Monday, 21 December 2015
The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is blessed forever, knows that I am not lying.
2 Corinthians 11:31
Paul now invokes the name of the Father for what he is about to say. It is certain that this is about the coming verse and not the preceding verses, because in just the verse prior he said, “If I must boast, I will boast in the things which concern my infirmity.” This was concerning future thoughts. Now, in order to show the truth of what he will say, he invokes the name of the Father as a solemn testimony that his words will be truthful.
“The Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” is named as a confirmation of the Godhead itself. His gospel message of Christ is approved by “God the Father.” The next words, “who is blessed forever” could be speaking of either “God the Father” or “our Lord Jesus Christ.” In Romans 1:25, he uses “God” and “Creator” in one thought. In Romans 9:5, he uses “God” and “Christ” in one thought.
In this case, “Lord Jesus Christ” is the nearest antecedent. It appears that He is saying that “our Lord Jesus Christ is blessed forevermore” being the Son of God the Father. In other words, it is a reference to the Godhead. This might seem like over-analyzing the few words he has penned, but he has done it for a reason.
And in his invocation of the Godhead, he says that He “knows that I am not lying.” Why would Paul find it necessary to make such a solemn affirmation? A few possibilities exist. First, because of the incredible nature of some of the things he is about to relay. Secondly, because there were no witnesses at hand who were available to support his claims. Third, because there may be those who charged him with not being straightforward about his claims. For these and possibly other reasons, he makes this solemn invocation.
Life application: We are shown in the word that it is not inappropriate to invoke the name of God in order to substantiate our claims, but like Paul, let us do so sparingly and for reasons which are sound. A person who continuously invokes God’s name, even over minutiae, demonstrates the he probably can’t be trusted in the first place. It also shows that the name of God is not held in high esteem by him.
Lord Jesus, You who are God, You have made it very simple for us to come to know You and to be saved. We are told that You stepped out of eternity to live the life we cannot live and then gave up Your life on Calvary’s cross to pay our sin debt. You have told us that if we believe this, we have eternal life. Either this is true or it is not. Why do we have to muddy the waters of Your word? Help us to trust in the simple gospel message and not add to Your word things which it does not say. And give us the strong desire to tell others of this marvelous thing You have done for us. Amen.