Today’s readings.. (2 Kings 13), (Ezekiel 3), (2 Corinthians 10,11)
People boast today of everything they can which they hope will add to their prestige. Politicians in particular are
very anxious about the image they are creating – what people think of them. It has to be good or they will not get re-elected. Such is the growing noise from the US elections today.
Our chapters in 2nd Corinthians today illustrate that attitudes like this were a problem at Corinth. It is interesting to note Paul’s tactic in writing his second letter; but first, his opening chapters include praise for the improving spirit in the ecclesia so that “in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ we will boast about you”(1 v.14).
Paul’s success in Corinth was creating envy and jealousy among others. We note how those who have only a limited grasp of the spiritual way of thinking show how their minds are dominated by fleshly motivations; this is evident in what they talk about, which amounts to boasting
Paul says that these, “commend themselves … they measure themselves by one another and compare themselves with one another, they are without understanding.” [10 v. 12] The real seriousness of this type of mind is that it is developed from the way of thinking that led to sin in the Garden of Eden, note how Paul makes this point. [11 v.3]
At Corinth it was causing some to “be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ” Paul says, “if someone comes and proclaims a different Jesus to the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it readily enough.” [v.3,4] This can and does happen today, that is why there are so many different churches.
Our minds must have a constant input from the mind of God and his Son, through reading and meditation on his word or we will descend to human ways of thinking and boasting – because boasting is what it amounts to. The present generation uses the word “ego.” It is said that having self-esteem is very important and many evangelical churches delight to push this theme, but it is a theme with no basis in God’s word, it undermines the spirit of humility.
The atmosphere at Corinth was in danger of becoming parallel to that in Australia today. We need God’s word IN our thoughts every day to help keep out the fleshly attitudes that surround us. Paul says, don’t you realize Christ is IN you? Those who are baptised need to realize this as fully as they can – as must those who are thinking about baptism.