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Read Introduction to 2 Corinthians

 

7 Do you look at things according to the outward appearance? If anyone is convinced in himself that he is Christ’s, let him again consider this in himself, that just as he is Christ’s, even so we are Christ’s.

 

Paul defends his apostolic authority, especially his right to write his epistles (10:7-11).

7 Do you look at things according to the outward appearance?

The Corinthians judged Paul according to outward appearance, such as his rhetoric, oratory, or logic. That was the way false teachers came into the church. They came to Corinth with surface ideas, things that are superficial and mostly meaningless. These people put confidence in the wisdom of men (1 Co 1:18-25).

If anyone [singular] is convinced in himself that he is Christ’s,

If some individual claimed to belong to Christ in a special way, he needed to re-think that claim. This person may have been one of the so-called super-apostles mentioned later in this book. These people made a direct attack on Paul’s apostleship.

let him again consider this in himself,

Paul charged his adversary to examine the objective evidence at hand and not function under subjective assumptions. This person needs to look at himself again.

that just as he is Christ’s [belongs to Christ],

“Christ’s” carries the idea to belong to Christ with the probable meaning of “Christ’s servant” or “apostle.” Paul’s opponents claimed that their ministry belonged to Christ in a special way, but Paul’s team claimed unique authority from God for themselves.

even so we are Christ’s.

The ministry of Paul’s team belonged to Christ. Paul has an equal place with anyone in the body of Christ. Paul’s calling to apostleship was unique; it was a divine calling. We see this in the next verse where he references his special “authority” (2 Co 10:8). The next verse begins with “for,” indicating what the apostle means by “Christ’s.” God gave Paul particular jurisdiction over the church.

PRINCIPLE:

Christians should look for integrity in the person and not for his style.

APPLICATION:

There is a danger in the superficial evaluation of others. What we think we know but do not know is dangerous. Detractors look on the surface or appearance, whereas they should look at the world from God’s vantage point. “I think there is something wrong with that pastor. I do not know what it is, but I feel it.” It is essential to evaluate others on facts rather than appearance (1 Sa 16:7).

The wisdom of the world cannot produce God’s thinking (1 Co 3:1). Christians who operate on superficialities are vulnerable to being misled. People who base their thinking on personalities, or charisma, or other human factors will never orient themselves to God or His plan for them. Divine discernment is how the believer lives dynamically before God.

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