Archive for the Category ◊ 2 Corinthians ◊

09 May 2021 2 Corinthians (Program #51)

2 Corinthians (Program #51) – Paul’s Vindication of His Apostolic Authority (6)

The church in Corinth was born directly out of the ministry and care of the apostle Paul.  Yet later, many of the believers there were affected negatively towards him because the accusations of false prophets that had come into Corinth, in an effort to draw the church away from their enjoyment of Christ and back to the Old Testament practice of law-keeping.  These ones claimed that they were the real apostles and that their knowledge and gifts far surpassed those of Paul’s.  So because many in the church were confused and no one stood up for Paul to make his case, Paul himself was compelled in the final chapters of this book to make his own “boast ” and to defend his own apostolic authority.  What he revealed to the church in Corinth in chapter 12 is some of the most remarkable speaking in all of the New Testament, for Paul himself tells of the incredible and mysterious vision that the Lord had permitted him to see in an effort to rescue the Corinthians.

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08 May 2021 2 Corinthians (Program #50)

2 Corinthians (Program #50) – Paul’s Vindication of His Apostolic Authority (5)

At the end of 2 Corinthians the apostle Paul was compelled to make a vindication of his apostolic authority.   In the course of this defense, he described much of the sufferings and poverty that seem to be his constant companions during his ministry.  Judging his ministry by today’s common standards, it might seem to some that his work lack the Lord’s blessing.  Listen, “three times I was beaten with rods” he writes, “once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, a night and a day I had spent in the deep, In journeys often, in dangers of rivers, in dangers of robbers, in dangers from my race, in dangers from the Gentiles, in dangers in the city, in dangers in the wilderness, in dangers in the sea, in dangers among false brothers; In labor and hardship; in watchings often; in hunger and thirst; in fastings often; in cold and nakedness.

This kind of hardship and shortage even of the basic material supplies might seems strange to some.  How could this be the case of a genuine servant of the Lord?  But to Paul, it was quite the opposite.  For to his realization the Lord Jesus during His earthly ministry similarly suffered and Paul considered it an honor that the Lord would find him worthy to share in the sufferings.

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07 May 2021 2 Corinthians (Program #49)

2 Corinthians (Program #49) – Paul’s Vindication of His Apostolic Authority (4)

Remember back to the very first problem that affected mankind in the Bible.  It was the serpent tempting the woman to eat of the tree of knowledge instead of the tree of life.  Now consider Paul’s word to the Corinthians addressing the impact that those claimed to be apostles upon them as they minister different Jesus to the believers in Corinth.  Chapter 11 of 2 Corinthians verse 3, “But I fear lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your thoughts would be corrupted from the simplicity and the purity toward Christ.” Paul’s fear was that the teachings of the so called apostles would have the same result as the serpent’s deception in Genesis 3, to distract the believers away from the enjoyment of Christ’s life and bring them to another tree, a tree that leads to death.

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06 May 2021 2 Corinthians (Program #48)

2 Corinthians (Program #48) – Paul’s Vindication of His Apostolic Authority (3)

There were many problems in the church in Corinth, but through Paul’s first epistle most of the believers were brought back to the Lord and experience a further reconciliation.  One of the lingering problems, however he left it to be dealt with in his second epistle; this was the problem of his own apostleship.  When the authority of the teaching is in question in a local church, this can be a serious problem.  It’s interesting that Paul saved this problem for last to deal with.  We look at why as we explore Paul’s vindication of his apostolic authority on today’s program.

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05 May 2021 2 Corinthians (Program #47)

2 Corinthians (Program #47) – Paul’s Vindication of His Apostolic Authority (2)

In the first epistle of Paul to the Corinthians, he was very bold and at times quite strong in dealing with the many problems that had risen in the church there.  Due to this, he was quite concerned about how the believers in Corinth received his word of loving discipline.  But upon hearing their open and repented heart, he began 2 Corinthians with nine very tender,intimate and pleasant chapters.  But following this, his tone once again become severe.  For in the final four chapters of the book, he is forced to make a defense, even a vindication of his apostleship.  Why did Paul, the clarion of the New Testament economy need to lower himself in such a way before this church which he himself established?   The answer may surprises but it will most definitely enlighten us.

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04 May 2021 2 Corinthians (Program #46)

2 Corinthians (Program #46) – Paul’s Vindication of His Apostolic Authority (1)

The last section of 2 Corinthians beginning at chapter 10, marks a strong contrast to the first nine chapters of this book.  The apostle Paul throughout most of the book was pleasant, intimate and very tender  with the Corinthians believers.  But in this final segment, he is forced to vindicate his own apostolic authority, because both he himself personally as well as his ministry and work had been severely undermined by other so call Christian workers who had come in to distract, damage  and confuse the Corinthians.  Just how does Paul approach this delicate and difficult situation?  Actually seeing the apostle dealing with such a problem is a marvelous window for all of us to see what it is to be a person one with  and living Christ.

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03 May 2021 2 Corinthians (Program #45)

2 Corinthians (Program #45) – The Apostle’s Fellowship Concerning the Needy Saints (4)

2 Corinthians chapters 8 and 9 are often used in campaigns for money-raising for various Christian causes or ministries.  But it’s interesting, although they both deal with the matter of giving, they don’t focus on the word “giving”.  In chapter 8, Paul refers to our giving as a kind of gathering, as the children of Israel gathered manna each day for their daily supply.   In chapter 9, our giving is called sowing, as a farmer sow seeds in order to produce a crop, in order to meet his family’s daily need.  Gathering and sowing, this is the renewed thought concerning the offering of material items to meet the needs in the Body of Christ.

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02 May 2021 2 Corinthians (Program #44)

2 Corinthians (Program #44) – The Apostle’s Fellowship Concerning the Needy Saints (3)

The apostle Paul devoted two chapters in 2 Corinthians to  the matter of taking collections for the needy saints in Judea.  It must have been something weighing heavily upon him to devote the better part of two whole chapters.  But actually these two chapters present all believers with some very profound principles that should guide and direct the matter of giving.

In chapter 8, Paul liken our giving to the gathering of manna in Exodus 16.  In chapter 8 verse 15 he writes “..He who gathered much had no excess, and he who gathered little had no lack.”  Then in chapter 9, our giving is liken a farmer, sowing seeds to produce a crop.  Chapter 9 verse 6, “now this I say, He who sows sparingly shall also reap sparingly; and he who sows bountifully shall also reap bountifully;”  But the verse that follows is the concluding word for both of these portions; chapter 9 verse 7, “Each one as he has purposed in his heart, not out of sorrow or out of necessity, for God loves a cheerful giver.”

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01 May 2021 2 Corinthians (Program #43)

2 Corinthians (Program #43) – The Apostle’s Fellowship Concerning the Needy Saints (2)

2 Corinthians chapter 8 and 9 deal with one of the most treacherous of all topics in the Bible – money.  These are chapters that can be very helpful in seeing what the Bible has to say about the principle of giving.  But if we read carefully we will also see that they can be a marvelous window into the way to handle the whole issue of money and finance.

We all know that money, to a believer represents the most evil, corrupt and sinful elements of the world.  Yet God’s people have to deal with money and financial matters continually.  Therefore the rare opportunity that 2 Corinthian 8 gives us should indeed attract our full attention.  For here we see apostle Paul himself not teaching us but as our living pattern, on the proper way to handle money and the proper attitude that we all should have towards it.

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30 Apr 2021 2 Corinthians (Program #42)

2 Corinthians (Program #42) – The Apostle’s Fellowship Concerning the Needy Saints (1)

Fund raising is apparently the subject of 2 Corinthians chapter 8 and 9.  Many preachers today use these verses for their campaigns to raise money.   But we will see in today’s life study from 2 Corinthians that there is much more going on in the apostle Paul’s heart.

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