Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | July 16, 2020

“For you tolerate it if anyone enslaves you” – “Beware of the dogs, beware of the evil workers”

Today’s devotion comes from 2 Corinthians 11:16-21.

“Again I say, let no one think me foolish;  but if you do, receive me even as foolish, so that I also may boast a little.  What I am saying, I am not saying as the Lord would, but as in foolishness, in this confidence of boasting.  Since many boast according to the flesh, I will boast also.  For you, being so wise, tolerate the foolish gladly.  For you tolerate it if anyone enslaves you, anyone devours you, anyone takes advantage of you, anyone exalts himself, anyone hits you in the face.  To my shame I must say that we have been weak by comparison.  …”  2 Corinthians 11:16-21.


Paul is being sarcastic in most of today’s Scripture to the Corinthians to make the following serious point.  “For you tolerate it if anyone enslaves you, anyone devours you, anyone takes advantage of you, anyone exalts himself, anyone hits you in the face.”  Verse 20.

By making this statement, Paul continues to warn against false prophets who, although they disguised themselves as apostles of Christ, they enslaved the Corinthians, devoured them, and took advantage of them.  These false prophets exalted themselves and, so to speak, hit the Corinthians in the face.

“For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ.”  2 Corinthians 11:13.

The Corinthians may have thought, and we today may think:  “They are gentle and harmless as sheep.”

But, we all are reminded of the words of Jesus:  “Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves.”  Matthew 7:15.

Regarding false prophets being “deceitful workers” who try to “enslave” members of the church to the Law, Paul also warned the Philippians and Galatians, and Paul warns us today.

“Beware of the dogs, beware of the evil workers, beware of the false circumcision;  for we are the true circumcision, who worship in the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh,”  Philippians 3:2-3.

“Are you so foolish?  Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?  Did you suffer so many things in vain—if indeed it was in vain?  So then, does He who provides you with the Spirit and works miracles among you, do it by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith?”  Galatians 3:3-5.

“But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.  Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba!  Father!”  Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son;  and if a son, then an heir through God.”  Galatians 4:4-7.

“It was for freedom that Christ set us free;  therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.

Behold I, Paul, say to you that if you receive circumcision, Christ will be of no benefit to you.  And I testify again to every man who receives circumcision, that he is under obligation to keep the whole Law.  You have been severed from Christ, you who are seeking to be justified by law;  you have fallen from grace.  For we through the Spirit, by faith, are waiting for the hope of righteousness.”  Galatians 5:1-5.

“You were running well;  who hindered you from obeying the truth?  This persuasion did not come from Him who calls you.  A little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough.  I have confidence in you in the Lord that you will adopt no other view;  but the one who is disturbing you will bear his judgment, whoever he is.  But I, brethren, if I still preach circumcision, why am I still persecuted?  Then the stumbling block of the cross has been abolished.  I wish that those who are troubling you would even mutilate themselves.”  Galatians 5:7-12.


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