Friday, 29 August 2015
…by honor and dishonor, by evil report and good report; as deceivers, and yet true; 2 Corinthians 6:8
This again continues with the list of how the apostles were perceived by those around them and how they responded to those perceptions. They pressed forward though in order that they would “give no offense in anything, that our ministry may not be blamed (v.3).”
The first item in this verse is “by honor and by dishonor.” This is referring to how he and the other apostles were perceived, not by how they actually conducted themselves. In John 7:12, this same type of thought is given about Jesus. There it says, “And there was much complaining among the people concerning Him. Some said, ‘He is good’; others said, ‘No, on the contrary, He deceives the people.'” It is certain that Jesus conducted Himself and His ministry with honor, but some chose to look at it in a contrary manner, speaking ill against Him. This is the same thing that the apostles faced. But they persevered in an honorable way in their efforts regardless of how they were spoken of.
Paul next says, “…by evil report and good report.” This is similar to the previous item in the list. Paul was constantly maligned (as certainly were all of the apostles) as evil doers. Reports were sent against them; some good and some bad. An example of a good report is found in the decree of the Jerusalem Council in Acts 15:22-29. An example of a bad report is found in Acts 17:5-9 where Paul and his associates were accused of having “turned the world upside down.”
Finally in the list of this verse, he notes that they are regarded “as deceivers, and yet true.” Again, this is similar to the first two thoughts in that accusations of false teaching and heresy were leveled against the apostles. The Jews saw the Christians as a false, breakaway sect. In their mission travels, they were accused of introducing an illegal form of religion under Roman law. They were accused of making stuff up out of their heads and even being insane.
And yet, the message that they carried was and is the only true path to salvation. Without it, there is no hope for fallen man. But with it, there is reconciliation between God and man, and the hope of an eternity of joy in His presence. The apostles carried this message faithfully and stood on it, even to death itself.
Life application: Concerning salvation, there is one truth of God and only one. It is found in the pages of the Holy Bible and it reveals the message of Jesus Christ. It has become more and more unpopular to the people of the world to hear that this is so. Because of this, faithful Christians can expect to be maligned, dishonored, and even accused of deception. These accusations may bring real trouble for Christians in the near future, but we are to be prepared for such a time and to be ready to make a defense for the hope which we profess. Be ready! Stand firm! Proclaim that Christ is Lord!
Heavenly Father, Jesus was maligned by those around Him as deceiving the people. Also, the apostles were accused of the same thing. They were dishonored and maligned by those they came to help. The message they carried was the truth and yet they were accused of being deceivers. And now this is happening in the country in which I live. But why should I care if I am simply telling the truth? They can have my body; You have my soul. No fear here. I proclaim Jesus Christ is Lord and the only way to be reconciled to You. Amen.