Walking with the Bridegroom
Walking with the Bridegroom
Words of Faith 12-13-17
Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2017
Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL
<>< <>< <>< <>< <>< <>< <>< <>< <>< <><
2 Corinthians 11
I hope you will put up with a little of my foolishness; but you are already doing that.  I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him.  But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent's cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ.  For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough.  But I do not think I am in the least inferior to those "super-apostles."  I may not be a trained speaker, but I do have knowledge. We have made this perfectly clear to you in every way.
The whole idea that Paul would have to defend himself to the Corinthians was a sort of foolishness or folly. Paul should have never been put in the position of having compare himself to either the false apostles or the "super apostles" as some called them-- the Twelve in Jerusalem. His great concern was for the believers in Corinth and the peril they were in of being enticed away from Christ.
It was with a godly jealously that Paul anguished over the church at Corinth. In his mind, they were the virgin bride promised to one husband, Christ Jesus. But Paul saw them being led astray by other suitors. Paul saw himself as a sort of "best man" guarding the bride from those who would come and try to steal the heart of the bride away from the bridegroom.
The false apostles who had come into the region had preached a "different Jesus" and offered a "different spirit" than what Paul had preached. The fact that the Corinthians had listened to this false teaching was distressing to say the least. They should have taken more care and recognized the alien teaching and rejected it no matter how attractive it may have seemed.
Apparently, the false apostles boasted of their relationship with the Twelve in Jerusalem. Paul knew in his heart that he was not in any way inferior to the Twelve. He knew that God had called him and made to be the Apostle to the Gentiles and that even the Twelve had agreed to this. Paul may not have had the same rhetorical polish as some of these traveling preachers, but he knew that he had the knowledge and authority of God.
Who were these false apostles? We don't know for sure. Many possibilities have been suggested but several factors indicate that they were Palestinian Jews, members of the Jerusalem church who were false brothers in Paul's estimation. They may have even carried commendatory letters from the church, possibly under the auspices of the Jerusalem Council, to survey compliance with the Jerusalem decree. It is also possible that they were a maverick delegation, self-appointed to enforce Mosaic ordinances.
For us we see a reminder not to be swayed by an attractive sounding movement or a compelling personality that is teaching Jesus in a "new way.” We need to beware of teachers bringing a different spirit than the one we have known to be true through the teaching of the Bible and sound doctrinal foundations.
While there are many creative efforts these days share the Gospel in ways that speak to the cultures of today, there are also so-called emergent theologies that water down the truth of the Gospel and call to repentance. We need to be careful about movements that attempt to morph Jesus into an image that is more palatable to the world.
How do we stay on track? We spend time with the Bridegroom in His Word and through His Spirit. We fellowship with believers who are filled with the Spirit and associate ourselves with places of teaching that are sound and not whimsical. We walk in careful anticipation of His return.
Father God, keep me close to the Bridegroom Jesus. Keep me close to Your Word and guide me in Your Holy Spirit. Keep the Body of Christ walking closely with You. In Jesus' Name.