A PROVEN CONFIDENCE
Even though the Corinthian Christians had their clashes with the Apostle Paul, Paul nevertheless “boasted” of the virtues of the Corinthians to Titus before sending him to Corinth. Perhaps this was done to comfort the heart of Titus who may have been concerned about making the trip because of the ill-reputation of the Corinthian church. Nevertheless, Paul was not lying to Titus when he put forth these virtues to Titus, for he truly regarded many in the Corinthian church as genuine believers in Christ. This can be seen from the outset of 1 Corinthians where Paul declared the Corinthian church as “the church of God” at Corinth. Thus, Paul was confident that as genuine believers in Christ, the Holy Spirit would work in the lives of the Corinthians and help them to spiritually mature in Christ Jesus. How happy therefore was the Apostle Paul to hear that the Corinthian Christians had warmly received Titus into their midst and had refreshed Titus’ spirit. This served as a vindication of Paul’s “boasting” that there was no lying nor exaggeration when he promoted the virtues of the Corinthian saints.
What caused Titus to be spiritually refreshed was how the Corinthian Christians reacted to his presence and exhortations. First, the Corinthian Christians received Titus in “fear and trembling” instead of reviling him. This trembling was due to a recognition that Titus was a minister of the Lord, and that he had come to proclaim the truth of God’s Word. This reveals the reverence which the Corinthians had towards God’s Word. As further evidence of their heart for God’s Word, the Corinthian Christians displayed a willingness to obey Titus’ scriptural commands. This was a big difference from how the Corinthian Christians had reacted to Paul. Seeing this change in attitude towards God’s Word warmed his heart and gave him renewed joy and confidence that the Corinthian Christians had repented and were seeking to glorify God.
The way a church treats faithful preachers reveals their heart for God’s Word. What about you?
THOUGHT: Am I ready to obey God’s Word?
PRAYER: Grant me a heart that is ready to obey Thee, O Father.