Daily Archives: July 3, 2019

July 3 What Is Truth?

Scripture Reading: John 8:31–36

Key Verses: John 8:31–32

Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

You may know when sin has a stranglehold on your life, but it is more difficult to discern the subtle traps of inferiority, inadequacy, and insecurity that the enemy may use to enslave you. Jesus said the truth will make you free. What is the truth? It can be found in His Word.

The truth is related to your position, person, and possessions in Christ. You will be made free when you stop living by perceptions and feelings and start living by fact. For believers, these are the facts:

  • Position: As a child of God, you have been forgiven of your sins because of your acceptance of Christ. God has applied the righteousness of Christ to your account and sent His Spirit to live inside of you. Why should anyone feel inferior when God loved them enough to do all of that?
  • Person: You have been redeemed and justified because of Christ’s work. You are a child of God, the son or daughter of the King of the universe, a saint on the way to glory. You are worthy, no matter what anyone else says or thinks! God says so!
  • Possessions: Paul summed it up in Philippians 4:13 when he said, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” You should have a great sense of confidence to know that you have the Spirit of the living God inside of you, equipping you for whatever God requires of you.

Father, help me to stop living by perception and feelings and start living by fact. I am Your child. I have been redeemed and justified. I can do all things through You.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2006). Pathways to his presence (p. 194). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

July 3 Freedom from Wrong Emotions

Scripture Reading: John 10:7–15

Key Verse: John 10:10

The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.

You see a moving television program—tears flow.

A drunken man at the basketball game leans over and spills his drink on you—anger swells.

You drive up to your house surrounded by paramedics and ambulances—fear surges.

Each is an emotion, an intrinsic part of every individual’s personal identity.

We talk of emotional moments. We say that some people are unemotional while others freely express their feelings.

Whether suppressed or inhibited, the emotional makeup of a person is an integral part of his behavior. As such, it can be a problematic area for many Christians.

The good news for the believer is that you are now inhabited by the person of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit searches the innermost parts of your being, seeking to touch every aspect of your personality. Progressively He can heal damaged emotions, control runaway passions, and harness selfish affections.

If your emotions are fragile or volatile, the Holy Spirit can act as the inner healer, providing an unseen source of comfort. Your emotional infirmities are His supernatural specialty.

O God, I yield my emotions to You. Holy Spirit, be my source of comfort. Help me realize that my emotional infirmities are Your supernatural specialty.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (1999). On holy ground (p. 194). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

July 3 Peace with God

Scripture reading: Romans 5:1–11

Key verse: Romans 5:10

For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.

Thirty years after the crime, he was finally apprehended, tried, and found guilty by a jury. The arrest and conviction shocked both family and community. His life had been pleasant enough, raising a family, working as a salesman, even participating in many civic activities.

Men and women who are separated from God are in a similar predicament. While they may enjoy reasonably happy and successful lives, they live at enmity with their Creator and Judge.

Paul noted, “For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son” (Rom. 5:10). Other passages refer to man’s alienation from God and his position as an enemy of “the cross of Christ” (Phil. 3:18).

Yet the love of God stretches across the chasm of sin and offers a solution to the hostility. The only path to true peace is faith in Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection. That decision alone gives a person peace with God, establishing an eternal relationship with Christ.

True peace—the kind that lasts forever, the kind that reconciles God and man—is yours through faith in Christ. Don’t deceive yourself or others with false appearances. Trust Him today.

Dear Lord, I thank You that true peace is mine through faith in Jesus Christ. I trust Him today![1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2000). Into His presence (p. 194). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

July 3, 2019 Afternoon Verse Of The Day

Paul Was Thankful For The Privilege of Being Led by a Sovereign God

But thanks be to God, who always leads us (2:14a)

Recognizing the Lord’s sovereign leading is foundational to a pastor’s (or any believer’s) joy, and it is the undergirding strength of his ministry. Paul’s confident hope was that God … always leads believers, through every circumstance of life. No matter what trials or persecutions he endured in Corinth, Ephesus, or anywhere else he ministered, Paul rejoiced that God was in control.

The apostle never lost his sense of wonder at the privilege of belonging to the ranks of the sovereign Lord, of marching behind the Commander in Chief in His Triumph. To Timothy he wrote,

I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service, even though I was formerly a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent aggressor. Yet I was shown mercy because I acted ignorantly in unbelief; and the grace of our Lord was more than abundant, with the faith and love which are found in Christ Jesus. It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all. Yet for this reason I found mercy, so that in me as the foremost, Jesus Christ might demonstrate His perfect patience as an example for those who would believe in Him for eternal life. (1 Tim. 1:12–16)

Contemplating the marvelous privilege of being led by God instead of fretting over his circumstances contributed to turning Paul’s discouragement into joy.

paul was thankful for the privilege of promised victory in christ

in triumph in Christ, (2:14b)

In keeping with the imagery of the Roman Triumph, Paul proclaimed that God leads believers in triumph in Christ. They follow the all-conquering Commander in the victory parade, sharing in the triumph of His decisive victory over sin, death, and hell. In Matthew 16:18 Jesus spoke of His ultimate victory over Satan and the forces of hell: “I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.” His followers share in His victory, as Paul declared in Romans 16:20: “The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet.” The writer of Hebrews also spoke of that victory: “Since then the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, so that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil” (Heb. 2:14). In 1 John 3:8 the apostle John wrote, “The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil.” Christ won that victory on the cross: “When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him” (Col. 2:15). As Paul wrote to the Romans, “In all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us” (Rom. 8:37). Believers are not only coconquerors with Christ, but also “heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ” (Rom. 8:17; cf. Gal. 3:29; Eph. 3:6; Titus 3:7; James 2:5). They follow behind their Commander in the Triumph, bringing the spoils of war—the souls of men and women “rescued … from the domain of darkness, and transferred … to the kingdom of His beloved Son” (Col. 1:13; cf. Rom. 8:18–25, 28–30).

Though they may suffer setbacks and discouragement, believers’ ultimate triumph is certain. They will march victoriously in the Lord Jesus Christ’s Triumph on that glorious day when the heavenly choir cries out, “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ; and He will reign forever and ever” (Rev. 11:15). Believers will forever reign with Him (2 Tim. 2:12; 1 Peter 1:3–5).

paul was thankful for the privilege of having influence for christ

and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place. (2:14c)

The sweet aroma of the Triumph arose from the incense-filled censers carried by the priests in the parade and from the garlands of flowers that were thrown into the streets. The fragrance speaks of influence; Paul’s point is that God, in wonderful condescending grace and mercy, manifests through believers the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Christ in every place. He uses human preachers to give off the sweet aroma of the gospel, to influence people with the saving knowledge of Christ. To the Romans Paul wrote, “How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher? How will they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news of good things’!” (Rom. 10:14–15).

It is not that believers deserve such a high privilege of being influences for the eternal gospel. Paul was keenly aware of his unworthiness for such service to God. In 1 Corinthians 15:9 he wrote, “For I am the least of the apostles, and not fit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.” To the Ephesians he added, “I was made a minister, according to the gift of God’s grace which was given to me according to the working of His power. To me, the very least of all saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ” (Eph. 3:7–8). As previously noted, he expressed to Timothy his wonder that Christ chose him, a persecutor of the church, to preach the gospel:

I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service, even though I was formerly a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent aggressor. Yet I was shown mercy because I acted ignorantly in unbelief; and the grace of our Lord was more than abundant, with the faith and love which are found in Christ Jesus. It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all. Yet for this reason I found mercy, so that in me as the foremost, Jesus Christ might demonstrate His perfect patience as an example for those who would believe in Him for eternal life. (1 Tim. 1:12–16)

No preacher should take lightly his inestimable privilege of proclaiming the saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. Whether or not preachers are successful, achieve popularity, or fulfill their ambitions is immaterial. The satisfaction of having an eternal influence for Jesus Christ should be sufficient. The issue is not results, but privilege. The disheartened preacher is disheartened because he focuses on circumstances; the joyful preacher is joyful because he focuses on the eternal worth of his service to God. The disheartened preacher considers his difficulties; the joyful preacher considers his privilege.[1]

14. But thanks be to God. Here he again glories in the success of his ministry, and shows that he had been far from idle in the various places he had visited; but that he may do this in no invidious way, he sets out with a thanksgiving, which we shall find him afterwards repeating. Now he does not, in a spirit of ambition, extol his own actions, that his name may be held in renown, nor does he, in mere pretence, give thanks to God in the manner of the Pharisee, while lifted up, in the mean time, with pride and arrogance. (Luke 18:11.) Instead of this, he desires from his heart, that whatever is worthy of praise, be recognised as the work of God alone, that his power alone may be extolled. Farther, he recounts his own praises with a view to the advantage of the Corinthians, that, on hearing that he had served the Lord with so much fruit in other places, they may not allow his labour to be unproductive among themselves, and may learn to respect his ministry, which God everywhere rendered so glorious and fruitful. For what God so illustriously honours, it is criminal to despise, or lightly esteem. Nothing was more injurious to the Corinthians, than to have an unfavourable view of Paul’s Apostleship and doctrine: nothing, on the other hand, was more advantageous, than to hold both in esteem. Now he had begun to be held in contempt by many, and hence, it was not his duty to be silent. In addition to this, he sets this holy boasting in opposition to the revilings of the wicked.

Who causeth us to triumph. If you render the word literally, it will be, Qui nos triumphatWho triumpheth over us. Paul, however, means something different from what this form of expression denotes among the Latins.2 For captives are said to be triumphed over, when, by way of disgrace, they are bound with chains and dragged before the chariot of the conqueror. Paul’s meaning, on the other hand, is, that he was also a sharer in the triumph enjoyed by God, because it had been gained by his instrumentality, just as the lieutenants accompanied on horseback the chariot of the chief general, as sharers in the honour. As, accordingly, all the ministers of the gospel fight under God’s auspices, so they also procure for him the victory and the honour of the triumph; but, at the same time, he honours each of them with a share of the triumph, according to the station assigned him in the army, and proportioned to the exertions made by him. Thus they enjoy, as it were, a triumph, but it is God’s rather than theirs.

He adds, in Christ, in whose person God himself triumphs, inasmuch as he has conferred upon him all the glory of empire. Should any one prefer to render it thus: “Who triumphs by means of us,” even in that way a sufficiently consistent meaning will be made out.

The odour of his knowledge. The triumph consisted in this, that God, through his instrumentality, wrought powerfully and gloriously, perfuming the world with the health-giving odour of his grace, while, by means of his doctrine, he brought some to the knowledge of Christ. He carries out, however, the metaphor of odour, by which he expresses both the delectable sweetness of the gospel, and its power and efficacy for inspiring life. In the mean time, Paul instructs them, that his preaching is so far from being savourless, that it quickens souls by its very odour. Let us, however, learn from this, that those alone make right proficiency in the gospel, who, by the sweet fragrance of Christ, are stirred up to desire him, so as to bid farewell to the allurements of the world.

He says in every place, intimating by these words, that he went to no place in which he did not gain some fruit, and that, wherever he went, there was to be seen some reward of his labour. The Corinthians were aware, in how many places he had previously sowed the seed of Christ’s gospel. He now says, that the last corresponded with the first.[2]

14 Paul likens the irresistible advance of the gospel, in spite of temporary frustration, to a Roman triumphus (“triumph”) in which the victorious general, along with his proud soldiers, used to “lead in triumphal procession” (thriambeuō, GK 2581; see Notes) the wretched prisoners of war, who were thus exposed to public ridicule. Paul sees himself and his fellow apostles not as exultant soldiers who share in their general’s victory pageant but as willing, joyful captives who count it a privilege to be part of God’s “triumph” and as vocal witnesses to the General’s victorious strength. Paul’s implied prior “defeat” will be his Damascus encounter when he surrendered to God or Christ (Php 3:12). In this context, “in Christ” will mean “through our union with Christ” or “in the cause of Christ,” though it may possibly mean “in Christ’s triumphal procession” (NEB, REB). The only other NT use of the verb thriambeuō is in Colossians 2:15, where the despoiled powers and authorities are seen as unwilling, sullen captives driven before the triumphal chariot of God, silent witnesses to the General’s power and majesty.

In the reference to the diffusion of “fragrance,” Paul may simply be developing the imagery, for perfumes were sometimes sprinkled or incense burned along the processional route. Through the apostles God was spreading far and wide the fragrant knowledge of Christ (Php 3:8, 10).[3]

14 The sudden and unheralded introduction9 of triumphal imagery is striking. To be sure, Paul has spoken of God’s comfort and deliverance of him (1:3–11), but nothing has prepared the reader—then or now—for the remarkable thanksgiving with which he begins the section on the ministry of the new covenant (2:14–7:4).

There is a natural structure to this powerfully metaphorical verse. A brief thanksgiving (“But thanks be to God”14) is followed by two participles, one that God “always leads us in triumphal procession,” the other—which amplifies the first—that God “spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of [Christ16] through us in every place.” Each participle is qualified by a universal: God “always leads us … spreads in every place the … knowledge of [Christ] through us.”

Thanks be to




  who always




us in triumph in Christ








  spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of [Christ]


  in every place.


Set against the barely escaped deadly perils of Asia (1:8–10), the writing of the emotion-wrought letter (2:4), and the deep disappointment in Troas (1:12–13), Paul gives thanks to God that, despite everything, he leads his minister, Paul, in triumph.

It is, indeed, the triumph of God, here accentuated by the universals “always … in every place”; if Paul triumphs, it is not of himself but only of God, and that through weakness. There is paradox here, as implied by the metaphor “lead [captive] in triumph,” which points at the same moment to the victory of a conquering general and the humiliation of his captives marching to execution. The metaphor is at the same time triumphal and antitriumphal. It is as God leads his servants as prisoners of war in a victory parade that God spreads the knowledge of Christ everywhere through them. Whereas in such victory processions the prisoners would be dejected and embittered, from this captive’s lips comes only thanksgiving to God, his captor. Here is restated the power-in-weakness theme (cf. 1:3–11) that pervades the letter.

It is quite possible that Paul’s use of the “triumph” metaphor is calculated to answer those Corinthians who, we infer, regard him as physically and spiritually debilitated (10:3–4, 7, 10; 13:3). To be sure, his ministry is marked by suffering, but so far from that disqualifying him as a minister, God’s leading him in Christ as a suffering servant thereby legitimates his ministry. Christ’s humiliation in crucifixion is reproduced in the life of his servant. All that he endures as a preacher is in continuity with the crucified Christ he preaches (5:21; cf. 6:4–10). There is no hiatus between the sufferings of Christ and the sufferings of the apostle in a world blinded to God and alienated from God (4:4; 5:18–20). The “sufferings of Christ” do indeed flow over into the apostle’s life (1:5). His “weaknesses” are “on behalf of” Christ (12:10). It is “for Jesus’ sake” that he is their “slave” (4:5), that he is continually being given over to death (4:11).

The image of the captive-slave in a military procession is critical both to the sovereignty of God and to his servants’ sufferings “in Christ” as they proclaim him; it is “in Christ” that God leads him.

The continuity of suffering shared by the obedient Christ and his faithful servant forms a point of contrast with newly arrived “superlative” apostles (11:5; 12:11). These “false apostles” (11:13) corrupt the message of Christ to their own advantage (2:17; cf. 4:2), possibly avoiding some of the opprobrium of the world by so doing. It appears that they compound that sin by pointing to the apostle’s distress as evidence of his inferiority in contrast to their various gifts, which are evidence of their supposed superiority to him (see on 10:12–12:13 passim).

Powerful as the triumphal but antitriumphal image is, however, it must not be separated from that of the fragrance-aroma image employed in the third section of this verse and which reappears with different vocabulary in v. 15 and the same vocabulary in v. 16, but transmuted in those verses to a new image, that of the Levitical sacrifices. In this verse as “God … spreads … the fragrance of the knowledge [of Christ] through us,” it is probably connected with the image of the Roman triumph, in which the prisoners in the captivity procession strew incense as they walk.23

God makes manifest the fragrance of the knowledge of Christ everywhere through “us.” But this manifestation of Christ is not located in Paul’s person—as if by some kind of incarnation—but in his gospel ministry. This is clear from the immediate context, which shows that Paul is referring to his reason for coming to Troas, namely, “for the gospel of Christ” (v. 12). It is by Paul, as herald of Christ, that God manifests the knowledge of Christ. It is not in his person alone, but through Christ crucified and risen whom he proclaims and whose sufferings he replicates, that Paul manifests the knowledge of Christ. The proclamation of Christ is like a strong fragrance, unseen but yet powerful, impinging on all who encounter Paul in his sufferings as he preaches Christ wherever he goes. In the victory parade metaphor of this verse, the apostle is God’s captive, whom God leads about spreading the knowledge of Christ—incense-like—by means of the proclamation of Christ.[4]

2:14 / Paul’s defense commences with a thanksgiving to God for his apostolic ministry as revelatory mediator. We note here again Paul’s use of the so-called apostolic/literary plural (us) with reference to himself, since Paul’s apostleship is the main issue in this section. This verse is so pivotal to Paul’s argument and yet so difficult to interpret that we will need to give it special attention.

The main problem is the interpretation of thriambeuein, which is correctly translated leads in triumphal procession. For some interpreters, this usage of the term conjures up an image of the apostle that seems quite unlikely, coming as it does as part of a thanksgiving at the very beginning of his defense for the legitimacy for his apostolic ministry. Further, Paul would thus seem to be portraying himself as a complete disgrace, a prisoner of war who is led by the conquering general (God!) in a triumphal procession that culminates in the apostle’s death. Many scholars have sought to avoid this interpretation either by proposing an idiosyncratic usage of thriambeuein (e.g., “make known” [G. Dautzenberg]) or by assuming the use of a rhetorical strategy whereby the meaning of verse 14 is ultimately positive. More recently, however, the trend has been to recognize the unequivocal usage of thriambeuein, with its negative implications for Paul, and then to correlate the passage with Paul’s apostolic self-conception as expressed elsewhere, particularly in his admissions of personal weakness and suffering in the Corinthian correspondence (cf. 1 Cor. 4:9; 2 Cor. 4:10–11).

Whereas most interpretations of 2 Corinthians 2:14 consider the metaphor of triumphal procession only with respect to Paul, no interpretation so far has examined the metaphor with respect to God as the acting subject. In order to grasp this we will first recall a basic motif of the Roman triumphal procession, with its focus on the triumphant general and his chariot. Then we will investigate how Paul uses this imagery metaphorically in our text.

The Roman triumphal procession was originally led by the victorious general appearing symbolically as the living image of Jupiter. By the time of the empire, however, the procession was celebrated to honor the gods in thanksgiving for the victory. The Roman magistrates, the Senate, people carrying booty from the campaign, the priests leading the bulls for sacrifice, and enemy captives (who were executed at the end of the ceremony) entered the city, followed by the victorious general on a chariot leading his army. Normally, the chariot was a quadriga, that is, a two-wheeled chariot drawn by four horses harnessed abreast, although four elephants were sometimes used instead (cf. Plutarch, Pompeius, 14.4; Pliny, Natural History 8.4). Since Roman imperial coins frequently included images of the emperor in a triumphal chariot, the concept of triumphal procession was familiar throughout the Roman Empire. What do these findings imply for our text? If, by using thriambeuein, Paul portrays himself as being led by God in a Roman triumphal procession, then the image is one of God riding in a quadriga.

The metaphor in 2 Corinthians 2:14, as with all metaphors, presents us with two thoughts of different things—tenor and vehicle—active together and supported by a single word or phrase, whose meaning is a result of their interaction (“two ideas for one”). The “tenor” is the underlying subject of the metaphor, and the “vehicle” is the means by which the tenor is presented. In our passage, the vehicle is the idea of a Roman triumphal procession in which a conquering general rides a quadriga. However, the underlying subject is different. Paul merely uses the idea of the Roman triumphal procession in order to convey another set of associations—the thought that God on his throne-chariot leads the apostle captive.

The divine throne-chariot is found in both the ot and Jewish tradition. Quite commonly, the “chariotry/chariot of God” in Psalm 68:17–18 is taken to refer to the merkabah in which God descended to Mount Sinai. Ezekiel’s prophetic call-vision by the river Chebar (Ezek. 1:4–28; cf. 10:1–22; 43:1–4) gives us a cryptic picture of what later came to be known as the throne-chariot of God. In Jewish tradition, Ezekiel’s vision is interpreted as a reference to a merkabah or “chariot,” drawn by the four living creatures/beasts. This comes out most explicitly in a midrash (Exod. Rab. 43:8) focusing on the golden calf incident, which refers to the chariot of God as a “four-mule chariot.” Also, in Habakkuk 3:8 Yahweh is said to drive a horse-drawn merkabah (cf. M. Haran).

In sum, we have seen that by using thriambeuein, Paul evoked the image of a triumphal procession in which the triumphant leader rode in a four-horse chariot. This, in turn, suggested the familiar idea of the merkabah, which was commonly viewed as a chariot drawn by the four living creatures/beasts of Ezekiel 1. We should not be surprised that Paul would use Roman imagery to suggest an ot idea. Paul, who does not like to discuss his visions and does so only under compulsion (cf. 2 Cor. 12:1ff.), uses a metaphor in order make his point without being overly explicit about ineffable matters.

Furthermore, it is possible that in 2 Corinthians 2:14 Paul is alluding specifically to Psalm 68:17–18. According the lxx version of this psalm, when God in his chariot ascended from Sinai into his holy sanctuary on high, he led captivity captive and received gifts among humanity. Ephesians 4:8 actually applies Psalm 68:18 [lxx 67:19] to the ascension of Christ and the spiritual gifts, including apostles (v. 11), which he gave to the church (cf. G. B. Caird). This kind of interpretation of the psalm would, of course, be very congenial at the beginning of Paul’s defense of his apostolic office in 2 Corinthians 2:14–7:4. The use of Psalm 68:18–19 in Jewish tradition provides further evidence that Paul may have had this passage in mind when he wrote 2 Corinthians 2:14.

In Jewish tradition Psalm 68:18 refers not to God’s ascent on high, corresponding to his merkabah descent to Mount Sinai in verse 18, but to the ascent of Moses, who took captive the Torah and gave the gift of Torah to humanity. Thus, for example, the Targum interprets Psalm 68:18 as a reference to Moses, who ascended into heaven, received the Torah there, and brought the Torah to the people (cf. Exod. Rab. 28:1). According to Midr.Ps. 68:18, Moses ascended to the divine beings and there received the Torah as a “gift” for Israel. In the Jewish tradition, therefore, Psalm 68:17–18 refers to Moses’ merkabah encounter with God on Sinai and the revelation that he mediated to humanity.

Paul might be making the same connection between merkabah encounter and revelation in 2 Corinthians 2:14, for here also God both leads him in triumphal procession and “reveals” (phanerounti, spreads) through him the fragrance of the knowledge of God. In other words, Paul is presenting himself here as a mediator of divine revelation on par with Moses, summarizing the whole basis for his apostleship in this one verse. Hence, if metaphor is speaking about one thing in terms suggestive of another, then by speaking of a Roman triumphal procession in connection with divine revelation, Paul evidently suggests the throne-chariot of God and the powerfully complex tradition of Psalm 68:17–18. According to this tradition, God descended to Sinai in his merkabah and revealed himself to Moses and all Israel. Moses, in turn, ascended on high, took the Torah captive, and gave it as a gift to humanity. Although Paul’s image turns this tradition on its head by making the apostle a captive rather than the triumphant one (cf. 2 Cor. 11:30; 12:5), it nevertheless preserves the idea that an encounter with the merkabah effects a revelation to humanity through a mediator. Paul’s claim is especially crucial in the situation at Corinth, where his opponents evidently claim to have numerous visions and revelations (cf. 12:1).

Paul’s thanksgiving in 2:14 (But thanks be to God) fits well in the context of merkabah tradition. The visionary often observed and sometimes participated in the angelic hymns before the throne of God, the praises of the heavenly beings being viewed as the model and example for heavenly worship (cf. 1 En. 71:11–12; Apoc. Ab. 17:4–18:1; K. Grözinger). How much more, then, is Paul’s praise warranted and justified, since his encounter with the merkabah rivals even that of Moses.

If God is said to be leading the apostle in triumphal procession in Christ, then we will do well to recall Martin Hengel’s idea of the conjoint activity between the Father and the Son. As a result of being seated at the right hand of God at the resurrection, the Son now sits in the divine throne-chariot with the Father, and both together, occupying the same throne, now carry out activities together (cf. Mark 14:62). Hence, just as “God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself” (2 Cor. 5:19), so also here God “in Christ” leads the apostle in triumphal procession.

Once we recognize the traditional background of our text, it is not difficult to suggest why Paul would refer to his revelation as the fragrance of the knowledge of God. Jewish tradition associates wonderful aromas with the merkabah vision. For example, in the third heaven (= Paradise), where Paul encountered the merkabah (cf. 2 Cor. 12:2–4), the fruit trees are said to be ripe and fragrant, abundant crops give off a sweet smell, and the tree of life itself is indescribable for pleasantness and fine fragrance (2 En. 8:1–3). In sum, 2 Corinthians 2:14 presents God as revealing the knowledge of himself to the world through Paul. In connection with his ongoing encounter with the merkabah, Paul, as minister of the new covenant (cf. 3:6), becomes a revelatory mediator who infuses the world with an aromatic, Torah-like knowledge of God through the Spirit.[5]

14. NowGreek, “But.” Though we left Troas disappointed in not meeting Titus there, and in having to leave so soon so wide a door, “thanks be unto God,” we were triumphantly blessed in both the good news of you from Titus, and in the victories of the Gospel everywhere in our progress. The cause of triumph cannot be restricted (as Alford explains) to the former; for “always,” and “in every place,” show that the latter also is intended.

causeth us to triumph—The Greek, is rather, as in Col 2:15, “triumphs over us”: “leadeth us in triumph.” Paul regarded himself as a signal trophy of God’s victorious power in Christ. His Almighty Conqueror was leading him about, through all the cities of the Greek and Roman world, as an illustrious example of His power at once to subdue and to save. The foe of Christ was now the servant of Christ. As to be led in triumph by man is the most miserable, so to be led in triumph by God is the most glorious, lot that can befall any [Trench]. Our only true triumphs are God’s triumphs over us. His defeats of us are our only true victories [Alford]. The image is taken from the triumphal procession of a victorious general. The additional idea is perhaps included, which distinguishes God’s triumph from that of a human general, that the captive is brought into willing obedience (2 Co 10:5) to Christ, and so joins in the triumph: God “leads him in triumph” as one not merely triumphed over, but also as one triumphing over God’s foes with God (which last will apply to the apostle’s triumphant missionary progress under the leading of God). So Bengel: “Who shows us in triumph, not [merely] as conquered, but as the ministers of His victory. Not only the victory, but the open ‘showing’ of the victory is marked: for there follows, Who maketh manifest.”

savour—retaining the image of a triumph. As the approach of the triumphal procession was made known by the odor of incense scattered far and wide by the incense-bearers in the train, so God “makes manifest by us” (His now at once triumphed over and triumphing captives, compare Lu 5:10, “Catch,” literally, “Take captive so as to preserve alive”) the sweet savor of the knowledge of Christ, the triumphant Conqueror (Col 2:15), everywhere. As the triumph strikes the eyes, so the savor the nostrils; thus every sense feels the power of Christ’s Gospel. This manifestation (a word often recurring in his Epistles to the Corinthians, compare 1 Co 4:5) refutes the Corinthian suspicions of his dishonestly, by reserve, hiding anything from them (2 Co 2:17; 2 Co 4:2).[6]

Ver. 14.—Now thanks be unto God. The whole of this Epistle is the apostle’s Apologia pro vitâ suâ, and is more full of personal details and emotional expressions than any other Epistle. But nothing in it is more characteristic than this sudden outburst of thanksgiving into which he breaks so eagerly that he has quite omitted to say what it was for which he so earnestly thanked God. It is only when we come to ch. 7:5, 6 that we learn the circumstance which gave him such intense relief, namely, the arrival of Titus with good news from Corinth about the treatment of the offender and the manner in which the first letter had been received. It is true that this good news seems to have been dashed by other remarks of Titus which, perhaps, he withheld at first, and which may only have been drawn from him, almost against his will, by subsequent conversations. But, however checkered, the main and immediate intelligence was good, and the apostle so vividly recalls his sudden uplifting out of an abyss of anxiety and trouble (ch. 7:5) that the mere remembrance of it awakens a thankfulness to God which can only find vent by immediate utterance. Now thanks be unto God. The order of the original is more forcible, “But to God be thanks.” The remembrance of his own prostration calls into his mind the power and love of God. Which always causeth us to triumph; rather, who leadeth us in triumph. The verb thriambeuo may undoubtedly have this meaning, on the analogy of choreuo, I cause to dance, basileuo, I cause to reign, etc.; and other neuter verbs which sometimes have a factitive sense. But in Col. 2:15 St. Paul uses this word in the only sense in which it is actually found, “to lead in triumph;” and this sense seems both to suit the context better, and to be more in accordance with the habitual feelings of St. Paul (Gal. 6:17; Col. 1:24), and especially those with which these Epistles were written (1 Cor. 4:9–13; ch. 4:10; 11:23). St. Paul’s feeling is, therefore, the exact opposite of that of the haughty Cleopatra who said, Οὐ θριαμβευθήσομαι, “I will not be led in triumph.” He rejoiced to be exhibited by God as a trophy in the triumphal procession of Christ. God, indeed, gave him the victory over the lower part of his nature (Rom. 8:37), but this was no public triumph. The only victory of which he could boast was to have been utterly vanquished by God and taken prisoner “in Christ.” The savour of his knowledge. The mental vision of a Roman triumph summons up various images before the mind of St. Paul. He thinks of the streets breathing with the fragrance of incense offered upon many a wayside altar; of the tumult and rejoicing of the people; of the fame and glory of the conqueror; of the miserable captives led aside from the funeral procession to die, like Vercingetorix, in the Tullianum at the foot of the Capitoline hill. He touches on each of these incidents as they crowd upon him. The triumph of L. Mummius over the conquest of Corinth had been one of the most splendid which the Roman world had ever seen, and in a.d. 51, shortly before this Epistle was written (a.d. 57), Claudius had celebrated his triumph over the Britons and their king Caractacus, who had been led in the procession, but whose life had been spared (Tacitus, ‘Ann.,’ xiii. 36). The savour of his knowledge; i.e. the fragrance of the knowledge of Christ. By us. The details of the metaphor are commingled, as is often the case in writers of quick feeling and imagination. Here the apostles are no longer the vanquished who are led in procession, but the spectators who burn and diffuse the fragrance of the incense. In every place. Even at that early period, not twenty-five years after the Crucifixion, the gospel had been very widely preached in Asia and Europe (Rom. 15:18, 19).[7]

14 θριαμβεύοντι ἡμᾶς ἐν τῷ Χριστῶ, “who is ever leading us in his triumph in the cause of Christ.” God is praised for one special reason. The meaning of the verb θριαμβεύω, “triumph,” is much debated. Bultmann gives four senses, ranging from “celebrate a triumph,” whether military18 or religious, to “cause to triumph” (kjv/av and older commentators, but now out of fashion).20

“To lead in a triumphal procession” has more secure support (BAGD); and Williamson and Collange23 concur in giving a paradoxical nuance: Paul is the conquered slave exposed to public ridicule (1 Cor 4:9, 10, 13), and at the same time “he is the joyful participant in Christ’s victory celebration. It is, in fact, just the kind of paradox Paul loved!” Collange25 appeals to 4:10 and 12:9, and sees in the paradox of “strength-in-weakness” Paul’s theme developed in the succeeding chapters of the letter. Collange notes that Paul needs to justify his kind of ministry in the eyes of the readers who were being influenced by the “triumphalistic” tenor of Paul’s opponents, a motif reinforced by Marshall’s argument that the verb carries the nuance of social disgrace, linked with “the thorn” of 12:7. This background to Paul’s writing in 2 Corinthians is opposed by Hickling, who brings the charge of circularity against this reconstruction of false teaching which ex hypothesi Paul is answering in those chapters and indeed throughout the letter. Hickling’s position is that “it was not their beliefs that he is here in chap. 3 controverting in addition to their slanders on his person and claims, but only the latter.” He therefore dismisses the influence of “opponents” as “quite limited” when we ask what motivated the direction of Paul’s thought. All he will concede is that Paul is “vindicating his entitlement to a greater respect than he was being accorded.”

But Paul’s defense of his apostolic ministry and the distance he sets between himself and the “many” (2:17) who have a diametrically opposite idea of ministry is a theological issue, with practical ramifications. It cannot be dismissed simply as a “personal rather than a doctrinal” matter, since for Paul “ministry” and “gospel” are two sides of the same coin. For this reason we regard Collange’s point as well taken, and providing a reason for Paul’s wording, otherwise difficult to explain in context. Besides, Hickling himself30 is compelled to bring in the admission that the passage contains “diversified theological motifs” at the close of his interesting study.

καὶ τὴν ὀσμὴν τῆς γνώσεως αὐτοῦ φανεροῦντι διʼ ἡμῶν ἐν παντὶ τόπῳ, “and through us is making known the fragrance of the knowledge of God in all places.” The next participle, φανεροῦντι, “is making known” (rsv: “spreads,” linked with “fragrance of the knowledge of him”), is also a polemical term in this setting, with an eye on those who claimed to manifest the divine power in their lifestyle and ministry.32 Paul’s verb has to be understood in the light of 4:2: “it is by the making known [φανέρωσις] of the truth” that the true commendation (συνιστάνοντες) is shown. The verb in 2:14 is preparing for the debate over apostolic qualifications, a subject hotly discussed at Corinth, just as vv 15–16 will be expanded on in 4:3–6, leading to Paul’s self-description as a “pottery vessel” (4:7) to mark his own frailty and humanity. Yet he is charged with delivering the “treasure” of God’s message, here likened to the “fragrance of God’s revelation.” Barth34 argues that Paul is an “instrument” (Werkzeug) of God through whom God makes his ὀσμή, “fragrance,” known.

Paul’s metaphor ὀσμή, “fragrance” (but perhaps a more neutral term such as “odor” should also be entertained, as Paul will distinguish two sorts of smell [v 15]), may be drawn from the use of incense scattered along the victor’s route in a Roman imperator’s return from a campaign. The point of this illustration is that it explains how ὀσμή, “fragrance,” can be understood as εἰς θάνατον, “leading to death” for prisoners, and εἰς ζωήν, “leading to life” for the victorious army. But the evidence for this practice is weak, and the same criticism stands against Lohmeyer’s suggestion37 that “perfume” is a general term for the divine presence in many religions.

A more specific application to OT wisdom literature (Sir 24:15; 39:14; 50:15) makes Paul link “the knowledge of God” with wisdom under the common figure of a sweet odor.40 But with this view, as with the appeal to OT sacrifices, described as εὐωδία, “aroma” (v 15; Gen 8:21; cf. Exod 29:18; Lev 1:9, 13, 17; Ezek 20:41), the difficulty remains that v 15 makes a distinctive contrast based on two reactions.

Manson is therefore able to meet this objection with his appeal to rabbinic literature.43 The Torah is often called a medicine or drug (סם, sam; סמא, sammāʾ in Aramaic) that may bring benefit or harm according to the circumstances of its use. In fact, the medicine is unchanged—it is the Torah; but those who come into contact with it find it to be either an elixir of life (סם חיים, sam ḥayyim) or a deadly poison (סם המות, sam hammāwet); i.e., to Israel it is life, to the Gentiles it is death. Paul is taking this twofold effect of Torah and is applying it to his gospel, or more concretely, the γνῶσις τοῦ θεοῦ, “knowledge of God,” which Paul was charged to make known in his ministry. Provided we can make the short transition from “perfume” (ὀσμή) to “medicine,” we can see the linkage. Paul’s apostolic work is to offer Christ as the repository of divine knowledge (cf. Col 2:3), which may either be accepted as life-conferring or rejected (in which case it is death-dealing). In Christ is the remedy for sin: if it is taken, it is a life-giving medicine; if it is refused, the apostle’s ministry acts like deadly poison. Hence the claim in v 17 that Paul does not offer an adulterated word from God, as his rivals are said to do. On Manson’s theory, the issue is christological; and this may well tie in with recent discussion of οἱ πολλοί, “the many,” in the light of 11:4.[8]

14. But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession and through us God makes known the fragrance of the knowledge of himself everywhere.

  • “But thanks be to God.” The tone of Paul’s discussion changes when he expresses his thanks to God. He turns from a depressing narrative to a cheerful hymn of praise. Especially in this epistle, but also in Romans and I Corinthians, Paul often breaks forth in gratitude to God. He frequently contrasts words of praise with the immediately preceding context. The emphasis is on Paul giving personal thanks to God for making him joyful and happy.
  • “Who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession.” The scene Paul portrays with this imagery is that of a victorious Roman general who leads his armies in a triumphal parade into the capital of the empire. The general parades the prisoners of war through the streets and exhibits them to all the spectators, while the sweet fragrance of burning spices fills the air. At the conclusion of the procession, these captives usually are executed as a tribute to the conqueror. For the victors, the flagrance is sweet; for the captives, the fragrance is the smell of death.

How does this imagery apply to Paul himself? And how are we to interpret the clause “Christ always leads us in triumphal procession”? Scholars propose a number of views:

First, many commentators have been unable to accept the picture of Paul being led to his death in God’s victory parade. They think that the apostle himself should be celebrating the victory; and they say that portraying Paul as a defeated enemy of Christ is incongruous with the context. Why should a prisoner of war who is about to be executed express exuberant thanks to God? Hence, Paul should be depicted as a triumphant partner in Christ’s procession.

Next, some writers are of the opinion that the Greek verb thriambeuein (to lead in triumph) should not be taken literally (as in Col. 2:15) but should be given a causative sense: “to cause to triumph.” For instance, Calvin writes, “Paul means that he had a share in the triumph that God was celebrating.”

For a similar view, some commentators supply the word soldier as a predicate of the verb thriambeuein (to be a soldier in the triumphal procession). Hence, Paul depicts himself as a soldier who marches in a victory parade. But support from Greek literature is lacking for this interpretation.

Third, still another suggestion is to translate the Greek verb thriambeuein as “making a spectacle [of us].” This reading appears in a number of ancient translations of the Greek text, including the Coptic and the Syriac, and has merit.

Last, Greek literature in New Testament times lacks examples that present a figurative use of the verb in question. On the basis of Greek and Latin usage in Paul’s time, the verb to lead in triumph should be taken literally. It refers to “the triumphal procession in which the conquered enemies were usually led as slaves to death, being spared this death only by an act of grace on the part of the one celebrating the triumph.” The context of the verse itself forces us to look closely at the wording: “[God] in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession.” God is the subject and Paul is the object of the verb to lead. The verb is in the present tense and denotes not single but continued action. Moreover, the verb is strengthened by the adverb always. And last, the phrase in Christ qualifies the object us. God is the victor who continuously leads Paul as a captive, a prisoner “in Christ” to his death.

Taking verse 14a literally, we interpret it to mean that God leads Paul as a captive in Christ and uses him as his servant. Paul’s suffering as Christ’s servant is a major theme in the Corinthian epistles (1 Cor. 4:8–13; 2 Cor. 1:5–10; 2:14–16b; 4:7–12; 6:4–10; 11:23–28). The imagery that Paul conveys is that of a suffering slave who faces death. Nonetheless, in Christ Paul constantly preached and taught God’s revelation. Paul’s lot of being led to death is inseparably linked to his call to preach God’s Word as the source of life. In the context of suffering, Paul’s preaching is God’s celebration of triumph. “God, the victorious general, always celebrates his victory over Paul. He conquered Paul and now Paul spreads his fame.”

  • “Through us God makes known the fragrance of the knowledge of himself everywhere.” Here Paul uses still more imagery taken from his environment. Roman victory parades were both political and religious, for the conquering general would lead his captives to the temple of Jupiter where sacrifices were offered. “In no other Roman ceremony do god and man approach each other as closely as they do in the triumph.” Paul describes the odor of these sacrificial offerings with the words fragrance and aroma (v. 15). These two synonyms in the Old Testament characterize the sacrifices offered to God. Paul uses metaphors that depict preaching Christ’s gospel as the fragrance of the knowledge about God and the aroma of Christ. But he credits God for using him as an instrument to spread the fragrance of Christ’s good news everywhere.

Knowledge of God is not merely an intellectual awareness of a divine being. It includes serving God obediently and loving him with heart, soul, and mind. The application of true knowledge emits a fragrance that people cannot help but notice. Wherever God’s servants proclaim the gospel, its sweet-smelling savor becomes evident. Believers are God’s agents to reach people everywhere with the gospel of salvation. Thus, Paul’s work as Christ’s apostle is on display as he marches in God’s victory parade.[9]

[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2003). 2 Corinthians (pp. 70–72). Chicago: Moody Publishers.

[2] Calvin, J., & Pringle, J. (2010). Commentaries on the Epistles of Paul the Apostle to the Corinthians (Vol. 2, pp. 156–158). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

[3] Harris, M. J. (2008). 2 Corinthians. In T. Longman III &. Garland, David E. (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Romans–Galatians (Revised Edition) (Vol. 11, pp. 455–456). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[4] Barnett, P. (1997). The Second Epistle to the Corinthians (pp. 147–152). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.

[5] Scott, J. M. (2011). 2 Corinthians (pp. 60–64). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[6] Jamieson, R., Fausset, A. R., & Brown, D. (1997). Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible (Vol. 2, p. 303). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

[7] Spence-Jones, H. D. M. (Ed.). (1909). 2 Corinthians (pp. 39–40). London; New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company.

[8] Martin, R. P. (2014). 2 Corinthians. (R. P. Martin, L. A. Losie, & P. H. Davids, Eds.) (Second Edition, Vol. 40, pp. 185–188). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[9] Kistemaker, S. J., & Hendriksen, W. (1953–2001). Exposition of the Second Epistle to the Corinthians (Vol. 19, pp. 88–90). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.

Social Justice: Modern Roots and Promoters — Christian Research Network

“[Timothy] Keller is a well-known pastor (recently retired), theologian and apologist. A co-founder of the Gospel Coalition with D. A. Carson, Keller has published several books, many of which have value and substance.  His doctrinal positions would be more biblical than any of those mentioned above, but within conservative evangelical circles, he is a major leader in the social justice movement.  The vision statement at his church, Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York, provides a clear declaration combining both the spiritual and social gospels.”

(Gary Gilley – Think On These Things)  As we attempt to evaluate the social justice movement,  especially in light of the debates within evangelicalism surrounding the publication of The Statement on Social Justice and the Gospel, it would be helpful to trace its roots….

The emphasis on social justice that is now all but omnipresent within Christianity did not appear out of thin air; there are predecessors and forerunners who have paved the way for comingling of the biblical gospel with a social agenda producing a hybrid gospel and mission for the church.  In two earlier TOTT papers, “The Social Gospel” Parts 1&2,[2] the development of the 19th century Social Gospel movement which led to theological liberalism was detailed. In those articles, it was documented that German rationalism, higher criticism, Enlightenment and Romanticist thought were interlaced and embraced by first European and later American Protestantism. When the dust had settled, the authority of Scripture had been undermined, all cardinal doctrines had been diluted, and the gospel itself had been lost in the majority of formerly evangelical churches, denominations, seminaries and organizations. In the wake of these theological compromises emerged a “liberal” church which no longer held to the traditional faith of the Scriptures.  In its place was a religion wrapped around improving life on the planet by attempting to reduce poverty, aiding the weak and marginalized, and seeking social justice for all people.  It was not that the conservative church had not been concerned about these things and had not done much to enhance lives all over the globe through benevolent acts.  But the Protestant church to that point had not confused its message or its mission. Its message was one of reconciliation to God through the preaching of the gospel and the discipling of those who had been redeemed by faith in Jesus Christ.  Its mission was to focus attention and resources on doing the one thing that the church can do, as no other organization can: taking the biblical gospel of reconciliation to the world.  However, the Social Gospel first elevated social needs to equality with the biblical gospel and ultimately replaced it with the social agenda altogether.  This has been the pattern throughout church history when social interests begin to eclipse the message of redemption. It is the concern of many today that that pattern is being repeated within conservative evangelicalism and is the motivation for The Statement.  View article →


Progressive (Social Justice) “Christianity”

via Social Justice: Modern Roots and Promoters — Christian Research Network

Obama’s Homeland Security Director: Democrat Presidential Candidates Are Open Borders – It’s Unworkable and Unwise — The Gateway Pundit

New York Post cover after Democrats push free healthcare for illegal aliens.

Barack Obama’s Homeland Security Director Jeh Johnson did not hold back in a recent interview on the current crop of Democrat presidential candidate.

Jeh Johnson called the proposed Democrat plan of decriminalizing illegal immigration a policy of “open borders.

From The Washington Post:

During last week’s debate, presidential candidate Julián Castro proposed decriminalizing illegal border crossings — a position other Democrats in the race rapidly adopted. …

“That is tantamount to declaring publicly that we have open borders,” said Jeh Johnson, who ran the Department of Homeland Security during President Barack Obama’s second term. “That is unworkable, unwise and does not have the support of a majority of American people or the Congress, and if we had such a policy, instead of 100,000 apprehensions a month, it will be multiples of that.”

Elizabeth Warren as well as 8 of the 10 Democrats on last Thursday night’s debate stage including  Kamala Harris, Kirsten Gillibrand, and Pete Buttigieg have all embraced the radical position of decriminalizing illegal immigration.

Compounded with their support of illegal immigrants receiving tax-payer funded, government-run health care, Democrats have made it known that they place the interests of illegal immigrants before the interests of American citizens.

The RNC reported:  It’s not a Republican talking point that Democrats are the party of open borders. Obama’s DHS secretary says that is exactly what they are for.

via Obama’s Homeland Security Director: Democrat Presidential Candidates Are Open Borders – It’s Unworkable and Unwise — The Gateway Pundit

8 Times The Media Said There Was No Crisis At The Southern Border — The Federalist

Political pundits are having to eat their own words from just a few months ago claiming that the border crisis was manufactured by President Trump as a political stunt.

Now that media-savvy congressional Democrats like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez have brought attention to the humanitarian crisis on the U.S.-Mexico border caused by Congress’s refusal to fix our exploited immigration laws, political pundits are having to eat their own words from just a few months ago claiming that the border crisis was manufactured by President Trump as a political stunt.

Last week, before President Trump departed for the G20 Summit in Japan, he told reporters on the White House lawn that his critics are now seeing he was right all along.

“It’s humanitarian aid, it’s very important and I think that a lot of people are starting to realize that I was right when I said we have a crisis at the border,” Trump said. “…A crisis at the border wasn’t a manufactured crisis, which they were saying, it wasn’t manufactured at all. We have a crisis at the border.”

So who are the people he’s referring to? Many of the journalism world’s favorite pundits and media institutions. Here are the receipts.

Read more: 8 Times The Media Said There Was No Crisis At The Southern Border — The Federalist

Costi Hinn- The Dangers of the Prosperity Gospel and What To Do About It — Servants of Grace

On today’s Equipping You in Grace show, Dave Jenkins and Costi Hinn discuss his personal involvement in the prosperity gospel, the history of the prosperity gospel, and how to respond to it and warn people about it, along with his new book, God, Greed, and the (Prosperity) Gospel: How Truth Overwhelms a Life Built on Lies (Zondervan, 2019).

What you’ll hear in this episode

  • What precisely the prosperity gospel is.
  • The history of the prosperity gospel and how it came into being.
  • Why warning people about the prosperity gospel is essential.
  • The proper response to the prosperity gospel.
  • The importance of understanding the sovereignty of God.
  • How the prosperity gospel teaching is at odds with the sovereignty of God.
  • What Costi’s background growing up the nephew of a famous televangelist and his father in pastoral ministry was like.
  • When Costi first began doubting the prosperity gospel.
  • How the prosperity gospel uses media to advance its message.
  • The need for expository preaching.
  • How Christians should respond to suffering in their lives.
  • Why questioning the teachings, Costi grew up with was so hard for him.
  • The danger of a “performance-based” mindset in the Christian life and the prosperity gospel.
  • The importance of the home to ministry.
  • When Costi realized that the lavious lifestyle he and his family were living was supported by people who didn’t live anything like he and his family did.
  • How for Costi meeting his wife helped changed the trajectory of his life from being in the prosperity gospel and thinking ministry was a higher priority than marriage to a more biblically balanced view.
  • Costi’s relationship with his family looks like today.
  • The importance of Christians getting in a solid local church.
  • The importance of serving in a solid local church for the Christian life.

About the Guest

via Costi Hinn- The Dangers of the Prosperity Gospel and What To Do About It — Servants of Grace

Is Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez telling the truth about treatment of illegal immigrants?


AOC photo-op: crying over a fake fence in a parking lot AOC photo-op: crying over a fake fence in a parking lot

I do think it’s important that the Immigration and Customs Enforcement treat illegal immigrants humanely while they are awaiting processing. But I’m not sure if Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is the right person to keep them accountable. She went down to the border to inspect how ICE is doing with detainees, but I don’t think she did a very good job of investigating, for two reasons.

Here’s an article from the Washington Examiner about her visit.

First, she never actually did a tour of the facilities, and instead spent her time yelling at ICE personnel in a manner they found threatening:

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., screamed at federal law enforcement agents “in a threatening manner” during a visit to a Border Patrol facility in El Paso, Texas, and refused to tour the facility, according to two people who witnessed the incident.

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