuffering – By Kindness – By the Holy Spirit – By Sincere Love – By the word of Truth – By the Power of God – By the Armor of Righteousness – (On the right hand and on the left, i.e., all around them were these things taking place and also upon them! HE is NOT through, notice more:
By Honor – By Dishonor – By Evil Report – By Good Report – Considered as Deceivers and Yet they were Truth Tellers – AS Unknown – Yet Well Known – As Dying – Yet Behold they Live – As Chastened – Yet Not Killed – As sorrowful – Yet always Rejoicing – As poor – Yet making many Rich – As having nothing – Yet possessing All things!
After all of this he encourages and warns the Corinthians about being unequally yoked up with those who are in Satan’s family, unbelievers! Warning to not become closely associated with them so that they got involved in their evil habits and way of life. If they observed this note God’s promises to the Corinthians and even to us this very day:
“Come out from among them and be separate says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean and I will receive you. I WILL BE A FATHER TO YOU. AND YOU SHALL BE MY ‘SONS AND DAUGHTERS’, SAYS THE LORD ALMIGHTY!” – VERSES 17-18.
In this day of Covid-19 plague, may we remember all of what the early body of Christ had to endure and go through at their time. Throughout the history of God’s people we notice all of the struggles and problems they had to face as they served Christ Jesus. This was NOT what the Prosperity false Gospel teaches people in this generation.
What happens when we do not follow what God said would be our plight in the real world as we serve Him? People can get discouraged, think God has abandoned them. When HE hasn’t! All of the negatives that take place are designed for our spiritual welfare and to push us forward into the maturity He has designed for us spiritually, while on planet earth. We are at war with sin, Satan, the world system and our own flesh in which sin dwells! We wait for our new bodies which the Resurrection of Christ will bring about! During the heavy weight of this world and its evil along with sin, we sense its futility and vanity.
But HE said, ” Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I an gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my Yoke is easy and My burden is light.” – Matthew 11: 28-30.
Along with all of the negatives comes great joy and peace and comfort, even during pain and suffering, knowing our God and Lord is always with us! HE will conquer all of the things which seek to take us down! We will overcome! In the Lord Jesus Christ the Commander in Chief of Heaven’s Armies! He is the winner for I read the last chapter of the Holy Word of God! Rest in HIM! Pray for His soon coming! Amen!