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Bible Study Notes on 2 Corinthians 4 – 20160728

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Bible Study Notes

2 Corinthians 4:2-3  “…by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience…even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing”
We don’t share the gospel from selfish ambition, to receive reward.  We share from a desire to glorify Christ and love for others.  And to bring them to Him.  We don’t have to dress up our message, we can share it as-is because it is the truth.  Unfortunately, there will be those who refuse to listen, but we must share for the sake of those who will.

6  “…God who commanded light to shine out of darkness…”
The same God that said “Let there be light” is the same one who now enlightens our hearts through the knowledge of Jesus.  He once brought light to a dark and barren world.  Now He does it for mankind who lives in darkness of sin.

7  “…we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us”
We who have no power ourselves are able to show His light through the strength and power He supplies.  By doing so, we show His great power and majesty.  Through our weakness, He is shown strong.

10  “…the dying of the Lord Jesus…the life of Jesus…”
As we are molded into His image, He shines more through us.  We become less as He becomes more.

13  “…we also believe and therefore speak”
Sharing the gospel is also a demonstration of our faith in Him.  We believed and asked Him to save us.  We believe and tell others about Him.

17  “…our light affliction…is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory”
We can’t see what will be.  What happens to us now may not make sense, but someday it will.  He is using our circumstances, trials, tribulations, and triumphs to mold us into the image of His Son, and to bring great glory to Him.

I hope you enjoy reading and studying His word.  May it accomplish what He desires.  Please feel free to comment or post questions.  Thanks for reading!

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Bible Study Notes on 2 Corinthians 3 – 20160726

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Bible Study Notes

2 Corinthians 3:2  “You are our epistle…known and read by all men”
Lives of the Corinthians are a testimony of Paul’s faithful work to minister the gospel.

5  “Not that we are sufficient of ourselves…our sufficiency is from God”
Paul didn’t take credit for their lives, only that they had listened to what he said about Christ.  Christ did the changing.

6  “…the new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit…”
Message of the gospel is of Christ, not of the law.  Paul didn’t preach the law as he used to do, but salvation through the Spirit, the fulfillment of the law.

7-11  “…if what is passing away was glorious, what remains is much more glorious”
Although the law could not save, it was able to point people to God.  It was far and away better than the heathen ideas of gods and worship which brought nothing but death.  But it can’t compare to the glory of the good news of Christ which saves us.  The law doesn’t pass away as in no longer in existence, but is fulfilled by Christ.  The law could only convict of sin.  The Spirit can convict of sin and redeem us also.

14  “…until this day the same veil remains unlifted in the reading of the Old Testament, because the veil is taken away in Christ”
Those who wouldn’t believe in Christ as the Messiah would still read the law, but their eyes were blinded to the truth that Christ fulfilled the law.  Belief in Christ removes the veil and allows us to see the truth.

18  “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.”
Moses’s face glowed because he was face to face with the glory of God.  He had to wear a veil over his face for a while afterward to conceal the glow as it frightened the people, a glow that eventually faded.  Now, as we focus on Christ, He works in our lives to mold us and shape us into His image permanently.  Spiritually now, but someday we’ll also be transformed bodily to be like Him.

I hope you enjoy reading and studying His word.  May it accomplish what He desires.  Please feel free to comment or post questions.  Thanks for reading!

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Bible Study Notes on 2 Corinthians 2 – 20160725

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Bible Study Notes

2 Corinthians 2:1  “…I would not come again to you in sorrow”
Continuation of thought from chapter 1.  Paul didn’t want to see them with the last thought being his rebuke of them.

4  “…out of much affliction and anguish of heart I wrote to you…the love which I have”
Paul didn’t consider himself a lord over them, but a loving father figure who wanted what was best for them, and only corrected them for their good.  Doing so wasn’t easy, but necessary for their benefit.

5  “…if anyone has caused grief…”
Commentary suggests the anyone referred to is the one mentioned in the last epistle who was having the incestuous affair with his father’s wife.

5  “…has not grieved me, but all of you to some extent”
Our sin doesn’t just affect us, but those around us.

6-11  “…punishment which was inflicted by the majority is sufficient for such a man”
Church discipline is not destruction.  Putting a person who has committed sin out of the fellowship is not supposed to be an end unto itself, but only a temporary condition so that God can fix the problem.  Paul urged them to now forgive the person and remind him that the fellowship still loved and cared for him.  There is also the reminder that the adversary looks for any way to destroy.  If we don’t have an attitude of forgiveness toward others, Satan can use that as an opportunity to cause division.

12-13  Further explanation of his reason for moving on to Macedonia.

16  “To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life…”
As much as the gospel is the good news of life in Christ, it is also bad news to those who will not believe.  Those who hear and reject have brought condemnation on themselves.

16-17  “…who is sufficient for these things?…we are not…peddling the word of God; but as of sincerity…”
Having the good news of Christ is not only a tremendous blessing, but also a great responsibility, one I’m afraid we don’t take seriously enough.  In our own strength, we are not able to do this.  It is only our love for Christ and our desire to serve Him which allows His strength to flow through us for such a task.  We don’t do it for our own gain, but for His glory and love of others and He loves us.

I hope you enjoy reading and studying His word.  May it accomplish what He desires.  Please feel free to comment or post questions.  Thanks for reading!

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Bible Study Notes on 2 Corinthians 1 – 20160722

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Bible Study Notes

2 Corinthians 1:1  “…and Timothy our brother…”
Timothy is with him at this time.

4  “…that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble…”
One reason for tribulation.  Trials are used to assist our growth, increase our faith, and shown here to foster fellowship with each other and help bring others closer to God.

8  “…our trouble…we were burdened beyond measure…so that we despaired even of life”
Paul encountered something in Asia, most likely some sickness, that brought him very close to death and caused him to wish he were dead.  But God brought him through it.

12-14  “…our boasting is this…we are not writing any other things to you…we are your boast as you also are ours…”
Another section of Paul’s writing which is a little confusing due to his propensity to be wordy and the fact that we have divided up the letter into verses and sometimes headings.  Certainly nothing wrong with dividing up the text as has been done.  Makes it much easier to reference, but harder to view as a device of correspondence which can make following the context a little difficult.
Commentary suggests he is continuing with what he mentions in verse eleven, the Corinthians concern and prayer for him.  He is glad for his personal relationship with them.  Commentary also suggests he may have encountered reports that he was suspected of writing personal letters which contained different instructions other than those he wrote in his epistles to the churches.  Paul assures them he is open to all, everything he writes is to everyone.

15-16  “…I intended to come to you before…to pass by way of you to Macedonia…”
In the last chapter, Paul mentions that he plans to come to Corinth on his way to Macedonia and to spend some time with them then.  Apparently he wasn’t able to do so and is now in Macedonia without having stopped over.

17-19  “…when I was planning this, did I do it lightly?…Yes, Yes, and No, No?…as God is faithful, our word to you was not Yes and No…Jesus Christ…not Yes and No, but in Him was Yes”
Having told them he was going to stop and then not doing so, may have seemed to them as Paul being flippant about what he said.  Sometimes yes and sometimes no.  He may have had to change his plans for some reason, but what he preached to them of Christ is always sure, it doesn’t change.

21-22  “…He who establishes…is God, who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.”
God’s promises are true and are supported by Himself.  Moreover, even the greatest promise, our salvation, is backed up by the gift and presence of the Holy Spirit within us.  In salvation, God promises to renew us, body and spirit.  Outwardly, it appears nothing has happened to us since we still have our earthly, sin natured bodies.  But inwardly, we have been renewed by the indwelling of His Spirit.  Having His Spirit is like having a down payment on the full gift which we’ll receive when we join Him or He returns for us.  Had someone recently ask about when we receive the Holy Spirit.  This would confirm that He is given at the point of salvation as that is when the conversion occurs, when the “deal” of exchanging our old man for a new one is struck.  Much better than a regular down payment as our guarantee is not some token to be redeemed, but God Himself.  Our complete redemption will simply be a continuation of what has already started.

23-24  “…to spare you I came no more to Corinth…Not that we have dominion over your faith…by faith you stand”
Paul’s last letter to them had dealt with a lot of problems in Corinth to the point it was mostly a reprimand.  He decided to give them and himself some time before coming to them in person.  He didn’t want to appear to always be on their case about something, and he wanted them to have time to correct the problems discussed.  Their faith in Christ is from Christ, not from Paul.  They needed to learn to stand on their own in their walk with Christ, not always have to rely on Paul to tell them how to live.  Our relationship with God is and should always be between us and Christ.  We should never allow our faith in Him to be dependent on another person.

I hope you enjoy reading and studying His word.  May it accomplish what He desires.  Please feel free to comment or post questions.  Thanks for reading!

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Bible Study Notes on 1 Corinthians 16 – 20160719

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Bible Study Notes

1 Corinthians 16:1  “…the collection for the saints…”
The Christians in Jerusalem were in need.  Paul mentions other churches in his letters that had sent support.  Fitting that early examples of Christian mission show not only people going, but some sending funds to support the work.  Both are needed.

7  “…I do not wish to see you now on the way…hope to stay a while…”
He doesn’t want it to be a quick visit on the way somewhere else, but to spend some amount of time there.

8  “…Pentecost”
The Greek term for the fiftieth day after Passover.  Jews held the Feast of Weeks, seven Sabbaths or weeks after First Fruits following Passover which would be forty-nine days.  The next day would be the Feast of Weeks.  The one after the Passover when Christ died was the one on which the Holy Spirit was first given to believers.  Checked the dictionary definition of Pentecost.  It is listed as a Christian festival celebrated on the seventh Sunday after Easter to commemorate the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the apostles.  I find that interesting.  I know the early church at some point fixed the date to celebrate Easter as the first Sunday following the first full moon after the first day of Spring, so it doesn’t always fall with Passover each year.  Thus, Pentecost may not fall on the Feast of Weeks.  I know the fact that we remember what happened and celebrate it is more important than exactly when we do it, but it makes more sense to me to keep it associated with the Jewish dates as what happened was the fulfillment of the reasons for the feasts.  Some have speculated that God may choose the birthday of the first church to return for His family, which is considered to be that first Pentecost after Christ’s resurrection.  If that is the case, wonder which one He would pick, the Feast of Weeks or the fiftieth day after Easter?

9  “…great and effective door has opened to me…”
God had opened a door of opportunity for ministry.  What we still want to do today.  Be watchful for what doors God opens, then be sure to be obedient and walk through them.

9  “…many adversaries”
Usually are, if we are in His will.  I like the analogy of being in a river.  If we’re moving downstream, there’s no resistance to our movement.  But if we’re trying to go against the current, we face the resistance of the water.  Our adversary doesn’t bother us if we’re not bothering him.  But if we’re doing God’s will, we’ll face some resistance.

10-11  “…Timothy…see that he may be with you without fear…let no one despise him…”
Checked the commentary.  Could be several reasons for this statement from Paul.  I just found it interesting that there are several comments by Paul in his letters either to Timothy or about him that refer to timidity or fear.  Wonder if Timothy was somewhat shy or if he was concerned he wouldn’t be taken seriously because of his youthfulness?  He was obviously an earnest follower of Christ and a good worker.  Nice to realize how God chooses to use us even with our own quirks and issues.

14  “Let all that you do be done with love.”
Perfect motivation.

17  “…Stephanas, Fortunatus, and Achaicus…”
May have brought the letter to Paul from the Corinthians, and may be the ones delivering Paul’s letter back.

21  “The salutation with my own hand—Paul’s.”
Commentary mentioned this suggests Paul dictated the rest of the letter, so he would have added this to show the letter was indeed from him.  He mentioned earlier that there was the possibility of false letters being received by someone claiming to be him.

22  “…O Lord, come!”
Or the Lord comes.  Maranatha!

I hope you enjoy reading and studying His word.  May it accomplish what He desires.  Please feel free to comment or post questions.  Thanks for reading!

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Bible Study Notes on 1 Corinthians 15 – 20160714

Bible Study Notes

1 Corinthians 15:3-4  “…Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures” The gospel in a nutshell.

5  “…then by the twelve” Obviously there were only eleven apostles at that point.  Paul used the . . . → Read More: Bible Study Notes on 1 Corinthians 15 – 20160714

Bible Study Notes on 1 Corinthians 14 – 20160713

Bible Study Notes

1 Corinthians 14:1  “…especially that you may prophesy” Not just foretelling events, but also preaching, proclaiming.  Some people have a gift for telling others things in such a way that they want to hear, just as some have a gift for teaching that makes it easy for others to learn.  Paul . . . → Read More: Bible Study Notes on 1 Corinthians 14 – 20160713

Bible Study Notes on 1 Corinthians 13 – 20160711

Bible Study Notes

1 Corinthians 13:3  “…it profits me nothing” This isn’t a warm fuzzy feeling.  He’s speaking of love as it comes from being in Christ.  An all sacrificing love.  Without it, anything you do won’t help you in the end.  People find this hard to swallow, but it is the difference between . . . → Read More: Bible Study Notes on 1 Corinthians 13 – 20160711

Bible Study Notes on 1 Corinthians 12 – 20160710

Bible Study Notes

1 Corinthians 12:3  “…no one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit” Not just a point of confession of fact.  The Spirit must draw us to Himself in order for us to understand our need for Him and to accept Christ as Lord and savior.  Easiest way . . . → Read More: Bible Study Notes on 1 Corinthians 12 – 20160710

Bible Study Notes on 1 Corinthians 11 – 20160702

Bible Study Notes

1 Corinthians 11:1  “Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ.” Continuation of the last thought from chapter 10.  Paul had expressed denying his own desires to protect a weak brother.  That was the behavior Christ displayed by dying for us.  Therefore we should do the same for fellow believers.  Pretty . . . → Read More: Bible Study Notes on 1 Corinthians 11 – 20160702