Who is the modern man, being torn apart by criticism, that could write, "In good conscience I gladly testify that in all my life and relationship with you, I have acted sincerely, frankly, simply, purely, and in holiness? I have not depended on my own skills or intellect, but on God's power that He gives me by His grace." Yet, Paul could honestly testify to these truths in his life and ministry.
He left no room for duplicity or bragging about one aspect of his life while hiding another. Certainly the man who penned these words to the people at Corinth lived in a time and place where it was no more socially acceptable to be a Christian than it is for us today.
In fact, in his day (and in the Jewish culture in particular, but also among the Romans), one could experience wretched persecution and even death for such activities and testimonies. Yet his example urges us to allow one goal--holiness-- to rule our existence and to pervade every relationship.
His life shines as a model for us to emulate, even when we are tempted to be embarrassed by our Christian stand. We clearly can hear the call to have a singular mind, without hidden attitudes or complicated explanations. No duplicity! Living such a pure life, simply, openly, and frankly before others, answers Christ's call for holiness.
How can we live such a life? Only by the power given to us by God's grace. The same power and grace that the apostle Paul had learned to appropriate will flow from Heaven to us who determine to live, always and everywhere, the frank and sincere life of holiness. KLB