Day 37

Paul’s Apostolic Authority

from the 1 & 2 Corinthians reading plan


2 Corinthians 10:1-18, Jeremiah 9:23-24, Ephesians 2:8-9

BY Guest Writer

Scripture Reading: 2 Corinthians 10:1-18, Jeremiah 9:23-24, Ephesians 2:8-9

Many of us who engage with social media have seen it: folks emboldened by relative anonymity in the virtual world of the internet, or by the perceived distance from those with whom they interact. On social media a person can have a mouthful of opinionated vitriol to spew, but face-to-face they’re silent as a lamb. Those folks have what kids today call “Twitter fingers” (derivative of the phrase “trigger fingers”), a term used to describe someone who is always at-the-ready to take a proverbial “shot” at someone else on social media, while hiding behind an online persona or handle.

I wonder if the Corinthians church thought Paul was guilty of the same kind of communication. His letters to them are certainly stern and authoritative, but in person, the apostle seems a good bit more tame. But Paul doesn’t take their accusations lying down. In 2 Corinthians 10, he fires back at the Corinthians’ claims, saying they are off-base because they are judging strength and boldness in the same way the world does. The world expects strength and authority to manifest as brute force or powerful, charming speech, but Paul argues that those things are inferior to the spiritual authority he’s been given in Christ. The apostle’s strength and authority are waging war in the spiritual realm—where the real work is done.  

Paul’s words are strong, and they should be! He should speak as strongly as possible because he’s asserting that his authority comes from the Lord! It was by God’s power that Paul was even able to evangelize and establish the Corinthian church in the first place. It was because of the Lord’s grace that Paul had the strength, wisdom, and patience to have a shepherding presence for their community.

The Corinthian church had it all wrong. They thought Paul couldn’t support such bold words with action, and therefore, his spiritual authority shouldn’t be taken seriously. In truth, they should’ve been more eager to submit to his leadership because his authority was manifested with demonstrations of spiritual power. In fact, their own Christian lives were the fruit of Paul’s boldness and authority.

Friends, I think the same is true of us. Yes, we’re supposed to be marked by our meekness and gentleness and patience, but let’s not mistake those characteristics for weakness. On the contrary, when we’ve cultivated the fruit of the Spirit of God, we are actually reflecting the God of heaven and earth more accurately. We don’t have to be the best speaker, the most outgoing, or the smartest person in the room to move and act in the power of the Spirit. I’d argue that the less emphasis we put on our own strength to win the favor of people, the more we rely on the Spirit of God to empower us to be the people God has called us to be. That way, whenever victory is won, all glory goes to God!

So be encouraged, and don’t worry about impressing others. Let us boast in the power of God instead, which lives in each one of us (2 Corinthians 10:17). May we be quick to boast of knowing Him, enjoying Him, being found in Him, and loved by Him (Jeremiah 9:24).

SRT-Corinthians-Shareimage-Day37

Erin Rose lives and works in vibrant Richmond, Virginia, where she serves as Worship & Teaching Pastor at East End Fellowship.  She is a graduate of the University of Virginia, and is currently enrolled as a graduate student at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.  Erin is a member of Urban Doxology, a ministry that is writing the soundtrack of reconciliation for the church. Her greatest joy lies in leading God’s people in authentic worship, and teaching them the truth found in God’s Word. She also enjoys eating delicious food, spending time with loved ones, and indulging in the occasional Netflix binge.

Post Comments (33)

33 thoughts on "Paul’s Apostolic Authority"

  1. Susan Stiegel says:

    The person who wishes to boast should boast only in what the LORD has done. I pray that my boasting is in what God has, is and will do.

  2. Kim Cook says:

    We are not too compare ourselves with others or even our ownselves. We are to look for the Lord’s approval. I must decrease and He must increase.

    12We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise.

  3. June Pimpo says:

    I find it interesting that in the middle of Paul’s defense is the verse about tearing down strongholds and not fighting against flesh and blood. I need to remember this when there may be strife between me and another brother or sister. I need to walk in the spirit and humbly consider my actions and attitudes.

    1. Kim Cook says:

      ❤️

  4. La8 says:

    CHIAGOZIE, the only loving *tip anyone could give you, is to learn the *truth about thee Almighty Sovereign LORD God Jehovah (“Hallowed be thy name”) ***and*** His precious “beloved Son” Jesus (the Archangel Michael).

    It’s difficult to grasp at first, because we’ve been mislead for centuries by false religions. But TRUTH is in your Bible!!!

    But without knowledge of Jehovah, your prayers are heard by no one, but the one misleading the world.

    Something to think about: drug dealers where crosses (carvings, images, idols God forbids) they own houses, cars, fancy clothes… They claim they “pray” to * a god, who do you think is answering their prayers?

    Not Jesus!! As Jesus himself was tempted by their god Satan – Satan offered everything in his (quote) kingdom to Jesus if Jesus would bow down and worship him… WHAT did Jesus tell Satan? Did Jesus say worship me or did he say (in reference to) worship belongs to my father?

  5. Laura says:

    My apologies for the few mistakes in wording & spelling above… I was using voice to text, and trying to edit, but the editing on this site is much to be desired.
    It underlined every sentence, I almost gave up! But, that would have pleased no one but Satan the Devil, as his lies are the cause of all misinterpretations and false religious beliefs…corrupt governments, immoral commercialism, and so much more. (2nd CORINTHIANS 4:4) which Jesus (the Archangel Michael) will destroy—As soon as the Bibles TRUTHS reach all ends of the world in every land in every tongue (language) Then the end will come!! (MATTHEW 24:14; Mark 13:10)

    Jesus will rule the New Earth for 1000 years with a the 144,000 chosen ones, Jehovah chose for his beloved son. (Take Notes of these verses before you leave, and highlight them in your Bible! ROMAN’S 10:18; **JOHN 5:20 [JEHOVAH LOVES JESUS!]; HEBREWS 1:6; 2nd PETER 1:17; *LUKE 3:22 [JEHOVAH IS PLEASED WITH HIS SON JESUS FOR DEFEATING SIN AND OBEYING HIS EVERY COMMAND…]; *LUKE 9:35; MATTHEW 11:25-27; *MARK 9:7; *MATTHEW 17:5 [JEHOVAH SAID THIS IS MY BELOVED SON, “LISTEN TO HIM!”] There are Hundreds more I could share!

    ( but, back to the above, I’m sure you can understand even with the few errors, such as- all Mighty vs Almighty.

  6. Laura says:

    Erin, This would be wonderful *if you would add Jehovah’s name where it belongs and give Him due credit for His holy spirit power and force. Christ Jesus was given Authority by “The Father”, Jehovah, thee all Mighty Sovereign LORD God.

    Anything taught ‘religiously’ should be taught correctly. And without Jehovah’s “Hallowed Name” it’s meaningless. For all authority given to Jesus came from our Heavenly Father Jehovah. The one true God Jesus was sent (as a “seed” into the womb…)to teach us about; to return back to true worship of his Father.

    Because of many Bible copiers (for financial gain) REMOVED Jehovah’s “Hallowed Name” Jesus taught (see Matthew 6:9-13) all his sheep who don’t know his Father’s name—are still lost!

    We’re supposed to pray TO Jehovah God, and at the end of our prayers give HIM thanks for HIS Son Jesus (who is the Archangel Michael)
    By reading the *Entire Bible, especially Revelations, you and your readers *could see this.
    But those whose hearts are not rightly disposed (at the moment) because they’re semi-closed-minded, do to false teachings-they’re still “blinded by the veil” that the Bible speaks of.

    Only by returning to true worship of the True God Almighty [Jehovah], will the veil be removed. (2nd CORINTHIANS 3:13-18)

    We’re supposed to be United in Christ, in order to be United in one belief we must be believe what Jesus taught us. Those who read from Pagan Bibles cannot see father and son. Crazy as it sounds, it’s as easy as that. Jehovah created a son before the world was even created and his name is the Archangel Michael. But we are not saved in his name, we are saved in his human form Jesus the Christ. Jesus was given holy spirit Power by Jehovah reading all 4 Books of John you can plainly see this but only if you read from a Bible version that has God’s hallowed name in Scriptures.

    You can see Jesus and Jehovah convert with one another. You can see Jesus praying to Jehovah and Jehovah answering. …..

    Your writing is beautiful, you have a gift, if you learned the truth, your gift could save so many lives.

  7. Chiagozie says:

    I really need to start depending on God and allowing the Spirit to change me. I think I’ve been trying to change myself instead of relying on God any tips friends ?

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