When God Reschedules Plans2 Corinthians 1:12-20Theme: Criticism and Conscience.This week’s lessons teach us why a conscience unguided by Scripture leads to destruction.
LessonHe uses the word sealed which is often used for the work of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is God’s seal on us. A seal indicates ownership. When an important document was signed in antiquity it was often accompanied by a seal. A man would wear a ring that served as his own seal. When that man wrote a document he would seal it with wax and press the ring into the wax. That would indicate that the man who wears the ring stands behind the contents of the document.
A seal was also used, as in the case of Christ’s tomb, to indicate the authority that stood behind whatever was being sealed, such as Roman authority, or that of the Jewish Sanhedrin. That is what the Holy Spirit is for us. God has put us into Christ, and the Holy Spirit is God’s seal on that – that we are his and we belong to him. Paul goes on to say that the Holy Spirit is a deposit guaranteeing what is to come through our union with Christ.
The fourth thing that Paul did concerning the accusations against him was to examine his own personal integrity in terms of his relationship to others, in this case, the Corinthians. Paul explained that the reason he had not come to Corinth as planned was that if he had gone to that church in its unrepentant state, he would have had to come in judgment. He would have been required to exercise his authority as an apostle. He would have had to discipline the people who were involved in the offenses that were there, grievous offenses that we read about in his first letter to the Corinthians. Paul did not want to do that.
Instead he wished to advise them to act on the basis of all they knew about God. He wanted them to realize that their conduct was offensive so that they would make the necessary changes on their own. So Paul said for that reason he did not come to visit. Here we see that Paul was made aware through Titus that the Corinthians had actually done what Paul wanted them to do. They had straightened things out. They had gotten back on the right path. So in this letter he was able to write with joy.
Jesus works with us and invites us to work with him in order that as we work together, we might bring glory to his name and bring other people to know him as the Savior. When God changes our plans, it is for those reasons, not because he does not care or because he delights in upsetting something that we might have planned to do, but because God loves us and cares for us, and because God loves others and cares for them, and because God wants to work through the change in our lives to be a blessing to others for whom he also died. We need to trust God in that, and as we trust, to grow.
Study Questions

What is meant by the fact that we have been sealed by the Holy Spirit?
What was the fourth thing Paul did when others criticized him?
Why does God sometimes change our plans?

Scripture MemoryMemorize Proverbs 3:5-6.

Study Questions
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