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Faithlife

Tapestry Farewell - Goodbye but not farewell

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We value rarity. Diamonds are expensive, not because they aren’t plentiful - they are, but because the supply is tightly controlled. Not only that but the diamonds that are truly valuable are the ones with no flaws in color, clarity etc.. When we discover something rare we often refer to it as a gem. If seagulls were rare and owls were common I would be scouring the beaches for photos instead of tramping through mosquito infested bushes.
We value rarity. Diamonds are expensive, not because they aren’t plentiful - they are, but because the supply is tightly controlled. Not only that but the diamonds that are truly valuable are the ones with no flaws in color, clarity etc.. When we discover something rare we often refer to it as a gem. If seagulls were rare and owls were common I would be scouring the beaches for photos instead of tramping through mosquito infested bushes.
2 Corinthians 1:12–14 ESV
For our boast is this, the testimony of our conscience, that we behaved in the world with simplicity and godly sincerity, not by earthly wisdom but by the grace of God, and supremely so toward you. For we are not writing to you anything other than what you read and understand and I hope you will fully understand— just as you did partially understand us—that on the day of our Lord Jesus you will boast of us as we will boast of you.
II Cor 1:
Simplicity and godly sincerity
What does Paul mean by simplicity? Certainly not simple mindedness. No, he means the opposite of duplicitous which is why he connects it to godly sincerity.
Paul, was nothing if not sincere. His letters betray his sincerity time and again. He is not about pleading, begging, and generally humiliating himself in the cause of the gospel and for the benefit of those he led. , , ,
Not by earthly wisdom but by the grace of God
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Not by earthly wisdom but by the grace of God
Note the contrast of wisdom with grace and not as we might expect heavenly wisdom. Paul has been called the apostle of grace. From the Damascus road onward he never forgot the grace of God at work in his life and he made sure that it was central to his ministry.
…on the day of the Lord Jesus you will boast of us as we will boast of you
This is an incredible statement. In Paul says that the only thing he boasts about is the cross of Christ through which the world has been crucified to him and him to the world. In other worlds he boast in the power of Jesus death which paradoxically brings life through its crucifixion of the world. We usually think of Christ as the one who was crucified but the paradox of the cross is that in the attempt to crucify Christ Christ crucifies the world! Both Christ and the world hung on that Christ and only one of them emerged victorious.
The second thing Paul allows himself to boast about is the work of grace that he has participated in in the lives of the believers, not only in Corinth, but in all the churches under his care and leadership.
Paul was not a “professional” missionary or pastor. He allowed himself to become intimately involved and vulnerable with the believers he shepherded.
The one thing that lasts; that we can legitimately boast about is the grace-work we have facilitated in the lives of others.
What do we boast about?
What do we boast about?
Our kids accomplishments
Our accomplishments in sports, education, career
Our financial accomplishments
If we have been crucified to the world as Paul says he/we have then why does its approval matter so much to us?
Goodbye but not farewell. Farewell in its proper usage is a wish for blessing and safety for someone who is leaving permanently. I’m not sure we could ever use this old word in the modern, connected world; we are rarely out of the reach of FB, Twitter, Instagram, or SnapChat. In any case, today I am not saying farewell in its original sense; no I am saying goodbye. Goodbye derives from the old English word “godbwye” God be with you and indicates a more temporary parting.
I look forward to the day when we can mutually boast about the work God has accomplished in us through each other. For the most part, God’s grace comes to us indirectly through others. This has certainly been true for me over the past three or four years. The impact your lives have had on mine won’t be fully seen until that day, but even from this side of the dark glass the it is clearly apparent. So God be with you as we and I enter a new chapter. I look forward to our continued partnership, even if it has to be more virtual than physical for the time being. So I say goodby, but not farewell, at least not yet.
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