PURE MOTIVES REQUIRED
After writing my blog yesterday, I continued reading Paul’s comments in 2 Corinthians 4. As he was spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, there were some who distorted the gospel for selfish gain. This was very painful to Paul. The personal experience of Jesus confronting his life by stepping into the Damascus road and halting his reckless path was convincing enough of what the gospel is. Any deviation from that truth is a misrepresentation of the message and the author.
Paul needed to answer his critics who claimed he was not an apostle and that he was an impostor. To do that, Paul put his finger on the very charges that must be laid at the door of his accusers, the false teachers. “But we have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways. We refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God’s word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God” (2 Corinthians 4:2). Timothy was with Paul as a witness to his conduct, attitude and commitment to a high standard that represents God as the “founder and perfecter of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2).
We need very careful discernment today. There are purveyors of a different gospel who undermine what God is doing through the Spirit. In one country where one of our members just visited, they found discouragement among Christians because someone came from another place and “tricked” them through a scam. This is “disgraceful and underhanded.” Let us be very careful that this kind of activity is never found with any of us. If we “tamper with God’s Word,” we will find ourselves up against the Author who judges righteously.
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