The Thirtieth Sunday of Ordinary Time

2 Corinthians 11:1-6

One Jesus, One Spirit, One Gospel

Paul has been so very patient with this church—and so very humble.  Indeed, I will show you in a moment how he was much “nicer” to this church than he was to the churches in Galatia.  Regardless, Paul expressed a reticence (at least it seems to me) to exercise his authority over the Corinthians as his apostolic office required and was instead quite gentle.  In this chapter, Paul finally lays out his “bio” for them as proof of his apostolic bona fides with which his opponents, the “super-apostles,” could in no way match.  Being a humble man, Paul didn’t want to ask the Corinthians to “bear with [him] in a little foolishness,” but what choice did they give him as they still clung to false teachers who were so charitable as to malign him!  And so the vita that Paul gives them finally arrives in this chapter where he lists the many persecutions and afflictions he endured throughout the faithful discharge of his apostolic ministry.  That is a devotion for another day as it arrives a little later than the passage we take up now, but these verses lay the groundwork for that up and coming rehearsal.

But having asked the Corinthians to bear with him in a little foolishness, he chides them for bearing with others; so, why not bear with him?  But the indictment which Paul lays at their feet is terrible: “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.”  Now hear Paul’s words to the Galatians: “If we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed.”  And then he repeats himself to be even more emphatic (1:8-9).  Paul is quite certain that there is no other Jesus, no other Spirit, no other gospel than the one he originally preached to the Corinthians, and even compares the acceptance of others as the equivalent to the deception played on Eve buy the cunning serpent.  Perhaps the nature of the situation in Corinth required a more diplomatic tack than what he employed with the Galatians.  But the truth is still the same: There is no other Jesus, no other Spirit, no other gospel, and to align oneself with such is to forsake the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, spurn the offer of salvation contained therein, and turn one’s back on eternity in heaven for eternity in hell.  And this is why Paul must outline his apostolic credentials—because he will not give them up but will fight these peddlers of a false gospel to the bitter end for these whom he “betrothed to one husband, to present [them] as a pure virgin to Christ.”  We fight for the purity of the one gospel.

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

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