Mike Cope's blog

Thursday, February 19, 2004

Randy Harris and I are covering 2 Corinthians in class today. Reading 1 Cor 1-4 and all of 2 Cor puts you on full alert against spiritual elitism. When people think their experience (or church) is vastly more spiritual . . . when they think they and they alone have decided to take the Lord/worship/discipleship seriously . . . when they think they've outgrown most other Christians and churches . . . when they keep talking about how they want "more" . . . when they begin elevating some gifts above others . . . when they begin feeling sorry for all the unenlightened . . . when they begin convincing themselves that if others ever really get serious about Jesus they'll look more like them . . . WATCH OUT!! "But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body." "Such confidence we have through Christ before God. Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God." "As servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: in great endurance; in troubles, hardships and distresses; in beatings, imprisonments and riots; in hard work, sleepless nights and hunger; in purity, understanding, patience and kindness; in the Holy Spirit and in sincere love; in truthful speech and in the power of God; with weapons of righteousness in the right hand and in the left; through glory and dishonor, bad report and good report; genuine, yet regarded as imposters; known, yet regarded as unknown; dying, and yet we live on; beaten, and yet not killed; sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything." "When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit's power, so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God's power." "Knowledge puffs up while love builds up."

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