2 Cor.2:17 – For we are not like many, peddling the word of God, but as from sincerity, but as from God, we speak in Christ in the sight of God.
Apparently, preachers have been watering down the word of God for centuries. Today’s verse is shockingly current in today’s secular society. Paul always described the word of God as full of the power of God able to transform the worst of us into men and women of God. Today the Bible is often preached as a formula or a how to guide to accomplish whatever our secular goals and wants may provide. Paul saw God’s word as saturated with the life changing power of God. Here is how Adam Clarke describes this verse.
“The word, from kapeleuo, a tavern-keeper, signifies acting like an unprincipled vintner; for this class of men have ever been notorious for adulterating their wines, mixing them with liquors of no worth, that thereby they might increase their quantity; and thus the mixture was sold for the same price as the pure wine. Thy wine is mixed with water, “Thy vintners mix thy wine with water;” that is, thy false prophets and corrupt priests adulterate the word of God, and render it of none effect, by their explanations and traditions. The word has been used, both among the Greeks and Latins, to signify a prostitution of what was right and just, for the sake of gain. In short, the word is used to signify any artifice employed to get gain by making a thing look more or better than it is; or mingling that which is excellent with what is not so to promote the gain of the adulterator.”
This is eye opening to me. Paul used the word kapeleuo which is translated peddling in modern translations. Clarke brought out the fact that this was the word used for a bartender who diluted his alcoholic beverages to increase his profit. What exactly is Paul getting at? This is what I think, God’s word preached in the power of the anointing is offensive to the natural man. Some, in Paul’s day, as well as in ours, would water down the gospel to relieve it of its power or intoxicating qualities. It is the supernatural nature of our message that transforms lives. To dilute the word of God is to remove the ability of God’s word to have a life changing effect on our world. What is our response? We can never, ever dilute the intoxicating nature of the word of God preached in the power of the Holy Ghost.