Saturday, August 4, 2012
“To whom ye forgive any thing, I forgive also: for if I forgave any thing, to whom I forgave it, for your sakes forgave I it in the person of Christ; lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices” (2 Corinthians 2:10,11 KJV).
In today’s Scripture, we learn that the Corinthians and the Apostle Paul had forgiven someone. Who was this individual, and why was it necessary for the Christian brethren to forgive him? Grace brethren, be on guard, for Satan employs the oldest military strategy—“divide and conquer.”
When Paul wrote the epistle of First Corinthians, he addressed nearly a dozen issues that disrupted Christian fellowship and hindered spiritual growth in Corinth. The problem associated with today’s Scripture is described in 1 Corinthians 5:1-5. A Christian brother in Corinth was having sexual relations with his father’s wife, an act that not even the pagan Gentiles committed! Unfortunately, the Corinthians were bragging of this sin, making light of it, and Paul’s solution was to temporarily cast out the man from fellowship, which would hopefully bring him to his senses, and cause him to change his lifestyle (verses 9-11).
Now, in today’s Scripture, a year or so has passed since the penning of First Corinthians. Evidently, the Corinthians had heeded Paul’s instructions by having nothing to do with the fornicator (2 Corinthians 2:6). Paul now writes to the Corinthians, “So that contrariwise ye ought rather to forgive him, and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one should be swallowed up with overmuch sorrow. Wherefore I beseech you that you would confirm your love toward him” (verses 7,8). This brother had now straightened up, so the Corinthians were to forgive him, accept him, and show their love toward him, lest Satan would use bitterness and strife to further divide these Christians.
Saints, we must never be ignorant of Satan’s “devices,” tactics he uses to thwart the ministry of the local grace church (today’s Scripture). May we forgive, and not “give place to the devil” by holding grudges or being bitter (Ephesians 4:25-32). Satan is our enemy, not our grace brethren.