Boasting – 2 Cor 11

In the beginning of chapter 11, Paul likens the church at Corinth to a bride to Jesus — just as the church itself has been spoken of elsewhere. He says that he “betrothed” them to Jesus, and then compares the serpent’s deception of Eve to the deception they are under-going at the hands of false teachers.

He also finds himself once again defending his apostleship. It seems that some were suggesting that the fact that he did not accept wages for his work with them when he had been there was an indication that he was not worthy of such wages. Paul made his own may, so as not to be a burden to the young congregation. He then gives a scathing rebuke to those who tried to present themselves as apostles, while denying that Paul himself was one. He tells them at the end of the chapter that those who boast in such a manner do so for the wrong reasons. He says that he will boast of the things that show his weakness. It is Jesus who is the one that deserves the glory.

 

/Bob’s boy

Bible Reading Schedule for this month
Click links below to read or listen to audio of one of this week’s chapters in Colossians and Luke

2 Cor 7, 2 Cor 8, 2 Cor 9, 2 Cor 10, 2 Cor 11

___________________

some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please visit this site’s menu item “The Author’s Books” for info on the author’s books, website, and Facebook page.

All of my comments in this blog are solely my responsibility. When reading any commentary, you should always refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word.

 

 

 

 

The Gifts to the Poor – 2 Cor 9-10

Paul continues in this chapter about the collection for the saints at Jerusalem, acknowledging that the Corinthians had already expressed their desire to do it and made the pledge. He wants to make sure they have it ready when the brethren arrive to take charge of it, so that it does not look like an after-thought. If they have to scramble around and scurry after it, there is more chance that some will miss their opportunity to give – and this would reflect badly on the others. Note Paul’s use of the word “we” in verse 4. He is speaking not just of himself, but identifying himself with them at Corinth – as well as the other Gentiles who had shown their generosity.

The generous gifts to the poor at the Jerusalem church by these Christians (who had been pagans before) will increase the faith of those at Jerusalem and help them to see the sincerity and genuineness of the conversion of those at Corinth. Verses 6-11 are sometimes used to promote the preaching of some that giving to others will bring the giver prosperity and health. God surely blesses the cheerful giver (verse 7), but building material wealth for the generous giver is not God’s intention; and if such is the motive, it is vain. God will surely “increase the harvest of your righteousness” as one gives cheerfully (verse 10), and will enrich one spiritually as well. Any increase in wealth one enjoys should be the motivation for more generosity, and more thanksgiving to God (verses 11-12).

In chapter 10, Paul again defends his ministry, and one may suppose that some of his critics had complained of his harsh words by way of his writing to them. But Paul also emphasizes that whatever he says to them by letter, he does himself when present.

/Bob’s boy

Bible Reading Schedule for this month
Click links below to read or listen to audio of one of this week’s chapters in Colossians and Luke

2 Cor 7, 2 Cor 8, 2 Cor 9, 2 Cor 10, 2 Cor 11

___________________

some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please visit this site’s menu item “The Author’s Books” for info on the author’s books, website, and Facebook page.

All of my comments in this blog are solely my responsibility. When reading any commentary, you should always refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word.

 

 

 

 

Titus’s Affection for the Corinthians – 2 Cor 7-8

In chapter 7, Paul continues to urge them to get past the problems of the past; and he again assures them of his love for them. He tells them that although he is not glad of their grief from the chastisement in his first letter, he does rejoice that their grief had led to repentance. By this, they had proved their innocence, as he said:

So although I wrote to you, it was not for the sake of the one who did the wrong, nor for the sake of the one who suffered the wrong, but in order that your earnestness for us might be revealed to you in the sight of God. Therefore we are comforted.

It is here that he refers to Titus having visited, and had been “refreshed” in spirit by doing so. Paul declared that Titus had proved that Paul’s boasting about him was not misplaced; and Titus had even greater affection for them as a result.

Paul is sincerely proud of them, and in chapter 8 he reminds them of the collection for the poor in Jerusalem that was being gathered.  He had first spoken to them about it several months ago (verse 10), and they had been happy to commit to doing it.  Paul knows that this effort will be good for them as well.

Paul also points out the generosity of the brethren of Macedonia in this effort, of which McGarvey writes: “The only Macedonian churches known to us were those at Philippi, Thessalonica and Beroea. The district of Macedonia had suffered in the three civil wars, and had been reduced to such poverty that Tiberius Cæsar, hearkening to their petitions, had lightened their taxes. But in addition to this general poverty, the churches had been made poor by persecution (2 Thess 1:4).”   As the Corinthian brethren were, by and large, substantially better off, Paul encourages their generosity as well, quoting Exodus 16:18 in verse 15.  In verses 16-22, he stresses the point that trusted brethren will be carrying these gifts, so that there could be no hint of impropriety.  One of those – the  “brother who is famous among all the churches for his preaching” of verse 18 – is thought by some to be Luke, but we do not know.

/Bob’s boy

Bible Reading Schedule for this month
Click links below to read or listen to audio of one of this week’s chapters in Colossians and Luke

2 Cor 7, 2 Cor 8, 2 Cor 9, 2 Cor 10, 2 Cor 11

___________________

some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please visit this site’s menu item “The Author’s Books” for info on the author’s books, website, and Facebook page.

All of my comments in this blog are solely my responsibility. When reading any commentary, you should always refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word.

 

 

 

 

The Lord is Our Anchor – 2 Cor 6

In chapter 6, Paul speaks of r

English: Drügi Liszt k Korinthusánczom (Second...

English: Drügi Liszt k Korinthusánczom (Second Epistle to the Corinthians) from the prekmurian Nôvi Zákon (1848) Magyar: Drügi Liszt k Korunthusánczom (A korintusiakhoz írt második levél) a vend Nôvi Zákonból (1848) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

eceiving God’s grace in vain. This refers to having been saved and now running the risk of slipping away.  He points out that they experience great persecution unjustly (verses 8-10), but they endure hardships and adversities by the gifts of the spirit within them.  Verses 14-18 are often taken to mean that Christians should not have any associations with unbelievers, but such is not the case since he tells us in 1 Corinthians 5:10 that we would have to “go out of the world” in order to do that; and we must be “in the world” in order to spread the gospel.  Jesus prayed about being “in the world” but not “of the world” in John 17:15-16.  But their association with idol worshipers is problematic; and it may drag many back into its clutches (verses 14-18)s.

The applications for us are 1) that our faith in Jesus as Lord is our anchor when we suffer adversity and 2) that if we have a sinful inclination that we have overcome, we should not put ourselves in a position to be taken back into that sin. Just as it would be a mistake for someone who had been an alcoholic to return to frequenting bars for company, those who had previously worshiped idols should not return to spending time at those temples.

/Bob’s boy

Bible Reading Schedule for this month
Click links below to read or listen to audio of one of this week’s chapters in Colossians and Luke

2 Cor 2, 2 Cor 3, 2 Cor 4, 2 Cor 5, 2 Cor 6

___________________

some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please visit this site’s menu item “The Author’s Books” for info on the author’s books, website, and Facebook page.

All of my comments in this blog are solely my responsibility. When reading any commentary, you should always refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word.

 

 

 

 

Matters of the Heart – 2 Cor 4-5

In chapter 4, Paul further addresses the false teaching that has occurred, and contrasts it with the right teaching of the gospel, saying “we refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God’s word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God.” He also speaks of persecution and suffering, which he has himself experienced recently, and of the type that they themselves were now under. The encouragement given at the end of the chapter is just as much hope for us today:

So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

In chapter 5, Paul compares this earthly body and life to a tent, while calling our heavenly life a building from God. For this reason, he says, it is not what makes up the outer body that is important, but what is in the heart.

/Bob’s boy

Bible Reading Schedule for this month
Click links below to read or listen to audio of one of this week’s chapters in Colossians and Luke

2 Cor 2, 2 Cor 3, 2 Cor 4, 2 Cor 5, 2 Cor 6

___________________

some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please visit this site’s menu item “The Author’s Books” for info on the author’s books, website, and Facebook page.

All of my comments in this blog are solely my responsibility. When reading any commentary, you should always refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word.

 

 

 

 

Trouble at Corinth – 2 Cor 2-3

In verse 1 of chapter 2, Paul refers to a painful visit. It is not altogether apparent to what visit he refers. it could be one that he had made before writing the first letter, as verse 3 might imply. But it could also be another visit made in the interim between the two letters. The nature of the “pain” is not certain, but it could very well have to do with challenges to Paul’s apostleship by someone there. verses 5-11 do seem to indicate a particular wrong that had been directed at him. As we would expect, Paul urges forgiveness.

Chapter 3 also seems to indicate that some of those false teachers at Corinth that had caused some much trouble there had come forward with letters of recommendation from other brethren and/or churches that lent credence to their positions, while claiming that Paul was falsely promoting himself as a spiritual authority that had no basis in reality.  He responds in verses 2-4 by saying that the brethren at Corinth are his letter of recommendation “written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.”    The transformation of their hearts and their lives (not to mention the spiritual gifts given them by the Spirit) served as their own testament to the fact that Paul was “an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God (2 Corinthians 1:1).”

Paul’s points in verses 4-11 are that it was not anything in himself or his brethren that made a difference, but the sufficiency given by God as ministers of the new covenant.  The old covenant (the law of Moses , which was deficient only because of man’s sins) was the ministry of condemnation (because man could not uphold the law).  But the end of the old covenant is marked by the removal of the veil (which also could allude to the veil of the temple), which is removed through Christ, revealing the glory of the Lord (verses 14-18).

/Bob’s boy

Bible Reading Schedule for this month
Click links below to read or listen to audio of one of this week’s chapters in Colossians and Luke

2 Cor 2, 2 Cor 3, 2 Cor 4, 2 Cor 5, 2 Cor 6

___________________

some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please visit this site’s menu item “The Author’s Books” for info on the author’s books, website, and Facebook page.

All of my comments in this blog are solely my responsibility. When reading any commentary, you should always refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word.

 

 

 

 

Paul’s Change of Plans – 2 Cor 1

In this second letter to the brethren at Corinth, Paul begins by speaking about the hardships that he and those with him had experienced in Asia – so much so, that they “despaired of life.” He also spends some time defending his change of plans, whereby he had not come back to them as he had intended. It is this fact that some suppose to be the source of some of the trouble that had erupted, in which Paul’s apostleship was being challenged. He will continue this thought in chapter two. In verses 17-23, he assures them of the fact that he is guided by the Holy Spirit in his ministry, and verse 23 appears to state that hone reason he had not come to them was in order to avoid fanning the flames of such strife.

/Bob’s boy

Bible Reading Schedule for this month
Click links below to read or listen to audio of one of this week’s chapters in Colossians and Luke

1 Cor 13, 1 Cor 14, 1 Cor 15, 1 Cor 16, 2 Cor 1

___________________

some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please visit this site’s menu item “The Author’s Books” for info on the author’s books, website, and Facebook page.

All of my comments in this blog are solely my responsibility. When reading any commentary, you should always refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word.

 

 

 

 

2 Corinthians 9 – The Cheerful Giver

Paul continues in this chapter about the collection for the saints at Jerusalem, acknowledging that the Corinthians had already expressed their desire to do it and made the pledge.  He wants to make sure they have it ready when the brethren arrive to take charge of it, so that it does not look like an after-thought.  If they have to scramble around and scurry after it, there is more chance that some will miss their opportunity to give – and this would reflect badly on the others.  Note Paul’s use of the word “we” in verse 4.  He is speaking not just of himself, but identifying himself with them at Corinth – as well as the other Gentiles who had shown their generosity.

Achaia mentioned in 2 Cor 9:2- (from Barnes’ notes): “This word, in its largest sense, comprehended the whole of Greece. Achaia proper, however, was a province of which Corinth was the capital. It embraced that part of Greece lying between Thessaly and the southern part of the Peloponnesus.”

The generous gifts to the poor at the Jerusalem church by these Christians (who had been pagans before) will increase the faith of those at Jerusalem and help them to see the sincerity and genuineness of the conversion of those at Corinth.  Verses 6-11 are sometimes used to promote the preaching of some that giving to others will bring the giver prosperity and health.  God surely blesses the cheerful giver (verse 7), but building material wealth for the generous giver is not God’s intention; and if such is the motive, it is vain.  God will surely “increase the harvest of your righteousness” as one gives cheerfully (verse 10), and will enrich one spiritually as well.  Any increase in wealth one enjoys should be the motivation for more generosity, and more thanksgiving to God (verses 11-12).

Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.

2 Corinthians 8 – Encouragement to Give Generously

In chapter 7 of this letter, Paul expressed his joy at the news Titus brought him that the reception by the brethren at Corinth of his first letter.  Many of them had been moved to repentance (2 Corinthians 7:8-9).  Paul is sincerely proud of them, and now he reminds them of the collection for the poor in Jerusalem that was being gathered.  He had first spoken to them about it several months ago (verse 10), and they had been happy to commit to doing it.  Paul knows that this effort will be good for them as well.

Macedonia, Greece, east of Appolonia; Paul visited on his Second Missionary Journey after his Macedonian vision.

Paul also points out the generosity of the brethren of Macedonia in this effort, of which McGarvey writes: “The only Macedonian churches known to us were those at Philippi, Thessalonica and Beroea. The district of Macedonia had suffered in the three civil wars, and had been reduced to such poverty that Tiberius Cæsar, hearkening to their petitions, had lightened their taxes. But in addition to this general poverty, the churches had been made poor by persecution (2 Thess 1:4).”   As the Corinthian brethren were, by and large, substantially better off, Paul encourages their generosity as well, quoting Exodus 16:18 in verse 15.  In verses 16-22, he stresses the point that trusted brethren will be carrying these gifts, so that there could be no hint of impropriety.  One of those – the  “brother who is famous among all the churches for his preaching” of verse 18 – is thought by some to be Luke, but we do not know.

Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.

2 Corinthians 6 – The Temple of the Living God

Corinth turkish watering place

Paul quotes Isaiah 49:8 in verse 2, noting that now is the favorable time for their salvation.  Receiving God’s grace in vain refers to having been saved and now running the risk of slipping away.  He points out that they experience great persecution unjustly (verses 8-10), but they endure hardships and adversities by the gifts of the spirit within them.  Verses 14-18 are often taken to mean that Christians should not have any associations with unbelievers, but such is not the case since he tells us in 1 Corinthians 5:10 that we would have to “go out of the world” in order to do that; and we must be “in the world” in order to spread the gospel.  Jesus prayed about being “in the world” but not “of the world” in John 17:15-16.  But their association with idol worshipers is problematic; and it may drag many back into its clutches (verses 14-18)s.

The applications for us are 1) that our faith in Jesus as Lord is our anchor when we suffer adversity and 2) that if we have a sinful inclination that we have overcome, we should not put ourselves in a position to be taken back into that sin. Just as it would be a mistake for someone who had been an alcoholic to return to frequenting bars for company, those who had previously worshiped idols should not return to spending time at those temples.

Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.