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Devotional - week of December 9, 2007


FRUITFUL COMMUNICATION OF THE WORD OF GOD

 

For we are not as many, who corrupt the word of God but as from sincerity, but as from God, in the sight of God we speak in Christ.  2 Corinthians 2:17

 

Paul was contrasting his ministry with the ministry of the false teachers who were corrupting the word of God. Some of the modern translations of the New Testament indicate that Paul accused the false teachers of teaching the word of God for financial gain. Paul’s motive was far from that. In expressing his contrast with the false teachers, he gave a very broad expression of his teaching of the word.

 

Paul expressed four points about his speaking the word of God. First, Paul shared the word of God with sincerity, unlike the false teachers who were “peddling” the word. His motive was genuine. He always wanted others to be blessed. He always wanted to bring glory to God.

 

Second, Paul spoke the word of God as one who had come from God. In other places in the New Testament, he mentions that he did not teach with the wisdom of men. He received his messages while being in the presence of God.

 

Third, Paul spoke in the presence of God. As he taught the word of God, he never left the presence of God. Even as he spoke, he kept his mind and heart open to God for specific guidance of what to say and how to say it. This probably seems to most of us so remarkable that it is difficult for us to grasp such a scene.

 

Fourth, he spoke from his “in Christ” position. This thought more than anything explains how Paul could say the second and third points he mentioned.

 

In Paul’s enthroned position, he was in the presence of God. In his letter to the Philippians, Paul expresses his desire never to cease experiencing God from his enthroned position.

 

2 Corinthians 2:17 indicates that he had gone a long way in realizing his one desire in life to never leave the presence of God.

 

There is no doubt that Paul spoke by the enabling grace of God.

 

Paul provides a great and challenging model to follow for those of us who communicate the word of God.