And his affection for you is all the greater when he remembers that you were all obedient, receiving him with fear and trembling. I am glad I can have complete confidence in you.
Thoughts for Today:Paul wrote to the Corinthians with several purposes in mind:
1. To help the one who had sinned.
2. To help the person who had been wronged.
3. To correct multiple inappropriate behaviors evident within the church.
3. To provide ongoing teaching in order to promote greater spiritual growth.
4. To demonstrate the fullness of his care and compassion for all the congregation in Corinth.
As we review what Paul has been teaching, we find his overarching concern has been for the well-being of the entire body of believers -- not just those directly involved in sinful activities. This is a clear illustration of how sin doesn't just affect us personally, but everyone around us. Sin not only contaminates and infects us individually, but also our families, friendships, churches and communities. As a result, the entire church at Corinth had become sick with sin. And it was permeating every aspect of its existence. But that doesn't mean the church was unsalvageable. So what does it take to turn things around when a person or a group finds itself so off-course? One word: OBEDIENCE -- a personal and collective decision to change direction (repentance) and get back on the right path.
Questions to Ponder:Paul tells us the CorinthiansÕ obedience was accompanied with "fear and trembling". Was it fear of what additional disciplinary measures Paul might take? I don't think so. With Paul's leadership, guidance and example they had brought themselves back into alignment with God's will. So the "fear and trembling" was probably more of an acknowledgement of how easy it can be to once again fall prey to sin. The same thing is true for us. Have you relaxed your guard when it comes to sin? Have you been allowing the world's values, morality or anything else influence how you work out your own salvation? What new choices will you make today?