2 Corinthians 7:12 Think First of Your Church

2 Corinthians 7:12 (KJV)
Wherefore, though I wrote unto you, I did it not for his cause that had done the wrong, nor for his cause that suffered wrong, but that our care for you in the sight of God might appear unto you.

Paul had written in his first letter and the fifth chapter a very stern rebuke for the actions of a young member. That member had by this time repented and the church as a whole had heeded the instruction of Paul. This had pleased him immeasurably in the midst of the battles he faced in Macedonia.

Paul here gives a statement both preachers and their congregations could learn much from.

He says that his rebuke was not primarily meant to correct the individual.
No doubt that was in his mind and heart. He cared for this one as can be seen in his instructions concerning him once he had repented.

He says he meant not chiefly to comfort and aide the one who had been wronged.
Surely this would have been a secondary goal. The one who had been wronged would surely have wanted it righted.

He says his first concern was the care of the whole body.
His primary goal was for the church.[1]

This ought to be the first concern of every preacher. Further every member of the church ought to understand that and desire it to be so. When the pastor gives direction, issues rebuke and even gets personal about it, the members of the church ought to take it that he is doing exactly what he is called to do. He is caring for the whole.

[1] See Gill’s notes as a confirmation.

 

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2 Corinthians 7:12 Think First of Your Church

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2 Corinthians 6:1 Vain Grace

2 Corinthians 6:1 (KJV)
We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain.

This grace must not be that of salvation since he is speaking to a church, a body of believers. Not that everyone in a church possesses true salvation for surely there are false professions in every congregation. The body as a whole however is representative of genuine salvation. That can never be vain.

But the grace of salvation is received for a purpose. (Perhaps this is the devil’s trick in getting men to see it as either saved or lost; to make salvation personal[1] and remove its ultimate purpose.) Ephesians 2:10 (KJV)

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

The grace of God:

  • Draws believers into a church,
  • Unifies them in that church and
  • Commissions them to a specific work

When we become focused on self, or divided in the body, we lose sight of our purpose and it becomes vain.

The church must have members:

  • Committed to the church,
  • Forgiving of offenses and
  • Busy in service

or the grace God has given becomes fruitless.

[1] As in, “It’s personal and nobody’s business.”

 

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2 Corinthians 6:1 Vain Grace

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Numbers 23:21 No Iniquity in Jacob?

Numbers 23:21 (KJV)[1] He hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob, neither hath he seen perverseness in Israel: the LORD his God is with him, and the shout of a king is among them.

The sins of the children of Israel to this point in their history are plentiful:

  • The sins of Abraham
  • The sins of Isaac
  • The sins of Jacob
  • The sins of his wives and
  • The sins of their children

are recorded for all to see. God didn’t attempt to cover them from our eyes

The sins of Israel as a race, just in those years in the wilderness are many. The very fact that they were still in the wilderness was the result of sin on their part.

Further, the future sins of this nation make up a huge part of what is the Bible. It culminates in their rejection of Christ judging themselves unworthy of eternal life and being the first in history to persecute the Christian faith. God, we know, knew all of this. Still, the Lord exclaimed He had not beheld iniquity in Jacob. What that means is that God chose not to see their iniquity as a reason for cursing them through Balaam.

Here is the lesson for us; God is most certainly aware of our sins, past present and future. He is not ignorant of them but He has compartmentalized them.

He does not judge us in the extreme sense while we are in this life.
It gives us opportunity to be saved.

He does not judge the Christians in that extreme sense because they have been judged and hidden in Christ.

He then does not remember the Christian’s sin in respect to judgment.
He does chasten their sin for the purpose of correction.

[1] This is the fourth time I have focused my daily walk with God on this verse. The first time was all the way back in October of 2007. All three previous devotionals contained the same consideration, God had to have known the sins of Israel, but says he had not seen any iniquity in Israel, yet when I read it this time, it was just as much a blessing to me as it was the very first time I wrote about it in 2007. I love the Bible. It is a fresh, new and living book to those who believe.

 

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Numbers 23:21 No Iniquity in Jacob?

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Numbers 22:8-9 The Are Others

Numbers 22:8-9 (KJV)
And he said unto them, Lodge here this night, and I will bring you word again, as the LORD shall speak unto me: and the princes of Moab abode with Balaam.
And God came unto Balaam, and said, What men are these with thee?

Isn’t it interesting that the True and Living God spoke to Balaam though the Bible makes it abundantly clear that he had no association with the Jews or their history?

The location of Balaam’s residence is a subject of some discussion though most agree it was along the Euphrates River. If he was from Mesopotamia his roots would be similar to those of Abraham or of Job.

The point I want to make in this walk with God is that Israel was not alone. There were others, maybe not as doctrinally sound, maybe needing to have the way of God more clearly explained, but nevertheless believers in the same God and hearing from Him too.

When we find ourselves alone, wounded, frightened, we often see through blinders. The resulting tunnel vision obscures from our sight others of like faith.

  • Elijah faced a day like that
  • Elisha’s servant did too

It is only through faith that we are able to see beyond our own blindfold to the others who hear from the very same God.

 

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For this and more than 3800 earlier Daily Visits with God visit https://mckenzie-visit-with-god.blogspot.com. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

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Numbers 22:8-9 The Are Others

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2 Corinthians 4:18 Only In Faith

2 Corinthians 4:18 (KJV)
While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

Saints of past generations endured all they did, esteeming the suffering even of death as a light affliction, by practicing this lesson. They kept their gaze on things not seen. This is done:

By turning from the things that are seen
When the carnal eye sees the physical thing, it affects the heart. It is not possible to have a heart affected for heaven if the eye is looking at earth.

Only in faith
For it is the only sense at our disposal that reaches into the unseen world.

This has always been the conflict. Worldly men and religious souls have no facility to see the unseen. They can therefore not comprehend what it is we hope for. The pagans of old called Christians the atheists because they worshipped an invisible God. Lost or carnal family members have grieved over the deaths of their loved ones who, having the eye of faith, have died for eternity’s sake.

When one has an eye for the unseen, that which can be seen is of little use.

 

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For this and more than 3800 earlier Daily Visits with God visit https://mckenzie-visit-with-god.blogspot.com. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

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2 Corinthians 4:18 Only In Faith

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Numbers 20:12 The Unbelieving Believer

Numbers 20:12 (KJV)
And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron, Because ye believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them.

Included among those who had a heart of unbelief and died on the other side of the Jordan are Aaron and more shockingly, Moses.

It is possible to be a believer, a follower of Jesus and still have a heart of unbelief. It doesn’t mean that you won’t go to heaven but it does mean:

  • Your testimony for God is not what it should be
  • The Lord will rebuke you and
  • You will come short of all that might have been

Moses’s failure seems so slight doesn’t it? He was supposed to speak to the rock and he smote it instead. (Notice too that he and Aaron took responsibility for the water that came from the rock.) All of Israel had survived the death angel in Egypt. They had all crossed the Red Sea. But most of them had a heart of unbelief at Kadesh Barnea. The Kohathites were commissioned of God and had wonderful duties for the Lord. But they too had a heart of unbelief concerning God’s role for Moses in relationship to them.

Christians too may possess a heart of unbelief. It doesn’t mean they are not saved. It means they are not right with God as they might be. Faith, believing God in the details and obeying him in them, is the difference between rewards in heaven and just having a place in heaven.

 

To my readers:
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For this and more than 3800 earlier Daily Visits with God visit https://mckenzie-visit-with-god.blogspot.com. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

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Numbers 20:12 The Unbelieving Believer

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2 Corinthians 2:17 Not All Corrupt The Word

2 Corinthians 2:17 (KJV)
For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ.

Here is a sobering thought and with it a very important principle. Many corrupt the Word of God as they speak. Not all mind you, but many. It might be by now, for the corruption has surely leavened a lot of the lump by now, that most corrupt the Word when they speak.

But not all do.

Paul said the difference between he and the corrupters was this; he spoke (or preached) in Christ and in the sight of God. This was not his message, his opinions or for his favor. His preaching was:

  • In the name of Christ
  • For the sake of Christ and
  • He was hidden in Christ

Further, he spoke in the sight of God. He recognized that God

  • Saw every motion he made
  • Knew every thought he had and
  • Heard every word he said

He understood he would give an account to God. This understanding regulated and informed his preaching.

One might rightly argue that anyone, even the corrupters, could claim what Paul did. It would be impossible to tell because we cannot know the heart. Yes, but God can and does. Draw nigh to God. Grow in a real and vital relationship with him and He will bring you to that place where God’s Word is preached without corruption.

 

To my readers:
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For this and more than 3800 earlier Daily Visits with God visit https://mckenzie-visit-with-god.blogspot.com. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

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2 Corinthians 2:17 Not All Corrupt The Word

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Numbers 19:20 Your Choice

Numbers 19:20 (KJV)
But the man that shall be unclean, and shall not purify himself, that soul shall be cut off from among the congregation, because he hath defiled the sanctuary of the LORD: the water of separation hath not been sprinkled upon him; he is unclean.

Notice the issue of choice, free will.

  • God provided a means to be clean.
  • God detailed the steps to access this purity and
  • God urged them to be clean.

But there is always someone who chooses to do otherwise. He is not forced to be clean. He is not required to be purified. He has a right of free will.

But there is a consequence. He is separated out.

What so many rebel against is the consequence.

  • They want to avoid work and get a paycheck too
  • They want to abuse their bodies and be healthy too
  • They want to be civilly disobedient and be protected by the government too
  • They want to sin against God and be accepted by God too

God gives us free will but we must bear the consequences of exercising it.

 

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For this and more than 3800 earlier Daily Visits with God visit https://mckenzie-visit-with-god.blogspot.com. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

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Numbers 19:20 Your Choice

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Numbers 18:6 Given To You But Not For You

Numbers 18:6 KJV
And I, behold, I have taken your brethren the Levites from among the children of Israel: to you they are given as a gift for the LORD, to do the service of the tabernacle of the congregation.

Types and pictures from Biblical examples are a bit tricky. We may use them, see them and learn from them but we can’t be dogmatic about them. What the Bible says is true. What one draws from what the Bible says may not be.

It is an error for instance to liken the priests of the Old Testament to New Testament ministry. Jesus has made every Christian a priest. Those churches (falsely so-called) that pattern churches after the Aaronic priesthood do so wrongly and with great harm.

A more accurate picture would be to see a new priesthood composed of all believers. They are taken from this world to be a peculiar people and a royal priesthood. God claims them as His own to do ministry for Him in this world. We can then extend the type farther to see Levi as given to Aaron to be and aid for the work of the Lord. In this type those called into ministry are given to the believers to help them perform their ministries. This is what we see in the book of Ephesians, chapter four.

Here’s the thing I see in our text; Levi was given to the priests but not for the priests. He was given to the priests for the Lord. Pastors are given to the members of the church in which they serve but for the Lord.

Better take care not mistreat those gifts to the church because they are there not specifically for the church but for the Lord. To mistreat them is to mistreat that which belongs to God.

 

To my readers:
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For this and more than 3800 earlier Daily Visits with God visit https://mckenzie-visit-with-god.blogspot.com. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

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Numbers 18:6 Given To You But Not For You

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Numbers 16:2 The Danger of Fame

Numbers 16:2 (KJV)
And they rose up before Moses, with certain of the children of Israel, two hundred and fifty princes of the assembly, famous in the congregation, men of renown:

There are obvious advantages to being “of renown.” These are men with noticeable skills, probably of wisdom, business, physical capability etc. They were famous for those skills. And no doubt benefited from the fame as much as the skill. But there are disadvantages too. For one, others will attempt to exploit those people for their own benefit. For another, those with the renown are tempted to forget where their abilities originated.

Both of these are brought to bear in our passage. Surely Korah chose those men he “took” on purpose. He didn’t pick out the more humble, and less known to join him in his cause. He picked those whose very renown would seem to support his claim that Moses took too much upon himself.

At the same time these men of renown would be the very ones to believe Moses took too much upon himself. We’re they not as capable? Were they not men of skill, fame and action? Could they not lead as well as Moses had? Could it not be that, had they been in charge, some of the calamities Israel had fallen in been would have been avoided?

Those with obvious ability must be doubly careful to avoid the trap of “believing their own press reports.”

 

To my readers:
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For this and more than 3800 earlier Daily Visits with God visit https://mckenzie-visit-with-god.blogspot.com. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

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Numbers 16:2 The Danger of Fame

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