Paul reminds the Corinthians and us of what God has done for and is doing for all of us. Because Jesus died for them and us, we are saved by grace. Not only have we been saved, we have already been given access to heavenly knowledge and speech. All this to confirm the testimony that Christ is alive and lives in us. Just as the Corinthians had access to every spiritual gift they needed, so do we. As they waited and as we wait for the return of Jesus, there is nothing we need that is not available to us now. And we can add to all that, the fact that Jesus has the power to keep us blameless until He returns. That is His promise to us and God has never failed to deliver on His promises.
12 That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet this is no cause for shame, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until that day.—2 Tim. 1:12 (NIV)
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
20 The crowd replied, “You’re demon possessed! Who’s trying to kill you?” 21 Jesus replied, “I did one miracle on the Sabbath, and you were amazed.22 But you work on the Sabbath, too, when you obey Moses’ law of circumcision. (Actually, this tradition of circumcision began with the patriarchs, long before the law of Moses.) 23 For if the correct time for circumcising your son falls on the Sabbath, you go ahead and do it so as not to break the law of Moses. So why should you be angry with me for healing a man on the Sabbath? 24 Look beneath the surface so you can judge correctly.”—John 7:20-24 (NLT)
Doesn’t the crowd in Jerusalem that day kind of remind us of ourselves? Aren’t we always pointing fingers at others and trying to justify why and when we do what we do? Jesus pointed out some of the things that they and their ancestors had done on the Sabbath. Under the law, if the eighth day after birth occurred on the Sabbath, you would have to violate Moses’ law by working on the Sabbath or not circumcising the male child on the correct day. That is why Jesus said: 27 Then Jesus said to them, “The Sabbath was made to meet the needs of people, and not people to meet the requirements of the Sabbath. 28 So the Son of Man is Lord, even over the Sabbath!”–Mark 2:27,28 (NLT)
Jesus asks them to look beneath the surface, in other words, look into the situation and determine why the person is doing what they are doing on the Sabbath or any other time. Jesus has set us free from the law and now we live under grace. If we are led by the Holy Spirit, our conscience will determine if our actions are right or wrong. No law is required.
Hebrews 12:14,15 (NLT) 14 Work at living in peace with everyone, and work at living a holy life, for those who are not holy will not see the Lord. 15 Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God. Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many.
As Paul tells us in Romans 12, we should do everything that we can do to live in peace with our fellow man. Add to that, the fact that we should strive to live a Holy life. God tells us to be Holy because He is Holy. Once we are indwelt by God’s Holy Spirit, it should be our inclination to follow the example of Jesus in all that we do. That requires us to not only seek peace and holiness, but to teach others so that no one fails to receive the gospel of Jesus Christ. To do this, we must avoid gossip and rumor mongering. If we practice those things, we hurt others instead of helping. Do this with humility and love so that no one can blame you. When you are wrongfully blamed, quickly forgive the person. Don’t hold grudges and allow a “root of bitterness” to grow in your heart. This will, first of all, destroy you and then those around you.