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Monday, May 04, 2015

The Forgiveness Factor (part 8): The Faithful Messenger of Forgiveness

A recent article of interest is “How To Spot The Charlatans In The Personal Training Business” providing helpful instruction on how to discern a fitness trainer from one who only says they are a fitness trainer. When folks tell me, “I want to train with you,” I make very clear from the outset that I am not a trainer, but they are welcome to join me at their own risk.

The con-men and grifters on TV and in movies have become anti-heroes--but the reality remains: we must be careful. There are people out there who seem to be successful in ministry but they are actually charlatans.

The Bible is filled with warnings against false teacher, starting with the 2nd commandment where taking the Lord’s name in vain means much more than a warning against dropping God’s name as a curse word. This foundational warning is against those who take God’s name on themselves then misrepresent Him to the world. The apostle Paul makes a clear distinction between a true minister and those who Satan uses to deceive the flock of God.

Paul writes “For we are not, as so many, peddling the word of God” (2 Corinthians 2:17). Paul does not preach the gospel for profit but in the power of God. He has no hidden no hidden agenda. He does not polish up his ministry into an appealing product that sits on the mantle of every household. The gospel is not for sale, so opponents of the gospel should not be able to place him in that category. The gospel is free for the giving, free for the asking!

Notice that Paul is clear concerning his sincerity "For we are not, like so many, peddlers of God's word, but as men of sincerity, as commissioned by God, in the sight of God we speak in Christ." (2:17). The gospel Paul brings is unmixed, pure. Back in 1 Corinthians 5, Paul described his ministry in the three words that also apply here: “ministry of reconciliation.” The goal of the gospel is to bring two opposing parties face-to-face once more and this starts with forgiveness.

The faithful messenger of forgiveness speaks "as commissioned by God." When one receives truth and the love that delivers it, one is able to repent and receive the forgiveness God offers. We cannot truly forgive until we first receive God's forgiveness. What Paul says stands as truth before God and His Christ, the judge who knows the minds and hearts of all men.

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