I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him. But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ. For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough. (verses 2-4)
Eyes on Jesus – that’s our intent. But how easy it is to get drawn off-side from that clear-sighted goal.
Some within the Corinthian church seem to have become enamoured by new teachers, recently arrived, who presented themselves as flashier than Paul, more strongly persuasive in their viewpoints, arrogantly parading their credentials, and ultimately coming across as more impressive. As a result, some of the Corinthians were sliding right along into substandard teachings.
But Paul shakes them awake. They are embracing a different Jesus, a different spirit and a different gospel. In focusing on these human teachers, they’d slid off-focus from Jesus himself. They’ve been drawn into false teaching because they haven’t had their sights firmly focused on the Master.
They say, in the world of banking, that the best way to avoid counterfeit currency is to study the genuine article so well that you know it inside and out. If you get to know the weight and feel of the material, the colouring of the bills, the special markings and characteristics, then when counterfeit bills begin to circulate, what’s fake becomes obviously clear. The real-deal is so well known that the counterfeit is simply exposed as phoney.
So, get to know Jesus again. Focus on him clearly. Relish the stories of the Gospels. Revel in the great “Christ-centred” passages of the New Testament (John 1:1-18, Phil 2:5-11, Col 1:15-20, Heb 1:1-14, Rev 1:12-18, Rev 5:5-14). Have your eyes open to his Person and character, all the way through the scriptures. Lap it up.
Take one of the great statements of the Good News (Romans 3:21-26, Romans 5:1-11, Ephesians 2:4-10, Colossians 1:13-14 and 21-23, Colossians 2:9-15). Soak in it. Weigh every statement. Reflect on what Christ has done. Embrace what he has done for you.
And give thanks for the Spirit, the One who makes known to us the very love of God himself. Remember who he is and what he does (John 14:16-18, 16:13-15, Romans 5:5, 8:13-16). Step more deeply into relationship with him, to know him better, to sense his leading more clearly, to recognize his presence, each and every moment.
May your eyes be so focused on truth, that what is fake becomes obvious. May it be that you never accept a different Jesus or a different spirit or a different gospel!
Lord Jesus, keep my eyes on you. Plant my feet firmly in the gospel of your grace.
Holy Spirit, I welcome you – lead me into all truth in Jesus. Guard me from what is false.
Meditate: Take one of the scripture portions highlighted above. Read it through several times today. Embrace it. Give thanks for its truth.