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First, Second, Third

11 Sep

We’re continuing to go through Paul’s second letter to the Corinthian church.  As we start chapter 11, Paul is beginning to wind down his final thoughts.

I hope you will put up with a little of my foolishness; but you are already doing that.  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.
2 Corinthians 11:1-2

Here he explains why he’s so forceful in his writings.  He actually could be writing this to any believer that’s reading this epistle.

He repeats himself.  He tells us that he’s passionate with a holy passion.  He was the one who preached the Gospel that they believed, accepted, and acted upon.

He sees himself as the one who betrothed them to one husband – Christ Himself.  His desire is for them to be holy and pure.  The goal is for them to have no other love interests.

For those of you who have been following this blog for some time, that theme should sound familiar.  Paul is not the first one to say this.

It’s the first thing we learned about the Holy Spirit in the New Testament.  (Remember…our Bible isn’t arranged in the order that God gave it to us.  James was the first of the New Testament books written.)

You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God?  Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.  Or do you think Scripture says without reason that the spirit he caused to live in us envies intensely?
James 4:4-5

The first thing in Scripture that the Holy Spirit reveals to the church is that He’s intensely jealous.  We can’t be chasing after other desires and not expect Him to be grieved by it.

That’s why I try so hard to convey to everyone that the church is not an organization with a bunch of rules to follow.  It’s a relationship with a person…Jesus Christ.  The way we communicate with Him is through the Holy Spirit.

In his passion for the church, Paul felt he had to remind them of this fact.  They seemed to be wavering in their commitment to the Lord.

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.
2 Corinthians 11:3

There’s a deception that’s been dogging the church throughout history.  It’s the idea that I can give God first place.  That thought is a lie from the devil.

The Lord never said that He wants to be first among many.  He wants to be your all in all – your everything.

We need to come to the place where we once again understand that we’re in a covenant relationship with Christ.  That’s the same as a marriage. It’s not an agreement or a contract.

We need to place everything else in our lives under submission to the Lord.

Question: Are there things in your life that are a close second to your devotion to Christ?

© 2020 Nick Zaccardi

 
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Posted by on September 11, 2020 in Revival, Spiritual Walk

 

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