Today’s readings.. (2 Kings 13), (Ezekiel 3), (2 Corinthians 10), (2 Corinthians 11)

It is human nature to constantly draw comparisons between “us” and “them.”  This is particularly evident in the “game” of politics.  Paul, as he starts to draw his 2nd letter to the Corinthians to a conclusion, expresses concern about certain influences upon them which were not spiritually healthy. He writes, “the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have power to destroy strongholds” [10 v.4]
The weapons Paul is interested in, because they are vital as affecting our ‘eternity’,  are not physical weapons; they are those which destroy the “strongholds” of wrong thinking. Paul next states, “We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ. …” [v.5] It is the words of Christ and the words his apostles were inspired to say and write which “destroy arguments” founded on human reasoning, which are even more dangerous when they are expressed as a “lofty opinion” seeming to be an extension of God’s revealed word. Paul writes of “our authority, which the Lord gave for building you up …” [v.8], but he is concerned about  “those who are commending themselves.  But when they measure themselves by one another and compare themselves with one another they are without understanding.” [v.12]  Real understanding and genuine faith will only increase when it is built up on a true “knowledge of God”[v.5] as found in his revealed word.
Paul says, “I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ.  For if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus than 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” [11 v.3,4].
It is those who “measure themselves by one another” instead of the word of God that distort the nature and message of Jesus Christ.  The end result, as history shows, has been to portray Jesus as equal to God himself and to create a “different gospel” rather that the gospel that was first preached to Abraham (Galatians 3 v.7-9).  May we, through our constant reading and reflection on the words of Scripture learn to fully measure ourselves, our beliefs and hopes, by the actual words that God has inspired and that have been preserved to our day.

 

* Click verse text to see cross references.
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