The primary application of this chapter is not an individual giving to their local church, but local churches helping one another meet needs for Gospel purposes.
As Paul rejoices in his restored relationship with the Corinthians in 2 Corinthians 7:12-16, we can see three more virtues that are present in Christian relationships.
Healthy relationships are vital for the progress of the Gospel. Christian relationships in the church are founded and grown by grace. 2 Corinthians 7 is a practical chapter about how we get along in the church. We don’t get along without the supernatural work of grace – a personal relationship with Christ and growing in Christ-likeness.
This will be true until Christ comes. This purpose is reflected in our church's mission statement: "Grace Church of Mentor exists to glorify God by evangelizing the lost and equipping the saints with the goal of Christ-likeness." Every Bible-believing church has been given this Gospel mission. Our Savior intends us to live His life, and His disciples demonstrated this. Both men and women tremendously affected Gospel progress in their areas in the New Testament.
The best way to develop a burden for the lost is to pray for them. Christ himself gave us an example of this in John 17:20-26. Evangelism is a key part of disciple-making living, which governs every part of our lives as Christians. Without this eternal purpose, life would be pretty mundane!
Sometimes, Bible verses like Proverbs 1:14-19, James 4:4, and 1 Peter 3:15 are mistakenly used to deter Christians from forming friendships with unsaved people. But we must have friendships of integrity in order to be a testimony in a dark world. A burden for the lost helps keep the church pure.
Along the path of Christian growth, sometimes we can feel like we’re stuck in a traffic jam on a one-lane highway. The pace slows sometimes with trials and afflictions, and other times it speeds up. The Lord determines the pace.
As Genesis 32 begins, Jacob’s pace is picking up. He’s reminded that divine help always goes with him along the way. Likewise, Christians have angelic forces that minister to us, always working to help us be more like Christ.
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