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Daily Devotional | Passing the Test

Devotions

Every child who has taken a long trip in the family car knows the fear of hearing a parent say, “Don’t make me come back there!” In the closing chapter of this book, the apostle issues a similar warning to the Corinthians. He planned to visit Corinth again to hold the church accountable for its behavior. The apostle signaled the sober nature of this visit by using the language of Deuteronomy 19:15, which required that two witnesses verify any accusation of wrongdoing. This may be figurative, implying that Paul’s two previous visits were enough to make the church culpable for its behavior. However, it is clear that Paul intended to discipline those who ignored his reproof (v. 2). His use of the future tense suggests that the apostle planned to bring accusations and lay out the evidence against his opponents.

Paul’s warning about Christ’s power was not an exaggeration. In his first letter to the Corinthians, he spoke of handing one of the church’s erring members “over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh” (1 Cor. 5:5). The apostle also revealed that God had disciplined the church through illness and death for observing the Lord’s Supper in an “unworthy manner” (1 Cor. 11:27–32).

By urging the Corinthians to test themselves to see if they are “in the faith,” Paul implied that the so-called super-apostles who have been attempting to turn the church against him were not true Christians (2 Cor. 13:5). This warning sheds light on what it means to be a Christian. When you come to Christ in faith, Christ is also “in you.” But there is more involved here than an experience. There is also allegiance. A key element of the test of faith is adherence to the truth (v. 8).

>> The power to live as Christians comes from Christ Himself, who dwells within us. The understanding of what the Christian life should look like comes from Scripture. If you want to learn more, call 1-800-DL MOODY.

Pray with Us

Thank You, hallowed Father, for making us the children of God, the siblings of Christ, and the temples of the Holy Spirit. We glorify You for Your mercy, power, and holiness. Make us ever more like You.

BY Dr. John Koessler

Dr. John Koessler, who retired as professor emeritus from Moody Bible Institute, formerly served in the division of applied theology and church ministry. John and his wife Jane enjoy living in a lakeside town in Michigan. A prolific writer, John’s books include Dangerous Virtues: How to Follow Jesus When Evil Masquerades as Good (Moody Publishers), The Radical Pursuit of Rest (InterVarsity), The Surprising Grace of Disappointment (Moody), and True Discipleship (Moody). John is a contributing editor and columnist for Today in the Word.

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