Today’s reading is: 2 Cor. 8-13
Second Corinthians Chapter Eight
- Chapters 8 & 9 focus on the grace gift that the churches in Galatia, Asia, Macedonia, and Achaia were preparing for the afflicted saints in Jerusalem.
- Paul had previously given instructions regarding this grace gift (1st Cor. 16:1-4).
- Titus had begun the work in Achaia during his time in Corinth (2nd Cor. 8:6,10).
- Paul encouraged the Corinthians in the doctrine of grace giving by testifying to them the grace ministry of the Macedonian churches (2nd Cor. 8:1-5).
- Grace giving is a matter for believers to pursue in light of the example that Jesus Christ set (2nd Cor. 8:7-9).
- Grace giving is a matter for believers to pursue as a matter of mental-attitude, and not a matter of individual capacity (2nd Cor. 8:10-15).
- Titus led a team back to Corinth excited about the privilege to be a minister of grace (2nd Cor. 8:6,16-24).
- Titus led the effort.
- “The brother” famous in the gospel through all the local churches, and appointed by those churches to accompany Paul as a precaution against discredit.
- “Our brother” tested and diligent, and greatly confident in the Corinthians.
- The famous expulsion of the Jews from Rome by Nero in 50AD was a consequence of financial shenanigans (Ant. 18.3.5 § 81).
Second Corinthians Chapter Nine
- Paul is eager to arrive in Corinth with his Macedonian delegation, confident that Titus’ advance party will have all things prepared (2nd Cor. 9:1-5).
- Grace giving is a matter for believers to pursue bountifully, purposefully, and cheerfully, trusting in God the Father to make all grace abound (2nd Cor. 9:6-11).
- When grace is given and received, both parties can glorify God with praise and thanksgiving being multiplied in an indescribable manner (2nd Cor. 9:12-15).
Second Corinthians Chapter Ten
- Paul urged the Corinthians to pray for his meekness and gentleness towards them, even as he comes to wage war with confidence and courage (2nd Cor. 10:1-6).
- Paul urged the Corinthians to view their circumstances through Divine viewpoint rather than the human viewpoint they were accustomed to (2nd Cor. 10:7-11).
- Paul’s Godly boasting with respect to the Corinthians was not to take credit for anything he had done (2nd Cor. 10:12-18).
- The Lord has done the work, so He gets the appropriate glory of human praise.
- Corinth isn’t the end of work, but a new base of operations from which to do even greater work.
Second Corinthians Chapter Eleven
- The Corinthians had been listening to false apostles who had called Paul’s teaching foolishness. So, Paul gives the Corinthians several large doses of foolishness in ch. 11.
- Paul describes his love for Corinth Bible Church✝︎ as a godly jealousy. The believers of Corinth were prepared as a bride for the Lord, but Paul was afraid that they had been deceived into unfaithfulness (2nd Cor. 11:1-3).
- The false apostles used Paul’s humility as an accusation against him. They presented him as a false apostle because he was not exercising apostolic privileges (2nd Cor. 11:4-15).
- Paul uses a logic of folly to boast in the manner of the false apostles and to illustrate to the Corinthians how empty it all is (2nd Cor. 11:16-21).
- Under Law, Paul is every bit as qualified as the false apostles (2nd Cor. 11:22).
- Under Grace, Paul has served above and beyond anything that any false apostle had done (2nd Cor. 11:23-29).
- From the very beginning of his ministry, Paul’s service to the Lord has been fraught with earthly danger for the sake of heavenly reward (2nd Cor. 11:30-33).
Second Corinthians Chapter Twelve
- Paul continues in his autobiography by relating the most severe testing he has ever endured for Christ—the thorn in the flesh (2nd Cor. 12:1-10).
- He relates the story in the third person rather than boast about it himself (vv.2-5).
- He tells of his rapture to Paradise in the third heaven. While there, he heard revelations that are not permissible for human revelation (v.4).
- When he was returned to physical life, the Lord authorized a Satanic angel to physically abuse Paul’s physical body so that Paul would not grow prideful (v.7).
- Paul was so abused that he asked three times for his will to be done over the will of the Lord (v.8).
- Paul learned to be well content with the thorn, because it was through such hardship that he learned what the power of Christ could truly do (vv.9,10).
- Paul concludes the autobiography with an ironic comment. The Corinthians shouldn’t be expecting to receive letters of reference on Paul’s behalf; they should be writing letters of reference on Paul’s behalf! (2nd Cor. 12:11-13)
- Paul warns them that he will be functioning under the same Law of Love that he functioned under the first two times he was with them (2nd Cor. 12:14-18).
- Paul’s autobiography was not a justification for the Corinthians. Paul was examining himself and preparing his own attitude before the Lord in advance of his coming Corinthian combat (2nd Cor. 12:19-21).
Second Corinthians Chapter Thirteen
- Paul’s arrival will be marked by total spiritual warfare (2nd Cor. 13:1-10 cf. 10:3-6).
- He warns the Corinthians to test themselves, and examine what spirit is empowering them, because Paul knows what Spirit he is employing (2nd Cor. 13:5-6).
- Like-minded believers in fellowship will celebrate Paul’s arrival and the grace, love, & fellowship that will result because of it (2nd Cor. 13:11-14).
✝︎ Pastor Bob’s nickname for the local church founded in Corinth. They didn’t really call themselves that.