March 4th, 2007
In today’s reading, Paul said, “We are treated like frauds, but we are genuine.” Ultimately that’s an issue which you have to decide for yourself. Is Paul a fraud, or is he genuine? Is Jesus a fraud, or is he genuine? How does the evidence stack up? Is it more likely that God exists or that God doesn’t exist? If God might exist, is the Christian view of God the right one, bearing in mind that all the contradictory views cannot be correct? Did the way Jesus lived his life reflect the values that he preached? Do the same values help you make sense of your own life?
Paul’s Second Letter to the Corinthians — Chapter 6
6:1 As we work together, we urge you not to receive the grace of God for no purpose. 6:2 He says, “At an acceptable time I listened to you. On a day of salvation I helped you.” The acceptable time is now. The day of salvation has arrived. 6:3 We avoid putting any obstacle in people’s way, so that our service cannot be blamed. 6:4 In everything we show ourselves to be servants of God, through great endurance, difficulties, hardships, distresses, 6:5 beatings, imprisonments, riots, hard work, sleepless nights, and hunger; 6:6 through purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, the Holy Spirit, sincere love, 6:7 the message of truth, and the power of God; with the armour of righteousness on the right side and on the left, 6:8 through glory and dishonour, slander and praise. We are treated as frauds, but we are genuine; 6:9 as unknown, but we are well known; as dying, but we live; as punished, but we are not killed; 6:10 as grieving, yet we are always rejoicing; as poor, yet we make many rich; as having nothing, yet we possess everything.
6:11 We are speaking openly with you, friends from Corinth. We have a big place for you in our hearts. 6:12 We are holding nothing back from you, but you are constrained in your love. 6:13 In return — I speak as if to my children — you should also open your hearts.
6:14 Don’t be unequally yoked with unbelievers. What do righteousness and wickedness have in common? What friendship is there between light and darkness? 6:15 What agreement does Christ have with the devil? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? 6:16 What agreement does a temple of God have with idols? You are a temple of the living God. God said, “I will live in them, and walk amongst them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.” 6:17 So, “Come out from among them, and be separate,” says the Lord. “Touch nothing which is unclean, and I will welcome you. 6:18 I will be a Father to you. You will be sons and daughters to me,” says the Lord Almighty.
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