Today is Thursday, January 10th. In this passage from his letter to Corinth, we see Paul’s heart and fatherly care towards the church. God is a jealous God, and Paul wanted to present an unblemished bride to the Beloved Bridegroom, the Lord Jesus. Yet, “super apostles” infiltrated the church preaching a different Jesus, a different gospel. They were charismatic, boisterous, and well-spoken. Paul exposes them for who they are and gives one of the most important warnings in the Bible! In the age in which we are living, this is also incredibly timely. Let’s dive in. - Amy
The following guide is a resource for you to use in your personal time of solitude with the Lord as well as when you connect with the Community that you facilitate. It can also be used for times with family or friends around the table.
CATCH-UP- What was your high and low from last week/yesterday?
SING + PRAY- Take some time for song (guitar, hymn, acapella or read a Psalm) and extended prayer as an individual/community. A simple path of prayer is to pray through one of the Psalms as a group or use the acronym ACTS (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication).
DISCOVER (IN LARGE GROUP)
[ 2 Corinthians 11:1-15 ]
1 I wish you would bear with me in a little foolishness. Do bear with me! 2 For I feel a divine jealousy for you, since I betrothed you to one husband, to present you as a pure virgin to Christ. 3 But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ. 4 For if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it readily enough. 5 Indeed, I consider that I am not in the least inferior to these super-apostles. 6 Even if I am unskilled in speaking, I am not so in knowledge; indeed, in every way we have made this plain to you in all things.
7 Or did I commit a sin in humbling myself so that you might be exalted, because I preached God's gospel to you free of charge? 8 I robbed other churches by accepting support from them in order to serve you. 9 And when I was with you and was in need, I did not burden anyone, for the brothers who came from Macedonia supplied my need. So I refrained and will refrain from burdening you in any way. 10 As the truth of Christ is in me, this boasting of mine will not be silenced in the regions of Achaia. 11 And why? Because I do not love you? God knows I do!
12 And what I am doing I will continue to do, in order to undermine the claim of those who would like to claim that in their boasted mission they work on the same terms as we do. 13 For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. 15 So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds.
+ WHAT are some of the main ideas that emerge from these verses?
(Use these questions to help make additional observations to clarify the main point)
_ What was Paul jealous of? Why do you think he opened the way he did (somewhat self-effacing and pleading “bear with me”)? (vs. 1-5)
_ What does verse 3 say about the importance of guarding our thoughts about Christ and about the one true Gospel?
_ How was Paul’s approach towards the church at Corinth different from the false apostles? (vs. 7-11)
_ How rampant do you think the conditions in verses 13-15 are in today’s church? How can you personally protect against this? How can you protect the church?
PROCESS (IN BREAKOUTS OF 2-3’S, GUYS/GIRLS)
+ HOW is the Lord calling me to action/obedience? Is there sin to confess, a next step to take, how has it gone since last time?
+ WHO am I walking with and praying for to discover Jesus, what is my next step? (e.g., Build trust by spending time with them, set-up an intentional time to share your story, begin a discovery study on the teachings of Jesus with them)