Showing posts with label 2 Corinthians. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 2 Corinthians. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

2 Corinthians 13

Paul promises to come with severity, if necessary. He gives them a final warning.
2 Corinthians 13:2 I already gave you a warning when I was with you the second time. I now repeat it while absent: On my return I will not spare those who sinned earlier or any of the others, 
He asked them to examine themselves whether they are in faith.
2 Corinthians 13:8 For we cannot do anything against the truth, but only for the truth. We are glad whenever we are weak but you are strong; and our prayer is that you may be fully restored. This is why I write these things when I am absent, that when I come I may not have to be harsh in my use of authority—the authority the Lord gave me for building you up, not for tearing you down.
Paul concludes this letter with a holy kiss. All God's people send them greetings.
2 Corinthians 13:14 May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

2 Corinthians 12

Paul continues his mock boasting and during the course, he mentioned visions and revelations he received from the Lord. He spoke of his own suffering in connection with those extraordinary revelations: in order that he does not become too exalted, a messenger of Satan was sent to be a thorn in his flesh.
2 Corinthians 12:8-10 Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Paul exults in sufferings and reproaches, and vindicated his apostleship.

Paul promised to come and visit the Corinthians a third time. He will financially support himself, and has never behaved in a financially inappropriate way. He is willing to love them like his children.
2 Corinthians 12:14-15 Now I am ready to visit you for the third time, and I will not be a burden to you, because what I want is not your possessions but you. After all, children should not have to save up for their parents, but parents for their children. So I will very gladly spend for you everything I have and expend myself as well. If I love you more, will you love me less? 
Paul fears that when he visits the Corinthians he will find many evils and disorders among them. There may be discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, slander, gossip, arrogance and disorder. He may even find those who have not repented of the impurity, sexual sin and debauchery in which they have indulged.

2 Corinthians 11

Paul fears that, just as the serpent deceived Eve, so the Corinthians will be corrupted by those who preach a Christ different from Paul’s.
2 Corinthians 11:3-4 But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ. For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the Spirit you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough.
Paul stated that he is not inferior to the most eminent apostles. He has never been a burden to anyone. God knows that he loves Corinthians. He will continue doing what he is doing, so that those seeking equal grounds will not get a chance. He cautions them about false apostles like Satan, who is seeking to transform himself into an angel of light.
2 Corinthians 11:13-15 For such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.
Paul engaged in some mock boasting of his own. He boasts of his apostolic credentials, and those sufferings he had endured.
2 Corinthians 11:30-31 If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness. The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, who is to be praised forever, knows that I am not lying. 

2 Corinthians 10

Next, Paul turns to that hostile minority who have challenged his authority and criticized his behavior. The charges against Paul were:
1. He is a bold letter writer, but when met face to face, he is a coward (2 Corinthians 10:1, 2 Corinthians 10:9-11)
2. He is not a speaker (2 Corinthians 10:10, 2 Corinthians 11:6)
3. He is a second rated apostle (2 Corinthians 11:5, 2 Corinthians 12:11)
Paul addressed all these charges against him in 2 Corinthians 10:1-11.
When he arrives in Corinth, they will discover that he is ready to act just the way he writes. He can be equally tough in person. However, he preferred using his authority to build up the church. Paul gave them a glimpse about the war they should be waging.
2 Corinthians 10:3 For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
In the remaining verses, 2 Corinthians 10:12-18, he said that he will not boast beyond measure. He quoted Jeremiah 9:24 and said, "Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord."

2 Corinthians 9

Paul knows the Corinthians and their willingness to give. Paul is sending Titus and the others to pick up the collection – it is a matter of generosity rather than a begrudging obligation.

Paul goes on and encouraged generosity.
2 Corinthians 9:6-8 Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. 
Giving supplies the needs of those struggling in Jerusalem, it will occasion thanksgiving to God, it is evidence of God’s work, and will cause the Jerusalem Christians to pray for the Corinthians.
2 Corinthians 9:12 This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God.
Finally, Paul thanks God saying, "Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!"

Additional Info
This is one of the most quoted passages by priests/pastors during fundraising campaigns.

2 Corinthians 8

Paul gets into the fundraising campaign - he is raising relief funds for those who are poor in Jerusalem. One reason why Jerusalem became poor was because when people were converted into Christianity, they were cut off from their families. This often cost them their jobs. The concept Paul was trying to implement was that those with more that they need will make up the incomes of those with too little so that everyone had enough. Hence the fundraising.

The Macedonian Christians were a great example of giving, who displayed generosity and joy. Further, they exceeded the expectation in giving. Paul is anticipating a similar participation from Corinthians too.
2 Corinthians 8:7 But since you excel in everything - in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in the love we have kindled in you - see that you also excel in this grace of giving.
He quoted that Christ was rich, yet for the sake of Christians, He became poor, so that Christians through His poverty might become rich.

He writes that the abundance of Corinthians will relieve the lack of the Jerusalem Christians.
2 Corinthians 8:14-15 At the present time your plenty will supply what they need, so that in turn their plenty will supply what you need. The goal is equality, as it is written: “The one who gathered much did not have too much, and the one who gathered little did not have too little.”
Paul commends Titus as a trustworthy bearer of their money while he sends him to collect the funds. Titus has helped the Corinthians kick start the campaign earlier - which was mentioned in 1 Corinthians 16. Their financial assistance will be a proof of their love towards churches in Jerusalem.

2 Corinthians 7

Paul makes an appeal to the Corinthians, "Dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God."

In an effort to show his sincerity, Paul tells them that he had been quite frank with them all this time. He also shared the fact that they have a special place in his heart. He also mentioned that he and his team has not wronged, corrupted or cheated anyone.

Titus is now able to put Paul's mind at rest. The Corinthian reaction to his letter is what he hoped for. He has renewed his hope in them.

Paul mentions about a letter that had a severe effect upon them (a lost one written between 1 and 2 Corinthians, ) had a mortifying but salutary effect. Their repentance has brought Godly salvation upon them.
2 Corinthians 7:8-9 Even if I caused you sorrow by my letter, I do not regret it. Though I did regret it - I see that my letter hurt you, but only for a little while - yet now I am happy, not because you were made sorry, but because your sorrow led you to repentance. For you became sorrowful as God intended and so were not harmed in any way by us. 
Paul seems to have full confidence in them.  

2 Corinthians 6

God's co-workers encourages the church to receive God's grace because now is the day of salvation.

As a ministers of God, Paul and team commend themselves in every way: in great endurance; in troubles, hardships and distresses; in beatings, imprisonments and riots; in hard work, sleepless nights and hunger; in purity, understanding, patience and kindness; in the Holy Spirit and in sincere love; in truthful speech and in the power of God; with weapons of righteousness in the right hand and in the left; through glory and dishonor, bad report and good report; genuine, yet regarded as impostors; known, yet regarded as unknown; dying, and yet we live on; beaten, and yet not killed; sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything.

Paul and team spoke to Corinthians with an open heart without withholding their affection towards them - just like his own children.

Next, Paul warned them against idolatry. He told them there is no common denominator between Christian believers and idolaters. They are like light and darkness, Christ and Belial. Belial was their god for forest - it was another name for Satan. Paul advised them to be separated from lawlessness and idolatry.

2 Corinthians 5

Our earthly tent - i.e, our physical bodies may be destroyed, but we do have a heavenly house made by God.
2 Corinthians 5:4 For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. 
As long as we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord.
2 Corinthians 5:9-10 So we make it our goal to please Him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.
Those who know what it means to have fear of God, persuade others too. We regard no one according to the flesh. Anyone in Christ is a new creation.
2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 
We are reconciled to God in Christ.
2 Corinthians 5:20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. 

2 Corinthians 4

Paul says that he has not acted with craftiness or deceit. He is preaching about Jesus Christ with the help of Jesus.
2 Corinthians 4:5-6 For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,”
The all-surpassing power with which they are preaching is not from themselves, but from God. Paul and others have suffered, but are resilient, carrying around within them the dying of the Lord Jesus. God will raise them up, as He raised up the Lord Jesus.

They are doing all these for the benefit of the church so the God's grace reaches more and more people. Therefore, though it seems that outwardly they are being wasted, inwardly they are being renewed day by day. Their focus in on what cannot be seen, and aim for the eternal world.
2 Corinthians 4:18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

2 Corinthians 3

Paul asks whether he needs a letter of recommendation to them or from them? According to him he has one; the Corinthian Christians themselves – they are an epistle written on his heart, not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God.
2 Corinthians 3:2-3 You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everyone. You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.
Paul is not sufficient of himself, but is sufficient in Christ. The new covenant is not of the letter, but of the Spirit – for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. The Mosaic ministry of death was glorious, but the ministry of righteousness exceeds it in glory.
2 Corinthians 3:9 If the ministry that brought condemnation was glorious, how much more glorious is the ministry that brings righteousness!
The veil that Moses had to wear has been taken away in Christ. We are transformed by beholding the glory of the Lord.

2 Corinthians 2

Paul did not want to arrive into Corinth and feel sorrow. This time, Paul wrote this letter rather than visiting them personally. Paul recommended that Corinthian Christians forgive the brother who had sinned (and repented) among them. This is the man who was guilty of incest in 1 Corinthians 5:1. He was glad the church took care of him.
2 Corinthians 2:6-8 The punishment inflicted on him by the majority is sufficient. Now instead, you ought to forgive and comfort him, so that he will not be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. I urge you, therefore, to reaffirm your love for him.
He wrote that anyone whom the church has forgiven, he too has forgiven. Paul found an open door in Macedonia, and so visited that place. To the saved, we are an aroma of life leading to life; to those who are perishing, we are an aroma of death leading to death.

Paul does not peddle the word of God, but speaks sincerely.
2 Corinthians 2:17 Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, as those sent from God.

2 Corinthians 1

After writing his first letter, Paul paid them an unscheduled visit - which turned out to be a sour one, both for the church and him. He could not get peace of mind until he heard their reaction. Then Titus reached out with the news that Corinthians have come to their senses.

Paul in his second letter to Corinthians has Timothy as his associate. In a personal note, Paul thanks God for His special goodness during his recent trials. Paul suffered and was consoled in Christ.
2 Corinthians 1:9 Indeed, we felt we had received the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. 
Paul acted not with fleshy wisdom, but in accordance with God's grace. Paul did not say ‘yes’ and meant ‘no’, and vice versa.

In Christ, it was 'yes'. The reason Paul did not visit Corinth was to spare them.
2 Corinthians 1:23 I call God as my witness - and I stake my life on it - that it was in order to spare you that I did not return to Corinth. Not that we lord it over your faith, but we work with you for your joy, because it is by faith you stand firm.