“Behold, now is the favorable time; behold, now is the day of salvation. We put no obstacle in anyone's way, so that no fault may be found with our ministry, but as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: by great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities, beatings, imprisonments, riots, labors, sleepless nights, hunger; by purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, the Holy Spirit, genuine love; by truthful speech, and the power of God; with the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and for the left; through honor and dishonor, through slander and praise. We are treated as impostors, and yet are true; as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold, we live; as punished, and yet not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, yet possessing everything.” - 2 Corinthians 6:2-10
As Paul writes this letter to the church in Corinth, he faces great opposition. His faith and teachings have been repeatedly questioned and undermined. To his detractors, Paul’s life looks like an absolute failure! While his ministry had a strong beginning, they feel it is time for him to either retire or make significant changes to polish up his resume. Paul, however, did not care about looking the part; he cared about living it. He had spent far too long in the dark and he wanted to share the light of Jesus, the kingdom he ushered into this world, with others.
Paul writes that now is the day of salvation. There is no time to lose! He longs for the church to reject false teachings and teachers, so that they too can fully embrace the salvation offered through Jesus. Paul calls them to look to Christ’s resume as an example. He left all the glory of heaven to dwell among men. He faithfully taught, healed, loved, and shared the kingdom of God every day of his earthly life. He was rejected by those he came to save and yet willingly surrendered to crucifixion. Thankfully, what seemed like a humiliating defeat became an epic victory on the day of his resurrection.
Living into that great salvation means following in the footsteps of Jesus Christ. We will all know opposition, rejection, and pain in this life, but ultimate victory is already assured for every believer. Paul’s faith in that promised future sustained him during every trial and struggle he encountered here on earth. The resume he submits to the Corinthians is that of a man who endured suffering, allowed the Holy Spirit to bear fruit in his life, and saw past the temporary trials of this world to rejoice in what is eternal.
Paul would continue to suffer so that the Corinthians could experience his love and, much more importantly, the love of their Savior. He would continue to offer his life and ministry as a witness to the power of God. He would continue to proclaim the Gospel, no matter the cost, so that others would know the truth. The false teachers could boast about their comfortable lives and worldly status, but Paul would ask whose life most closely resembled that of Christ. The love of God is not displayed through earthly success but through the act of laying one’s life down on behalf of another: “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13).
Reflect and Respond:
What kind of resume are you building? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
In our new six-week Bible study on the book of 1 John, you are invited to live and celebrate true life in Christ. Throughout his first letter, John wrestles with the assurance of salvation. How do we know that we are genuine Christians, and how can we recognize authentic faith in others? The Apostle John taught that you can enjoy full assurance through believing in the incarnate Son of God, walking in the light of obedience, and loving God and his children. Embark on this study with us today!
Comments will be approved before showing up.