Nov 10th 2010, 04:49 PM
(from my NKJV) “The Corinthian church has been swayed by false teachers who swayed the people against Paul, claiming he was fickle, proud, unimpressive in appearance and speech; dishonest, and unqualified as an apostle of Jesus Christ . . . . Paul wrote this letter to express his thanksgiving for the repentant majority and to appeal to the rebellious minority to accept his authority.
2 Corinthians 1
What does the text say? – Paul says God, the Father, of Jesus Christ is Merciful and the source of all Comfort; He comforts us so we can comfort others in the same way. The more we suffer for Christ the more God will shower us with His comfort, through Jesus Christ. Paul was confident that as the Corinthians suffered as he did they would also receive the same comfort from God; he had been crushed and overwhelmed beyond his ability to endure and expected to die, ass a result stopped relying on himself and learned to rely on God who raised the dead, and He will continue to raise those who put their trust in Him. Paul says, with confidence, and a clear conscience, he has depended on God’s Grace and not on human wisdom. Paul says his letters are straight forward with nothing debatable ‘between the lines’ or difficult for anyone to understand. Paul said he wanted to visit the church in Corinth twice, on his way to and from Macedonia, and he always does what he says he will in a similar way to God, Who always keeps His Promises.
Application?- . Do I always keep my promises? Do I ever say one thing and mean another? Do I keep in touch with those I was instrumental in leading to the Lord? Do I correct them when their understanding of Christianity and/or God is defective?
Nov 11th 2010, 06:22 PM
2 Corinthians 2
What does the text say? – Paul had decided to write his previous letter so he would not have a painful visit to Corinth, and to let them know how much he loved them. The man who caused the trouble hurt the Corinthians more than he hurt Paul, and his punishment was that they opposed him, but it was now time to forgive, and comfort him to prevent him becoming discouraged; Paul had already forgiven the troublemaker to prevent Satan taking advantage of the church. Although the Lord opened a door of opportunity in Troas for Paul he didn’t stay there, but went to Macedonia to find Titus, to be the fragrance of Christ to those being Saved, and the stench of death to those who were perishing. Paul said he did not adulterate the Word of God for personal profit as some were doing, but preached with sincerity and Christ’s Authority, and knowing that God was watching him.
Application? – Do I encourage others more than I discipline them? When discipline has been necessary do I ensure the person disciplined knows they are loved too? Am I too severe with those whose behaviour brings disrepute to Christ? Do I forgive those who have hurt me? Does Christ regard my life as His fragrance wherever I go, or not? Do I adulterate the Word of God in any way?
Nov 12th 2010, 04:13 PM
2 Corinthians 3
What does the text say? – Paul says the only recommendation he needs as an Apostle is the church in Corinth, whose members all became Christians because of his Ministry – a letter written by the Holy Spirit in their hearts. He does not suggest he is qualified on his own account, but that he has been appointed by God to tell of His new Covenant with mankind. The old Covenant was written on stones, and led to Death, the new Covenant is more glorious and leads to Life. If the 1st covenant was glorious the 2nd is much more glorious because it makes us right with God. The new covenant gives us confidence to be bold. The people’s minds are hardened and covered with a veil, which will only be removed when they choose to believe Christ to be Who He really is. When anyone truly trusts Jesus Christ they can reflect the Glory of the Lord. The Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is there is understanding.
Application? – Have I been instrumental in any people trusting Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection to bring them to eternal Life, without returning to the world’s ways? Is what I say and do written on human hearts by the Holy Spirit, or is it eternally worthless? Am I trusting human wisdom to receive Death? Or am I led by the Holy Spirit into Life? Does a veil cover my heart and mind? Does my life reflect the Glory of God? If not, how can I ensure that the Lord is Glorified through me?
Nov 13th 2010, 05:03 PM
2 Corinthians 4
What does the text say? – Paul said that because of God’s Mercy he did not lose heart, he rejected all shameful deeds and underhand methods, and he did not distort the Word of God in any way. Satan has blinded the minds of those who are unable to see the Glorious Light of the Good News or understand the message of the One who commanded Light to shine out of Darkness. We are like clay jars containing great treasure, and Power is from God alone. Because of sharing what he knows to be true Paul suffers many painful difficulties; he is crushed but does not despair, persecuted but not forsaken, struck down but not destroyed, and the Life of Jesus is being demonstrated through him. Only because Paul was willing to suffer did his those in Corinth have eternal Life. He believed God’s Word and wanted others to benefit as well from the Life of Christ. Paul did not lose heart because although his body was getting weaker his spirit was getting stronger. Things of flesh are temporary, but things of God are eternal.
Application? – Do I lose heart when facing difficulties? Have I renounced everything that would displease God when sharing His Word? Do I seek God’s Glory or my own? Do others have the opportunity to see the Light of Christ working through me. Is this in spite of, or because of, difficulties? Do I only say what I truly believe after serious investigation? Do I regard earthly difficulties as normal passing fazes of life on earth, leading me to everlasting Life with Christ?
Quote:- (Henry H. Halley) “At his conversion the Lord said (of Paul) I will show him how many things he must suffer for My Name’s sake (Acts 9:16)the sufferings began immediately and continues in unbroken succession for over 30 years. . . . none but an iron constitution could have lived through it, even that would not have been sufficient if it were not for the Grace of God.”
Nov 14th 2010, 03:23 PM
2 Corinthians 5
What does the text say? – Paul said that when we die and leave our earthly
bodies we will have an eternal body made for us by God, our mortality will be swallowed up by Life. We have the Holy Spirit as a down-payment, a guarantee, so we are always confident – even though we ‘walk by faith and not by sight’ and we would rather be ‘absent from our earthly bodies and present with the Lord’, we will be Judged by Christ and receive recognition for whatever we have done on earth. Because we understand our responsibility to the Lord we work hard to persuade others to follow Him, and in so doing are giving an example to follow. If we seem to be crazy it is to bring Glory to God for Christ’s Love compels us. Christ died for everyone, to set them free from a life of selfishness to Live for Him. We have stopped evaluating others from a human point of view, for if anyone is in Christ they are a new creation, old things have passed away and all things have become new. As God has reconciled us to God He has given us the Ministry of reconciliation, so we are ambassadors for Christ, imploring others to be reconciled to God, for Christ took our Sin so we might accept His Righteousness.
Application? – Do I live by faith in Jesus Christ? Am I sure that I will be with Christ when I die? Is my aim in life to please Christ? Do I evangelise at every opportunity? Does the Love of Christ compel me to share the Good News with others? Am I dead to everything that I once held dear but displeases God? Do I implore others to become reconciled to God?
Nov 15th 2010, 06:05 PM
2 Corinthians 6
What does the text say? – Paul says now is the day to receive Salvation. He does not give offence in any way so that his ministry will be blameless, he endures troubles, hardships, and calamities of all kinds patiently; he has been beaten, imprisoned, mobbed, worked to exhaustion; he has endured sleepless nights and gone hungry, is proved a Christian by his purity, understanding, patience, kindness, and by his sincere love and by the Holy Spirit working through him. He faithfully preaches Truth, demonstrates God’s Power, and righteousness whether people honour or despise him, slander or praise him; if they consider him honest or an impostor, he is ignored even though he is well-known. He lives close to death, his heart aches but he always rejoices, he has few of this world’s goods but gives Spiritual riches to others. Paul says he loves the Corinthian church but they don‘t love him, but asks them not to be partners with those who don’t serve Christ, as there cannot be harmony between Christ and the devil, there can be no unison between God’s Temple and idols, so Christians must separate themselves from all demonic things and God will welcome them
Application? – Have I accepted God’s Gift of Salvation through faith in what Jesus Christ did for me on the cross? Do I realise that every cross word I say, or fault I find in others will be noted by someone and held against Christ? Do I patiently endure difficulties and calamities? Have I suffered all kinds of deprivation because tell of God’s Good News? Does my behaviour demonstrate the Power of the Holy Spirit controlling me? Is righteousness my weapon protection? Do I continue to serve God when I am attacked, slandered and ignored? Do I share Spiritual Blessings with others? If I have partners who are not Christians what am I going to do about that situation? Would it be wise to get out of the partnership, or should I try harder to encourage them to become Christians?
Nov 16th 2010, 05:44 PM
2 Corinthians 7
What does the text say? – Because of God’s Promises to dwell among those people who worship Him as He has revealed Himself it is necessary to cleanse ourselves of all that can defile our flesh or spirit, and work towards complete holiness in awe of God. Paul said he had not taken advantage of anyone or led anyone astray, and therefore cannot understand why they thought so badly about him; he could not rest in Macedonia having battles outside and fear within, but God encouraged him by the arrival of Titus, who told him of those in Corinth longing to see him again, even though the letter he had sent was severe. Paul rejoiced that their Godly sorrow led to repentance. The kind of sorrow God wants His people to have leads away from Sin and results in Salvation, but worldly sorrow that lacks repentance results in Spiritual death. Titus was very happy with the welcome he received, proving Paul’s boast about them true, so now he has complete confidence in them.
Application? – Do I worship Almighty God as He has revealed Himself through His Word, or a figment of my imagination? Do I constantly ensure I am cleansed of all God regards as filthiness of flesh and spirit? Am I willing to tell people when what they are doing will result in their loss of Salvation, knowing they might turn against me for so doing? Am I willing to discipline those who are leading others into Sin and away from the Lord?
Nov 17th 2010, 03:14 PM
2 Corinthians 8+9
What does the text say? – Paul wants those in Corinth to collect the money they had promised for those Christians who are poor in Jerusalem, ready for when he passes through Corinth on his way to Jerusalem. He tells them how generously those Christians in Macedonia have given without being asked, even though they have many troubles and are very poor in this world’s goods themselves, but they have abundant Joy in the Lord, following their conversion. Paul reminds them of Christ’s generosity to them, and also that God loves a cheerful giver, and that He is more concerned with the percentage of income given, than the actual amount. Paul does not intend to take the money on his own, but would have worthy companions as he took all the money collected from the churches to Jerusalem, and wants their gift to be ready when he arrives, to save them from embarrassment on front of those from Macedonia. Paul wants what is given to come from heart-felt generosity, not from grudging obligation. He reminds them that we reap what we sow – either sparingly or generously, and that God loves a cheerful giver, being able to provide all they need and enough to give away. They will not only benefit materially but also from the prayers of those who receive their gifts.
Application? – to praise God I must, first, submit my life to Him then give generously for the benefit of others. Do I always fulfil my good intentions regarding giving to those in need? or do I promise the Lord to give to His needy people then ‘forget’ to do it? Do I always ensure there are safeguards against any misappropriation of funds are in place, so no one can be unjustly accused? Do I pray for those I have benefited from, and also for those who need to benefit from my generosity?
Quote :- (Henry H. Halley) “These two chapters contain instructions about offerings for the poor saints in Jerusalem, which Paul took at the close of his 3rd missionary journey. It was probably gathered in all the churches of Asia Minor and Greece, although only those in Macedonia, Achai, and Galatioa are named, It had started a year before. The Macedonian churches had entered into it wholeheartedly. Even the very poor were giving generously.”
Nov 18th 2010, 03:07 PM
2 Corinthians 10
What does the text say?– Paul said he pleaded with the Corinthians by the meekness and gentleness of Christ. Although he knows they think him timid in person and only bold in his letters, he does not fight as humans do, he uses God’s weapons to knock down strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy fleshly arguments, he destroys every proud obstacle that prevents people from knowing Christ and he teaches them to obey Him. He may seem to boast about the authority God has given him through the Lord, but his authority builds people up, it does not tear them down. After people have become Christians he will discipline as necessary and his actions, when he arrives, will be as forceful as what he writes. The men who they think are so wonderful ignorantly use themselves as the highest authority and compare themselves with each other. Paul says he will give testimony only about what has happened in the Work God has given him to do – which includes leading them to Christ, as he was the first to go to Corinth with the Good News. Paul does not claim credit for anyone else’s work among them. When people commend themselves it does not mean much, the important thing is when the Lord commends them.
Application? – Am I totally obedient to Christ in everything I say and do? Do I only speak harshly under Christ’s direction or of my own volition. Do I fight in ways of the flesh or only under the direction of the Holy Spirit? Do I think I am always capable of judging others correctly, or do I need the Lord’s Guidance? Do I warn others of God’s punishment for wrong-doing prior to arriving and administering justice? Do I try to compare my words and actions with what others Christians do, or don’t do? Do I always judge myself accurately regarding what the Lord has told me to do? Do I boast about what I have done, or only about what Christ has done through me?
Nov 19th 2010, 05:10 PM
2 Corinthians 11
What does the text say? – Paul is concerned that, because the Corinthians believe what anyone tells them, their pure and undivided devotion to Christ will be corrupted by those who adulterate the Gospel for their own ends – just as Satan deceived Eve. He says he may be an unskilled preacher (!) but he doesn’t lack knowledge. He was supported by Macedonian churches so that he was not a burden to the Corinthians while he was with them to tell them the Good News, unlike the ‘apostles’ they chose to believe. He says he also is a Hebrew, a descendant of Abraham, he does more work for Christ, has been imprisoned more frequently, been whipped innumerable times, and faced death again and again, been given the 39 lashes 5 times, been beaten with rods 3 times, once he was stoned, has been shipwrecked 3 times including 24 hours adrift in the sea, has travelled many tiring journeys, in deserts, and faced danger from may who claim to be Christians but are not. He has worked hard for long hours and endured many sleepless nights, has often been hungry, thirsty and cold, also he is always concerned about the people in the churches he has planted. He even had to escape capture in Damascus by being lowered out of a window in a basket.
Application? – Have I believed in ‘another Jesus’? can everything I believe be substantiated in Scripture? if not I must adjust my beliefs. Do I rely on the Holy Spirit when speaking to people of the Lord, or do I rely on my personal powers of persuasion? Have I suffered as much for telling others of Jesus, and the Truth of God’s Word, as Paul did? If I worship the same Lord that he did I have the Power of the same Holy Spirit to sustain me through difficulties – do I really trust Him in every circumstances?
Nov 20th 2010, 03:03 PM
2 Corinthians 12
What does the text say? – Paul thought it necessary, though not preferable, to boast about visions and revelations he had received from the Lord, having been to the 3rd heaven 14 years previously – but would only speak of his weaknesses in case anyone gave him credit for anything he was not responsible for. Although Paul had received wonderful revelations from God he was given a ‘thorn in the flesh’ to torment him and prevent him becoming proud; 3 times he had begged the Lord to remove it but He just said ‘My Grace is sufficient for you, for my Strength is made perfect in weakness’, so Paul boasted only about his weaknesses so the Power of Christ could work through him. Paul took pleasure in infirmity, insults, hardships, persecutions and troubles that he suffered for Christ , saying when he is weak in body he is strong in spirit. When Paul was in Corinth the church there had proof of his apostleship, for he did many sign, wonders and miracles among them, all he failed to do was to become a financial burden to them, and he said the more he loved them the less they loved him, even though everything he’d done has been to strengthen them. Paul was fearful that he would be very grieved when he arrived because many of them had not given up their old sins of quarrelling, jealousy, anger, selfishness, slander, gossip, arrogance and disorderly behaviour, sexual immorality, and eagerness for lustful pleasure.
Application? – Do I boast of what I do, or make clear the good things are what the Lord does through me? Do I regard difficulties I face each day as ‘thorns’ to keep me from becoming proud, or as difficulties God does not want me to have in my life of service to Him? Have I got rid of all Sin in my life, or do I allow un-Godly behaviour to control me?
Nov 21st 2010, 04:21 PM
2 Corinthians 13
What does the text say? – Paul intended going to visit the Corinthian church for the 3rd time. The ‘facts of every case must be established by the testimony of 2 or 3 witnesses’. He said he had already warned those who were sinning on his previous visit, and now warned them, and others, that he would not spare them, he would give all the proof anyone needed that Christ, who is not weak, speaks through him. Christ is Powerful, and though He demonstrated mankind’s weakness when He was crucified He now lives by the Power of God, and Paul says that when he deals with those sinning he will demonstrate God’s Power; he tells them to examine themselves to ensure their faith in Christ is genuine, or He will not be in(or among) them. Paul hopes they will realise he really is an apostle, and will accept his correction, so that he won’t have to demonstrate his authority when he arrives – because he will always stand for the Truth. Paul says he prays that they will become mature and be able to benefit from the authority the Lord has given him to strengthen them. Paul does not want to discipline them as he wants them to be joyful, become mature, encourage each other, and live in harmony and peace, so that the God of Peace and love will be with them – he also asks that the Grace of the Lord Jesus Christ , the Love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit will be with them all.
Application? – When my behaviour has deviated from God’s Word do I accept correction from those with God-given authority? Is Christ’s gentleness, as well as His Strength demonstrated through me? Or has unrepented Sin disqualified me? Is my behaviour always honourable? Am I always concerned that God’s Truth triumphs? Do I always want to appear strong, or am I willing to show my weakness? Do I recognise the Grace of the Lord, the Love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit?