Behaving in the World with Godly Sincerity

Summary 2 Corinthians 1:1-11

The Apostle Paul wrote this letter, and he included Timothy as a co-author, i.e. this message to the church in Corinth was from both him and Timothy. And he began the letter with an exhortation on the subject of afflictions and us comforting others in their afflictions with the comfort (urging, warning, encouragement, comfort) we received from Jesus Christ in our afflictions.

And then he went on to describe the affliction that he and Timothy had experienced in Asia. They felt they had received the sentence of death. But, he said, “that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead.” I get that! Sometimes we need that, to be reminded that our dependency is to be totally in the Lord for all things and that we are not to depend on ourselves and on our own thinking and reasoning.

But the Lord delivered them from that deadly peril, and they were confident that he would deliver them again. But they asked the believers in Corinth to help them by their prayers “so that many will give thanks on our behalf for the blessing granted us through the prayers of many.”

The Testimony of a Good Conscience
2 Corinthians 1:12 ESV

“For our boast is this, the testimony of our conscience, that we behaved in the world with simplicity and godly sincerity, not by earthly wisdom but by the grace of God, and supremely so toward you.”

Now, I don’t believe that Paul and Timothy were boasting pridefully and that they were raising themselves up so that others would give them glory for their accomplishments. That would not fit with their character and with what this message is all about, like in not depending on ourselves but on the Lord. They both knew that their confidence was totally in the Lord for what he was accomplishing in and through them, by the grace of God, so that God would get the glory, not them. So they were glorying in Christ Jesus.

So what they were really doing was giving testimony of what the Lord Jesus was doing in and through them for the glory of God. They were glad in the Lord Jesus that they had conducted themselves in a godly manner, with simplicity and godly sincerity, and not by earthly wisdom, but by the grace of God. Amen! And that should be true of all of us who are believing in Jesus Christ. We, too, should be those who are behaving in the world with humility and godly sincerity, and not by earthly wisdom, but by the grace of God.

And in our present world, it appears that not too many people professing faith in Jesus Christ, at least not here in America, can share with them that testimony. For we live in an age where Christianity is now being blended in with the world so that it is barely distinguishable between Christians and non-Christians these days. So many have gone the way of the world and they are living much in the same ways as the ungodly.

And it seems that few are speaking out boldly the truth of the gospel of our salvation so that others can come to know Jesus Christ, too. Too many are joining in with the world and with their fun and games and with cracking jokes and watching movies and tons of videos and talking about all kinds of things publicly on social media that have nothing to do with godliness and holy living, but have everything to do with living worldly lives.

Now I am certainly not suggesting that we should just dig a hole and crawl into it so that we are not exposed to the world around us or so that we have no contact with the outside world or the people of the world. For, although we are called to come out of the world in the sense that we are not to be partakers of what is worldly and ungodly, we are called to go out into the world to share the gospel. But far too many are going out into the world and they are becoming just like the world and they are not sharing the gospel.

So, we need to get back to the basics of why Jesus Christ died for us on that cross. It was not just to forgive us our sins so that when we die we can go to heaven. It was to put sin to death in our lives so that we would now walk in obedience to our Lord and to his commands (New Covenant), and so that we would be living godly and holy lives in walks of righteousness and in moral purity. For how we live on this earth determines where we will spend eternity. For if sin is what we practice, and if righteousness and obedience to our Lord are not what we practice, we will NOT inherit eternal life with God.

[Matt 7:21-23; Matt 24:9-14; Lu 9:23-26; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14,24; Rom 12:1-2; Rom 13:11; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; 1 Co 1:18; 1 Co 15:1-2; 2 Tim 1:8-9; Heb 9:28; 1 Pet 1:5; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 2:8-10; Eph 4:17-32; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-17; 1 Pet 2:24; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6,24-25; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 3:6,14-15; Heb 10:23-31; Heb 12:1-2; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]

Your Word

An Original Work / December 27, 2011
Based off Psalm 119

Praise You with an upright heart as
I learn of Your righteousness.
I seek You with all my heart;
Do not let me stray from Your law.
I have hidd’n Your word in my heart
That I might not sin against You.
Open my eyes that I may see
Wonderful things in Your word.
I am a stranger on earth.

I have chosen the way of truth;
My heart is set on Your word.
I will walk about in freedom,
For I have sought out Your truth.
Teach me knowledge and good judgment,
For I believe in Your law.
Your hands made me, and they formed me;
Give me understanding, Lord.
I put my hope in Your word.

Your word is a lamp to my feet
And a light unto my path.
You are my shield and my refuge;
In Your word I put my hope.
My heart trembles at Your word, Lord.
May my lips o’erflow with praise.
May my tongue sing of Your truth, Lord.
Your salvation, Lord, long I.
Your word, Lord, is my delight.

2 thoughts on “Behaving in the World with Godly Sincerity

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