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!

What is the Judgement Seat of Christ?

The apostle Paul guarantees that every believer will stand before God at the judgment seat of Christ. He says in 2 Corinthians 5:10 – “For we must all appear before the judgement seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body according to what he has done, whether good or bad.” No believer will escape this.

At the end of this verse, Paul says, “good or bad.” This is not referring to righteousness or sin. It is talking about the works we do and did while living on earth. Are they acceptable to Christ or not. Our motives behind every deed done will be exposed.

In 1 Corinthians 3:13, Paul writes that “each one’s work”…, will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is.

When we stand at the judgment seat of Christ, it will be about the motives, not how much work we did. If any of our motives are less than pure, they will be burned up.

For instance: Whenever you reach out to help someone, are you doing it to actually see them better off with nothing given back to you in return? Or are you just doing it to show others what a good person you are? Those that do things in secret, will be openly rewarded.

Honesty with yourself plays an important role in why we do what we do for others. Love plays an even bigger role.

2 Corinthians – Chapter 5

Verse 1 – For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.

Whether we are cremated, buried int he ground, or buried at sea, God is going to make us a new body. No matter how we die or what condition the body was in when we died, our Lord will make all Christians a new body!

Verse 2 – For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with our habitation which is from heaven,

Verse 3 – if indeed, having been clothed, we shall not be found naked.

The word “naked” is a reference to being disembodied. We will put on as clothes, a new body.

Verse 4 – For we who are in this tent groan, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed, that mortality may be swallowed up by life.

We do not desire to depart merely because we suffer much in this earthly body, but that we know when we are resurrected we will have a body of immortality, never to be destroyed again.

Verse 5 – Now He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.

The Holy Spirit living inside each Christian is a guarantee of the resurrection with a new body.

Verse 6 – Therefore we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord.

Verse 7 – For we walk by faith, not by sight.

Verse 8 – We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.

While in this body, we are absent from he Lord, so we take it by “faith” that when this body is gone, we are in the presence of the Lord with our new resurrected bodies. We walk by faith with the confidence and expectation of the things to come.

Verse 9 – Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him.

Verse 10 – For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what was done, whether good or bad.

God’s gracious gift of salvation does not free us from the requirement for faithful obedience. All Christians must give an account for how they lived.

Verse 11 – Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are well-known to God, and I also trust are well-known in your consciences.

Verse 12 – For we do not commend ourselves again to you, but give you opportunity to glory on our behalf, that you may have something to answer those who glory in appearance and not in heart.

Christ has all power and is appointed to execute judgment – the believers to the “judgment seat of Christ,” on how they did according to their works – the lost stand before the “Great White Throne Judgment,” to give an account of why they didn’t believe! That’s going to be pure terror.

Now verse 12, refers to those who preach the gospel for a gain other than for souls. They will also give an account for that.

Verse 13 – For if we are beside ourselves, it is for God; or if we are of sound mind, it is for you.

Verse 14 – For the love of Christ constrains us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died;

Christ did die for all mankind, but all have not accepted. Everything that Paul did to bring the gospel message was looked at by the lost as insane, but not to the believer.

Verse 15 – and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.

Because Christ died for us, we are also dead to our old life. We should no longer live to ourselves or to sin.

Verse 16 – Therefore, form now on, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer.

Paul says from now on after his eyes were opened about Christ, he no longer judged or was influenced by the flesh. After being born-again just as Paul, we take on a new way of looking at people. We also have a new perspective of Christ our Lord.

Verse 17 – Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away, behold, all things have become new.

The term “new creation,” or “new creature,” as some texts read, is a spiritual transformation that occurs within the inner man (woman) when a person believes in Christ as Savior. They are brand new with a new family, a new set of values, new motives, new passions, and a new eternal destination.

Little by little, a person will start to renew their mind by reading God’s word, and watch as their hearts change along with their actions and behavior.

Verse 18 – Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation,

By the renewing of our hearts, we are no longer God’s enemies. Sin is blotted out, forgiveness is given and we can approach our Lord as if we have never sinned. We are brought back-reconciliation.

Verse 19 – that is, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.

This is proof that God designed the plan of salvation should be adopted to all people. Man did not seek it. This shows the strength of God’s love.

“Not imputing their trespasses to them” – Believers are pardoned at salvation. Why? Because Jesus took our sin and the punishment that we deserved, which was death!

Verse 20 – Therefore we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us; we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.

Verse 21 – For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

The punishment for sin is death. Christ was our innocent, perfect, sacrifice for sin. Therefore , your sin has been paid for, in full, but only if you believe and receive!