2 Corinthians – Chapter 12

Vision of Paradise

Verse 1 – It is doubtless not profitable for me to boast. I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord:

As an apostle, Paul received direct revelations from Christ. The visions mentioned here by Paul, are nowhere else in the Bible.

Verse 2 – I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago – whether in the body I do not know, or whether out-of-body I do not know, God knows – such a one was caught up to the third heaven.

Paul is talking about himself. (This event could very well have taken place when he was stoned and perhaps died.) The third heaven is God’s dwelling place. The first heaven is the atmospheric sky, and the second is the planetary sky.

Verse 3 – And I know such a man – whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows –

Verse 4 – how he was caught up into Paradise and heard inexpressible words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.

What Paul saw could not be expressed. It was so astounding he could find no words to describe, so he didn’t.

Verse 5 – Of such a one I will boast; yet of myself I will not boast, except in my infirmities.

Paul chose to speak of himself in the “third-person” and keep himself out of view. Though he keeps himself out, he says of such a man, it would be proper to boast.

Verse 6 – For though I might desire to boast, I will not be a fool; for I will speak the truth. But I forbear, lest anyone should think of me above what he sees me to be or hears from me.

Paul could have elaborated more on what he had seen or heard but decided not to. He wanted the Corinthians to evaluate him on what they had seen or heard directly from him.

Thorn In the Flesh

Verse 7 – And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffer me, lest I be exalted above measure.

Let’s not take this one verse out of context and assume that Paul had some physical aliment. He does not say what Satan used to “buffer” him. Paul distinctly says it came from “a messenger of Satan.”

Paul had been a Roman soldier confident in everything he did. Now, as an apostle, Paul had great success in preaching the gospel and planting churches, not to mention all his writings. Paul may very well have been in danger of “spiritual pride.” There is no sin that is more subtle, insinuating, deceptive; none that lurks more constantly around the heart, than pride!

Perhaps Paul had kept this vision quiet for 14 years because of the flattery from his friends that would have puffed him up.

Paul doesn’t speak of this thorn as an affliction. He doesn’t complain of it; he does not say it was sent in cruelty.

The thorn means anything pointed. Whether it refers to some infirmity or pain in the flesh or the body, Paul doesn’t  say. Whatever this thorn was it was to prevent “spiritual pride.”

Sometimes, our sufferings and trials are used to keep us humble. (Just a thought.)

Verse 8 – Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me.

I find it interesting that Paul chose to use the word “depart” and not “to remove.” This makes me think; rather than a physical disorder, it was spiritual. Also notice, Paul prayed three times in his request, and then he submitted to the will of God. Could that be a lesson for us when asking for something?

Verse 9 – And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power may rest upon me.

When we admit to ourselves that we cannot do anything without Christ, His power and strength will be all we need to accomplish His will.

Verse 10 – Therefore  take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distress, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Should we not all have this attitude? In our infirmities (our weakness), in reproaches (scorn and persecutions), while they may be painful and very uncomfortable while going through, nothing compares to the joy of Christ always giving His grace!

Paul’s Signs Support His Apostleship

Verse 11 – I have become a fool in boasting; you have compelled me. For I ought to have been commended by you; for in nothing was I behind the most eminent apostles, though I am nothing.

Verse 12 – Truly the signs of an apostle were accomplished among you with all perseverance, in signs and wonders and mighty deeds.

Paul had performed divine signs in front of the Corinthians and that should have been proof that he was called by God.

These signs and wonders were not just for the apostles. Jesus said in Mark 16:17, 18 – “And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; (Verse 18) “they will take up serpents and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on thee sick and they will recover.”

Now, my question is: Have you read anywhere after Jesus said this that the signs stopped? No!! These signs will follow those who believe! What the apostles did when preaching the gospel should be evident today also, but it’s far and few.

Verse 13 – For what is it in which you were inferior to other churches, except that I myself was not burdensome to you? Forgive me this wrong.

Once again, Paul was being sarcastic to the Corinthians.

Verse 14 – Now for the third time I am ready to come to you. and I will not be burdensome to you; for I do not seek yours, but you. For the children ought not to lay up for the parents, but the parents for the children.

As a father provides for his children, Paul tells them he has labored and provided for them spiritually.

Verse 15  – And I will very gladly spend and be spent for your souls; though the more abundantly I love you, the less I am loved.

There is nothing that hurts so deep than to not have the love for your family returned. When we are believers, we have a family of other believers, and the church at Corinth was Paul’s family. They had hurt him deeply with their actions.

Verse 16 – But be that as it may, I did not burden you. Nevertheless, being crafty, I caught you with guile!

Verse 17 – Did I take advantage of you by any of those whom I sent to you?

Verse 18 – I urged Titus, and sent our brother with him. Did Titus take advantage of you? Did we not walk in the same spirit? Did we not walk in the same steps?

Perhaps some feed-back had come to Paul concerning a collection from them for the Jerusalem church. I’m sure the false apostles had something to do with it because they were charging for their preaching.

Verse 19 – Again, do you think that we excuse ourselves to you? We speak before God in Christ. But we do all things, beloved, for your edification.

Verse 20 – For I fear lest, when I come, I shall not find you such as I wish, and that I shall be found by you such as you do not wish; lest there be contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, backbiting’s, whispering, conceits, tumults;

Verse 21 – and lest, when I come again, my God will humble me among you, and I shall mourn for many who have sinned before and have not repented of the uncleanness, fornication, and licentiousness which they have practiced.

The Corinthian church had allowed the secular society dictate to them. Has this very thing happened today in our churches? You bet it has. Christ is coming for His church, and you can rest assured that it won’t be a church that is not separate from the world.

 

 

 

 

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2 Corinthians – Chapter 11

Verse 1 – Oh, that you would bear with me in a little folly – and indeed you do bear with me.

Folly in boasting. The idea here seems to be boasting is generally foolish, and not to be indulged in, but tolerate him just a little.

Verse 2 – For I am jealous for you with godly jealousy. For I have betrothed you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.

Paul had taught the Corinthians to prepare themselves for the Redeemer, Christ, as a virgin bride is presented to the bridegroom.

Verse 3 – But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupt from the simplicity that is in Christ.

The Corinthians sincere devotion to Christ was being threatened by false teachers. Just as Eve lost her focus by listening to the serpent, we too can get side-tracked with our devotion.

Verse 4 – For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted, you may well put up with it.

Every preacher, teacher, or prophet, has to be proven by God’s Holy Word. Scripture is your authoritative guide. If they contradict God’s Word, they are false teachers. There is no other Messiah but One – Jesus Christ! People get led astray because they don’t know the Original!

Verse 5 – For I consider that I am not at all inferior to the most eminent apostles.

Paul had given them proof in the miracles which he had performed and the abundance of labor in teaching them, and didn’t want false teachers getting their affection that they should have for him. Paul had also proven to them that he was sent by God.

Verse 6 – Even though I am untrained in speech, yet I am not in knowledge. But we have been thoroughly made manifest among you in all things.

Paul was a brilliant thinker, but was not good at public-speaking. Evidently, these false teachers were great public speakers, because they were getting the Corinthian’s attention enough to question Paul’s authority.

Verse 7 – Did I commit sin in abasing myself that you might be exalted, because I preached the gospel of God to you free of charge?

The false preachers may have suggested that Paul was an amateur because he didn’t charge for his preaching.

Verse 8 – I robbed other churches, taking wages from them to minister to you.

Jesus Himself, taught that those who minister for God should be supported by the people to whom they minister. But Paul thought that by asking support in Corinth, it might be misunderstood, so he supported himself.

Verse 9 – And when I was present with you, and in need, I was a burden to no one, for what was lacking to me the brethren who came from Macedonia supplied. And in everything I kept myself from being burdensome to you, and so I will keep myself.

Verse 10 – As the truth of Christ is in me, no one shall stop me from this boasting in the regions of Achaia.

Verse 11 – Why? Because I do not love you? God knows!

Verse 12 – But what I do, I will also continue to do, that I may cut off the opportunity from those who desire an opportunity to be regarded just as we are in the things of which they boast.

In other words: Paul will continue to preach at no charge, which was a contrast between him and the false teachers.

Verse 13 – For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ.

They pretend to be apostles, but they had no divine commission from God.

Verse 14 – And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light.

Verse 15 – Therefore it is no great thing is his (Satan’s) ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works.

I don’t know why false teachers, false prophets, and false preachers think that they can pretend to be speaking the gospel and really are doing it to get rich. They think that their motives will escape God in the Day of Judgment. It won’t!

Verse 16 – I say again, let no one think me a fool. If otherwise, at least receive me a fool, that I also may boast a little.

Verse 17 – What I speak, I speak not according to the Lord, but as it were, foolishly, in this confidence of boasting.

Verse 18 – Seeing that many boast according to the flesh, I also will boast.

Verse 19 – For you put up with fools gladly, since you yourselves are wise!

Paul was being sarcastic.

Verse 20 – For you put up with it if one brings you into bondage, if one devours you, if one takes from you if one exalts himself, if one strikes you on the face.

You bear patiently with people who impose on you in every way, and those who are constantly defrauding you, though you claim to be so wise.

Verse 21 – To our shame, I say that we were too weak for that! But in whatever anyone is bold – I speak foolishly – I am bold also.

Verse 22 – Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they the seed of Abraham? So am I.

Verse 23 – Are they ministers of Christ? – I speak as a fool – I am more; in labors more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequently, in deaths often.

Paul presented his credentials to contradict the charges that the false teachers were making against him.

Verse 24 – From the Jews five times I received forty stripes minus one.

Verse 25 – Three times I was beaten with rods; once I was stoned; three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been in the deep;

Paul was sacrificing his life to bring them the gospel, something the false teachers would never do.

Verse 26 – in journeys often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils of my own countrymen, in perils of the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren;

Verse 27 – in weariness and toil, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness –

Verse 28 – besides the other things, what comes upon me daily: my deep concern for all the churches.

Verse 29 – Who is weak, and I not weak? Who is made to stumble, and I do not burn with indignation?

Paul was identifying with the converts.

Verse 30 – If I must boast, I will boast in the things which concern my infirmity.

Verse 31 – The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is blessed forever, knows that I am not lying.

Verse 32 – In Damascus the governor, under Aretas the king, was guarding the city of the Damascenes with a garrison, desiring to apprehend me;

Verse 33  – but I was let down in a basket through a window in the wall, and escaped from his hands.

Paul wanted the Corinthians and all who read this letter to know what he endured in order to bring the gospel. We may not ever go hungry, get beat, or thrown in prison for preaching the gospel, but we will be mocked and ridiculed. Can you handle it?

 

2 Corinthians – Chapter 10

Verse 1 – Now I, Paul, myself am pleading with you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ – who in presence am lowly among you, but being absent am bold toward you.

There were still some among the Corinthians who had spoken with contempt of Paul’s authority and his claims of being an apostle.

Verse 2 – But I beg you that when I am present I may not be bold with that confidence by which I intended to be bold against some, who think of us as if we walked according to the flesh.

Some thought that Paul was guided by personal interests and worldly views.

Verse 3 – For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh.

Though Paul dwelt in a mortal body like the others, and must take care of temporary needs, the battles he faced were not with others.

Verse 4 – For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds,

The weapons of our battles we face; the weapons used for victory. Our weapons are not carnal – meaning, we don’t fight Satan with emotions, skills, wealth, beauty, or anything external.

Verse 5 – casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing everything into captivity to the obedience of Christ,

False teachings and error have to be denounced and thrown out because God’s word is true and that only is our guidance. As we study God’s word, we are less likely to err in our obedience to Christ.

Verse 6 – and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.

Verse 7 – Do you look at things according to the outward appearance? If anyone is convinced in himself that he is Christ’s, let him again consider this in himself, that just as he is Christ’s , even so we are Christ’s.

Paul is still talking about the false teachers which had come into the church. They laid claim to special honor in the work of ministry, because they were superior in personal appearance, in rank, manners, or eloquence compared to Paul.

Verse 8 – For even if I should boast somewhat more about our authority, which the Lord gave us for edification and not for your destruction, I shall not be ashamed –

Verse 9 – lest I seem to terrify you by letters.

Verse 10 – “For his letters,” they say, “are weighty and powerful, and his speech contemptible.”

Paul’s enemies were saying that his letters were powerful, but what he said was despised. Many times people will not be so concerned with how eloquent a message is given, but what the content is about. Those who refuse to come to Christ don’t like criticism of how they are living their life!

Verse 11 – Let such a person consider this, that what we are in word by letters when we are absent, such we will also be in deed when we are present.

If the situation required it, Paul would not hesitate to exercise his god – given authority. That doesn’t mean to humiliate the members or beat them up every Sunday either.

Verse 12 – For we dare not class ourselves or compare ourselves with those who commend themselves. But they, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.

Do you compare yourself with others? That’s what these false teachers were doing. They thought because they spoke more eloquently than Paul did, their message was better than his. Compare yourself to Christ only and you will see how short we fail, and that without Christ’s strength, we couldn’t’ teach anything.

Verse 13 – We, however, will not boast beyond measure, but within limits of the sphere which God appointed us – a sphere which especially includes you.

Verse 14 – For we are not extending ourselves beyond our sphere (thus not reaching you), for it was to you that we came with the gospel of Christ;

Verse 15 – not boasting of things beyond measure, that is, in other men’s labors, but having hope, that as your faith is increased, we shall be greatly enlarged by you in our sphere,

Verse 16 – to preach the gospel in regions beyond you, and not to boast in another man’s sphere of accomplishments.

Paul understood his ministry as essentially that of a pioneer church planter. He didn’t boast on what another apostle had built.

Verse 17 – But “He who glories, let him glory in the LORD.” (Jeremiah 9:24)

Verse 18 – For not he who commends himself is approved, but whom the Lord commends.

If we as Christians have anything to brag about, it’s what the Lord has done for us or through us but the focus is always on the Lord receiving the credit.

 

 

2 Corinthians – Chapter 9

Verse 1 – Now concerning the ministering to the saints, it is superfluous for me to write to you:

Verse 2 – for I know your willingness, about which I boast to you to the Macedonians, that Achaia was ready a year ago; and your zeal has stirred up the majority.

Verse 3 – Yet I have sent the brethren, lest our boasting of you should be in vain in this respect, that, as I said, you may be ready;

Verse 4 – lest the Macedonians come with me and find you unprepared, we (not to mention you) should be ashamed of this confident boasting.

Paul was appealing to the Corinthians sense of integrity to keep their promise of a generous gift.

Verse 5 – Therefore I thought it necessary to exhort the brethren to go to you ahead of time, and prepare your bountiful gift beforehand, which you had previously promised that it may be ready as a matter of generosity and not as a grudging obligation.

There’s a great lesson here about preparing one’s heart before giving. Don’t do it out of pressure or obligation. Do it because your mind and heart is already set on doing it.

Verse 6 – But this I say: He who sows sparingly will reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.

Money can become a seed that we either plant sparingly or abundantly. What and how much we plant will be the harvest results.

Verse 7 – So let each one give as he purposes in his heart , not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.

Our giving should flow from the heart of love for God and others, rather than from a feeling of duty.

Verse 8 – And God is able to make all grace abound toward you that you, always having all-sufficiency in all things may have an abundance for every good work.

Look what God will do for a generous heart: all grace will abound in every way in everything we need for every good work – there will always be enough. d\Do you have faith to believe that? God is able!

Verse 9 – As it is written: “He has dispersed abroad, He has given to the poor; His righteousness remains forever.”

This quotation is from Psalm 112:9. Throughout the Bible God commands His people to give to those in need.

Verse 10 – Now may He who supplies seed to the sower, and bread for food, supply and multiply the seed you have sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness,

When we invest in what God has given us in the first place, He will provide us with even more to give. The very seed that the farmer has to sow, all started with God creating it.

Verse 11 – while you are enriched in everything for all liberty, which causes thanksgiving through us to God.

Verse 12 – For the administration of this service not only supplies the needs of the saints, but also is abounding through many thanksgivings to God,

Verse 13 – while, through the proof of this ministry, they glorify God for the obedience of your confession to the gospel of Christ, and for your liberal sharing with them and all men,

Verse 14 – and by their prayer for you, who long for you because of the exceeding grace of God in you.

The impact of the Corinthians gift to believers in Jerusalem would go far beyond Jerusalem. When Christians are generous, it demonstrates the grace of God in them.

Verse 15 – Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!

Giving ought to be an expression of appreciation to God for sending Christ!

 

 

2 Corinthians – Chapter 8

Verse 1 – Moreover, brethren, we make known to you the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia:

Verse 2 – that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded in the riches of their liberty.

The church in Macedonia were in poverty themselves, but yet they gave in abundance out of their poverty. The gift is measured by what it cost you. It seems like those which have the least to give, give the most.

Verse 3 – For I bear witness that according to their ability, yes, and beyond their ability, they were freely willing,

Verse 4 – imploring us with much urgency that we would receive the gift and the fellowship of the ministering to the saints.

Verse 5 – And this they did, not as we had hoped, but first gave themselves to the Lord, and then to us by the will of God.

Verse 6 – So we urged Titus, that as he had begun, so he would also complete this grace in you as well.

It’s not going to do any good to just give money without first giving yourself to God.

Verse 7 – But as you abound in everything – in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all diligence, and in your love for us – see that you abound in grace also.

Paul tells the Corinthians that they are abounding in everything including their giving. When love is sincere, it will cause you to give.

Verse 8 – I speak not by commandment, but I am testing the sincerity of your love by the diligence of others.

Verse 9 – For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich.

Verse 10 – And in this I give my advice: It is to your advantage not only to be doing what you began and were desiring to do a year ago;

The giving had been interrupted by the divisions within the church at Corinth. Paul was telling them to “Get back to what they were doing before they started quarreling!”

Verse 11 – but now you also must complete the doing of it, that as there was a readiness to desire it, so there also may be a completion out of what you have.

The need to help the poor was still there. They were not released from their obligation to give just because they had paused a while.

Verse 12 – For if there is first a willing mind, it is accepted according to what one has, and not according to what he does not have.

A willing heart in giving is acceptable to God, whether large or small. However, giving grudgingly, selfishly, or out of obligation, is a waste of time. Always keep this in mind when giving: If God has given you much, then give much. He doesn’t bless us for us to be hoarders.

Verse 13 – For I do not mean that others should be eased and you burdened;

Verse 14 – but by an equality, that now at this time your abundance may supply their lack, that their abundance also may supply your lack – that there may be equality.

Verse 15 – As it is written, “He who gathered much had nothing left over, and he who gathered little had no lack.”

This quotation comes from Exodus 16:18, when the Israelites gathered their daily manna. The rich Christians at Corinth should give freely to the poor brethren. They had gathered more wealth than was necessary for their families.

The one who gathered much were to give much, therefore having nothing left. And the one’s who gathered little, did not go without. Paul is talking about giving to the sick, disabled, or too old to gather. He’s not taking about those who are able to work but won’t!

Verse 16 – But thanks be to God who puts the same earnest care for you into the heart of Titus.

Verse 17 – For he not only accepted the exhortation, but being more diligent, he went to you of his own accord.

Verse 18 – And we have sent with him the brother whose praise is in the gospel throughout all the churches,

This brother is not named, but it may have been Luke.

Verse 19 – and not only that but who was also chosen by the churches to travel with us with this gift, which administered by us to the glory of the Lord Himself and to show your ready mind,

Verse 20 – avoiding this: that anyone should blame us in this lavish gift which is administered by us –

Verse 21 – providing honorable things, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men.

Paul explained that by these three traveling together, there could be no suspicions and that the gift would be handled honestly.

verse 22 – And we have sent with them our brother whom we have often proved diligent in many things, but now much more diligent, because of the great confidence which we have in you.

Verse 23 – If anyone inquires about Titus, he is my partner and fellow worker concerning you. Or if our brethren are inquired about, they are messengers of the churches, the glory of Christ.

Verse 24 – Therefore show to them, and before the churches, the proof of your love and of our boasting on your behalf.

We as Christians, are to have a heart for the needs of others. Maybe more churches ought to preach on this chapter for the sake of letting people know that the offerings and gifts collected are not just for themselves.

One time, I needed help and went to my church pastors and asked for help. Did I get it? Nope! The answer I got was, “If we do that for you, it will open a can of worms, and we will have to do it for everyone else who asks. That was horrible! Here’s the result though: Find a loving and  giving church to attend that cares for the welfare of others to give your gifts to. Watch closely whom you support.

 

 

 

 

2 Corinthians – Chapter 7

Verse 1 – Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

So, what is filthiness of the flesh? I think most people know. It doesn’t have to be spelled out. We are to turn away from sinning and turn toward God.

Paul’s Meeting With Titus

Verse 2 – Open your hearts to us. We have wronged no one, we have corrupted no one, we have defrauded no one.

Verse 3 – I do not say this to condemn; for I have said before that you are in our hearts, to die together and to live together.

Verse 4 – Great is my boldness of speech toward you, great is my boasting on your behalf. I am filled with comfort. I am exceedingly joyful in all our tribulations.

How could Paul say that he was exceedingly joyful in their tribulations? Can we say that when we go through hardships? Bringing the gospel and telling others about Jesus was their goal. And when preaching God’s Word, there was no greater joy for them. Oh, that we Christians would be that excited about telling others about what Jesus has done. If we were, maybe the trials we go through would be so much easier!

Verse 5 – For indeed when we came to Macedonia, our flesh had no rest, but we were troubled on every side. Outside were conflicts, inside were fears.

Verse 6 – Nevertheless God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus,

Verse 7 – and not only by his coming, but also by the consolation with which he was comforted in you, when he told us of your earnest desire, your mourning, your zeal for me, so that I rejoiced even more.

Corinthians’ Response to Paul’s Letter

Verse 8 – For even if I made you sorry with my letter, I do not regret it, though I did regret it. For I perceive that the same epistle made you sorry, though only for a while.

Paul is referring to his third letter to the Corinthian church, which was lost. (not the church, the letter). After that letter, the Corinthians began to repent and change, though only for a while.

Verse 9 – Now I rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that your sorrow led to repentance. For you were made sorry in a godly manner, that you might suffer loss from us in nothing.

When people are brought to repentance under the preaching of the gospel, ministers, like Paul, receive no pleasure in having to do the correcting. This sorrow from the Corinthians, led to change and reformation. True repentance is not just a sorrowful moment because of the consequences of sin. It is an obvious change that others will see. You can’t fake true repentance.

Verse 10 – For godly sorrow produces repentance to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world leads to death.

Do some people honestly think that God doesn’t know when a heart truly changes toward Him? Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation, sorrow for our sins, and the result is changed behavior and attitudes towards others and the things of God. If you don’t see someone’s behavior change after they tell you they were saved, then they are lying, plain and simple. You can not follow Christ and keep on willfully and intentionally sinning.

Think of the repentance of Peter and Judas. Peter repented for denying Christ and he was restored. Judas had worldly sorrow and committed suicide. Judas only regretted what he had done to his shame and guilt, but not enough to ask for forgiveness. One brings restoration and joy, the other brings death.

True repentance will bring a change to one’s life permanently. It is not a mere regret that soon passes away. One who truly seeks God will never regret that decision.

Verse 11 – For observe this very thing, that you sorrowed in a good manner: What diligence it produced in you, what clearing of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what vehement desire, what zeal, what vindication! In all things you proved yourselves to be clear in this matter.

There was clear evidence that the Corinthians had changed! Most people get defensive when confronted with their sin. We are to accept correction as a tool for our growth.

Repenting is not just stopping some things you have been doing, and then later on when the newness wears off, you go back to the same person you used to be. Things are supposed to change for the better. One’s attitude changes; the behavior changes; there is a strong desire to be pleasing to God and His standards. Your will for your life will change to what God wants for your life. You will study the Holy Scripture to find out everything you can about our Lord and then try to imitate Him. And you definitely will treat others better than you used to. You cannot be the same ole hateful rotten self and call yourself a Christian.

Verse 12 – Therefore, although I wrote to you, I did not do it for the sake of him who had done the wrong, nor for the sake of him who suffered wrong, but that our care for you in the sight of God might appear to you.

This correction was not merely for the individual who was sinning, but for the benefit of the entire church.

Verse 13 – Therefore we have been comforted in your comfort. and we rejoiced exceedingly more for the joy of Titus, because his spirit has been refreshed by you all.

Verse 14 – For if in anything I have boasted to him about you, I am not ashamed. But as we spoke all things to you in truth, even so our boasting to Titus was found true.

Verse 15 – And his affections are greater for you as he remembers the obedience of you all, how with fear and trembling you received him.

Verse 16 – Therefore I rejoice that I have confidence in you in everything.

We all need to be corrected at some point in our Christian walk. How we respond to that correction will determine whether we truly desire to be “Christ-like” or not!

 

 

 

2 Corinthians – Chapter 6

Giving No Offense in the Ministry

Verse 1 – We then, as workers together with Him also plead with you not to receive the grace of God in vain.

If a person does not embrace God’s grace and mercy, then it becomes of no use to them – in vain. As believers, we should cherish the grace that God gives, not merely hearing and do nothing.

Verse 2  – For He says: “In an acceptable time I have heard you, and in the day of salvation I have helped you.” Behold, now is the acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation.

When a person hears the Good News of the gospel of Christ, they need to immediately respond. A time will come when it will not be an acceptable time with God. Because we cannot know our future, we have no assurance that we will live another day or even another hour. So, the time of salvation is now!

Verse 3 – We give no offense in anything, that our ministry may not be blamed.

As a Christian, don’t ever let your actions cause another to reject Christ.

Verse 4 – But in all things we commend ourselves as ministers of God; in much patience, in tribulation, in needs, in distress.

Verse 5 – in stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors, in sleeplessness, in fastings;

Verse 6 – by purity, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Spirit, by sincere love,

Verse 7 – by the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armor of righteousness on the right hand and on the left,

Verse 8 – by honor and dishonor, by evil report and good report; as deceivers, and yet true;

Verse 9 – as unknown, and yet well-known; as dying, and behold we live; as chastened, and yet not killed;

Verse 10 – as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.

Whether people praised Paul or condemned him, he stayed faithful. It doesn’t matter what the circumstances are, we should never lose our faith int he ONE who is always faithful to God and us.

Verse 11 – O Corinthians! We have spoken openly to you, our heart is wide open.

Verse 12 – You are not restricted by us, but you are restricted by your own affections!

Paul told them that there was no restrictions on his love for them. However, the Corinthians has allowed false teachers in and that in turn caused some to turn against Paul.

Verse 13 – Now in return for the same (I speak as to Children), you also be open.

Paul asked only that they return the love and devoutness to him that he had shown them.

Verse 14 – Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?

Paul very strongly urges believers not to enter into a binding relationship with unbelievers. The Christian is always weakened of their commitments to God. Marriages are a disaster when this happens.

Verse 15 – And what accord has Christ with Beliah? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever?

Beliah is a Hebrew term translated “wicked men” or “perverted men.” There can be no compromise with darkness. In this verse “Beliah” refers to Satan.

Verse 16 – And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will dwell in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they will be My people.”

Plain and simple: Don’t pollute your body by hooking up with the devil.

Verse 17 – Therefore “Come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you.”

Verse 18 – “I will be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters, says the LORD Al Mighty.”

If you are a Christian, don’t act like the lost, like the world does. Our practices; our standards; our principles, passions, desires, and behavior is to be different according to God. If they are not, then maybe some need to get a good dose of the Holy Ghost and have a new beginning!