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Category Archives: 2 Corinthians

Powerful meekness (living the cross)

Mine! Mine!

Alternatively titled, “What you won’t hear the Apostle Paul say.”

I’ve been chewing on this for a little while as I work my way through Paul’s epistles. During this project, I’ve discovered a funny side effect of getting to know the biblical authors better: I get annoyed when people say things about them that I don’t think are true. In this case, I found myself chafing at a rather pervasive idea commentators seem to have have about Paul. Many of them consider him to be quite possessive of the churches he planted.

At one level, I can see how they could arrive at this conclusion. With texts like these…

Ga 4:16-17; 5:12 Have I therefore become your enemy because I tell you the truth? They zealously court you, but for no good; yes, they want to exclude you, that you may be zealous for them. …I could wish that those who trouble you would even cut themselves off!

2Co 10:13 We, however, will not boast beyond measure, but within the limits of the sphere which God appointed us–a sphere which especially includes you.

2Co 11:5 For I consider that I am not at all inferior to the most eminent apostles…

2Co 12:11 …I ought to have been commended by you; for in nothing was I behind the most eminent apostles…

…it’s easy to walk away with the idea that Paul was a little jumpy about losing his ministry base. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on September 14, 2011 in 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, Galatians

 

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2 Corinthians 11, a la Sarah-Beth

I am again reaping the benefits of editing together all the assignments for my group for our commentary (see this post for some more team insight). I was editing the latest research from Sarah-Beth, a woman who lives, eats, and breathes the Word. The girl thinks in cross-references — I hope to know the Word half as well as she does one day.

I had poked around at 2 Corinthians 11 a bit myself, but hadn’t really gotten too emotionally involved in it. Paul was counteracting the claims of false apostles. Okay. Check that lesson off the list. False apostles bad. Gospel good. I don’t know any false apostles, therefore I’m not connecting with the relevance to my personal life. Leave it to Sarah-Beth to take it straight to the end times.

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Posted by on February 2, 2007 in 2 Corinthians, Bible, Eschatology

 

A God who pleads

2Cor 5:20 – “Now then, we are ambassadors of Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.”

The humility of God is truly astounding. He’s sovereign. Completely sovereign. He is under no obligation whatsoever to let us have our way with anything in our lives. What God wants, God is completely able to get, and He could easily make anything happen that He wants to. And yet we see Him here, pleading, asking, imploring His own creation. He is so passionate about winning the hearts of His people in voluntary love that He pleads with those He has the right to command.

I think John Wesley summed it up incredibly well:

Did the judge ever beseech a condemned criminal to accept of pardon?  Does the creditor ever beseech a ruined debtor to receive an acquittance in full?  Yet our almighty Lord, and our eternal Judge, not only vouchsafes to offer these blessings, but invites us, entreats us, and, with the most tender importunity, solicits us, not to reject them.

His tenderness is truly amazing. How could we help but love Him back?

 
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Posted by on January 30, 2007 in 2 Corinthians, Bible

 

Paul on Follow-Through

2 Corinthians 8:10-12

“And in this I give advice: It is to your advantage not only to be doing what you began and were desiring to do a year ago; 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.”

Paul was specifically writing to the Corinthians about following through with an offering that they had decided to give to the church in Jerusalem. Their enthusiasm for the project had cooled significantly, and now Paul is encouraging them to get back in the game. This is not just for the sake of being legalistic. This is not just for the sake of doing it because it must be done. He tells them, it is to your advantage…

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Posted by on January 24, 2007 in 2 Corinthians, Bible

 

Meekness: Fighting a different kind of war

2Cor 10:3, “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh.”

This verse is (rightly) used to explain how spiritual warfare works. As Paul says elsewhere, “…we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age…” (Eph 6:12). The enemy is not the person who doesn’t like us. The enemy is the spiritual force of darkness at work in a given situation. These are familiar concepts for most of us.

However, continuing in my study of 2 Corinthians, I actually read the context of this verse, and now I see it from a new perspective. Beyond just giving instruction in spiritual warfare, Paul is making an apologetic for his meekness while ministering in Corinth.

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Posted by on January 23, 2007 in 2 Corinthians, Bible

 

Minister = Bondservant

Work continues slowly but surely on our commentary for APP. I’ve edited many things in my day, but this is the first time I’ve edited anything with multiple contributors – gosh, is it a different animal. I’m trying to streamline everyone’s comments without destroying everyone’s voice. It’s a definite challenge,  but I do find that I’m enjoying it. We’ll see how enjoyable it still is once I run the edits past my team for approval… I work with some pretty cool people, though, so I’m not too worried.

The perk of working with multiple authors, however, is the breadth of revelation I get to read that I would not acheive on my own. I’m looking forward to learning from each of our contributing authors. One of my fellow students/co-authors, C.J., emailed me his notes today. I’ve been working on incorporating his very insightful stuff into the project, and I was particularly struck by his comments on 2 Corinthians 4:5.

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Posted by on January 22, 2007 in 2 Corinthians, Bible

 

One more reason I really like the Apostle Paul…

It’s 2 Corinthians 10:12…

“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.”

How’s that for bluntness? Once you make heads or tails out of who’s measuring and comparing, it’s a really amusing picture. It’s this little endless loop, whirling and going nowhere.  I get a mental image of a bunch of ancient Greek orators scurrying aroud, patting each other on the back or thumbing their noses at each other. (And now you have a scary inside glance of how my brain works.)

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Posted by on January 21, 2007 in 2 Corinthians, Bible