2 Corinthians 11:2-5
Part 1: “I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him.
Part 2: But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ.
Part 3: For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the Spirit you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough. I do not think I am in the least inferior to those “super-apostles.”
2 Corinthians 1:2-4
“Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.”
He is sufficient
The Word says that God (and His Word) is sufficient for everything (physically, spiritually, and emotionally). The Word of God refers to Him as the father of mercy and compassion. If you go through a trouble, you are not alone, you have a father who holds you close and tells you that he has got your back. When Satan asked God to remove His barrier that protected Job, the barrier refers to His hand. His hand protects us and shields us from anything and everything that can harm us. Often, we keep pleading for answers to our prayers. God wants us to know that the answer to all our prayers is that His grace is sufficient for us. Even when we are weak, we must be able to see the strength of our Lord, just like Paul did. He comforts us in our troubles so that we can share the God-given comfort to those who need it.
Part 1: Presenting the church as a pure virgin to its husband, Christ
When the gospel is preached to us, our primary and only focus should be on Jesus. Our eyes should always and only be kept on Him and not our surroundings or the preacher. When anyone preaches, they have a responsibility of presenting the church to Christ, like presenting a pure virgin to her husband. In order to be pure, we must be holy, faithful, and set apart. Prior to entering His presence, we must make sure that we have these attributes.
“For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Saviour. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.”
How can you be set apart?
It is the Word that washes and cleanses you. Often, we get enthusiastic about the worship and everything else except hearing the Word. There were times when the disciples told Jesus that they do not understand what is being preached (the Word); however, He replies that the words He has spoken to them are full of the Spirit and life (John 6:63). The Word cleanses; the Word is the spirit. Even if you are absent-minded or do not have your full attention, the spirit still works in you.
What is the purpose of attending a church?
The prayer of your heart should yearn to hear the Word of The Lord, so that you may serve Him with all that you have and live a holy life.
Why is the church not becoming glorious?
Because we are not cleansed through His Word. The Word has a standard (without spot, or wrinkle, or blemish) that all of us fall short of. How do you know that the church you attend is a good fit for you? By hearing the Word. Not any Word, but the Word that sets you apart in such a way that you will be found holy, without blemish or spot.
What angers God should anger us. We have become way too tolerant in such a way that even if someone preaches a different Jesus to us, or if a different gospel is preached, we do not see a problem with it.
Part 2: Satan’s deception
With his deception, Satan will come and question you like how he did to Eve. Satan denied God’s Word (by telling Eve that she would not die if she consumes the forbidden fruit). We must be aware that we are born again by the Word, set apart by the Word, purified by the Word, and will be presented to Christ through the Word. Question the Word in a way that God will answer it. Don’t scrutinise it using your logic, for the Lord’s logic is something that is unimaginable for mankind. The Word of God is a double-edged sword that penetrates into you, changing you in a way that is unrecognisable to you. Do not learn the Word to teach, learn it to live. God will always test you to know where you stand.
Part 3: Another Jesus, another gospel
Jellyfish Christianity: a Christianity without bone, or muscle, or sinew, without any distinct teaching about the atonement or the work of the Spirit, or justification, or the way of peace with God – a vague, foggy, misty Christianity, of which the only watchwords seem to be, “You must be liberal and kind. You must condemn no man’s doctrinal views. You must consider everybody is right and nobody is wrong.”
Many revivals were not sustained because there was no God. If we cannot teach the Word of God, we must not pray for revival.
Paul says that there is another Jesus inside the church. How do you differentiate the real one and the ones that are not?
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
When you go to Jesus, you get to the Father. Through anything or anyone other than Jesus, you cannot get to the Father. He is the only way.
“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.”
2 Corinthians 13:11
Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.
Paul ends his note by asking them to be perfect. Perfection refers to living in Christ. When God presents you an opportunity, He wants you to take up the challenge and be more like Him. Paul always pushed himself to perfection. How?
Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
Paul did not just preach to be perfect. He pressed on and pushed towards perfection. You need to know how it is to live a life that gives glory to God. As you go through challenges, if you see that the Spirit of God is pressing you to something that you do not want to do, hold on, and know that His grace is sufficient for you; through Him, all things are possible. Acknowledge that you have a high calling. Paul says that he takes pleasure in all that he goes through for Christ’s sake.
And you also must testify, for you have been with me from the beginning.
When you come to the church and take baby steps, there are men of God in the Church that are models on how to live in Christ; it does not mean that they are the model of perfection, it means that they will show you how it is to live in God’s path.
“But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. 8 When he comes, he will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment: 9 about sin, because people do not believe in me; 10 about righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; 11 and about judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned.”
He will convict you in every single thing, not to punish you, but to show you the way of righteousness. The Holy Spirit will tell you that there will be judgement (consequences) when you are not living in Christ.
“For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.”
The Holy Spirit reminds you before you act that this is not how Jesus would act. The power of the Holy Spirit in its true sense is setting you apart from the world because you don’t belong to the world.
For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. 12 It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.
We live in a world that is ungodly. It will teach us to say NO to ungodliness and worldly lust. If you love the world and things of the world, you do not love the Father. It is not an easy thing to give up the things of the world. This is why you need the Word daily; it has the power to cleanse and purify you. The more you learn His Word, it burdens you and gives you visions. You have a blessed hope about His promise: His coming.
The Word of God says that you are peculiar, zealous of good works. It should not matter if you get the credit for your works, or if you get something else out of it. You should do everything for God.
2 Peter 3:17
Therefore, dear friends, since you have been forewarned, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of the lawless and fall from your secure position.
The Word asks us to not let anyone take off our crowns. The most important part of our lives is not to live comfortably, but to live holy. It is important to upheld our position; to constantly question if your actions will lead you to meeting Him (the divine reward).