Message: Can We Forgive and Forget?
Preacher: Japhet De Oliveira
Refresh: Open with prayer. Read or listen to Psalm 24:7-10.
Read: 2 Corinthians 5:11-21 - As you read in the ESV translation, note 1-3 insights/questions that arise.
Reflect: Frank Viola, in his book The Untold Story of the New Testament, shares this context for 2 Corinthians on pages 125-126:
“While Paul is writing this letter, he gets word that the church in Corinth is having a new problem. Not long after Titus left Corinth, the church was visited by Jewish “super apostles” (as Paul sarcastically calls them) who undermine Paul’s authority and seek to bring the Corinthians under the authority of the Jerusalem church. Regrettably, some of the Corinthians have received these men and their false gospel—which is a gospel of Law. The “super apostles” try to discredit Paul in the eyes of the Corinthians by telling them the following:
- Paul cannot be trusted. He is not a man of his word. Example: He changed his mind regarding his travel plans. He says one thing but does another. Therefore, his “yes” does not mean “yes,” and his “no” does not mean “no.”
- When Paul preached to you, he left out the most glorious and life-giving part of the gospel…the Law.
- Paul is not a real apostle. He does not have a letter of commendation like we (the “super apostles”) have nor does he accept money for himself. If he were a real apostle, he would have a letter of commendation, and he would take your money.
- Paul is exploiting you by asking you to collect money for a supposed relief fund.
- When Paul is among you, he is weak, humble, and unimpressive in his speaking. But when he is upset, he becomes bold, fierce, and articulate in his letters.
- Paul does not have supernatural experiences like we (the “super apostles[…]”) have.
Respond: Pray for patience.
Research: Explore “reconcile” in a Thesaurus.