Day 334: 2 Corinthians 10-13

(The previous post concluded with the Theme of chapter 9: Paul focused on the giving of physical resources. Paul showed that giving not only involved an action but also an attitude (cheer). Paul showed that God responded to our giving through Justice.)

2 Corinthians 10

(This chapter was the most important chapter written in the Bible regarding spiritual warfare, specifically offensive spiritual warfare. Ephesians 6 was also concerned with spiritual warfare but was specific to defensive spiritual warfare.)

1 Now I Paul myself entreat you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ, I who in your presence am lowly among you, but being absent am of good courage toward you:
2 yea, I beseech you, that I may not when present show courage with the confidence wherewith I count to be bold against some, who count of us as if we walked according to the flesh.

(Paul, who was continually humble in the presence of the Corinthians, was going to take this time writing to them to be of good (Right and Just) courage toward them. He was going to be bold. However, he began this section making the point that he did not approach people as if he was physically strong, like did those that walked according to the flesh.)

3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh

(Doctrine: The war that believers face is spiritual. We walk in the flesh but we do not war according to the flesh. This sentence ought to convict people who focus on physical strength (yelling, shaking, contracting muscles, etc.) that they are not warring according to the spirit.)

4 (for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but mighty before God to the casting down of strongholds),

(Not only is the war spiritual but even the weapons of our warfare are spiritual ("not of the flesh") and the weapons are mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds: "a castle, stronghold, fortress, fastness, anything on which one relies, of the arguments and reasonings by which a disputant endeavors to fortify his opinion and defend it against his opponent."

A stronghold is a source of resources/supplies within the enemy's territory. A stronghold is not a warehouse on your side of the battle line. A stronghold would be a warehouse you can access that is on the other side of the battle line. These weapons are able to cast down sources of supplies for the enemy that are on our side of the battle line, which is in our brain.)

5 casting down imaginations, and every high thing that is exalted against the knowledge of God, and bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ;

(Doctrine: Spiritual warfare is according to thoughts and words. Our weapons are mighty through God, to the casting down of imaginations (thought) and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge (thought) of God. The weapons that are mighty through God will bring into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. Imaginations are made of thoughts; thoughts are made of words.

Spiritual warfare is made up of WORDS and SENTENCES.

Spiritual warfare is not physical. Throughout the Gospels and the Book of Acts, offensive spiritual warfare was always done with words and sentences.)

6 and being in readiness to avenge all disobedience, when your obedience shall be made full.

(Offensive spiritual warfare will happen when your obedience is made full. We must have a good thought process in order to do offensive spiritual warfare. Also, the Holy Spirit initiates offensive spiritual warfare: we need to be obedient (which is grace) and then the Holy Spirit can flow through us to do offensive spiritual warfare.)

7 Ye look at the things that are before your face. If any man trusteth in himself that he is Christ's, let him consider this again with himself, that, even as he is Christ's, so also are we.
8 For though I should glory somewhat abundantly concerning our authority (which the Lord gave for building you up, and not for casting you down), I shall not be put to shame:

(Paul's authority was given for the edification of others.)

9 that I may not seem as if I would terrify you by my letters.
10 For, His letters, they say, are weighty and strong; but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech of no account.
11 Let such a one reckon this, that, what we are in word by letters when we are absent, such are we also in deed when we are present.

(Paul again contrasted his weak physical approach with his strong spiritual approach through words. Real strength, power, and authority come by the words we use. Do you understand the words you use? Can you define the words you use? Are those definitions God's definitions?)

12 For we are not bold to number or compare ourselves with certain of them that commend themselves: but they themselves, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves with themselves, are without understanding.

(Paul blatantly stated that comparing yourselves to others and measuring yourself against others was foolish. Those who did this were "without understanding." Measuring yourself against another person denies the principle of uniqueness. We ought to measure ourselves against ourselves. When is the last time you grew? When is the last time you changed a deeply held belief?)

13 But we will not glory beyond our measure, but according to the measure of the province which God apportioned to us as a measure, to reach even unto you.

(Here, Paul stated our measure for glory ought to be the measure God has appointed to us: who God created you to be.)

14 For we stretch not ourselves overmuch, as though we reached not unto you: for we came even as far as unto you in the gospel of Christ:
15 not glorying beyond our measure, that is, in other men's labors; but having hope that, as your faith groweth, we shall be magnified in you according to our province unto further abundance,

(Paul hoped that his actions would be magnified by being invested into others. He wanted his actions to help others grow.)

16 so as to preach the gospel even unto the parts beyond you, and not to glory in another's province in regard of things ready to our hand.
17 But he that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.

(Paul referenced Jeremiah 9:23-24. He also referenced this verse from Jeremiah in 1 Corinthians 1:31, the end of his first chapter of his first letter to the Corinthians.)

18 For not he that commendeth himself is approved, but whom the Lord commendeth.

(You are approved by being commended by God (spiritual), not being commended by you (physical). This chapter ended the way it began: Paul focused the reader on the spiritual, not the physical.)

(Theme of Chapter 10: Paul presented the principles of offensive spiritual warfare. It is initiated by the Holy Spirit once our obedience is made full by having a good thought process. Offensive spiritual warfare is not physical at all. It is done with words and sentences because the battle is over the thoughts in our brains.)

2 Corinthians 11
1 Would that ye could bear with me in a little foolishness: but indeed ye do bear with me.

(Paul gave a disclaimer. He was very intentional with his words and was willing to consider he could be wrong. About what?)

2 For I am jealous over you with a godly jealousy: for I espoused you to one husband, that I might present you as a pure virgin to Christ.
3 But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve in his craftiness, your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity and the purity that is toward Christ.

(After Paul gave the disclaimer in asking the Corinthians to bear with him in a little foolishness, he said he feared that it was possible their minds may be corrupted. This was a continuation of the theme from the previous chapter: offensive spiritual warfare is done with a good thought process with words.)

4 For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we did not preach, or if ye receive a different spirit, which ye did not receive, or a different gospel, which ye did not accept, ye do well to bear with him.
5 For I reckon that I am not a whit behind the very chiefest apostles.

(Paul did not see himself as the chiefest Apostle. Paul was humble.)

6 But though I be rude in speech, yet am I not in knowledge; nay, in every way have we made this manifest unto you in all things.
7 Or did I commit a sin in abasing myself that ye might be exalted, because I preached to you the gospel of God for nought?

(Paul asked if he had offended them by being humble.)

8 I robbed other churches, taking wages of them that I might minister unto you;
9 and when I was present with you and was in want, I was not a burden on any man; for the brethren, when they came from Macedonia, supplied the measure of my want; and in everything I kept myself from being burdensome unto you, and so will I keep myself.

(Paul made sure he was not a burden to the Corinthians.)

10 As the truth of Christ is in me, no man shall stop me of this glorying in the regions of Achaia.
11 Wherefore? because I love you not? God knoweth.
12 But what I do, that I will do, that I may cut off occasion from them that desire an occasion; that wherein they glory, they may be found even as we.

(Paul was focused on doing God's Will. Paul was focused on loving the Corinthians: the right how.)

13 For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, fashioning themselves into apostles of Christ.
14 And no marvel; for even Satan fashioneth himself into an angel of light.

(Do not marvel over false apostles because Satan himself transformed into an angel of light. This spoke to the importance of knowing and doing a right how/why. Satan had a right what (angel of light) with a wrong or no how/why. Satan was/is a deceiver.)

15 It is no great thing therefore if his ministers also fashion themselves as ministers of righteousness, whose end shall be according to their works.

(It is easy then for Satan's ministers/servants to also have a right what with a wrong or no how/why. This verse stated that those who deceived others were doing Satan's work, whether they were aware of it or not. Satan's work is deception.)

16 I say again, let no man think me foolish; but if ye do, yet as foolish receive me, that I also may glory a little.
17 That which I speak, I speak not after the Lord, but as in foolishness, in this confidence of glorying.
18 Seeing that many glory after the flesh, I will glory also.
19 For ye bear with the foolish gladly, being wise yourselves.
20 For ye bear with a man, if he bringeth you into bondage, if he devoureth you, if he taketh you captive, if he exalteth himself, if he smiteth you on the face.

(Paul was speaking about the physical and calling it "foolishness.")

(Verses 21-27: Paul continued to speak "foolishness," this time concerning himself and the Israelites/believers, in order to prove a point.)

21 I speak by way of disparagement, as though we had been weak. Yet whereinsoever any is bold (I speak in foolishness), I am bold also.
22 Are they Hebrews? so am I. Are they Israelites? so am I. Are they the seed of Abraham? so am I.
23 Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as one beside himself) I more; in labors more abundantly, in prisons more abundantly, in stripes above measure, in deaths oft.

(Paul was comparing himself according to physical attributes with others who the Corinthians could be tempted to follow, including themselves. Paul was of the seed of Abraham (Hebrew/Israelite) that was a minister of Christ. Less than halfway through Paul speaking "foolishness" he reminded the reader that he was speaking foolishness ("I speak as one beside himself"). It seemed that Paul did not enjoy doing this but did so to prove a point that would benefit the Corinthians.)

24 Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one.
25 Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day have I been in the deep;
26 in journeyings often, in perils of rivers, in perils of robbers, in perils from my countrymen, in perils from the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren;
27 in labor and travail, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.

(Paul described the physical suffering he endured as a way for people to know they should not boast. If anyone was to boast it would be Paul and when Paul did, he qualified it by stating it was "foolishness.")

28 Besides those things that are without, there is that which presseth upon me daily, anxiety for all the churches.
29 Who is weak, and I am not weak? who is caused to stumble, and I burn not?
30 If I must needs glory, I will glory of the things that concern my weakness.

(If Paul did boast, it would be in his weakness. Why? Because when Paul was weak, he was strong through grace.)

31 The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, he who is blessed for evermore knoweth that I lie not.
32 In Damascus the governor under Aretas the king guarded the city of the Damascenes in order to take me:
33 and through a window was I let down in a basket by the wall, and escaped his hands.

(Theme of Chapter 11: Paul qualified his presentation of his physical attributes by calling it "foolishness." Paul presented all of his physical qualifications to humble the Corinthians, and then stated that he would not boast of his strengths, but of his weaknesses.)

2 Corinthians 12
1 I must needs glory, though it is not expedient; but I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord.

(Paul knew it was not profitable to glory in himself. Remember, in the previous chapter Paul qualified all the glory for himself (excluding his weakness) by stating it was "foolishness." However, Paul needed to speak of visions and revelations to the church in Corinth. He used the previous chapters to set an important context: The spiritual was more important than the physical. Paul had more to boast of physically than the Corinthians but would only boast of his weaknesses.

Important point: Paul was not boasting about himself at all. That was the context of the following verses...)

2 I know a man in Christ, fourteen years ago (whether in the body, I know not; or whether out of the body, I know not; God knoweth), such a one caught up even to the third heaven.

(Paul knew a man (himself) who was taken up to the third heaven. Paul, being humble, did not testify of himself regarding this story. This was why Paul said it was a man he knew, which would have included him knowing himself. If he had said it was himself, he would have been boasting and contradicting the previous two chapters.

Doctrine: There were three realms known as "heaven" in the Bible:
-The most common would be the eternal abode of God, angels, and the redeemed. This was what Paul referred to as the "third heaven" here in 2 Corinthians 12:2. Also, Satan and his minions have access to this realm. This realm is territory that only someone with the Holy Spirit dwelling in their heart, and great understanding of spiritual warfare, should claim the authority to be combative.
-Next, the word heaven referred to what we call "outer space." Genesis 1:14-18 spoke of this firmament of heaven where the sun, moon, and stars were placed. This would be the "second heaven".
-Finally, the word heaven referred to the sky. Psalm 19:1 stated: "The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament showeth his handiwork." The word heavens in this verse meant "visible heavens, sky." The same was true for Genesis 1:28-30 when it spoke of the birds of the heavens. This would/could be referred to as the "first heaven.")

3 And I know such a man (whether in the body, or apart from the body, I know not; God knoweth),
4 how that he was caught up into Paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.

(The "third heaven" was called Paradise. Paul did not know if he bodily went to Paradise or spiritually. Paul heard unspeakable words that were unlawful for him to utter. Paul had revelation that he could not blatantly divulge because it would violate God's Commands. This section was referenced during the commentary for the Book of Ephesians because that book was Paul's general explanation of the meaning of life he blatantly received during the time referenced here but could never blatantly reveal.)

5 On behalf of such a one will I glory: but on mine own behalf I will not glory, save in my weaknesses.

(Critical point: Paul reiterated he would not glory/boast. Paul only gloried in his weaknesses.)

6 For if I should desire to glory, I shall not be foolish; for I shall speak the truth: but I forbear, lest any man should account of me above that which he seeth me to be, or heareth from me.

(Paul reiterated two more times that he would not glory/boast. Paul just stated three times in two sentences that he would not boast. Remember this because, believe it or not, some public teachers and pastors today completely forget this point during their interpretation of the next verse...)

7 And by reason of the exceeding greatness of the revelations, that I should not be exalted overmuch, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, that I should not be exalted overmuch.

(God allowed a messenger of Satan to "buffet" (to strike with the fist, give one a blow with the fist) Paul so that he would not be exalted above measure. All we know about this was Paul called it "a thorn in the flesh." It could have been a physical malady or limitation.

*Paul received this thorn so that other people would not exalt him.
*This thorn was not so that Paul did not exalt himself.

Paul had made it clear that he did not desire to exalt himself. Anyone who teaches that Paul would have boasted of himself, just called Paul a liar, three times. This thorn in the flesh would cause people to respect Paul but not think he was perfect.)

8 Concerning this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.

(Paul asked God for the thorn to be removed three times.)

9 And he hath said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my power is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

(The Lord told him that His grace was sufficient because God's strength is made perfect in weakness. This meant that because of the thorn, Paul would have to rely on God more through grace. Notice, this chapter began with Paul receiving revelation, which was not a sin. We have shown that Paul did not boast.

Critical point: Paul had done nothing wrong in this account.

This verse proved that "unmerited favor" couldn't be the definition of grace. Some people try to make grace into "unmerited favor" by stating Paul sinned. Looking at the context of the previous two chapters, we can see Paul set up this story by repeatedly making the point that God is strongest through a person who is weak, that God's grace works through a person's humility.

The Mind/Soul and the Holy Spirit need to work through a person's flesh. This verse showed that the Holy Spirit comes out strongest through a person where their flesh is weakest, which is grace: "the divine influence upon the heart, and its reflection in the life."

An additional thought concerning this chapter was that Paul being exalted overly much would lead to others giving to him, and Paul not having as much Reward. God's plan to cause people not to exalt him overly much would result in more Reward for Paul, which was a better plan for Paul than Paul's plan of removing the thorn.)

10 Wherefore I take pleasure in weaknesses, in injuries, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.

(Paul blatantly stated that he took pleasure in his weaknesses. If these weaknesses were sin (e.g., boasting) then Paul would be saying he took pleasure in sinning. Clearly, this chapter could not be interpreted that Paul did something wrong, otherwise, Paul's message would be contradictory. Paul stated why he took pleasure in weakness: because when he was weak (in the flesh) God was strong through grace.)

11 I am become foolish: ye compelled me; for I ought to have been commended of you: for in nothing was I behind the very chiefest apostles, though I am nothing.
12 Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you in all patience, by signs and wonders and mighty works.
13 For what is there wherein ye were made inferior to the rest of the churches, except it be that I myself was not a burden to you? forgive me this wrong.

(Paul closed this discussion with a qualifier: Paul presented this "foolish" perspective because the Corinthians compelled him. Paul reiterated that he was "nothing." Clearly, Paul was willing to consider he was wrong, and he actually did consider he was wrong. If not, Paul would not have stated "forgive me this wrong.")

14 Behold, this is the third time I am ready to come to you; and I will not be a burden to you: for I seek not yours, but you: for the children ought not to lay up for the parents, but the parents for the children.
15 And I will most gladly spend and be spent for your souls. If I love you more abundantly, am I loved the less?

(Paul did not want to be a burden to the Corinthians, but wanted to bear their burdens. The more Paul loved them, the less he was loved.)

16 But be it so, I did not myself burden you; but, being crafty, I caught you with guile.

(Paul caught them with guile (craft, deceit). This could be why Paul was less loved by them. Paul would have confronted them which may have caused them to falsely believe that Paul was not acting in their best interest which would cause them to stop loving Paul. That was the theme from the beginning of this letter: Paul's loving correction caused the Corinthians to feel sorrow, initially.)

17 Did I take advantage of you by any one of them whom I have sent unto you?
18 I exhorted Titus, and I sent the brother with him. Did Titus take any advantage of you? walked we not in the same spirit? walked we not in the same steps?
19 Ye think all this time that we are excusing ourselves unto you. In the sight of God speak we in Christ. But all things, beloved, are for your edifying.

(Paul made sure the Corinthians also knew none of the people Paul sent to them took advantage of the Corinthians. They spoke before God in Christ and they did all things for the edifying of the Corinthians. Paul closed this chapter warning them of having the same problems they had which caused Paul to write the previous letter...)

20 For I fear, lest by any means, when I come, I should find you not such as I would, and should myself be found of you such as ye would not; lest by any means there should be strife, jealousy, wraths, factions, backbitings, whisperings, swellings, tumults;
21 lest again when I come my God should humble me before you, and I should mourn for many of them that have sinned heretofore, and repented not of the uncleanness and fornication and lasciviousness which they committed.

(Theme of Chapter 12: Paul shared visions and revelations to illustrate that he gloried in weaknesses because it was through these weaknesses that God could be strong through him via the Holy Spirit (grace). Paul repeatedly made the point that he and the people he sent were not a burden to the Corinthians, but actually did everything for the edifying of the Corinthians.)

2 Corinthians 13
1 This is the third time I am coming to you. At the mouth of two witnesses or three shall every word established.
2 I have said beforehand, and I do say beforehand, as when I was present the second time, so now, being absent, to them that have sinned heretofore, and to all the rest, that, if I come again, I will not spare;
3 seeing that ye seek a proof of Christ that speaketh in me; who to you-ward is not weak, but is powerful in you:
4 for he was crucified through weakness, yet he liveth through the power of God. For we also are weak in him, but we shall live with him through the power of God toward you.

(Christ was crucified through weakness (humbling Himself), yet Christ lives by the power of God. We also are weak in Christ but live by the power of God.)

5 Try your own selves, whether ye are in the faith; prove your own selves. Or know ye not as to your own selves, that Jesus Christ is in you? unless indeed ye be reprobate.

(Examine yourselves (think contrastively, be humble). Prove yourselves: Are your actions those of a believer?)

6 But I hope that ye shall know that we are not reprobate.

(The word reprobate in both of the previous two verses was the same word that was translated as castaway in 1 Corinthians 9:27. This word referred to a coin that represented one value, yet was less because some of the weight was shaved off. The actual value was less than what it appeared to be. In these two verses, Paul encouraged the Corinthians to prove themselves, to examine themselves to see if they were actually what they appeared to be. Paul continued to use this word reprobate...)

7 Now we pray to God that ye do no evil; not that we may appear approved, but that ye may do that which is honorable, though we be as reprobate.

(Paul blatantly gave the definition of reprobate as "appearing to be approved, but actually not being what you appeared to be.")

8 For we can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth.
9 For we rejoice, when we are weak, and ye are strong: this we also pray for, even your perfecting.

(Paul prayed for their perfection, that everyone would reach their maximum profitability: actually be worth what they were capable of and appeared to be.)

10 For this cause I write these things while absent, that I may not when present deal sharply, according to the authority which the Lord gave me for building up, and not for casting down.

(Paul wrote this final exhortation with the intent of building up, not of tearing down. Paul wanted people not to end up in sorrow like they had with his previous letter to the Corinthians. Next, Paul closed this letter...)

11 Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfected; be comforted; be of the same mind; live in peace: and the God of love and peace shall be with you.
12 Salute one another with a holy kiss.
13 All the saints salute you.
14 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit, be with you all.

(Paul wrote 2 Corinthians somewhere in Macedonia (most likely Philippi), while Paul was on his way to make another visit to Corinth. This would be during his third missionary journey, during a part of which Luke said very little (Acts 20:1-6). This was the third letter of the section known as the Pauline Epistles. It was placed third because it dealt with the church in Corinth's response to the previous book in this section: 1 Corinthians. Specifically, Paul wrote this letter to the church he founded in Corinth in order to comfort those who repented because of the rebukes and corrections of the previous letter. This letter dealt with more mature Doctrines. In fact, of all the Pauline Epistles, I believe this is the least read and quoted today because of the maturity required to understand the Doctrine that was presented.)

Day 335

Day 333: 2 Corinthians 7-9

(The previous post concluded with the Theme of Chapter 6: Paul encouraged us not to receive the grace of God in vain. Paul presented a list of thirty-eight attributes believers ought to exhibit while they work in the ministry of reconciliation with the Holy Spirit. Paul did not believe we could do this ministry of reconciliation while being in fellowship with unbelievers.)

2 Corinthians 7
1 Having therefore these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

(Because we have these promises of eternity in paradise, we ought to kill the flesh so that God will come out. Killing our flesh will perfect holiness (increase purity) in the fear (reverence) of God.)

2 Open your hearts to us: we wronged no man, we corrupted no man, we took advantage of no man.
3 I say it not to condemn you: for I have said before, that ye are in our hearts to die together and live together.

(Paul made it clear that his motive was not condemnation.)

4 Great is my boldness of speech toward you, great is my glorying on your behalf: I am filled with comfort, I overflow with joy in all our affliction.

(Paul was bold towards them which would cause discomfort, which leads to long term growth. Some people would consider Paul's boldness condemnation because of how they felt as an effect. That was why Paul told them he was not condemning them (verse 3). Paul brought together the themes of this letter when he wrote he was overflowing with joy in all their affliction.)

5 For even when we were come into Macedonia our flesh had no relief, but we were afflicted on every side; without were fightings, within were fears.
6 Nevertheless he that comforteth the lowly, even God, comforted us by the coming of Titus;

(God comforted them in their afflictions by sending Titus.)

7 and not by his coming only, but also by the comfort wherewith he was comforted in you, while he told us your longing, your mourning, your zeal for me; so that I rejoiced yet more.

(Paul was also comforted by learning of the Corinthians longing, mourning, and zeal for Paul.)

8 For though I made you sorry with my epistle, I do not regret it: though I did regret it (for I see that that epistle made you sorry, though but for a season),
9 I now rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye were made sorry unto repentance; for ye were made sorry after a godly sort, that ye might suffer loss by us in nothing.

(Paul's first letter caused sorrow in the Corinthians and Paul did, for a while, regret making them sorry. The reason Paul only felt regret for a while was because the sorrow they felt led to repentance.)

10 For godly sorrow worketh repentance unto salvation, a repentance which bringeth no regret: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.

(Doctrine: Godly sorrow (conviction/guilt) works towards repentance. Confession and repentance is the only way to remove guilt.)

11 For behold, this selfsame thing, that ye were made sorry after a godly sort, what earnest care it wrought in you, yea what clearing of yourselves, yea what indignation, yea what fear, yea what longing, yea what zeal, yea what avenging! In everything ye approved yourselves to be pure in the matter.

(The godly sorrow they felt was handled the right way: their actions grew in righteousness.)

12 So although I wrote unto you, I wrote not for his cause that did the wrong, nor for his cause that suffered the wrong, but that your earnest care for us might be made manifest unto you in the sight of God.
13 Therefore we have been comforted: And in our comfort we joyed the more exceedingly for the joy of Titus, because his spirit hath been refreshed by you all.

(Paul felt good about himself because he felt good about the Corinthians. The Corinthians refreshed Titus' spirit.)

14 For if in anything I have gloried to him on your behalf, I was not put to shame; but as we spake all things to you in truth, so our glorying also which I made before Titus was found to be truth.

(Paul had vouched for the Corinthians to Titus and his words came to be true.)

15 And his affection is more abundantly toward you, while he remembereth the obedience of you all, how with fear and trembling ye received him.
16 I rejoice that in everything I am of good courage concerning you.

(Theme of Chapter 7: Paul addressed the effect of his previous letter. While it did cause sorrow, Paul was joyful the sorrow was from conviction of guilt and led to repentance. Paul stated that he overflowed in joy over all of their afflictions.)

2 Corinthians 8
1 Moreover, brethren, we make known to you the grace of God which hath been given in the churches of Macedonia;
2 how that in much proof of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality.

(Paul turned the focus to others. The churches in Macedonia were experiencing affliction and deep poverty. However, they were free from these physical circumstances because of their focus on God and His grace, which resulted in joy and riches of their liberality.)

3 For according to their power, I bear witness, yea and beyond their power, they gave of their own accord,
4 beseeching us with much entreaty in regard of this grace and the fellowship in the ministering to the saints:
5 and this, not as we had hoped, but first they gave their own selves to the Lord, and to us through the will of God.

(The believers in the churches of Macedonia were focused on the right cause: Love God. The effect of this was that they loved others. Paul wanted them to give themselves in fellowship to them. However, the church first had fellowship with God, then had fellowship with Paul's group.

Doctrine: We cannot be in fellowship (unveiled) with each other if we are not in fellowship (unveiled) with God.)

6 Insomuch that we exhorted Titus, that as he made a beginning before, so he would also complete in you this grace also.
7 But as ye abound in everything, in faith, and utterance, and knowledge, and in all earnestness, and in your love to us, see that ye abound in this grace also.

(Doctrine: Abound in grace. We ought to be letting God work through us more over time. This also proved that grace couldn't mean "unmerited favor." How can you "abound" in something you do not merit? By not deserving it more? Paul referenced all of the things from the previous letter that he told people to abound in (love, spiritual gifts, prophesying, etc.), then he said to abound in grace also.)

8 I speak not by way of commandment, but as proving through the earnestness of others the sincerity also of your love.
9 For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might become rich.

(Paul then focused on Jesus: By grace, Christ made Himself "poor" so we could be "rich.")

10 And herein I give my judgment: for this is expedient for you, who were the first to make a beginning a year ago, not only to do, but also to will.
11 But now complete the doing also; that as there was the readiness to will, so there may be the completion also out of your ability.

(Paul was focused on the actions, the right how. The people had a will to do something and Paul was exhorting them to do it.)

12 For if the readiness is there, it is acceptable according as a man hath, not according as he hath not.
13 For I say not this that others may be eased and ye distressed;
14 but by equality: your abundance being a supply at this present time for their want, that their abundance also may become a supply for your want; that there may be equality:

(Paul was talking about sharing what you have. However, not at the point of it becoming a burden. The point was to give of your abundance as an investment so that the person receiving, once they became abundant, could give back.)

15 as it is written, He that gathered much had nothing over; and he that gathered little had no lack.

(Paul referenced Exodus 16:18 which concerned manna: daily bread/food from God.)

16 But thanks be to God, who putteth the same earnest care for you into the heart of Titus.

(God put His care for the Corinthians in the heart of Titus. Paul was affirming Titus to the Corinthians.)

17 For he accepted indeed our exhortation; but being himself very earnest, he went forth unto you of his own accord.

(Paul continued to affirm Titus to the Corinthians: Titus went to Corinth of his own accord. He did not do this because he felt he had to, he chose to.)

18 And we have sent together with him the brother whose praise in the gospel is spread through all the churches;
19 and not only so, but who was also appointed by the churches to travel with us in the matter of this grace, which is ministered by us to the glory of the Lord, and to show our readiness:
20 Avoiding this, that any man should blame us in the matter of this bounty which is ministered by us:

(Paul was being careful how they handled the abundance they had from a contribution.)

21 for we take thought for things honorable, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men.

(Paul wanted to be honest in things (have) in God's sight and in man's sight.)

22 and we have sent with them our brother, whom we have many times proved earnest in many things, but now much more earnest, by reason of the great confidence which he hath in you.
23 Whether any inquire about Titus, he is my partner and my fellow-worker to you-ward, or our brethren, they are the messengers of the churches, they are the glory of Christ.
24 Show ye therefore unto them in the face of the churches the proof of your love, and of our glorying on your behalf.

(Paul vouched for Titus again and exhorted the Corinthians to show Titus the proof (actions) of their love.)

(Theme of Chapter 8: Paul exhorted the Corinthians to abound in grace. Paul turned his focus to others including the church in Macedonia and Titus to illustrate the importance of fellowship which included sharing physical resources.)

2 Corinthians 9
1 For as touching the ministering to the saints, it is superfluous for me to write to you:
2 for I know your readiness, of which I glory on your behalf to them of Macedonia, that Achaia hath been prepared for a year past; and your zeal hath stirred up very many of them.

(Paul knew he did not have to teach the Corinthians about ministering to other believers. They had been doing this.)

3 But I have sent the brethren, that our glorying on your behalf may not be made void in this respect; that, even as I said, ye may be prepared:

(Paul explained why he sent other brethren (Titus being one). He assured them it was not because they needed help in how they treated each other. Paul sent brethren there so they "may be prepared.")

4 lest by any means, if there come with me any of Macedonia and find you unprepared, we (that we say not, ye) should be put to shame in this confidence.

(Paul wanted to help the Corinthians be as prepared as possible for when he came to them with people from Macedonia. Paul and the brethren had been "glorying" on their behalf and did not want their kind words to the Macedonians about the Corinthians to be made void because the Corinthians were not prepared for their visit.)

5 I thought it necessary therefore to entreat the brethren, that they would go before unto you, and make up beforehand your aforepromised bounty, that the same might be ready as a matter of bounty, and not of extortion.
6 But this I say, He that soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he that soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.

(Paul sent brethren ahead of time to help the Corinthians give in order to achieve gain rather than wait for Paul to exhort them to give in order to avoid loss.

Causality: Sowing bountifully will reap bountifully, sowing sparingly will reap sparingly. You reap what you sow, Justice will be equaled out.)

7 Let each man do according as he hath purposed in his heart: not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.

(There was no amount named regarding what to give. We give according to what we purpose in our hearts. We ought to give cheerfully, not grudgingly (sorrow, pain, grief, annoyance, affliction) or of necessity (as a law). Paul taught that giving not only involved an action but also an attitude (cheer). Giving cheerfully would be an effect of understanding Justice. When we realize what we give to God's Kingdom is an investment and that we will receive Reward from that, giving will be cheerful.)

8 And God is able to make all grace abound unto you; that ye, having always all sufficiency in everything, may abound unto every good work:

(God is able to make all grace abound to us so that we being sufficient in all things may abound to every good work. God's grace makes us profitable.)

9 as it is written, He hath scattered abroad, he hath given to the poor; His righteousness abideth for ever.

(Paul referenced Psalm 112:9.)

10 And he that supplieth seed to the sower and bread for food, shall supply and multiply your seed for sowing, and increase the fruits of your righteousness:
11 ye being enriched in everything unto all liberality, which worketh through us thanksgiving to God.
12 For the ministration of this service not only filleth up the measure of the wants of the saints, but aboundeth also through many thanksgivings unto God;

(Paul told them their giving would bring thanksgiving to God, because the funds Paul received were going towards the work of God.)

13 seeing that through the proving of you by this ministration they glorify God for the obedience of your confession unto the gospel of Christ, and for the liberality of your contribution unto them and unto all;
14 while they themselves also, with supplication on your behalf, long after you by reason of the exceeding grace of God in you.

(God's grace is in believers via the Holy Spirit being in believers.)

15 Thanks be to God for his unspeakable gift.

(Theme of chapter 9: Paul focused on the giving of physical resources. Paul showed that giving not only involved an action but also an attitude (cheer). Paul showed that God responded to our giving through Justice.)

Day 334

Day 332: 2 Corinthians 4-6

(The previous post concluded with the Theme of Chapter 3: Paul contrasted the previous dispensation with the current dispensation. The words of the previous dispensation were etched in stone and resulted in the necessity of a veil between God and man. The words of this dispensation are written on the hearts of believers and removed the veil between God and man, and ought to result in the veil being removed between believers. Believers ought to be transformed by continual fellowship with the Holy Spirit through other believers.)

2 Corinthians 4
1 Therefore seeing we have this ministry, even as we obtained mercy, we faint not:

(Paul's ministry was preaching the Gospel to the lost, specifically to the Gentiles.)

2 but we have renounced the hidden things of shame, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by the manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God.

(This verse continued to provide the context to the concluding verse of the previous chapter. Believers' unveiling is towards each other so that the manifestation of the truth occurs through each believer by the Holy Spirit and this is commended to every man's conscience, to every one we are unveiled towards! Fellowship with other believers ought to lead to the glory of God manifesting itself.)

3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled in them that perish:

(If the Gospel was veiled (hidden), it was hidden to those who would perish (unbelievers). Paul continued the theme from the previous chapter: contrasting the previous dispensation with the current dispensation.)

4 in whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of the unbelieving, that the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should not dawn upon them.

(The god of this world (Satan) has blinded the minds of unbelievers so that the light of the Gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, would shine on them (unbelievers). The work Satan has done has caused people not to think.)

5 For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus' sake.
6 Seeing it is God, that said, Light shall shine out of darkness, who shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

(Believers do not preach themselves, they preach God. God shines His light through believers for others to see. This was a reference to Genesis 1:2-3.)

7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the exceeding greatness of the power may be of God, and not from ourselves;
8 we are pressed on every side, yet not straitened; perplexed, yet not unto despair;

(We are not perfect, the Holy Spirit within us is perfect. Believers will face trouble and believers ought to handle it well. Not only not being distressed or perplexed but also rejoicing in trials and tribulations. This ought to remove our flesh and allow more of the Holy Spirit to come through us.)

9 pursued, yet not forsaken; smitten down, yet not destroyed;
10 always bearing about in the body the dying of Jesus, that the life also of Jesus may be manifested in our body.

(Doctrine: Affliction comes so that the Holy Spirit within us can be apparent to all.)

11 For we who live are always delivered unto death for Jesus' sake, that the life also of Jesus may be manifested in our mortal flesh.
12 So then death worketh in us, but life in you.

(Doctrine: We face afflictions for Jesus' sake. Again, this is not a popular Doctrine in the church today.)

13 But having the same spirit of faith, according to that which is written, I believed, and therefore did I speak; we also believe, and therefore also we speak;

(Paul referenced part of Psalm 116:10. The entire verse was: "I believe, for I will speak: I was greatly afflicted:" Paul spoke the Gospel as an effect of him believing the Gospel, and was also afflicted because of believing the Gospel.)

14 knowing that he that raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also with Jesus, and shall present us with you.

(Paul had faith that God, who raised up Jesus, will raise up believers and will be present with believers. This was faith because Paul believed in something that had not happened yet.)

15 For all things are for your sakes, that the grace, being multiplied through the many, may cause the thanksgiving to abound unto the glory of God.
16 Wherefore we faint not; but though our outward man is decaying, yet our inward man is renewed day by day.

(They did not faint because of the grace they received. Their inward man was growing stronger as afflictions came against their flesh which caused it to continue to decay so that more of the Holy Spirit could come through the believer.)

17 For our light affliction, which is for the moment, worketh for us more and more exceedingly an eternal weight of glory;
18 while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

(Paul called all the physical afflictions referenced throughout this chapter as "light," and the spiritual result would be more exceedingly. Paul focused on the spiritual, on things that were not seen. This took faith: "believing in something you cannot see." - (Hebrews 11:1) Paul stated the physical things we see were temporary, while the spiritual things we cannot see were eternal.)

(Theme of Chapter 4: Believers ought to be unveiled towards other believers so that the glory of God is manifested, however, the world will afflict believers because of this manifestation. The physical afflictions we experience because we believe the Gospel are necessary for the Holy Spirit within us to be apparent to all, and will result in a more exceeding eternal spiritual existence.)

2 Corinthians 5
1 For we know that if the earthly house of our tabernacle be dissolved, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal, in the heavens.

(There is a house in heaven for believers to look forward: the new Jerusalem.)

2 For verily in this we groan, longing to be clothed upon with our habitation which is from heaven:
3 if so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked.
4 For indeed we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened; not for that we would be unclothed, but that we would be clothed upon, that what is mortal may be swallowed up of life.
5 Now he that wrought us for this very thing is God, who gave unto us the earnest of the Spirit.

(Paul explained that when we lose the physical house/tabernacle for our souls, God will provide an eternal house/tabernacle which is the new Jerusalem. The "earnest of the Spirit" was also referred to as a "seal," like an engagement ring. Believers have the Holy Spirit in their hearts as a down payment for what is to come: living in the new Jerusalem (Bride) that will be married to Jesus.)

6 Being therefore always of good courage, and knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord
7 (for we walk by faith, not by sight);

(Walking by faith implies actions and progress as a result. Faith requires walking "not by sight" because faith is a belief in something you cannot see. In the previous chapter, Paul showed that being a believer ought to result in being unveiled towards other believers in fellowship so that the glory of God manifests and the world responds by afflicting believers.)

8 we are of good courage, I say, and are willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be at home with the Lord.

(Doctrine: Paul stated believers are willing to die in order to be with the Lord.)

9 Wherefore also we make it our aim, whether at home or absent, to be well-pleasing unto him.

(Paul was focused on being well-pleasing to God, whether he was on earth or "at home with the Lord." Paul was focused on loving God (cause) regardless of his circumstances (effects). Paul stated believers ought to be focused on these things as well.)

10 For we must all be made manifest before the judgment-seat of Christ; that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he hath done, whether it be good or bad.

(Doctrine: Everyone who ever lived, is living, and will live WILL appear before the Judgment-Seat of Christ. All of our works, good and bad, will be recompensed (Rewarded). Justice will be completely equaled out.)

11 Knowing therefore the fear of the Lord, we persuade men, but we are made manifest unto God; and I hope that we are made manifest also in your consciences.

(Paul wanted his words and actions to persuade the consciences of those with which he interacted.)

12 We are not again commending ourselves unto you, but speak as giving you occasion of glorying on our behalf, that ye may have wherewith to answer them that glory in appearance, and not in heart.

(Paul started this verse by stating that believers should not seek affirmation from others. We've seen Paul stated believers ought to be unveiled towards other believers so God could flow through them towards other believers. Paul wanted to give the Corinthians an answer for those who gloried in appearance and not in heart/actions.)

13 For whether we are beside ourselves, it is unto God; or whether we are of sober mind, it is unto you.

(Paul continued to be about their best interest.)

14 For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that one died for all, therefore all died;
15 and he died for all, that they that live should no longer live unto themselves, but unto him who for their sakes died and rose again.

(Doctrine: Believers should be living their lives for Him who gave His life for all.)

16 Wherefore we henceforth know no man after the flesh: even though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now we know him so no more.
17 Wherefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature: the old things are passed away; behold, they are become new.

(If any man is in Christ he is a new creature (born anew/from above). Old things are passed away (repented of). All things are become new (by the Holy Spirit). Believers ought to focus on getting to know the new repented spiritually-minded person, not the former sinner. This reinforced the idea that not forgiving and completely receiving a repentant believer was giving Satan an advantage over believers.)

18 But all things are of God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and gave unto us the ministry of reconciliation;
19 to wit, that God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself, not reckoning unto them their trespasses, and having committed unto us the word of reconciliation.

(Paul supported the Doctrine of completely forgiving and receiving repentant believers. God had reconciled Himself to us all. He had given us the word/ministry of reconciliation. We are reconciled, through Justice, by Christ's sacrifice. Now we have this ministry. We ought to sacrifice ourselves for the Kingdom of God.)

20 We are ambassadors therefore on behalf of Christ, as though God were entreating by us: we beseech you on behalf of Christ, be ye reconciled to God.

(Believers are ambassadors (messengers, representatives) of Christ. Christ completely forgives and receives repentant believers. Who are we to not forgive and receive others? Paul continued to reinforce this perspective.)

21 Him who knew no sin he made to be sin on our behalf; that we might become the righteousness of God in him.

(Christ was made sin so that we might be made Righteous of God in Christ. We have no right to not forgive and not completely receive repentant believers.)

(Theme of Chapter 5: Believers need to humble themselves. Believers ought to be willing to die to be with the Lord. Believers ought to realize everyone will appear before the judgment seat of Christ. Believers ought to completely forgive and completely accept repentant believers because Jesus did this for us and for others. This was Jesus' ministry and He gave us this ministry. It would be prideful to do otherwise.)

2 Corinthians 6
1 And working together with him we entreat also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain

(Do not receive the grace of God in vain (unprofitable). God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble. We ought to work with the Holy Spirit in our ministry of reconciliation, otherwise we are proud and have received the grace of God with no profitable effect.)

2 (for he saith, At an acceptable time I hearkened unto thee, And in a day of salvation did I succor thee: behold, now is the acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation):
3 giving no occasion of stumbling in anything, that our ministration be not blamed;

(Paul referenced Isaiah 49:8 to support the gratitude in a repentant believer's heart for the Salvation provided by God through Jesus Christ. Paul stated that we should not do anything to hinder this ministry of reconciliation we do with the Holy Spirit. Next, Paul gave a description of the attributes of this ministry of reconciliation...)

4 but in everything commending ourselves, as ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses,
5 in stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors, in watchings, in fastings;
6 in pureness, in knowledge, in long suffering, in kindness, in the Holy Spirit, in love unfeigned,
7 in the word of truth, in the power of God; by the armor of righteousness on the right hand and on the left,
8 by glory and dishonor, by evil report and good report; as deceivers, and yet true;
9 as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold, we live; as chastened, and not killed;
10 as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.

(This was an exhaustive list. Why don't believers memorize this list and quote it to each other? It is the work we ought to be doing with the Holy Spirit. Unbelievers as well as believers know the list of the effects of love from the thirteenth chapter of Paul's first letter to the Corinthians. However, this list had thirty-eight attributes, with at least a dozen of them being what most people would call "negative"...and the over-whelming majority of believers would not be able to tell you where this list was located in the Bible. In fact, I believe most believers would tell you this list was not in the Bible.)

11 Our mouth is open unto you, O Corinthians, our heart is enlarged.
12 Ye are not straitened in us, but ye are straitened in your own affections.

(Paul pleaded with the Corinthians to be straightened by the Spirit.)

13 Now for a recompense in like kind (I speak as unto my children), be ye also enlarged.
14 Be not unequally yoked with unbelievers: for what fellowship have righteousness and iniquity? or what communion hath light with darkness?

(Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers, do not let unbelievers hinder your progress/growth. This is a oft-quoted verse. However, this verse takes on a greater light when interpreted in the context of the list of thirty-eight attributes of which our ministry with the Holy Spirit consists. How would an unbeliever be able to bear these attributes? Paul stated the only reason believers ought to be able to do this was because we were grateful for what Jesus did for us and we looked forward to an eternity in paradise.)

15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what portion hath a believer with an unbeliever?
16 And what agreement hath a temple of God with idols? for we are a temple of the living God; even as God said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

(Paul referenced Leviticus 26:12. Verses 15-16 were examples of unequal yokes. Notice, the unequal yokes were contradictory. Paul showed that being unequally yoked with unbelievers was living contradictory. Do you interact with unbelievers? If so, are you becoming more like them or are they becoming more like you? Are you growing in exhibiting the characteristics from the list of the thirty-eight attributes of the ministry of reconciliation that we ought to be working in with the Holy Spirit?)

17 Wherefore Come ye out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, And touch no unclean thing; And I will receive you,

(Paul referenced Isaiah 52:11.)

18 And will be to you a Father, And ye shall be to me sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

(Paul referenced 2 Samuel 7:14. Paul did not believe a believer could work in the ministry of reconciliation and be in fellowship with unbelievers.)

(Theme of Chapter 6: Paul encouraged us not to receive the grace of God in vain. Paul presented a list of thirty-eight attributes believers ought to exhibit while they work in the ministry of reconciliation with the Holy Spirit. Paul did not believe we could do this ministry of reconciliation while being in fellowship with unbelievers.)

Day 333

Day 331: 2 Corinthians 1-3

(Paul wrote Corinthians somewhere in Macedonia (most likely Philippi) while Paul was on his way to make another visit to Corinth. This would be during his third missionary journey, during a part of which Luke said very little (Acts 20:1-6). This was the third letter of the section known as the Pauline Epistles. It was placed third because it dealt with the church in Corinth's response to the previous book in this section: 1 Corinthians. Specifically, Paul wrote this letter to the church he founded in Corinth in order to comfort those who repented because of the rebukes and corrections of the previous letter. This letter dealt with more mature Doctrines. In fact, of all the Pauline Epistles, I believe this is the least read and quoted today because of the maturity required to understand the Doctrine that was presented.)

2 Corinthians 1
1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus through the will of God, and Timothy our brother, unto the church of God which is at Corinth, with all the saints that are in the whole of Achaia:

(Paul was an apostle by the Will of God. Just as Paul stated in 1 Corinthians 4, apostles are ordained by God. Timothy was with Paul during the writing of this letter. In the previous letter, Paul stated Timothy was in Macedonia, which was where Paul was during the writing of this letter.)

2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort;
4 who comforteth us in all our affliction, that we may be able to comfort them that are in any affliction, through the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.

(One of the purposes of this letter was to comfort the church in Corinth after the corrections presented in the previous letter. God comforts us in our affliction so that we can comfort others in their affliction by the comfort we receive of God.)

5 For as the sufferings of Christ abound unto us, even so our comfort also aboundeth through Christ.
6 But whether we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; or whether we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which worketh in the patient enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer:
7 and our hope for you is stedfast; knowing that, as ye are partakers of the sufferings, so also are ye of the comfort.

(Doctrine: Suffering abounds to those who are mature in Christ. Notice, Paul addressed this within the first three sentences of this letter.)

8 For we would not have you ignorant, brethren, concerning our affliction which befell us in Asia, that we were weighed down exceedingly, beyond our power, insomuch that we despaired even of life:

(Paul told the Corinthians of his troubles in Asia.)

9 yea, we ourselves have had the sentence of death within ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God who raiseth the dead:

(The trouble they endured caused them to trust in God more. Affliction caused their faith to grow, which is good and to be desired.)

10 who delivered us out of so great a death, and will deliver: on whom we have set our hope that he will also still deliver us;
11 ye also helping together on our behalf by your supplication; that, for the gift bestowed upon us by means of many, thanks may be given by many persons on our behalf.

(The gifts the Corinthians gave to Paul (and those with him) helped him be delivered from the afflictions they endured. The Corinthians' gifts comforted Paul and those with him.)

12 For our glorifying is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in holiness and sincerity of God, not in fleshly wisdom but in the grace of God, we behaved ourselves in the world, and more abundantly to you-ward.
13 For we write no other things unto you, than what ye read or even acknowledge, and I hope ye will acknowledge unto the end:
14 as also ye did acknowledge us in part, that we are your glorying, even as ye also are ours, in the day of our Lord Jesus.
15 And in this confidence I was minded to come first unto you, that ye might have a second benefit;
16 and by you to pass into Macedonia, and again from Macedonia to come unto you, and of you to be set forward on my journey unto Judaea.

(Paul desired to go to Corinth again for their benefit because he recognized the benefit he received from them. Paul also referenced the theme from his introduction in the previous letter: worldly wisdom vs. spiritual wisdom through grace.)

17 When I therefore was thus minded, did I show fickleness? or the things that I purpose, do I purpose according to the flesh, that with me there should be the yea yea and the nay nay?
18 But as God is faithful, our word toward you is not yea and nay.

(Paul stated he had not been fickle like people in the world. Paul kept his word.)

19 For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us, even by me and Silvanus and Timothy, was not yea and nay, but in him is yea.
20 For how many soever be the promises of God, in him is the yea: wherefore also through him is the Amen, unto the glory of God through us.

(Paul stated that he was following Jesus' example, who also kept His Word.)

21 Now he that establisheth us with you in Christ, and anointed us, is God;
22 who also sealed us, and gave us the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.

(They (Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy) were established and anointed by God, along with the believers in the church at Corinth. Also, they were sealed and given the earnest in their hearts, as is everyone with the Holy Spirit dwelling in their hearts (believers). The word earnest was the down payment, more specifically: like an engagement ring. The Holy Spirit in us is the engagement ring or a seal/symbol of what will be: the Bride's (Church's) Marriage to Jesus in the new Jerusalem.)

23 But I call God for a witness upon my soul, that to spare you I forbare to come unto Corinth.
24 Not that we have lordship over your faith, but are helpers of your joy: for in faith ye stand fast.

(Theme of Chapter 1: Paul introduced the mature themes of comfort and affliction to the church in Corinth. Paul also stated that he was a man of his word just as Jesus was a man of His Word.)

2 Corinthians 2
1 But I determined this for myself, that I would not come again to you with sorrow.

(Paul was determined not to go to Corinth with sorrow. Again, Paul's goal was comfort.)

2 For if I make you sorry, who then is he that maketh me glad but he that is made sorry by me?

(This sorrow could cause sorrow in them and then Paul could not be made glad by them. Paul was blatant about wanting a value from the Corinthians.)

3 And I wrote this very thing, lest, when I came, I should have sorrow from them of whom I ought to rejoice; having confidence in you all, that my joy is the joy of you all.
4 For out of much affliction and anguish of heart I wrote unto you with many tears; not that ye should be made sorry, but that ye might know the love that I have more abundantly unto you.

(Paul wrote them before with anguish and many tears so they would know his love for them. Paul's intention was not to make them sorry, but he realized the previous letter made them sorry because of the rebuking and correction for the divisions that existed in their church.)

5 But if any hath caused sorrow, he hath caused sorrow, not to me, but in part (that I press not too heavily) to you all.

(Paul stated the few who had caused Paul grief had not caused more grief than the grief these few people had caused to the church in Corinth. Paul stated it would not be fair for him to punish the entire church for the sins of a few.)

6 Sufficient to such a one is this punishment which was inflicted by the many;
7 so that contrariwise ye should rather forgive him and comfort him, lest by any means such a one should be swallowed up with his overmuch sorrow.

(Paul referred to the fornicator from 1 Corinthians 5. The church followed Paul's advice and the fornicator repented. However, many in the church were not willing to forgive him and receive him into community. Paul stated they ought to restore him, otherwise they would overwhelm the repentant fornicator with sorrow.)

8 Wherefore I beseech you to confirm your love toward him.
9 For to this end also did I write, that I might know the proof of you, whether ye are obedient in all things.

(The theme of the previous letter was to do everything according to love. Paul also wrote this letter for proof of whether or not they were obedient believers to the previous letter.)

10 But to whom ye forgive anything, I forgive also: for what I also have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, for your sakes have I forgiven it in the presence of Christ;
11 that no advantage may be gained over us by Satan: for we are not ignorant of his devices.

(Doctrine: Lack of forgiveness allows Satan to gain an advantage over us. How many "Christians" today completely forgive a believer who was in sin? How many churches today completely forgive a pastor who was in sin? Are these "Christians" and churches giving Satan an advantage over them?)

12 Now when I came to Troas for the gospel of Christ, and when a door was opened unto me in the Lord,

(A door was opened for Paul to preach the Gospel in Troas. From Acts 16:8-10 we see this was Luke's hometown and was where Paul found him during Paul's second missionary journey.)

13 I had no relief for my spirit, because I found not Titus my brother: but taking my leave of them, I went forth into Macedonia.

(Clearly Paul was not referring to the time he met Luke in Troas. Paul was referring to his attempt at finding Titus which was not successful and led to Paul having no relief in his spirit. Paul could have stayed sorrowful and given Satan an advantage, however...)

14 But thanks be unto God, who always leadeth us in triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest through us the savor of his knowledge in every place.

(Paul recognized that even though his objective was not fulfilled, God led them to victory in Christ and God gave them knowledge in every place.)

15 For we are a sweet savor of Christ unto God, in them that are saved, and in them that perish;
16 to the one a savor from death unto death; to the other a savor from life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things?

(Whoever chooses to receive the Gospel will be saved. Whoever chooses to refuse the Gospel will not be saved. In fact, Paul concluded this section by stating that he was genuine and not like the many that were leading people astray at that time.)

17 For we are not as the many, corrupting the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God, speak we in Christ.

(Theme of Chapter 2: Paul recognized his previous letter caused the church in Corinth sorrow. Paul stated the purpose of his previous letter was to love them. Paul warned the church they ought to forgive and receive the repentant fornicator Paul referenced in 1 Corinthians 5, otherwise they would be giving Satan an advantage over them. Paul closed this section stating he was genuine while there were many who were leading the church astray.)

2 Corinthians 3
1 Are we beginning again to commend ourselves? or need we, as do some, epistles of commendation to you or from you?

(Paul asked if the believers, including himself, were so immature that letters of praise were needed to build up their confidence.)

2 Ye are our epistle, written in our hearts, known and read of all men;
3 being made manifest that ye are an epistle of Christ, ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in tables that are hearts of flesh.

(Paul stated the believers in Corinth were not only Paul's epistle, but an epistle of Christ ministered through Paul by the Holy Spirit, which was grace. Notice, Paul's emphasis in these verses was believers towards believers.)

4 And such confidence have we through Christ to God-ward:
5 not that we are sufficient of ourselves, to account anything as from ourselves; but our sufficiency is from God;
6 who also made us sufficient as ministers of a new covenant; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.

(Paul was confident that the church in Corinth was a work of God. Paul contrasted the previous dispensation with the current: The letter (flesh/physical) kills; the Spirit (grace) gives life. These verses stated the Holy Spirit from God was showing through believers towards other believers.)

7 But if the ministration of death, written, and engraven on stones, came with glory, so that the children of Israel could not look stedfastly upon the face of Moses for the glory of his face; which glory was passing away:
8 how shall not rather the ministration of the spirit be with glory?
9 For if the ministration of condemnation hath glory, much rather doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory.

(If the Law (words written on stone) brought glory through Moses then how much more glory will be here now with grace (words written on the heart via the Holy Spirit)? The Law condemned and brought glory but Righteousness (through the Spirit) brings exceeding glory. Paul began contrasting the way God flowed through believers to other believers in the Dispensation of the Law and the current Dispensation of Grace.)

10 For verily that which hath been made glorious hath not been made glorious in this respect, by reason of the glory that surpasseth.
11 For if that which passeth away was with glory, much more that which remaineth is in glory.

(That which was done away was the Law. It was only meant for a specific group of people. That which remained (the Covenant that was meant for everyone) was the Holy Spirit. Remember though, the Law will be brought back during the seven year tribulation, which is the "70th Week of Daniel": Daniel 9:24-27.)

12 Having therefore such a hope, we use great boldness of speech,
13 and are not as Moses, who put a veil upon his face, that the children of Israel should not look stedfastly on the end of that which was passing away:
14 but their minds were hardened: for until this very day at the reading of the old covenant the same veil remaineth, it not being revealed to them that it is done away in Christ.

(Paul continued contrasting the previous dispensation with the current dispensation. Moses put a veil on his face not because of his lack of fellowship with God, but because of his lack of fellowship with the rest of Israel. Christ removed the veil for believers towards God...)

15 But unto this day, whensoever Moses is read, a veil lieth upon their heart.

(…however, the veil remains on the unbelievers' hearts.)

16 But whensoever it shall turn to the Lord, the veil is taken away.
17 Now the Lord is the Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.

(However, the moment an unbeliever chooses to accept Jesus the veil is removed. The veil is spiritual and its removal allows the believer to operate in liberty, freedom, openness.)

18 But we all, with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are transformed into the same image from glory to glory, even as from the Lord the Spirit.

("But we all..." showed this verse was contrasted with the condition that existed in the previous dispensation. In that dispensation, Moses was open to God, but not to other believers. The Holy Spirit through us is "the glory of the Lord" in this verse. So, this verse stated that all of us believers ought to be open and have fellowship with other believers to the point we behold the glory of the Lord (the Holy Spirit) through each other.

This verse did not state we "are" looking into a mirror, but "as in a mirror," which meant when we look at other believers it ought to be like we are looking in a mirror because we ought to see the Holy Spirit coming through other believers towards us as the Holy Spirit is flowing through us towards other believers. This continual interaction with the Holy Spirit through other believers is the "glory to glory" that will transform us into Righteousness. The verse ended with a direct statement that this was "even as from the Lord the Spirit." The rest of the context for this verse began in 2 Corinthians 4...)

(Theme of Chapter 3: Paul contrasted the previous dispensation with the current dispensation. The words of the previous dispensation were etched in stone and resulted in the necessity of a veil between God and man. The words of this dispensation are written on the hearts of believers and removed the veil between God and man, and ought to result in the veil being removed between believers. Believers ought to be transformed by continual fellowship with the Holy Spirit through other believers.)

Day 332

Day 330: 1 Corinthians 13-16

(Remember, in the previous chapter Paul began another three chapter answer. This time the topic was spiritual gifts. In Chapter 12, Paul explained Manifestational Spiritual Gifts as gifts that happened by the Holy Spirit flowing through a believer. Any of these gifts could happen through any believer for the benefit of others, for the benefit of the church. Paul told people to desire the greater gifts, but paused in this answer to explain a most excellent way (how) to operate in spiritual gifts.)

1 Corinthians 13
1 If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am become sounding brass, or a clanging cymbal.

(Paul spoke with tongues (languages) of men and angels but if he did this without love, it was just noise. Speaking languages (words), known or unknown is a what. The right how/why is in love.)

2 And if I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.

(Prophecy, knowing mysteries, all knowledge, and having all faith made you nothing if you did not have love. Again, love is a right how/why which leads to profitability. Remember, Paul began his addressing of the questions from the church in Corinth with a brief introduction (1 Corinthians 8:1-3) that contrasted knowledge with love. That was the way Paul began his first three chapter answer. Verse 2 showed that "all knowledge without love" resulted in no profitability.)

3 And if I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and if I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profiteth me nothing.

(Sacrificing your possessions and your body is nothing without love. Paul continued to emphasize love being a right how/why. Remember, the definition of love according to Jesus in Luke 6:35 was "giving without expecting anything in return from the one to whom you gave." Verse 3 presented half of the definition of love: giving. Verse 3 did not present the right how/why, only the what. Consequently Paul called it giving without love and the result was not profitable.)

(Verses 4-8: sixteen effects of love, the effects of "giving without expecting anything in return from the one to whom you gave." Notice also that nine of these effects were what the effects of love were not.)

4 Love suffereth long, and is kind; love envieth not; love vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
5 doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not its own, is not provoked, taketh not account of evil;
6 rejoiceth not in unrighteousness, but rejoiceth with the truth;
7 beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
8 Love never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall be done away; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall be done away.

(If you do God's definition of love, all sixteen effects listed will be a result. Notice, verse 8 stated that knowledge would eventually be "done away," but love will never cease. Again, this was another example from Paul contrasting knowledge and love. In eternity, knowledge will eventually end because all facts will eventually be known, which means all languages will be known (tongues) and all prophetic events will be known. (Notice, Paul began this chapter contrasting knowledge, tongues, and prophecy with love.) However, Paul wrote in Ephesians 4 that the Bride will eternally build itself up in love, by speaking the truth in love to one another. It appeared truth would also never cease. Notice, the what of truth will cease: knowledge. However, the right how/why of truth will never cease just as the right how/why of love will never cease.)

9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part;
10 but when that which is perfect is come, that which is in part shall be done away.

(Some people use these verses to say that today, tongues and prophesying has ceased. They would say that the Holy Spirit, which is perfect has come. However, Paul wrote this letter after the Holy Spirit had come and they were still operating in these gifts. Has knowledge been done away with? Knowledge will be done away with, eventually, when we are perfect, which will eventually happen in eternity.)

11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I felt as a child, I thought as a child: now that I am become a man, I have put away childish things.
12 For now we see in a mirror, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know fully even as also I was fully known.

(Some people only quote verse 12 to justify our inability to know anything more than we know right now. Verse 11 told us to not have that childish mentality, but to become an adult. We ought to act as mature adults and continue to learn more. We will eventually have full knowledge but this is not an excuse to not learn more now. How will we eventually have full knowledge? We will have to continue to grow and learn in the new Jerusalem.)

13 But now abideth faith, hope, love, these three; and the greatest of these is love.

(Now abides faith, hope, and love, the greatest of these is love, because love is an action with a right how/why. The belief that love is the most excellent way has been a consistent reoccurring theme throughout this letter.)

(Theme of Chapter 13: Love. Paul made the case that love is the most excellent way, and that the things believers tend to desire (knowledge, tongues, and prophecy) are not profitable without love and will eventually cease in eternity. Next, Paul was able to conclude his three chapter answer to the topic of spiritual gifts.)

1 Corinthians 14
1 Follow after love; yet desire earnestly spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy.

(Follow after (do) love and desire gifts but especially prophesying. Paul established a hierarchy so that people would not focus on the rest of his answer out of context. First and foremost: love. Second, desire spiritual gifts, especially prophesying.)

(Verses 2-4: Paul began contrasting tongues and prophesying.
-Tongues being a heavenly language that people cannot understand with their natural mind.
-Prophesying being a statement of revelation that could only come from divine inspiration. Prophesying covered more than prophecy. It also covered encouraging/comforting people with a revelatory perspective from God or teaching someone revelatory information from God.)

2 For he that speaketh in a tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God; for no man understandeth; but in the spirit he speaketh mysteries.

(Clearly the word "tongue" referred to a language that was unknown to man because no man understood the man who spoke tongues. The person spoke in the spirit something God understood and was a mystery to man. Tongues, in and of itself, did not bring understanding.)

3 But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men edification, and exhortation, and consolation.

(Doctrine: The effects of prophesying were edifying, exhorting, and comforting.)

4 He that speaketh in a tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church.

(Doctrine: The person speaking tongues edified themselves; prophesying edified the church. Notice, this did not say that speaking tongues did not edify. Speaking in tongues benefited the individual that was speaking in tongues. Prophesying ought to benefit everyone else.)

5 Now I would have you all speak with tongues, but rather that ye should prophesy: and greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues, except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying.

(Paul's measure was profitability. It was better to prophesy because more people benefited than just the individual that spoke in tongues, unless the tongues was interpreted for the whole church to be edified. Paul identified a way that speaking in tongues could benefit more than the person speaking in tongues.)

6 But now, brethren, if I come unto you speaking with tongues, what shall I profit you, unless I speak to you either by way of revelation, or of knowledge, or of prophesying, or of teaching?

(Verse 6 alluded to love: what would Paul be giving to another if he spoke in tongues and it did not benefit the other person? Paul's answer: nothing. It would not be love.)

7 Even things without life, giving a voice, whether pipe or harp, if they give not a distinction in the sounds, how shall it be known what is piped or harped?
8 For if the trumpet give an uncertain voice, who shall prepare himself for war?
9 So also ye, unless ye utter by the tongue speech easy to be understood, how shall it be known what is spoken? for ye will be speaking into the air.

(Remember how Paul began the previous chapter that presented love as the most excellent way? Verse 1: "If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am become sounding brass, or a clanging cymbal." Verses 7 and 8 of this chapter also showed that speaking tongues without love was the same as musical instruments played simply to sound or clang, played without a right how/why.)

10 There are, it may be, so many kinds of voices in the world, and no kind is without signification.
11 If then I know not the meaning of the voice, I shall be to him that speaketh a barbarian, and he that speaketh will be a barbarian unto me.

(There was no profit to the church if tongues were not interpreted. Unless what was spoken brings revelation, knowledge, encouragement, comfort, or Doctrine what profit was there? However, do not forget that tongues does profit the person speaking in tongues.)

12 So also ye, since ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may abound unto the edifying of the church.

(Doctrine: Our objectives regarding gifts ought to be the edification of the church.)

13 Wherefore let him that speaketh in a tongue pray that he may interpret.

(If you speak in tongues pray for interpretation. Paul was helping the reader focus on benefiting others.)

14 For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful.

(Doctrine: Praying in tongues is your spirit praying, but without understanding. Tongues benefits you through experience. So, it looked as if prophesying covered all the gifts that brought understanding:
-word of wisdom and
-word of knowledge.

It could cover speaking in tongues, if the tongues was interpreted.)

15 What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also.
16 Else if thou bless with the spirit, how shall he that filleth the place of the unlearned say the Amen at thy giving of thanks, seeing he knoweth not what thou sayest?

(Paul prayed and sang both in spirit (tongues) and with understanding. He knew the benefit of tongues was for him and speaking in understanding benefited others. Paul continued to keep other's best interest in the forefront of his mind.)

17 For thou verily givest thanks well, but the other is not edified.

(We ought to understand the prayers and the singing or else no one else is edified.)

18 I thank God, I speak with tongues more than you all:
19 howbeit in the church I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that I might instruct others also, than ten thousand words in a tongue.

(Doctrine: Paul spoke in tongues, more than anyone in the church in Corinth. Paul was grateful for speaking in tongues, but he would rather speak five words in understanding (how) so that he could teach others (why) than 10,000 words that no one could understand.)

20 Brethren, be not children in mind: yet in malice be ye babes, but in mind be men.

(In the KJV, this verse was translated, "...but in understanding be men." Premise: Be children in matters of evil but be men in understanding. Again, Paul emphasized that we ought to continue to grow in understanding.)

21 In the law it is written, By men of strange tongues and by the lips of strangers will I speak unto this people; and not even thus will they hear me, saith the Lord.

(Paul referenced Isaiah 28:11.)

22 Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to the unbelieving: but prophesying is for a sign, not to the unbelieving, but to them that believe.

(Doctrine: Tongues are a sign for unbelievers, like at Pentecost in Acts 2.)

23 If therefore the whole church be assembled together and all speak with tongues, and there come in men unlearned or unbelieving, will they not say that ye are mad?

(This happened at Pentecost: Acts 2:13-14.)

24 But if all prophesy, and there come in one unbelieving or unlearned, he is reproved by all, he is judged by all;
25 the secrets of his heart are made manifest; and so he will fall down on his face and worship God, declaring that God is among you indeed.

(Prophesying would involve making the secrets of the unbelieving man's heart manifest so that he would realize God must exist because there was no earthly way these people would know this information about this man (as happened with Jesus and the Samaritan woman at the well: John 4:15-26). Prophesying could lead to convicting the heart of the unbeliever.)

26 What is it then, brethren? When ye come together, each one hath a psalm, hath a teaching, hath a revelation, hath a tongue, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying.

(Paul established the context of the following verses with verse 26: In the church of Corinth everyone was claiming to be prophesying. Paul wanted all of it be done as long as it was edifying. Next, Paul gave guidelines to the church in Corinth, in light of their circumstances as understood from verse 26.)

27 If any man speaketh in a tongue, let it be by two, or at the most three, and that in turn; and let one interpret:

(Paul did not want more than three people speaking in a tongue in the church of Corinth before an interpretation was given.)

28 but if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God.

(Paul stated that if there was not an interpretation, then everyone should remain silent. This ought to have caused the people who spoke in tongues to be more sensitive to whether they were being led by the Holy Spirit. Basically, the easiest way for a person to appear to flow in the gifts of the Spirit was to speak in tongues without interpretation. It appeared that so many people were doing this there was unedifying chaos, and Paul gave guidelines to limit this unprofitability. It seemed that if interpretation was given, then more people could speak in tongues.)

29 And let the prophets speak by two or three, and let the others discern.

(Likewise, Paul wanted prophecy to be treated the same way as tongues. The word "discern" spoke to understanding the why behind what was stated. Again, the discerning ought to have made what the prophets spoke profitable. So, prophecy was not prophesying unless discerning/understanding was also presented.)

30 But if a revelation be made to another sitting by, let the first keep silence.

(Paul stated that if one person began to speak and another person began to understand, the person speaking ought to be silent so that the person with understanding could make the church profitable.)

31 For ye all can prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be exhorted;
32 and the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets;

(Verse 31 stated that everyone could prophesy so that all would learn, all would benefit. There was not a limit on how much prophesying could be done in church because, by definition, prophesying led to profitability through understanding.)

33 for God is not a God of confusion, but of peace. As in all the churches of the saints,
34 let the women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but let them be in subjection, as also saith the law.
35 And if they would learn anything, let them ask their own husbands at home: for it is shameful for a woman to speak in the church.

(Paul was trying to facilitate Marriage here. He wanted the husbands to teach their wives the Word of God (Ephesians 5:25-31). Every Jewish boy memorized the Torah, while the girls memorized the Psalms and Proverbs. This was done so that the men would teach their wives the Law, and the wives would be more attracted to their husbands. A woman speaking in church to understand or be taught (this was the context of these verses) would be stating that her husband was unable to teach her, which would be a shame to her and her husband.

Notice, Paul had stated in this letter that women could pray and prophesy. In this chapter he stated that everyone was speaking in church. Verse 35 could not mean that women were not to speak at all in church. Paul began this chapter saying he wanted everyone to follow love and desire after spiritual gifts, especially prophesying.)

36 What? was it from you that the word of God went forth? or came it unto you alone?

(Verse 36 referenced the fact that God spoke His commands to Adam before Eve was created, and Eve was supposed to get her understanding of God's Word from her husband. Again, this verse continued supporting the context that women could speak in church to operate in spiritual gifts.)

37 If any man thinketh himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him take knowledge of the things which I write unto you, that they are the commandment of the Lord.

(Doctrine: Following love and desiring spiritual gifts so that the church is edified is a command from God when it comes to the topic of spiritual gifts and people who think they operate in these spiritual gifts.)

38 But if any man is ignorant, let him be ignorant.

(However, if a person does not think they operate in spiritual gifts, then they can continue thinking that and not have to be aware of the instructions from this chapter.)

39 Wherefore, my brethren, desire earnestly to prophesy, and forbid not to speak with tongues.
40 But let all things be done decently and in order.

(Paul concluded with a reminder to desire earnestly to prophesy because it edified the church and do not forbid others from speaking in tongues because it edified the individual speaking in tongues. People who prevented the speaking in tongues were contradicting God's Word.

It appeared that the greater gifts were:
-word of knowledge,
-word of wisdom,
-tongues with interpretation, and
-prophecy with interpretation.

All four of these fit under the category of prophesying. Notice that discerning of spirits could also be included as a gift that brought understanding. This means that faith, healings, and workings of miracles would be the lesser gifts, yet they are the most attractive gifts. Remember, Paul stated in 1 Corinthians 12 with this list of gifts that some parts of the body are attractive but not necessary, while other parts are not attractive but necessary. Now we can see that healings and workings of miracles are attractive but not necessary.

Look at it this way: How much do you benefit today from a healing or miracle Jesus did thousands of years ago? How much do you benefit today from a word of wisdom or word of knowledge Jesus gave thousands of years ago? Paul stated the overarching principle behind spiritual gifts: God wants all spiritual gifts to be done decently and in order.)

(Theme of Chapter 14: Paul concluded his three chapter answer on the Doctrine of spiritual gifts. Paul wanted everyone to first be guided by love. Second, Paul wanted all believers (including women) to desire spiritual gifts, especially prophesying which edified the church. Paul spoke in tongues and thirdly wanted people to speak in tongues with interpretation so it benefited the church. Finally, Paul wanted people to speak in tongues because it edified the individual speaking in tongues. We have seen Paul presented two answers that required three chapters to answer. Next, we will see a very long chapter that covered a lot of Doctrine.)

1 Corinthians 15
1 Now I make known unto you brethren, the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye received, wherein also ye stand,

(Paul declared the Gospel. The Gospel that he had preached, they (Corinthians) had received, and in which they stood...)

2 by which also ye are saved, if ye hold fast the word which I preached unto you, except ye believed in vain.

(…and by which they are saved if they keep in memory (believe) what Paul preached to them, unless they believed in vain (empty; void of truth; unprofitable). These two verses were the introduction for Paul's presentation of the Gospel.)

3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which also I received: that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
4 and that he was buried; and that he hath been raised on the third day according to the scriptures;

(Doctrine: This is the Gospel:
-Christ died,
-was buried, and
-rose again.

The Gospel has three distinct parts. "According to the scriptures" was mentioned twice in these verses, Paul was referring to the Old Testament. The Doctrine of the Gospel was not new, it had been written about in the "scriptures.")

5 and that he appeared to Cephas; then to the twelve;

(After the resurrection, Jesus was seen of Cephas (Peter) and the twelve (Apostles).)

6 then he appeared to above five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain until now, but some are fallen asleep;

(After that, Jesus was seen of more than 500 believers at once.)

7 then he appeared to James; then to all the apostles;

(After that, Jesus was seen of James and then to all of the apostles. Notice, Paul mentioned being seen by all of the apostles after he had already mentioned Jesus appearing to the twelve Apostles. There were (and are) more than just the twelve Apostles. The Book of Acts stated that James was located in Jerusalem and served as the leader of the council for the church.)

8 and last of all, as to the child untimely born, he appeared to me also.

(Last of all, Jesus was seen of Paul. Paul did not include himself as one of the twelve Apostles. Also, Paul saw Jesus after Pentecost. It may be that Jesus appeared to James and council in the same way Jesus appeared to Paul.)

9 For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.

(Paul did not think he qualified to be called an Apostle because he persecuted the church. Paul's humility was amazing. He did not testify of himself.)

10 But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not found vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.

(Doctrine: Grace flows through the individual's being in order to accentuate the unique abilities of the being. It is as if each of us is a unique jewel (that God created) and God is the light that shines into and then through each of us. The result is a unique array of colors because of the uniqueness of the individual, however, the light itself is God flowing through us. Likewise, Paul gave God all the credit (by grace) for who he was. This verse proved that grace is the work of God and God gets the credit for what we do in grace.)

11 Whether then it be I or they, so we preach, and so ye believed.
12 Now if Christ is preached that he hath been raised from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead?
13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, neither hath Christ been raised:
14 and if Christ hath not been raised, then is our preaching vain, your faith also is vain.

(The resurrection was the most important of the three aspects of the Gospel. Paul stated that if that portion was not preached, then all of the preaching and faith was in vain/unprofitable.)

15 Yea, we are found false witnesses of God; because we witnessed of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead are not raised.

(If Christ did not rise, then Paul's (and those with him) preaching were false witnesses of God.)

16 For if the dead are not raised, neither hath Christ been raised:
17 and if Christ hath not been raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.

(If Christ had not risen then our faith is vain and we are in our sins. This meant we would have no Salvation. Christ's resurrection was what gave eternal life.)

18 Then they also that are fallen asleep in Christ have perished.

(And if there was no resurrection, then believers who had already died were perished - ruined - destroyed.)

19 If we have only hoped in Christ in this life, we are of all men most pitiable.

(If our hope in Christ was only in this life (Paul meant existence in this context) then all men would be "most pitiable." Pitiable meant "miserable.")

20 But now hath Christ been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of them that are asleep.

(Christ rose on the feast of First Fruits, which was the third feast of God from Leviticus 23. Christ died on Passover which was the first feast of God. Christ was buried on Unleavened Bread which was the second feast of God. The Holy Spirit was given on Pentecost (the feast of Weeks) which was the fourth feast of God.)

21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.

(Christ had risen and had to be the first to rise. Without Christ, no one would have eternal life. The sin that led to damnation came into the world by Adam. Paul contrasted Christ with Adam, by Christ came the ability to overcome the sin (which all people have) that led to damnation. Paul continued to contrast Adam and Christ...)

22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.

(Paul blatantly stated all were affected by Adam's sin and all could have eternal life by Jesus. Notice, this verse contradicted Calvinism because all can be made alive. The next twenty-two verses served as foundation before Paul returned to contrasting Adam with Jesus.)

23 But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; then they that are Christ's, at his coming.

(Paul stated that Christ would be the first to be resurrected, then those that are believers when Jesus physically comes at the end of the Tribulation and the beginning of Christ's millennial reign on earth.)

24 Then cometh the end, when he shall deliver up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have abolished all rule and all authority and power.
25 For he must reign, till he hath put all his enemies under his feet.

(Christ must reign during the Millennium until He has put all enemies under his feet.)

26 The last enemy that shall be abolished is death.

(Death will be the last enemy destroyed, which Adam let into the world. Death (and Hades) will be cast into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:14) at the last judgment which occurs after Christ's Millennial Reign is completed.)

27 For, He put all things in subjection under his feet. But when he saith, All things are put in subjection, it is evident that he is excepted who did subject all things unto him.
28 And when all things have been subjected unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subjected to him that did subject all things unto him, that God may be all in all.

(Paul showed that all things, except God the Father, would be under Jesus...and that since Jesus would be under God the Father, God the Father would be over all.)

29 Else what shall they do that are baptized for the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, why then are they baptized for them?
30 Why do we also stand in jeopardy every hour?
31 I protest by that glorifying in you, brethren, which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.

(Paul transitioned from all being subjected to God the Father to every individual being completely surrendered to God. Paul stated: "I die daily." Paul meant he continually killed his flesh so that God could work through him. We ought to get ourselves out of God's way so He can work through us.)

32 If after the manner of men I fought with beasts at Ephesus, what doth it profit me? If the dead are not raised, let us eat and drink, for to-morrow we die.

(Remember, Paul wrote this letter while he was in Ephesus. Beasts have no understanding. Paul was pointing out that without Christ's resurrection, Paul's difficult discussions (that he must have been having at the time of this writing) meant nothing. Furthermore, if Christ was not resurrected, everyone ought to become beasts and focus on the physical: eat and drink.)

33 Be not deceived: Evil companionships corrupt good morals.

(Doctrine: Destructive friends can corrupt your profitable beliefs. Thinking this cannot happen was an example of a person being deceived. A person's thought process is easily shaped or molded. We will drift towards the thought process of the people we surround ourselves with.)

34 Awake to soberness righteously, and sin not; for some have no knowledge of God: I speak this to move you to shame.

(Awake to Righteousness was the cause. If we are Righteous through grace, we (Mind/Soul) will not sin. Paul also stated that some people still had no knowledge of God, and this was stated to shame the believers in the church of Corinth because they ought to be evangelizing to these people.)

35 But some one will say, How are the dead raised? and with what manner of body do they come?
36 Thou foolish one, that which thou thyself sowest is not quickened except it die:
37 and that which thou sowest, thou sowest not the body that shall be, but a bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other kind;
38 but God giveth it a body even as it pleased him, and to each seed a body of its own.

(The people who asked, "How are the dead raised?" and "What manner of body do they come?" were focused on the physical. Paul then gave a physical example that could be stated to these physically-minded people to help them understand: a seed being sown must first die before it bore fruit. The seed was of one form and the tree and fruit were of another form.)

39 All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one flesh of men, and another flesh of beasts, and another flesh of birds, and another of fishes.
40 There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another.
41 There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for one star differeth from another star in glory.

(Paul went further to say that all flesh was not the same. First he showed not all physical flesh was the same, then he expanded it to show that physical flesh was not the same as celestial (spiritual) flesh.)

42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption:
43 it is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power:
44 it is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body.

(Doctrine: By stating, "If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body," Paul showed that everything that was natural (physical) came from a spiritual cause. Next, Paul returned to his contrasting of Adam with Jesus.)

45 So also it is written, The first man Adam became a living soul. The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.

(Paul quoted Genesis 2:7 concerning Adam. Then, Paul followed the statement he made in the previous verses and stated the "last Adam" (i.e., Christ) was the spiritual cause. Paul then got more specific.)

46 Howbeit that is not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; then that which is spiritual.
47 The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is of heaven.
48 As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly.

(In our natural world, the natural comes first and the profitable effect comes second. Paul called Adam (and all of us) "earthy," while he called Jesus (and those whom believe) "of heaven," which was spiritual.)

49 And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.
50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.

(Doctrine: We need to choose to make our spiritual lives preeminent over our physical lives.)

51 Behold, I tell you a mystery: We all shall not sleep, but we shall all be changed,

(Paul showed a mystery: we will not all sleep (physically die) but we will all be changed. Notice, Paul was showing a mystery. Mysteries in the Bible were supposed to be understood by believers.)

52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

(The trumpet sounding was the pre-Tribulation Rapture of the church. The last trump referenced the last feast of God that used a trumpet: Rosh Hashanah. This was the fifth feast of God and was known as the feast of Trumpets. It was a two day celebration during the fall harvest in which the shofar ram's horn was blown (trump). No one knew when the last trump would be blown, but when it was, everyone was supposed to drop everything and gather for a feast. The symbolism was consistent with the purpose of the pre-Tribulation Rapture of the church. Notice, the first four feasts of God occurred leading into the postponement of the Dispensation of the Law. Now, we see the re-establishment of the Dispensation of the Law (and the end of our dispensation) would occur during the last trump of the fifth feast of God.)

53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
54 But when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.

(Paul concluded his discussion about the pre-Tribulation Rapture by stating it would result in believers (both dead and alive) going from earthly bodies to spiritual bodies in a twinkling of an eye. If the believers are alive, they will not die; they will immediately go from a physical body to spiritual body without experiencing a physical death. Paul referenced Isaiah 25:8.)

55 O death, where is thy victory? O death, where is thy sting?

(Paul referenced Hosea 13:14.)

56 The sting of death is sin; and the power of sin is the law:
57 but thanks be to God, who giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

(We have victory over sin through Christ, which leads to eternal life in paradise because of Jesus' resurrection from the dead.)

58 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not vain in the Lord.

(Our labor (works) are not in vain (unprofitable) if they are in the Lord by grace.)

(Theme of Chapter 15: Paul presented the Gospel: Jesus' death, burial, and resurrection. Paul explained how sin and death came into the world through Adam, while redemption and life came through Jesus. Just as all were affected by Adam, all are able to be affected by Jesus.)

1 Corinthians 16
1 Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I gave order to the churches of Galatia, so also do ye.
2 Upon the first day of the week let each one of you lay by him in store, as he may prosper, that no collections be made when I come.
3 And when I arrive, whomsoever ye shall approve, them will I send with letters to carry your bounty unto Jerusalem:

(Paul gave advice on how to handle collections for him. Paul wanted these resources to be used in the most profitable way.)

4 and if it be meet for me to go also, they shall go with me.
5 But I will come unto you, when I shall have passed through Macedonia; for I pass through Macedonia;

(Paul did pass through Macedonia on his third missionary journey (Acts 20:1-6). That was where he wrote the letter to the Romans.)

6 but with you it may be that I shall abide, or even winter, that ye may set me forward on my journey whithersoever I go.
7 For I do not wish to see you now by the way; for I hope to tarry a while with you, if the Lord permit.

(Paul hoped that he could stay in Corinth for a while if God permitted.)

8 But I will tarry at Ephesus until Pentecost;
9 for a great door and effectual is opened unto me, and there are many adversaries.

(However, Paul would tarry (remain) in Ephesus until Pentecost, which was where he was when he wrote this letter. This confirmed that Paul was having a tough time with some of the "beasts" in Ephesus.)

10 Now if Timothy come, see that he be with you without fear; for he worketh the work of the Lord, as I also do:
11 let no man therefore despise him. But set him forward on his journey in peace, that he may come unto me: for I expect him with the brethren.

(Paul vouched for Timothy and told the Corinthians to help Timothy move forward in his journey.)

12 But as touching Apollos the brother, I besought him much to come unto you with the brethren: and it was not all his will to come now; but he will come when he shall have opportunity.

(Apollos, whom also had an influence on the church of Corinth, did not believe it was time for him to go to the church in Corinth even though Paul "besought him much" to go to them.)

13 Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.
14 Let all that ye do be done in love.

(Paul reinforced his main theme: Let all things be done in love.)

15 Now I beseech you, brethren (ye know the house of Stephanas, that it is the firstfruits of Achaia, and that they have set themselves to minister unto the saints),
16 that ye also be in subjection unto such, and to every one that helpeth in the work and laboreth.
17 And I rejoice at the coming of Stephanas and Fortunatus and Achaicus: for that which was lacking on your part they supplied.

("for that which was lacking on your part they supplied." - An application of the principle of uniqueness.)

18 For they refreshed my spirit and yours: acknowledge ye therefore them that are such.
19 The churches of Asia salute you. Aquila and Prisca salute you much in the Lord, with the church that is in their house.
20 All the brethren salute you. Salute one another with a holy kiss.
21 The salutation of me Paul with mine own hand.
22 If any man loveth not the Lord, let him be anathema. Maranatha.
23 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you.
24 My love be with you all in Christ Jesus. Amen.

(Paul wrote this letter himself. Paul concluded this letter mentioning grace and love.)

(Paul wrote 1 Corinthians near the end of his three years' stay at Ephesus (Acts 20:31) during his third missionary journey. It was not written with Timothy, who Paul had sent ahead into Macedonia (Acts 19:22). This letter was written after the letter to the Romans which covered the foundational Christian Doctrine of Salvation. This was the second letter of the section known as the Pauline Epistles. It was placed second because it dealt with the basic Doctrine necessary to begin a New Testament Church. Paul wrote this letter to the church he founded in Corinth in order to break down divisions within the church through settling fundamental doctrinal questions. Paul's main theme was to do everything according to love and you will always be profitable.)

Day 331