PART 6 PERSONAL ASSOCIATIONS Knowing When to Maintain Them and Knowing When to Avoid Them ●The Ministry Be Not Blamed ●Corrupting One’s Mind CHAPTER 10 The Ministry Be Not Blamed As believers, what types of behavior should we not be engaged in, and what should our response be to those in leadership, who are condoning these actions? Suggested Reading: 2 Corinthians 6:1-12 Giving no offence in any thing, that the ministry be not blamed: (2 Corinthians 6:3) Paul is saying to the Corinthians, that they are workers together with himself and Timothy, and that they were not reconciled to God by Jesus Christ for no purpose. As they have begun anew in the Spirit, in the Spirit they should continue. They should be “giving no offense” (to not do something which causes others to stumble, i.e. leads them into error or sin; to be involved in any transgression or scandal that might take place among the ministers, or the Christians themselves, whereby the unbelieving Jews or Gentiles might take occasion of offence) so that Paul and the ministry of his associates would not be discredited. While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage. (2 Peter 2:19) While it’s true that each member of the body of Christ is to work out their own salvation, those in leadership should be examples to the flock of this working out. If they are giving offense by engaging in sinful actions [e.g. adultery, fornication, homosexuality, stealing, fraud (trickery perpetrated for profit or to gain some unfair or dishonest advantage), etc.], which they justify by explaining to the assembly as being expressions of their liberty (to do as one pleases) in Christ, then you should recognize this for what it is, using religion as a means to promote: selfish ambition; selfish desires; selfish behaviors. For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. (Galatians 5:13) The leadership of the church should not be advocating that we continue on in our immoral desires, but that we learn to recognize these fleshly mindsets, confess them as sin, and put on the heavenly mindset that causes us to operate in the fruit (love, joy, peace, etc.) of the Holy Spirit. Growing in Christ does not mean to continue in our old ways of thinking, speaking, and acting, but it is learning how to put on the new man that we have become at salvation. For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire. (2 Peter 2:20-22) Are you being taught to give no offense or are you being taught that you can live according to your fleshly passions? Are you learning how to walk in the Spirit or are you learning that continuing to engage in sinful behavior is considered as walking in the Spirit? Don’t be deceived. Sin is sin. You repented to God the Father and believed in his Son Jesus Christ because you wanted a new nature. You didn’t want to continue on the road you were on. If the leadership wants you to go back and continue to walk on the wrong road, then make the decision to get off this road and go somewhere else where the teaching puts you on the narrow path. CHAPTER 11 Corrupting One’s Mind Should we maintain our association with those who: preach another Jesus, cause others to receive another spirit; preach another gospel? Suggested Reading: 2 Corinthians 11:3-20 But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. (2 Corinthians 11:3) Paul is concerned that as the devil deceived Eve in the Garden of Eden so should the thoughts of the Corinthian believers be corrupted concerning their single hearted faith in Christ. 4 For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him. He says it’s possible that you might gladly tolerate those who: 1. Preach another Jesus. This refers to his identity. It is true that he was a prophet and a teacher but not just a prophet and teacher. He is also one of the persons of the trinity, being God the Son, who came to earth in the form of a man without sin, who died on a cross and paid for the sins of the whole world along with providing forgiveness, thus satisfying the justice of God. He is the only way to gain access to God the Father. It is by believing in, who he is and what he has done, that procures the receiving of the Holy Spi2. Receiving another spirit. 2. Receiving another spirit. Without faith in Christ there is no receiving of the Holy Spirit. If there is no receiving of the Holy Spirit, then God’s presence and guidance can’t be experienced, and hence another spirit will be received. 3. Accepting another gospel. The gospel is the good news that Christ, who is the God-man, paid for the sins of the whole world. By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison; (1 Peter 3:19) He died on the cross and descended into hell and preached unto the spirits, who were residing there. Some believe that these spirits are fallen angels. What did Jesus say to them? We don’t know. What some believe is that these angels tried to corrupt the line of Christ, which they were unsuccessful in doing. By means of the Holy Spirit, Christ was raised from the dead, his spirit having re-entered his fleshly body, which became transformed into a glorified body never to die again. He ascended into heaven and is now seated at the right hand of God the Father. 13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. He calls those, whose teachings are as such, false apostles and deceitful workers. The effect of receiving these teachings is that their minds would be corrupted (lead astray) from their single-hearted faith in Christ. This has many inferences. These believers might change their mind about who Christ is, possibly denying his deity and proclaiming that there are many avenues to heaven. Their walk might no longer be dependent on the ministry of the Spirit, but on a religious system of do’s and don’ts. If this declaration weren’t enough, Paul makes this emphatic statement that they might well bear with him. Another word, they might tolerate or even submit readily when someone comes with a different message. What an indictment? I wonder how many Christians have been deceived by other teachings or have even embraced teachings from faiths other than Christianity? 14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. 15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works. These workers emulate Satan himself, who is transformed (disguised) as an angel of light (pseudo emissary), and they like him promote doctrines which persuade men (believers or unbelievers) to do things under the name of religion. What does religion promote? Religion promotes the philosophy that you can live the way you want as long as you follow the protocols of their faith (e.g. Jesus is not God; there are many gods; there is more than one way to get to heaven; walking in the Spirit is by analogy doing good works, etc.) It is unfortunate today that there are many Christians, who have become a new creation, but attend churches that don’t teach the foundational doctrines of the faith. I have seen this happen over and over again. They claim that it is God’s love which motivates them to remain in a religious environment. Their hope is that even though the gospel isn’t preached, God would open up an opportunity for them to share it with the religious unbelievers. In this environment, the basis for securing entrance to heaven is by being subjected to some kind of human action upon oneself. Pleasing God is relegated to adhering to patterns of outward observance. Fellowship with God by means of the ministry of the Holy Spirit is substituted by engaging in church activities, which have a godly tradition. Church becomes a social gathering with a godly slant with no divine empowerment. If this was the kind of environment that Paul considered acceptable, he would have said to the Corinthians that they should tolerate such leaders. However, he made it clear that if they accepted them along with their false teachings they would be lead astray from the Christian faith. Follow this series: on-line at Weekly Messages: Author Page: Website:

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