Sep 25 — 2 Corinthians 1-3

2 Cor 1 — Greeting, God of All Comfort, Paul’s Plans
2 Cor 2 — Forgive the Sinner, Triumph in Christ
2 Cor 3 — Ministers of the New Covenant

Thoughts about serving others

This link includes a list of posts about Serving the Least, the Lost, and the Lonely.

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Let the Word evoke words. May your life encourage lives.

One Reply to “Sep 25 — 2 Corinthians 1-3”

  1. Paul begins 2 Corinthians with a great reminder that God is indeed the source of comfort whenever we are pressed. He offers great words: “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort” (2 Corinthians 1:3). We’re in this together! Through rough times, through trials and tribulations, we lean on each other; that’s God’s design, his plan. I believe a truly effective church is one where people support each other as they work to spread the Gospel. It’s not a pity party, not a place to whine about the job or commute, it’s a place to spur each other on in our pursuit of Christ. “On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks” (1:10-11)…as many as possible!

    The book of 2 Corinthians is thought to be a compilation of letters written by Paul to the church in Corinth, perhaps at least 4 separate letters. This helps explain some of the internal references and makes it a bit easier to read the book. In chapters 10-13, Paul speaks harshly to his new church, but it was intended to be useful, not for personal gain; thus the comments here: “For I wrote you out of great distress and anguish of heart and with many tears, not to grieve you but to let you know the depth of my love for you” (2:4). Sometimes we have to hear words of rebuke, sometimes we have to be willing to rebuke. Likewise, we must be willing to forgive as Paul reminds us in 2:5-11. When we do this for the building up of Christ’s church, God will honor the words and provide his comfort. Lord help me to understand both sides of that coin!

    Paul expresses the greater glory of the new covenant in 3:7-18. I believe his intention here is to move people from the old to the new, to realize Christ is the fulfillment of the new covenant, “will not the ministry of the Spirit be even more glorious?” (3:8). When we read the Old Testament (the Bible as Paul and his contemporaries would have known), we hear words that point to this future state, when Christ will come. Indeed he has come! Paul reminds us that we can move beyond the veil, “whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away” (3:16). This is revolutionary for the ancient culture, yet applicable to today. “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom” (3:17), and with freedom comes responsibility.

    The conclusion of chapter 3 provides powerful words as we contemplate the Lord’s glory, we “are being transformed into his image with every increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit” (3:18). This transformation is significant. It changes our reason for being here and our motivation for our brief time on earth. Though I am unworthy, Christ invites me to the table, he takes away my sinfulness and transforms me into one who can be in the presence of God. He did that for me and he is here to do that for others. The more we come to grips with the reality of the Gospel, the more we should want others to share in the reward so abundantly offered. Lord help me to reach out to others everyday, all the time, through every interaction. Help me to draw people to you Lord!

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