Today’s Scripture Reading: 2 Corinthians 11:1-13:14, Acts 20:7-12
“Is it a counterfeit?” That was the big question when twenty-dollar bills came through my teller window.
I was a teller for only a short time, so I needed a counterfeit pen to sort the real from the fake, but some of the experienced, life-long tellers could “feel” the counterfeit bills. I would watch in amazement as they would say, “this one’s a fake.”
Wouldn’t it be great if we had an instrument we could use to test our faith?
In Paul’s final words to the Corinthians he told them to examine themselves to see if their faith was genuine.
It seemed that Paul could spot the counterfeit Christians as easy as my teller friends could feel the fake money.
Here are some of the reasons he was concerned about the Corinthians:
- They happily put up with whatever anyone told them, even if they preached a different Jesus, or a different Spirit or a different gospel (2 Corinthians 11:4)
- They were being disloyal to Paul by listening to false apostles (2 Corinthians 11:12-13)
- Some were falsely accusing Paul of taking advantage of them (2 Corinthians 12:16-17)
- Paul suspected quarreling, jealousy, anger, selfishness, slander, gossip, arrogance and disorderly behavior (2 Corinthians 12:20)
- Many had not given up their old sins (2 Corinthians 12:21)
- They had not repented of their impurity, sexual immorality, and eagerness for lustful pleasure (2 Corinthians 12:21)
Friends, Paul could have been talking to the 21st century church.
He could have been talking to you and me.
Paul’s desire was to strengthen the Corinthians, not tear them down. Sometimes we all need a good dose of reality. Paul prayed that they would NOT do what was wrong by refusing his correction.
Paul closed his letter with four outward signs of a genuine Christian (2 Corinthians 13:11).
- Are you a joyful person?
- Are you growing and maturing in your faith in Jesus Christ? (Do you “know Him more” than you did a year ago?)
- Do you encourage others?
- Do you seek to live in harmony and peace with others?
Let’s stop our world, our brain, and our body and take some time to examine our faith.
Paul’s list of concerns is a great starting point but let’s make sure we also have the outward signs. The world can spot a counterfeit Christian without a special tool; being around a genuine Christian just “feels” different!
Heavenly Father, forgive us for following in the footsteps of the Corinthian church. Thank you for Your Word that corrects us. Help us to be people of action and make the changes in our lives that move us closer to being more like you Jesus. Help us to be the “real deal” to those who don’t know You. Help others to “feel” Your love for them through us.
In Jesus’ Name. Amen and Amen!
© 2012 Dianne Guthmuller
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Acts 20:13-21:36