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Only One risen Saviuor

Only One risen Saviuor
There is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved - Jesus

Saturday, 17 June 2017

2 Corinthians Day 43 - I'm Begging You!


6:11 O Corinthians! We have spoken openly to you, our heart is wide open. 12 You are not restricted by us, but you are restricted by your own affections. 13 Now in return for the same (I speak as to children), you also be open.



Without the context of the letter these verses wouldn't make much sense would they? I hope as we travel through the Bible together verse by verse you are seeing how crucial it is to keep the big picture in mind. I wasn't taught to read/study the Bible this way growing up. The Bible was used as a resource from which to take individual verses and string them together to prove a teaching.  I was in high school when I began to see how poor a method this could be. I owe the discovery to a friend. She was a pretty friend but there was a problem. She was a Jehovah's Witness. That meant she wasn't allowed to like me or come to my church. In an attempt to fix the impasse she gave me a book of their teachings, their understanding of the Bible. I took it home and read it. Found some weird stuff in there as well as some ideas I had never heard of. The weird part was it was all backed up by the Bible or at least appeared to be. There was at least one quoted verse for every teaching. The book was full of Bible quotes. How could this be? So I grabbed my Bible and started looking up the verses only to discover that the verses were all picked from their context like roses from a garden and twisted or misused to teach things the Bible didn't teach at all. When I talked to her about it do you know what she said? "We don't really read the Bible." Now before you jump to the conclusion I'm picking on her church, there are plenty of people in all churches who think they know what the Bible teaches and can even quote some verses but "don't really read the Bible."



2 Corinthians was written for a purpose. There was a problem in Corinth. Paul wrote to address that problem. The entire letter must be read with that problem in mind. The church was refusing grace to a fallen brother who was sorry and was seeking forgiveness and attempting to live a changed life. 



6:11 O Corinthians! We have spoken openly to you, our heart is wide open. 12 You are not restricted by us, but you are restricted by your own affections. 13 Now in return for the same (I speak as to children), you also be open.



Paul is begging them to see their situation as it really is. Do you remember 1 Corinthians? Do you remember how many issues the church had then? Paul dealt with their sins but he never withheld grace from them. He didn't refuse forgiveness or turn his back on them because they were struggling. His heart is wide open toward them but their hearts are restricted. There is a clogged artery and we all know what happens when a heart has a clogged artery. What is causing the blockage? The Greek word translated here as affections is much broader than one English word can convey. It means feelings, emotions, compassion, affections. 



Whatever that man did it really hurt them and rather than looking at how big God's grace is, they are fixated on their feelings, their pain, and it is choking their compassion and cutting off their affections. If they persist that part of their heart that could love that man and aid in his recovery will die. Do you know what will happen after that? Their hearts will weaken. Their ability to forgive and restore others will be damaged. Eventually they will suffer from heart failure. The grace of God will no longer be found among them.



Consider this: Give yourself permission to hate just one person and eventually you will find ways to excuse hating anyone who offends you.



God's heart is fully open toward you. Open yours toward others and never allow it to close. 

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