Strength through weakness

We thought in the last couple of chapters about Paul as an ‘authorised person’ or apostle and how false apostles had taken a prominent position in Corinth. These imposters were undermining Paul’s apostolic authority and placing the church in danger. This theme continues in the final chapters of the letter and along the way we see how Paul’s striving with these awkward people was not for his benefit but was aimed at restoration and strengthening.

When things go wrong

We sang that great old hymn ‘standing in the promises’ last Sunday evening. Someone famously joked that many Christians spend their time ‘sitting (idly) in the premises’ rather than ‘standing on the promises’ – and I suppose that makes us smile because there is more than a grain of truth in it! Paul begins this seventh chapter of 2 Corinthians with this “Since we have these promises”

An authorised person

A couple of years ago I became an authorised person.  I was authorised by Her Majesty’s government and in the words of the government papers I was made:  “responsible for ensuring that the legal requirements of marriages solemnized in a registered building are met; this includes marriage preliminaries, registration of marriages etc.”. It’s a solemn duty and one which I take very seriously. Imagine for a moment that some unauthorised person was to push themselves forward at a marriage ceremony,

Don’t mess things up!

In the last few chapters of 2 Corinthians we have discovered the remarkable benefits we receive as we put our faith and trust in Jesus. We benefit from the New Covenant that changes us from the inside out, which gives us the opportunity to reflect God’s glory.

The Acid Test

Metallurgists test the purity and content of metals. They talk about the acid test – a test that distinguishes real gold from base metals. As Christians we are rather good at presenting ourselves as upstanding and righteous members of society, but there is an acid test

What do you value most?: a nice house, a successful career, a happy marriage and home life, good food and drink, great experiences? These things are all good, but they are not the best – we will see in this chapter Paul’s statement on what matters most.