Chapters 10-13 mark a transition, a change in tone. In Chapter 1-7 Paul defends his apostolic authority and ministry. In Chapters 8-9 Paul teaches on generosity. And now in Chapters 10-13 Paul is going to exercise his apostolic authority against false teaching. False teaching unaddressed leads people astray. So how does Paul address it?
First, with gentleness, meekness, yet boldness. Attitude is everything. Paul didn’t want to use his authority (“I beg”) but if he had to he would.
Second, because this is a spiritual war, Paul says he doesn’t fight with “the standards of this world” but with God’s Word, prayer & obedience. He realizes he’s in a battle bigger than Corinth and he has his spiritual armor on (Ephesians 6)!
Thirdly, Paul’s life & integrity gave him the platform to address these things (7-11). Your walk has to match your talk.
Fourthly, you address issues with humility (12). Comparison is not with others but with God’s holy standard – which puts all of us on the same level – sinners!
Finally, Paul’s boast is in the Lord. Yep – keep bringing it back to Jesus as you address issues and the Holy Spirit can do great work!
*What are some of the false teachings that can tempt you & I each day? Money? Self-centeredness? Truth is relative? Etc… How are we combating those false teachings? Being in God’s Word helps us see them. Speaking up with gentleness and boldness is another way.
*How are we living? Does our life show integrity? Do we even value a life of integrity? It takes years to build and only seconds to trash. One of the greatest witnesses to the Gospel of Jesus is the way you & I live – holy, honestly and not for ourselves but for Jesus.
*Ever get into the comparison mode? You know, “I may be bad but I’m not as bad off as……..” As believers, the standard by which we are judged will never be someone else’s life. We are measured against the perfection of Christ – and we ALL fall short. BUT PTL for God reconciling us in Jesus (5:17-21)!!!!!!