DAILY GUIDE DEVOTIONAL: “Collective Responsibility”

 

Text: 2 Corinthians 2: 5-17

The focus of this bible passage is the collective consciousness the apostle Paul wishes to evoke among the brethren as one body in Christ. He seeks to show that the church is not meant to be a one man affair but every part properly involved and harnessed to do their part. If one part fails, it leads to a failure in the whole. 

Contrary to what his critics reported, Paul goes ahead to intimate further on his reasons for writing a letter instead of making a personal visit. From verses 5-11, Paul wants the Corinthian brethren to forgive the brother who had erred as he has obviously shown remorse over his sins and repented. So he says, “if anyone has caused grief, it was to all of us (though Paul alone might have been personally attacked). We have also punished him ( even though it was the church that mete out the punishment as they deemed fit); now, it’s time to show love (since our punishment has borne fruit of repentance as intended). Even though we do not condone evil, we must in judgement remember mercy”love

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It would be a grievous error to give Satan a chance by being ignorant of his schemes. Anger gives a mighty foothold to Satan. Anger breeds resentment, sadness and unforgiving spirit. If in anger we refuse to welcome back a repentant brother, then we are not acting like Jesus, in effect, we open doors for the enemy to attack the church and destroy the spiritual lives of members. This reconciliation, however, is not one man’s decision. For in agreement, the church came together (1Corinthians 5:1-5) and excommunicated a brother, in the same manner they should also welcome him back.  For two cannot walk together unless they be agreed (Amos 3:3) and whenever we agree as touching one thing it shall be granted unto us in prayer (Mathew 18:19). This understanding should make brethren to appreciate the fact that though we are many, we are one body in Christ, ( 1 Corinthians 10:17, Romans 12:5).One man’s sin can cause a great havoc in the church for God sees us as one. We must appreciate this unity and live in its consciousness. 

Verses 12-17 expresses our lives as the sweet aroma of Christ. As believers we are meant to diffuse Christ’ sweet fragrance everywhere we go. When people come in contact with us, they will perceive the sweet fragrance that emanates from our lives, our speech and conduct and give glory to God. We must like Paul express our Thanksgiving to God who uses us to spread his knowledge everywhere like a sweet smelling perfume and leads us in victory always. And just like Romans 12:1 instructs; our offering to God; presentation of our bodies as a living sacrifice, would be the perfume of Christ that goes out to those that are being saved and also to the lost. So that in all things our worship of God will positively impact the world around us and make them see how the mercy and grace we’ve received from Jesus can set them free. 

PRAYER: Thank you dear heavenly father for your love which makes you to give us your word in this volume; the bible. How else could we have known your mind concerning the church? How else could we have correctly discerned what you expect of us? Many of us in churches and fellowship have failed in this duty of restoring an erring brother. We have in our self righteousness castigated  and refused to forgive. Many also have lost faith in the gospel because of the harsh treatment they received. As we confess our shortcomings today, please forgive us and grant us grace to act more out of love than out of hurt and pride. This we pray in Jesus name, Amen.

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