Archive for ◊ August, 2015 ◊

31 Aug 2015 2 Corinthians (Program #16)

2 Corinthians (Program #16) – A Pattern of Living Christ for the Church

The apostle Paul’s two epistles or letters to the Church in Corinth are definitely related. But if we read carefully we can see that really they are in two different realms.

The first letter dealt with many major problems in the Church. Problems that are in many ways still plague the Church today. The solution that Paul presents in 1 Corinthians is for the believers to live Christ for the church. And this is the link to the other realm that is clearly presented in 2 Corinthians. For in this book more than any other in the Bible, we see the pattern of person living Christ for the church not merely spoken of but demonstrated. The apostle Paul and even other apostles with him really lived this pattern.

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30 Aug 2015 2 Corinthians (Program #15)

2 Corinthians (Program #15) – The Ministers of the New Covenant (7b)

All genuine believers in Christ know that an essential of the Christians faith is that Christ our Savior is sinless. In fact the Bible tells us in 2 Corinthians that He did not know sin. Yet the very same verse tells us that this One that did not know sin, was made sin. Here is chapter 5:

21 “Him who did not know sin He made sin on our behalf that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”

What mysterious, marvelous language. He, Who did not know sin, was made sin on our behalf. We, who believed treasure the fact that He died for our sins. Yet do we really have the proper understanding, a proper appreciation of the fact that according to God’s word that He was made sin on our behalf?

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29 Aug 2015 2 Corinthians (Program #14)

2 Corinthians (Program #14) – The Ministers of the New Covenant (7a)

The apostle Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians chapter 5 that he and the other apostles had received a ministry or reconciliation. To reconcile one person to another is to restore the offending party to the offended party.

Of course in our case we all had offended God and the moment that we believed into Christ, receiving His work on the cross for us, we were brought nigh to Him and experience the first step or first level of reconciliation.

But actually 2 Corinthians reveals that there is a further step, a second level or degree of reconciliation. And that only someone fully in God can have such a ministry to reconcile others fully into God. This is the ministry of reconciliation that Paul was commissioned with.

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28 Aug 2015 2 Corinthians (Program #13)

2 Corinthians (Program #13) – The Ministers of the New Covenant (6)

At the beginning of chapter 5 in 2 Corinthians Paul the apostle speaks in a strange way.

1 “For we know that if our earthly tabernacle dwelling is taken down, we have a building from God, a dwelling not made with hands, eternal, in the heavens.”

Well, we may consider that we have understand this at least in parts. But listen to:

2 “For also in this we groan, longing to be clothed upon with our dwelling place from heaven,

3 “If indeed, being clothed, we will not be found naked.

Actually what Paul is expressing here is his deep longing and desire to be raptured.

Rapture, is a topic today that fascinating millions today even unbelievers are intrigued by this topic as we’ve seen by the tremendous popularity of recent series of novels on this subject.

But what is most often missed by Christians considering rapture it that it’s linked not just to our initially salvation but much more to our growth and maturity in the divine life. For as we grow and mature, our longing for this day deepens as we can clearly seen in Paul’s words.

4 “For also, we who are in this tabernacle groan, being burdened, in that we do not desire to be unclothed, but clothed upon, that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life.

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27 Aug 2015 1 Corinthians (Program #55)

1 Corinthians (Program #55) -Dealing with the Collection of the Gift and Conclusion

In his first epistle to the Corinthians, the apostle Paul dealt with eleven serious problems that had overtaken the church there. Then in chapter 15, the next to the last chapter, after dealing with all of these matters specifically he points them to the unique solution to all the problems both of the church life and our human life and that is the reality of the resurrection life of Christ as our portion, the new creation. That brings us to the conclusion of the book, Chapter 16.  And as he begins this final chapter its’ almost as if he puts the Corinthians on the test, the most vigorous of tests to see if his words concerning living in the reality of the resurrection had penetrated. He challenges them on the matter of money and material possessions. And this matter of money is still testing all of His believers even today.  We will fellowship this and see the sweet conclusion to the book of 1 Corinthians.

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27 Aug 2015 2 Corinthians (Program #12)

2 Corinthians (Program #12) – The Ministers of the New Covenant (5)

Let me give you three important spiritual terms from the New Testament.

1. Regeneration
2. Transformation
3. Transfiguration

I selected these because many believers confuse them or perhaps think that they are synonymous or interchangeable. But actually while they all refer to various steps in the process of God’s full salvation, they certainly are not interchangeable, in fact they apply to the three distinct parts of our being. Our spirit, our soul and our body.

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26 Aug 2015 1 Corinthians (Program #54)

1 Corinthians (Program #54) – Dealing with the Matter of Resurrection (3 & 4)

The Bible of course tells us that God created the heavens and the earth and man and all the living things. This is His creation work. But there is another creation revealed in the Bible. Listen to 2 Corinthians 5:17 “So then if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old things have passed away; behold, they have become new.”

In Christ, God has a new creation. In fact all of His work in the New Testament is centered on and focused in this new creation. There is another verse that implies both of these creations in the most profound way. This time in 1 Corinthians chapter 15:45 “So also it is written, “The first man, Adam, became a living soul”; the last Adam became a life-giving Spirit.”

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26 Aug 2015 2 Corinthians (Program #11)

2 Corinthians (Program #11) – The Ministers of the New Covenant (4)

2 Corinthians makes a marvelous contribution to the New Testament because it describes so vividly the experience of Christ not from a doctrinal prospective but from the details of how the apostle Paul and his co-workers gain Christ experientially.

In fact chapters three and four may be the top chapters in the whole Bible in the experience of Christ. especially as this experience relates to how the genuine ministers of the New Covenant are produced. What we see in these chapters is that what these ministers preach, teach and minister is not based on what they have heard, studied or learned but upon what they themselves had been constituted with.

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25 Aug 2015 1 Corinthians (Program #53)

1 Corinthians (Program #53) – Dealing with the Matter of Resurrection (2)

Of all the problems that had over taken the church in Corinth, perhaps the most serious was that among the church there, many question the reality of resurrection. Yes, more serious than division, adultery, and even more serious than fornication and incest. Why? You might ask. Because without resurrection, ours is a fake, totally in vain and even more a faith without vitality, the life power needed to overcome all of our problems.  Paul’s rebuttal to those who question resurrection is our topic of program today.

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25 Aug 2015 2 Corinthians (Program #10)

2 Corinthians (Program #10) – The Ministers of the New Covenant (3)

The apostle Paul speaking about himself prior to his salvation refer to himself as the chiefest of sinners or the foremost of sinners, yet this one who had been the great persecutor of the church eventually becomes the chiefest among the apostles.

How did God accomplish such a reconstitution of Paul?  Was it His miraculous work transforming him in an instant? Or was it the constituting work of the Spirit over many years?

2 Corinthians chapter 4 is the key chapter in providing answers to this profound question.

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