Pastor John Daily Briefing -March 10, 2021

Pastor John Daily Briefing -March 10, 2021

To all the saints in Christ Jesus,

 

The Apostle Paul makes it abundantly clear that our renewed relationship with God in Christ Jesus comes to us by grace, a gift. Paul alerts believers that as humans we all fall short of the glory of God; we miss the mark each and everyone of us. That understanding led Paul to address those churches and Christians whereby some were continually trying to find fault in others. This was particularly true in the Corinthian church. Therefore, Paul demonstrated that the gift of God's grace that we receive in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus is intricately related to the forgiveness that is extended within the human community.

 

Paul clearly understood the pain, the angst, experienced when humans fall short of the glory of God and in whose actions bear estrangement and grief. He knew the brokenness of sin, his own included. He was acquainted with fault-finding and the mean-spiritedness that creeps in forms of punishment. But he asks the church to be receptive to the manner that God's grace in Christ bears upon the church. In 2 Corinthians 2:5f, Paul addresses a church that seemed to be acting exceedingly harsh against another who brought the pain of sin upon the community. Apparently, the church wanted to, in their fault-finding, extend an exaggerated punishment upon the individual.

 

Here, Paul intercedes, by stating in2:6f, "This punishment by the majority is enough for such a person; so now instead you should forgive and console him, so that he may not be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. So I urge you to reaffirm your love for him. I wrote for this reason: to test you and to know whether you are obedient in everything. Anyone whom you forgive, I also forgive. What I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, has been for your sake in the presence of Christ." Paul emphasizes that forgiveness is a foundational mark of and for the Christian community as it represents healing, hope, and restoration rather than the fault-finding and mean-spiritedness that plays into Satan's designs: (2:11) "And we do this so that we may not be outwitted by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his designs."

 

Later, Paul adds in 3:4-6, "Such is the confidence that we have through Christ toward God. Not that we are competent of ourselves to claim anything as coming from us; our competence is from God, who made us competent to be servants of a new covenant, not of letter but of spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life."

 

May the Spirit of gentleness and forgiveness direct our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.    Pastor John