2 Corinthians 2:14-3:6
So, today the Book of Common Prayer Epistle reading abruptly ends it’s 1 Corinthians foray and jumps right into 2 Corinthians 2. One of the things that makes 2 Corinthians cool is Paul ratchets his rhetorical devices up a notch. The heart of his argument, however, is always the same: He’s proclaiming Christ. No more. No less. His authority as an apostle comes from no more and no less than Jesus. Paul reminds the Corinthians here that he really has nothing to prove. If he proclaims Christ, the results will speak for themselves.
What is hitting me about this particular passage this evening is Verse 17:
For we are not peddlers of God’s word like so many; but in Christ we speak as persons of sincerity, as persons sent from God and standing in his presence.
I wonder how many churches, clergy, Christian retail stores, and the like would fit, if we were honest, into the “..like so many” category. I’ve said for a long time I DO NOT believe being in the ministry is similar to being in sales. But a lot of folks treat it like it is, and that has caused so much division, confusion, and straight-up BAD theology that it’s not even funny.
God will not be reduced to a marketing campaign or sales pitch. God is not a product to be sold. The Kingdom is not a commodity.
Instead, the God who reveals himself to us in Jesus makes Himself self-evident.. and sometimes he does that through us.
Tonight, this passage serves as a reminder to me: Do not give in to the rampant pragmatism that really does view the Gospel as a product to be sold and evangelism is a sales-pitch.
We are called and equipped to embody a better way.