The Boasting of Paul

We find in 2 Corinthians 10 that in Paul's absence there were those who spoke against his authority, and against him as a person. These attacks seem to have come only in his absence, not in his presence. Verses 8-10 shed light on the nature of the attacks:

“For even if I boast somewhat further about our authority, which the Lord gave for building you up and not for destroying you, I will not be put to shame, for I do not wish to seem as if I would terrify you by my letters. For they say, “His letters are weighty and strong, but his personal presence is unimpressive and his speech contemptible.” Let such a person consider this, that what we are in word by letters when absent, such persons we are also in deed when present.“

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Objective Evaluation

Acts 13:45 - But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy; and contradicting and blaspheming, they opposed the things spoken by Paul. As the early Christians traveled through the Roman Empire preaching the message of Christ they spoke with people of diverse cultures, ethnicities, education and heritage. The book of Acts provides insight into how many of these people reacted to hearing the gospel.  The passage quoted above (Acts 13:45) is the reaction of many of the Jews who lived in Antioch (in Pisidia). Unfortunately, their reaction is not based on an evaluation of truth but on their emotions.

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Psalm 51:10-15

Occasionally I will hear people make comments referencing “the God of the old testament,” or “the God of the new testament.” Statements like these stem from the perception that God behaved differently, with different expectations in the old testament than he did in the new. Often the connotation is that the “old testament God” was an angry and vengeful God, while the “new testament God” is kind, forgiving and loving God. There are many examples to counter such ideas, one has but to look at the repeated cycles of forgiveness and redemption in the old testament or the ultimate punishment outlined in Revelation to see that God is kind, capable of righteous anger, forgiving, able and willing to exact vengeance, and loving.

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