Friday, August 31, 2012
“For ye suffer fools gladly, seeing ye yourselves are wise. For ye suffer, if a man bring you into bondage, if a man devour you, if a man take of you, if a man exalt himself, if a man smite you on the face” (2 Corinthians 11:19,20 KJV).
Sinful mankind naturally seeks dishonest material gain, and today’s Scripture explains that clerics are no exception.
Since Hurricane/Tropical Storm Isaac has passed through my area, police and other state officials are cautioning residents to be wary of phony contractors who are going door-to-door and “offering” their (fraudulent) services of rebuilding and demolition. These persons, like false religious teachers, prey on the weak and desperate, and we need to guard ourselves against them.
The Corinthians, although Christians, had precious little understanding of God’s Word rightly divided. Hence, they were vulnerable to doctrinal error (heresies), which abounded in their assembly (the Apostle Paul wrote First Corinthians to reprove them): “For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be manifest among you” (1 Corinthians 11:19). Now, a year or so after writing that, Paul wrote today’s Scripture, and evidently the Corinthians are still “approving” these false teachers.
Notice Paul’s sarcasm in today’s Scripture: “Ye suffer [allow/permit] fools gladly, seeing ye yourselves are wise.” Essentially, “You Corinthians are so ‘wise’ that you gladly listen to a bunch of fools!” (Unfortunately, Paul would write this to Christendom today!) These false teachers discouraged the Corinthians from heeding and obeying the Lord’s Word through the Apostle Paul, and the Corinthians gladly allowed themselves to be deceived (cf. Galatians 3:1-4; Galatians 4:15-21). Today’s Scripture shows these false teachers acquired both the Corinthians’ trust and their income!
Saints, let us be “perfect” (spiritually mature) and “edified” (spiritually built up, strengthened) in God’s Word rightly divided, “that we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight [trickery] of men, and cunning craftiness [scams], whereby they lie in wait [secretly] to deceive;” (Ephesians 4:12,14).
Let us be wary of false teachers, who have “the propensity to acquire our currency.”