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2Cor 12-1

(84c) Boasting (Key verse)

(84e) Thy kingdom come >> Words of your mouth >> Boasting >> It needs to be said and no one is saying it >> boasting of my weaknesses -- This verse goes with verses 5-10. There were some of Paul’s accomplishments the Corinthians needed to know, and it seemed curiosity would never arise in them enough to inquire, so he had to tell them himself, and in doing so he was boasting. Boasting is necessary when some things need to be said and no one is saying them, which happens to be a common problem with the truth, according to the saying, ‘Good news travels slow.’ People are far more ready to spread gossip than they are to spread good news. Case in point, there were lots of good things about Paul the Corinthians ignored, choosing rather to spread rumors about him. He wrote to them about visions and revelations of the Lord; these were things they didn't really want to know about Paul, because they were trying to build an alternate view of him in their minds, but the truth about him was getting in the way of fabricating their ideas. Essentially, they were jealous of his spirituality, but were unwilling to make the sacrifices necessary to become spiritual themselves. 

(96h) Thy kingdom come >> Attitude >> Having an attitude of humility

2Cor 12,2-4

(32a) Gift of God >> God is our Father >> Grace >> God’s grace seeks man

(109a) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Revelations of the Holy Spirit >> Spirit reveals the Father -- These verses go with verse 7. This event in Paul’s life occurred fourteen years prior to this writing, referring to the time he was stoned to death and came back to life (Act 14-19,20). He had his conversion experience in approximately A.D. 34, and he wrote his second letter to the Corinthians in A.D. 57 (Wikipedia). That’s a twenty-three year interval, so the experience he is describing is not about his conversion, so it is probably about his experience being stoned to death.

(116e) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Working the grace of God >> Through worship >> Entering His hiding place

(117i) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Eyes of your spirit >> Seeing visions

(134a) Temple >> Your body is the temple of God >> Your body >> Mediator between the natural and the spiritual realms >> Manifesting the Kingdom of God through obedience -- These verses go with verse 7. The third heaven refers to heaven itself, the New Jerusalem. The first heaven is earth’s atmosphere, the second heaven is the physical universe, and the third heaven is God’s home. This is where we get the idea of heaven being “up there,” beyond the stars and planets, but this may not be the case. It is more accurate to think of heaven as a dimension rather than a separate place that requires a separate space. In other words, heaven may be all around us without knowing it. Paul describes God’s home as paradise. He said he heard inexpressible words that a man is not permitted to speak. What was it about heaven that made it paradise? Essentially the war was over. There was no more competition, no more need, hatred, anger or fear. None of these things existed, only peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, basically the fruits of the spirit. We have the capacity to walk in the fruits of the spirit here and now, so could we transform this world into paradise? Yes, if everyone got involved at the same time, we could emulate the attributes of heaven and establish a facsimile of paradise on earth, but we all know that will never happen. Paul experienced an absence of need and a complete emersion of the fruits of the Spirit. This is the very definition of paradise. When we think about the contribution of our bodies to alienate us from heaven, it cannot be overestimated. Our bodies are needy, but what does our soul need but God?

(140d) Temple >> Temple made without hands >> Hiding place >> Living in the spiritual revelation of the word – While he was in heaven he heard inexpressible words that mortal man is not permitted to speak. What exactly was inexpressible about the words he heard? Was it a language that the human tongue was not designed to speak, or was it meaning that no human language could contain? For example, perhaps Paul understood the meaning of “Eternity.” Paul could tell what he heard, but his description of heaven would fall far short of his experience, so he didn’t bother describing his experience in paradise. Instead, he said, “I will boast about a man like that," being separate from his experience as separated from the body, "but I will not boast about myself, except about my weaknesses” (v5), speaking of himself as though he were someone else. When his soul left his body, he hardly recognized himself. Why was that? Paul was a very spiritual man, yet he still defined himself according to the flesh. Therefore, how much more do we define ourselves according to the flesh? We are hopelessly tied to the flesh, and of this he says he will boast only in regard to his weaknesses, meaning that he did not define his relationship with Christ according to a handful of spiritual experiences. That is, he wanted the Corinthians to know he experienced these things as proof of his apostleship but did not use them as a meter of his spirituality. Rather, he gauged his walk with God with the rest of us, according to faith and trust in the word of God and prayer.

(147f) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Jesus’ works bear witness of Himself >> Divine works of God >> Spiritual manifestations

(224a) Kingdom of God >> Illustrating the kingdom >> Description of heaven >> Describing the kingdom after he makes all things new >> Description of the resurrection – Paul said he didn’t know whether he was in the body or out of the body, only that he was in heaven. He couldn’t tell if he had a body; maybe it was so irrelevant that he just didn’t notice, or maybe in heaven we don’t need a body, since our spirit is made of the same stuff as heaven, just like in this life our bodies are made of the same stuff as earth. The Bible says that one day we will have spiritual bodies, being a composite of both heaven and earth, so that we can interface with both realms. To answer Paul’s question, whether he had a body, the answer must be no, since he did not take his old rusty body to heaven and the first resurrection hadn't yet occurred. The bigger question is: did he go to heaven or did heaven come down to him? Either way, his body was not involved. There was something about Paul that made him think he was in a body. Perhaps he mistook his own soul for a body, since it is a type of body to the Spirit of God who dwells in us. See also: Resurrection (Spiritual body will take on the image of the underlying soul); 1Pet 1,21-25; 238c

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2Cor 12-4

(162c) Works of the devil >> Carried away by the Holy Spirit

(234d) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Seeking the glory of God >> Seeking the glory of the body of Christ

2Cor 12,5-12

(77d) Thy kingdom come >> Humility >> Refusing the glory of man >> Refusing to exalt yourself -- These verses go with verse 19

2Cor 12,5-11

(53m) Paradox >> Opposites >> God is made strong in our weakness  – The Jews tormented Paul, and he asked God to remove their curse from him, since they were a hindrance to the gospel, but God would not, because He was using their evil to keep Paul humble. God was more willing to work around this thorn of Paul’s flesh than to remove it and open the chance for Paul to exalt himself and lose the administration of the gospel, putting a stain on the leadership of the early church. He wanted their leadership to remain spotless as a testimony to future generations throughout the ages, especially in the last days when apostasy was predicted to grip the Church. There is a spiritual principle at work that is framed in these words: “power is perfected in weakness.” God has set certain gifts in our weakness so we can know for certain that He is at work in us, as it says in 2Cor 4-7, “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves.” If anybody is performing exploits for God and producing fruit and reaching many with the gospel and influencing entire cultures and civilizations to serve God like Paul did, we can know for certain that he has a thorn in his flesh and that his success is the result of God's hand and not any human force of will.

(56e) Paradox >> Opposites >> Humble yourself as a defensive strategy – Paul three times asked the Lord to remove his thorn in the flesh, and was refused with the explanation that His power was perfected in weakness. If God took away the thorn, He would be taking away the mechanism He used to perfect His power in Paul, and in essence sabotage Paul’s ministry. Everything God does is a push toward establishing His kingdom on the earth. We want God to give us the materialism of our fleshly desires, but God doesn’t want to get involved in our temporal interests. He has interests too, but we don’t care about them, so why should God care about our interests? Paul was trying to lift the Corinthians from their pit of carnality, hoping they would climb out of it on their own accord after coming to know Jesus, but they remained in the flesh. Paul was therefore looking for a better standpoint whereby he might communicate the gospel to them, not as a great apostle living on top of the world but as a humble servant. Paul didn’t jump into their pit to save them; instead, God lowered him as a believer in Jesus with the intension of sharing “the exceeding riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus” (Eph 2-7). It says that we will be kings and priests (Rev 5-10), and God will adorn us with unimaginable riches, wealth and power, but for now He has given us a crown of humility that we might reach those who will come to believe a gospel that Jesus bled and died and rose again on their behalf. The Corinthians wanted to be kings and priest in this life and have it all, meaning they didn’t understand God’s will that others may be saved, nor did they understand the glory that was to be revealed to them in the life to come. Had Jesus come to help us live like kings, the whole world would come to Christ by the week’s end; but because the true gospel teaches us to sacrifice this life for the one to come, few are being saved. We are living in a cursed world; how then is God supposed to communicate this fact to us while we are living to the fullest? People would think they are already saved, and then we would never reach them with the gospel.

(64h) Paradox >> Anomalies >> Weaknesses of God >> God subjects himself to human frailty >> His weakness is stronger than men

2Cor 12,5-10

(84e) Thy kingdom come >> Words of your mouth >> Boasting >> It needs to be said and no one is saying it >> boasting of my weaknesses -- These verses go with verse 1

2Cor 12-5

(9f) Responsibility >> God strengthens us through our weaknesses -- This verse goes with verses 9 & 10

2Cor 12,6-10

(77k) Thy kingdom come >> Being Humble Before God >> Having an attitude of humility

2Cor 12-6

(62e) Paradox >> Anomalies >> Being clever >> Keep your mouth shut

2Cor 12,7-11

(94i) Thy kingdom come >> God’s perspective >> His perspective on your sinful nature – God’s explanation to Paul for not removing his thorn was, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” God was saying he would rather these problems be with him, because Paul’s flesh could not be trusted. He had to send a messenger of Satan to buffet him to keep him humble, for who knows what Paul might do if he landed on easy street and his life became a picnic. Paul was more proud of his weaknesses than his strengths. He literally bragged about being whipped and tortured by the Jews. This was his glory; for God to take away these things would banish his proof of apostleship. There are many who are willing to preach the gospel, but who is willing to do it at the cost of his flesh? Not a wolf!

(99f) Thy kingdom come >> Endurance (Thorn in the flesh) >> Enduring our circumstances caused by other people – We know that in the first and second century the Pharisees did more to persecute the Church than the Romans, and that later the Romans took over the persecution starting at Constantine’s Catholicism in the third century, who made Christianity the official religion of Rome. This is not a well-known fact: the Pharisees were Paul’s thorn in the flesh. Paul came from the culture of the Pharisees; his own kind persecuted him more than anyone else, though all their efforts did nothing to stop the gospel from expanding into the far reaches of the earth, if not helping to propel it. The fact that Paul was a Pharisee and converted to Christianity made the Pharisees hate him more than all the other apostles, receiving five times from the Jews thirty-nine lashes, punishing him in violation of Roman law. They had him incarcerated for years to hinder him from spreading the gospel, so in prison he wrote most of his epistles, which did more to spread the gospel throughout the age of grace than he accomplished over a lifetime of missionary service. The gospel is unstoppable!

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2Cor 12,7-10

(2m) Responsibility >> Avoid offending God >> Get out of His way >> Let Him do His work

(8o) Responsibility >> Prevent backsliding – Whenever God places a thorn in our flesh (allowing an area of weakness or circumstances to buffet us), He does it to keep us humble and to control the gifts that He entrusted to us, strengthening our weakness and preparing us to exercise our gifts.

(22k) Sin >> Pride glorifies self >> Being wise in your own eyes – To keep Paul from exalting himself, God gave him a thorn in the flesh, an example of God using suffering and evil for good, that if God didn’t humble him, it would have gone straight to his head. Paul was the greatest evangelist the world had ever known, a man who brought the gospel of Christ to the known world, yet He needed to be humbled in order to stay on track, otherwise who knows what mindsets he may have adopted. To keep him from feeling superior to others, God gave him a messenger of Satan to buffet him, and the messengers were the very people who rejected His message, the Jews, including the pharisaical Jews who were once his colleagues.

(28d) Gift of God >> God is our advocate >> God protects the Church through the world – Paul just hinted at the nature of His thorn in this short list of weaknesses: insults persecutions and difficulties. These were caused by the unbelieving Jews that hounded him from city to city; they were his thorn. The Jews were unsuccessful in hindering those who were contemplating Christianity; they kept no one from believing in Jesus; the more they fought against Christianity the more it spread. Those who were being saved could see through them. Paul was a loving and holy man, wanting nothing but good for the people, whereas the unbelieving Jews had selfish and evil intensions for what they were doing, and the contrast helped spread the gospel. We want to accomplish the will of God in ways that seem right to us, but God has His ways that are not appealing to the flesh, but those who are prepared to take on the purpose and calling of God sacrifice the flesh in order to satisfy the will of God. We cannot avoid pain and suffering in this life, especially as Christians, so we might as well do the will of God and please the one who called us into his kingdom and glory.

(66h) Authority >> Jesus’ authority >> His cross is the power of God – God uses Jesus' cross to subject all things to Himself, and this thorn in Paul's flesh was God’s effort to subject him to the authority of Christ. Our moments with God in this life mean more to Him than any future time in eternity, and therefore they should mean something to us too, for He rejoices in our flesh as we serve Him to spite our sinful nature. One reason for this is in reference to His nemesis the devil. God is committed to teaching him a lesson that will stay with him forever in that the more examples of obedience and faithfulness we show Him, the fewer excuses Satan has for the decisions he has made, and the more God is vindicated at his judgment. The central attribute that most defines God is His intense desire to subject all things to His authority, for if God is not in absolute control of the creation, then how is He God? He wants to humble Satan and shut his mouth and show him that the ways of God are superior to the ways of creation that has deviated from Him. See also: God is sovereign; Mat 24,37-39; 195g

(82b) Thy kingdom come >> Three elements of prayer >> Direction (Attitude) >> What not to pray for

(95l) Thy kingdom come >> Positive attitude about suffering >> Suffering under the hand of God – The unbelieving Jews were Paul’s thorn in the flesh, consisting both of their persecution and of Paul's temptation to hate the men persecuting him. Paul asked God to remove this curse that followed him from city to city, inciting riots and putting their blame on him, while the people watched the whole scene play-out, with many getting saved after realizing Paul had enemies, for how significant is a gospel that doesn't have opposition? God's answer to Paul was, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness” (v9). God was using the unbelieving Jews to help perfect Paul and prove the gospel, in as much as these persecutions, sufferings and temptations drove Paul to God for strength to rise above these forces through His grace, so He authenticated the gospel with signs, wonders and miracles by the same grace used to strengthen him to rise above his weaknesses.

(98h) Thy kingdom come >> Endurance (Thorn in the flesh) >> (Faith à Suffering à Glory) – Paul could not have accomplished what he did without his thorn in the flesh, for it caused him to wrangle with God in prayer, not in a display of reluctance, but in a process through which we all must pass. It didn’t bother the Lord that Paul complained about his thorn, but it would have been a problem had Paul refused to accept it. To hash things out with God is something God enjoys perhaps more than anything else, for it is a direct display of man's will to worship and serve Him to spite the forces of opposition against us. If we think it is disdainful to God to argue with Him, it isn't, for dealing with our sin nature promotes faith, and our resistance to sin proves our love for Him, and all that He represents. The Pharisees, Scribes and chief priests were Jesus' thorn in the flesh, and eventually that thorn nailed Him to a cross, and God converted His pain and suffering to salvation for the whole world. For this reason God is able to forgive us and invite us to wrangle with our own thorn prior to passing into His heavenly kingdom. Ironically, it is contrary to God's interest to remove this thorn; He plans on blessing us beyond imagination in the life to come if we stay the course with Him. No doubt Jesus spent many hours in prayer over His thorn, for He too felt the temptation to hate His enemies. He too was “tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin” (Heb 4-15). These things drove Him to His Father and caused His ministry to flourish all the more, and for this reason there is no way to stop the gospel.

(103k) Thy kingdom come >> Purifying process >> God purifies His church >> Jesus purifies His people

(113n) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> The anointing >> Our weakness proves it is the power of God

(116f) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Working the grace of God >> Through hardship – Paul didn’t want this thorn in his flesh; he wanted to live without it; he tried to make deals with God, thinking he would not exalted himself, but anybody who knew God like Paul did would have exalted himself. The creator of the universe humbly stepped from his heavenly domain and became a man without feeling superior to us, yet Paul would be tempted to exalt himself if he didn’t have a thorn in his flesh, meaning that human nature is indiscriminate when it comes to arrogance and a sense of superiority to others. There is no scenario where the sinful nature happily complies without God prodding the flesh; hence, God’s manner of helping us remain humble always involves some degree of discomfort. Like taking a whip to a rebellious donkey, this is how we must treat the flesh, for we cannot ask it nicely to obey God; it won’t. If God assigns a messenger of Satan to buffet us, we should take it as a sign that God is ministering to us in ways that others could only wish they knew God. Thus, for God to assign a tormentor over us represents His dedication to ensure His purpose and will is fulfilled and ironically His earnest desire for us to receive His best. Many would do just about anything to shed their thorn; in fact, most refuse to accept it in the first place, which disqualifies them from the revelations that God would disclose to them. Therefore, to the degree that Paul welcomed his thorn was the degree to which he was working closely with the grace of God and consequently received the revelations that God used to transform his life.

(165i) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> Hardship >> Circumstances caused by the devil – There are a lot of theories about Paul’s thorn; one of the most popular is that he had an eye disease, which shows a lack of understanding of the Scriptures more than an intelligent answer. On the contrary, Paul’s thorn has a far simpler explanation that better parallels the Scriptures, and is far more insidious than an eye disease. It was the Jews, his fellow Pharisees. Paul was one of them in his earlier days, until God called him into service, and now the religious leaders of Israel, the zealots, persecuted him, hounding him from city to city, trying to keep him from preaching the gospel, constantly looking for ways to accuse him according to their law and to have him arrested. They beat him with rods and whipped him with a cat o' nine tails. This was unquestionably Paul’s thorn in the flesh.

(194d) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Turn from sin to God >> Run to God >> Run to God from your enemies

(216f) Sovereignty >> God overrides the will of man >> God’s will over man >> Compelled by the Spirit >> God forces His bond-servants to do His will

(227g) Kingdom of God >> God’s kingdom is a living organism >> God working in you >> Dependence on Jesus >> Depending on Jesus to have compassion >> Depending on Jesus to deliver us

(228j) Kingdom of God >> God’s kingdom is a living organism >> God working in you >> God works in the garden of your heart

(241d) Kingdom of God >> Opposition toward the Kingdom of God >> Hindering the kingdom >> Obstacles in the way of the kingdom >> Ask but don’t receive >> Getting an answer that is not in your will

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2Cor 12,7-9

(106k) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Hearing from God >> Means of hearing from God >> Through prayer

(175h) Works of the devil >> The religion of witchcraft >> Ignorance >> Dodging the issue (willful ignorance) >> Dodging the issue to get what you want

2Cor 12-7

(65i) Paradox >> Anomalies >> Satan Glorifies God

(109a) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Revelations of the Holy Spirit >> Spirit reveals the Father -- This verse goes with verses 2-4. Paul wasn’t talking about the greatness of the message but the greatness of his understanding of it, which is perceptible only by the Spirit. Only the Holy Spirit can reveal the knowledge of God to us in a way that God wants us to understand Him. Many an atheist has looked into the sky with a powerful telescope and seen its depths without falling on his knees and repenting of his unbelief. The truth is vast as the cosmos, but we are not saved by believing a set of doctrines, but by a revelation of those doctrines. If we understand the truth by the Spirit, it proves we have the Holy Spirit dwelling in us. God cannot reveal His word to those who will not receive Him. In fact, Jesus would not talk to people who refused to listen to Him. Although He was obligated by the Old Testament prophets to preach the gospel of the kingdom, He spoke mostly in parables, thus fulfilling Old Testament prophecies while guarding the truth from unbelievers. Most unbelievers deny that God is knowable. In contrast, Paul experienced divine truth as surpassing revelations that God indelibly etched into his mind, changing him from the inside-out, but when he conveyed these revelations to unbelievers, he was often met with skepticism and indifference. So the revelations were not the knowledge itself but his depth of perception regarding them. The Holy Spirit first revealed the facts to him and then revealed the truth of those facts, meaning that God's Truth transcends facts and information, and for this reason unbelievers are incapable of knowing the truth. They might know the facts of the gospel, but they have no concept of Truth. In Jn 14-6 Jesus claimed to be the embodiment of Truth; such a verse is the basis of our understanding of God. Jesus is also the embodiment of the Holy Spirit, so to have the Holy Spirit dwelling in us is to know Christ by revelation. See also: Spirit and the Word (Spirit reveals God's word); Eph 4,1-3; 105k

(134a) Temple >> Your body is the temple of God >> Your body >> Mediator between the natural and the spiritual realms >> Manifesting the Kingdom of God through obedience -- This verse goes with verses 2-4

(184h) Works of the devil >> The origin of lawlessness >> Abusing the grace of God >> Spending His grace on your pleasures >> Abusing the anointing

(217a) Sovereignty >> God overrides the will of man >> God’s will over man >> God Is Independent Of His Creation >> No one can make God do anything

2Cor 12-8,9

(43k) Judgment >> Satan destroyed in the absence of sin >> Perfected in weakness – We were once sinners, and God redeemed us and raised us to live in His presence, wiping away our sin. When we show God our faith, He gives us His faith, and we walk and live by it. Nonetheless, bad things happen, and sometimes they are consequences of our own actions, and we ask God to remove them, appealing to Him through our faith, and He replies, “My grace [faith] is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” God shows His power through His faith in us. We live in a sinful world; there are people all around us who are disobedient to the Lord, and they often cause havoc in our lives, and instead of removing the stumbling blocks, God uses them to perfect us. So there are two things happening at the same time: Perseverance and endurance, perseverance in our right hand and endurance in our left (2Cor 6,4-7). God calls us to endure our circumstances, pain, suffering, ill-treatment, injustice, and in doing so, He perfects His power in us, adding to our faith so we can persevere doing His will. See also: God replaces our belief with His faith; Phi 3,9-11; 98g

(99l) Thy kingdom come >> Perseverance (Working to keep in motion) >> Persevere in prayer

2Cor 12-9,10

(9f) Responsibility >> God strengthens us through our weaknesses -- These verses go with verse 5. God lives vicariously through the Church. He is all-powerful and all knowing, yet these are actually His weaknesses. It says this in so many words, Paul speaking about this and Jesus, that many things are opposite of what we think. That which is least is greatest and greatest is least; the weak are strong and the strong are weak, and God is not immune to these principles. When we think about an eternal God creating the universe, we should know that before He created it there was nothing, and if there actually was something before it, there was nothing before that…. He alone existed; Father, Son and Holy Spirit co-existed in eternity-past. How long did He exist alone? An eternity! At some point He created the universe and then made us, and then He caused the Holy Spirit to dwell in us, and now God lives vicariously through His people who are finite and weak. It gives Him great pleasure to live in our weakness despite His infinite power. God enjoys helping us solve our little problems, because He personally doesn’t have any problems. He greatly enjoys the problems that we solve through Him, and conquering our enemy the devil through His Spirit, by the weakness of human flesh, giving us the wisdom and strength to rise above the circumstances of our lives. If that were not enough, God also is all knowing; he knows the end from the beginning; He knows eternity past as well as eternity future. He knows everything that has happened and will ever happen, and so He enjoys living vicariously through us who don’t know the future, who have no idea what is coming next. He lives through us, and we live through Him. We have great joy living by the wisdom and the power of the Spirit, and He has great joy living through us. See also: Time (God is eternal); Heb 3-3; 212a

(121b) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Contentment >> Content with seeking God

2Cor 12-9

(116h) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Working the grace of God >> Our adequacy is from God – Weakness has certain qualities that God can use: the weaker we are, the stronger we become. This process leaves our weaknesses in tact, so they may continue being a catalyst for our strength. Who needs the power of God if we are strong? We like to think we are independent and can do things on our own, like the disciples trying to get across the Sea of Galilee in a storm with Jesus asleep in the bottom of the boat; the last thing they did was call on Him when it should have been the first thing they did. They wanted to be independent and show Jesus what they could do, but God is not impressed with our strength of flesh. He is only impressed by our willingness to receive from Him and the things we accomplish through Him. We cannot be filled with the Spirit without first being controlled by the Spirit.

(132g) Temple >> Your body is the temple of God >> Holy Spirit is in God’s people >> Filled with the Spirit >> Filled with the power of God

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2Cor 12-10,11

(242i) Kingdom of God >> Opposition toward the Kingdom of God >> Persecuting the kingdom >> Worldly pressure >> World pressures you to forsake your values – People ruthlessly persecuted Paul because his message was inherently contrary to the world and to the direction it was going; the gospel has always contradicted the world’s values and fought against the currents of human and demonic forces. Paul endured all things for the sake of the Church, and in this case for the sake of the Corinthians. He said that when he was weak, then he was strong. How was Paul strong when he was weak? Most people don’t go far enough with God to experience His strength in their lives. When their faith causes them persecution or affliction or tampers with their emotions, making it uncomfortable to believe in Him, they quit and run back to a safe place, and so they never discover God’s strength. He longs to instill us with His strength. The irony is that the more He strengthens us, the more we do His will, the more we are persecuted, the more we discover our weaknesses, and the more God strengthen us. All of Paul’s enemies came against Him, causing Him distress and difficulties of every kind, and instead of finding solace in the Corinthians, they added to his misery, holding him in contempt for accepting their abuse. The Corinthians were looking for someone to show them how to be strong and how to overcome their enemies. They weren’t interested in a man showing weakness so God could reveal His strength to them. They understood fleshly strength and faithless Christianity, but those who serve God know that human weakness is an opportunity for God to fill us with His strength. When someone is full of God’s power, he becomes an offense to those who embrace the values of the world.

2Cor 12,11-13

(17d) Sin >> Judging in the flesh >> Accusing God and others of sin

(70h) Authority >> Sin of familiarity >> Familiar with the truth (enemy of discernment) >> Familiar with Jesus in the Spirit

(152d) Witness >> Validity of the Father >> Witnesses of the father >> Apostles >> Fruitful results prove apostleship – One side of Paul’s seal of apostleship was his relationship with God, and through that relationship came signs, wonders and miracles. The other side refers to persecution and suffering that resulted from the gospel. The one thing both sides of the seal contained was his spiritual connection to God that he protected at all costs. So, the great attribute of the seal was his faith, but this can be forged, so God provided manifestations of faith that false apostles cannot reproduce.  

2Cor 12-11,12

(64j) Paradox >> Anomalies >> Weaknesses of God >> Foolishness of God -- These verses go with verses 20&21

(73b) Authority >> Respect your leaders >> Those in charge of the word

2Cor 12-11

(196g) Denying Christ >> Man exercises his will against God >> Immaturity >> Not mature enough to seek God >> Unable to make sound judgments – Had the Corinthians commended Paul, he would not have needed to write the last three chapters, but the fact that they were trying to form their own opinion incited him to write these things to destroy their speculations.

2Cor 12-12

(147e) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Jesus’ works bear witness of Himself >> Divine works of God >> Signs and wonders

(246g) Kingdom of God >> Spirit realm imposed on the natural realm >> Demonstration of God’s kingdom >> God demonstrates His glory >> Demonstration of His power – Signs, wonders and miracles was Paul’s standard for an apostle, and the definition of an apostle is a church planter, so we cannot very well be a missionary without the power of God. People need proof that Paul's words were true, and signs, wonders and miracles validate the gospel. Had Paul come to the Corinthians with words only, he wouldn't have gone beyond a flurry of debates. Without signs and wonders he may have had success in the beginning, locally around the districts of Israel, because they would have heard about Jesus and knew about Israel, and would have known about their God and the story of Moses and his law, and the message that the gentiles were included in Israel's salvation would have been heartily received, but their effectiveness in extending their reach beyond Israel would have quickly dissipated. When the evangelist told the people about Israel and Jerusalem, they would have asked why they should care, but when Paul came with signs, wonders and miracles, he brought Israel to the nations, so he could go any distance from the holy city and preach the gospel of Christ in power, and they would have understood that the message he preached was from the true and living God, whose name is Jehovah, the God of Israel, whose Son is Jesus Christ, who was sacrificed for the sins of the world, that believing in Him they should not perish but have eternal life.

2Cor 12,13-21

(101a) Thy kingdom come >> Devotion >> In your ministry to people >> Devoted to ministering to their spiritual needs

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2Cor 12,13-15

(36m) Gift of God >> Adopted >> We are adopted in the flesh – Paul gets sarcastic again as he explains why he chose not to become a burden on anyone: they would have accused him of false motives had he asked them for help with his expenses. Sticking it to them, he said, “Forgive me this wrong.” Hoping to visit them again, he promised not to be a burden on them, saying, ‘In that you have not repented from your fleshly conduct, so neither will I repent from treating you like little children, asking nothing from you.’ Paul reminds them of their relationship, that he was their father, for he has begotten them through the gospel. He was willing to give his very life to them, though knowing they were not mature enough to accept him as mature adults or believe his sincerity of heart, that he had no ulterior motives. Whatever it took for them to follow the Lord, Paul was gladly ready to provide, but before they could advance another step in their walk with God they needed to trust Paul that his only interest was their well-being. Understanding this about him was crucial for their spiritual maturity, knowing that if they didn’t trust Paul, neither did they trust the Lord. He was their example of the Christian walk, and if they didn't accept him, they would instead follow someone else who didn’t have their well-being at heart.

(72l) Authority >> Hierarchy of authority >> Authority makes you accountable >> Parents are responsible for their children

2Cor 12-13,14

(4f) Responsibility >> Advocate God’s cause >> From him who has shall much be required – Paul was required by God to give everything he had to preach the gospel, and he did it willingly. He spoke with a sense of urgency; in fact, Paul was more concerned about the Churches that were already formed than he was about preaching the gospel to others. There was no end to his giving either to the lost or to the found. Paul gave all, and as God gave him more, he gave that too.

2Cor 12-13

(60a) Paradox >> Two implied meanings >> Being sarcastic as seen through the eyes of the world / Rebuking the Church for being carnally minded

(63j) Paradox >> Anomalies >> Sarcastic from being emotional >> Angry

2Cor 12,14-19

(235c) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Invest in the kingdom >> Tithing >> Be faithful in your tithes >> If you are unfaithful to God, you won’t tithe – The Corinthians thought they were accepting a gospel that didn’t require anything from them, and in that way Paul tricked them into making a fuller and deeper commitment to Christ. Once they began to recognize the value of knowing God by faith in Jesus, Paul began to reveal that becoming a giving people would open up a spiral staircase of truth and righteousness. As we begin to manifest the Kingdom of God in all its principles and teachings, our lives will sprout multiple levels of knowledge and wisdom from the Spirit that will bless us beyond measure, until we become addicted to giving, knowing what blessings will return. We know that many televangelists have told us that if we give our money, God will give it back with interest. They may not say that exactly, but that is what they meant, which is a spoof. In truth, when we give on a spiritual level, we might receive money in return, and if we give money, we might receive spiritual blessings, and so in a way Christianity is like a community who have contributed all their life’s possessions and treasures into one pool, and from that pool we all give and receive. Some people contribute gold and silver, while others contribute food, while still others contribute life skills and knowledge. Everybody contributes something, but they don’t get back what they gave, but receive what they need. Whatever direction God has led us in life is what we have to offer as our gift to the body of Christ.

2Cor 12,14-18

(92m) Thy kingdom come >> The narrow way >> Walk it for the sake of your brother -- These verses go with verse 21

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2Cor 12,14-16

(240c) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Pursuing the knowledge of the kingdom >> Pastor (Shepherd) >> Paul had a shepherd’s heart

2Cor 12-14

(3m) Responsibility >> Parents for their children >> Paul feels responsible for those he brings to the faith – A good parent will strive to remain in touch with their children; they don’t want what we have; they want us. When we get to heaven, God will be the same way; He will not seek anything we have but us, though hopefully we have brought with us an offering of human souls whom we have won to Christ through a life lived in His honor. Rev 4-10 says that we will cast our crowns before the throne in derision of our rewards, suggesting that neither God nor His children value their gifts, compared to their value of each other. We will enjoy heaven throughout eternity and all the richness of it, but our greatest enjoyment of heaven will be God Himself. Without having to perform for Him we are pleasing in His sight. No matter what achievements we accomplished for His namesake, the only thing we really did was believed in Jesus for the forgiveness of our sins and lived accordingly. What we need more than anything today are leaders who will model for us the Christian life, humble themselves, take on the form of a bondservant and faithfully serve the Church as a father would tenderly care for His children (1The 2,5-12). Men who call themselves shepherds of the flock too often have abused the Church, and for this reason we need someone who is completely devoted to helping the saints in their walk with God and in their faith and love for each other, who will help us believe there is a God in heaven who loves us, not only in heaven but also here on earth. The reason people find it so difficult to believe in God is from spiritual abuse. We need people in the clergy who have the heart of Paul and serve selflessly and are completely devoted to the saints.

(7l) Responsibility >> Use time wisely >> Get ready >> Use this time to gather – Paul wrote about saving-up for the Church, yet he didn’t have any money or material possessions; he was saving-up in a different way. He was figuratively gathering oil, so when his time was done on earth, the large vats of oil he collected throughout his Christian life, consisting of many souls won to Christ, the many churches he establish and God’s word he wrote in the New Testament, would be the Church’s inheritance. Jesus said in Jn 14-2,3, “I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.” In both cases, Paul and Christ saved for their children’s future.

(33g) Gift of God >> God is our Father >> Children need a Father to care for them – Children need a father to care for them, which is what Paul was to the Corinthian Church, and that is what God is to us. When a child is first born into the world, it has nothing to offer except a cute face, a mouth to feed and diapers to change. Then they get a little older and their need for their parents becomes less obvious. Good parents don’t grudgingly take care of their children but enjoy being parents. They thought of getting married and having children when they themselves were children, and now it is happening and their lives are fuller for it. It gives them joy to meet their children's needs.

(234d) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Seeking the glory of God >> Seeking the glory of the body of Christ


2Cor 12-15,16

(63d) Paradox >> Anomalies >> Righteous deception >> Church deceive each other – Paul admitted that he deceived the Corinthians, but what did he say or do to deceive them? In 1Cor 9,1-19 Paul wrote about the fact that he asked nothing from the Corinthians, and as it turned out they contributed nothing to him. When Paul visited them in person and ministered to them, the Corinthians never offered to financially assist him; instead, he supplied his own needs. In this way he was able to impart the gospel of Christ that spoke to them in regard to God’s grace and mercy and His never-ending storehouse of giving by demonstration of these divine attributes as he gave of himself without asking anything in return. Paul said in 2Cor 11-8,9, “I robbed other churches by taking wages from them to serve you; and when I was present with you and was in need, I was not a burden to anyone; for when the brethren came from Macedonia they fully supplied my need, and in everything I kept myself from being a burden to you, and will continue to do so.” Those who contributed to Paul's ministry were very generous, who supplied his needs far beyond his ministry toward them, helping him on his missionary journeys in evangelism all over the known world, but the Corinthians thought only about themselves. Those who have a deep faith in Jesus, are givers from the heart. In this second letter to the Corinthians, he explained what he did last time he visited them. He deceived them into believing in Jesus and making a deeper commitment to God under the guise that it would cost them nothing, and now that they have made a commitment and grown in the faith and matured to some degree, Paul has springing on them that they too will learn to give if they want to increase in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. He took them one step at a time, first to faith in Jesus, then to the Christian walk in this world. See also: Righteous deception; 2Cor 12-16; 1f

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2Cor 12-15

(54o) Paradox >> Opposites >> The more I love the less I am loved – It is often the case with teenagers that their mother pours herself into her children while getting nothing in return. She shows an unbounded love toward them, going to any extreme to demonstrate her love and devotion to erase any doubt that they are loved. She has the goal in mind that they should become upstanding citizens, and learn to meet their own needs, and someday raise their own family. However, it seems the more she loves them the less they love her. This is classic teenage behavior. The Corinthians were like spoiled teenagers, and Paul was going through the meat grinder for them, doing everything in his power to help them understand that he loved them, knowing that if he could get them to believe this, it was a simple step to understand that God loves them too.

(124f) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Love >> Acts of love >> Love does not seek its own

(167b) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> Carnality/Secularism (mindset of the world) >> The carnal mind is set on the flesh >> Carnal mind cares only for itself

(187c) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Separation from the old man >> Die to the flesh >> Die to self to minister to people >> die to self to help the weak – Paul was happy to spend his life on the Corinthians but asked that if he loved them, are they not to love him? He was alarmed at their disloyalty; their unwillingness to return his love was a sign that they were unable to love God. What did John say about this? “The one who does not love does not know God” (1Jn 4-8). John was very straightforward in his approach, whereas Paul worked with the Corinthians like a mother tenderly cares for her children (1The 2-7). John probably wouldn’t have gotten very far with the Corinthians because they needed mothering. They needed someone to be patient with them and give them time to mature. Paul was not content with the Corinthians simply believing in a set of doctrines; he need them to obey those doctrines. If Jesus said, “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends” (Jn 15-13), as Paul was doing for them, then he was not content until he saw the Corinthians doing the same for Him. Were the Corinthians exempt from reciprocating? We love in hope of helping others, and how do we know we helped than by them returning our love? If they developed the ability to love, then Paul should receive some of that love in return, but the fact that Paul was expending himself on them and getting nothing back told him that they were not receiving his love the way he hoped. The Corinthians were like the Prodigal Son; the father gave him the inheritance, and he blew it instead of investing it. If the Corinthians were abusing Paul’s love, then how much more were they abusing God's grace? A mother loves her child in hope that he learns to return her love, not that she loves to be loved, but she wants her love to multiply through her children by loving others, including her. The fact that the Corinthians didn’t love Paul indicated they still had the wrong idea about Christianity.

(197b) Denying Christ >> Man exercises his will against God >> Spiritual laziness >> Rebelling Against what God wants you to do >> Refusing to take on responsibility

(235f) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Invest in the kingdom >> Giving (your inner self) >> Giving preference to one another

(236g) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Invest in the kingdom >> Invest your treasures into the kingdom >> Invest your flesh

2Cor 12-16

(1f) Responsibility >> Avoid offending God >> become all things to all men >> Conform without compromise – How did Paul deceive the Corinthians? He conformed to their ways, so he could win them to Christ. That is, he came to them appearing to have more in common with them than he actually did, not presenting himself according to his heritage as a pharisaic Jew, which had virtually nothing in common with them, but as though he were one of their own citizens. The Corinthians were hedonistic idol worshippers, and Paul came to them as neither barbarian nor Jew, nor did he preach that their hedonism would lead them to hell, and his message did not target their sins but their ignorance, preaching that Jesus died for them, and that rejecting faith in His sacrifice would find disfavor with God, and their carnal ways stood as evidence of that. He conformed the message of the gospel around their needs without compromising the word of God; then once he got so many of them saved, he commanded them to repent; in that sense he took them in by deceit. See also: Righteous deception; 2Cor 12-15,16; 63d

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2Cor 12-17,18

(14j) Servant >> Ministry of helps >> Helpers are indirectly in charge of the Word >> They have the heart of the one who trained them – Had those whom Paul sent taken advantage of the saints at Corinth, Paul would have held himself personally responsible for whatever they did, yet he was so confident in his team that he posed the question rhetorically. That is, he already knew Titus would not take advantage of them. Much of the credit in bringing the gospel to the known world in Paul’s time goes to his helpers. Paul needed this level of confidence in them if he were to accomplish any of his goals, for there was no way he could have done what he did without his cloud of assistants surrounding him and alleviating many of the necessary and time-consuming tasks involved in church planting, who felt in themselves as Paul did that they were highly accountable to God. He had no qualms about Titus or Timothy or any of the others; sending them was to send his own heart (Ph-12). They would never lord themselves over God’s Church, but taught them the ways of God in faith that they had only one Lord, and His name was Jesus Christ, and they were His servants.

(72f) Authority >> Transferring authority >> Receiving the delegated authority of men

(102c) Thy kingdom come >> Faithfulness (Loyalty) >> Faithfulness is dependable >> God’s servants are dependable – If both Paul and Titus walked in the same Spirit and in the same steps, then for Paul to send Titus was to send himself. Titus was Paul’s representative. All the people that Paul used were loyal, and they proved their loyalty to him, and Paul demanded everything from them in service to Christ, and he did not accept failure. Paul once got into sharp disagreement over Mark after he abandoned Paul and Barnabas (Act 15,37-41), even fracturing his relationship with Barnabas for a time. Paul would have nothing to do with Mark until years of observing Mark's diligent faithfulness and commitment to the truth. Eventually Paul invited Mark to come with him again on some of his missionary journeys. Mark fell into a deep, dark pit when he abandoned Paul. After that, everyone knew what would happen if they betrayed Paul’s trust; they might be permanently banned from working with him again. In contrast, with the Corinthians he was very patient; they were a rabble of immature Christians trying to take advantage of every situation while making a semblance of faith, and Paul was trying to shake them to attention, telling them they needed to grow-up and make Jesus Christ Lord of their hearts (1Pet 3-15).

(130g) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Unity >> Committed to caring for the needs of the body >> Caring for spiritual needs

2Cor 12,19-21

(17c) Sin >> Unrighteous judgment >> Judging in the flesh >> Evaluating circumstances by the carnal mind – Paul was afraid that when he came he would not find them as he wished and they would not find him as they wished. The Corinthians had a fleshly idea of what makes for great leaders, and for this reason they may be disappointed in Paul. Apparently they wanted him to impress them but how? Whatever it was, Paul was determined to give them just the opposite, a humble servant of the Lord with no flashy frills, coming with the word of God, signs, wonders and miracles, and whatever else they needed in order to obey Christ. Look at some of the flashy preachers we have seen in our own day, hollowed out, spiritually lifeless, money grubbing, self-centered hucksters. This is no doubt what they wanted in Paul, being the kind of man the flesh wants to follow, the kind that caters to immaturity. 

(196d) Denying Christ >> Man exercises his will against God >> Immaturity >> Not mature enough to die to self >> Unable to put down the flesh – Fleshly passions and desires do not change from generation to generation; hence, the Bible calls them elementary principles. Paul was afraid of what he might find in the Corinthians, all the classic sins of mankind, disgraceful behaviors rooted in their emotions. 

2Cor 12-19,20

(97a) Thy kingdom come >> Having a negative attitude about yourself >> A self-righteous attitude

2Cor 12-19

(77d) Thy kingdom come >> Humility >> Refusing the glory of man >> Refusing to exalt yourself -- This verse goes with verses 5-12

(94n) Thy kingdom come >> Perspective is your personal reality >> How you interpret your point of view

(104g) Thy kingdom come >> Pure in heart shall see God >> Shall see the Father >> God can see us – we are in His sight

(110d) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Spirit and the word >> Spirit speaks through His ministry in us – The Corinthians were so conceited. Although God gave Paul the ministry, it was actually the ministry of Christ that Paul was doing, as though Christ were personally reaching out through him to the world and leading many to faith in Jesus and to the salvation of their souls. Therefore, when Paul said, “We have been speaking in Christ,” he meant that Christ was speaking through him, encouraging them to mature. So when Paul said that he was speaking to them “in the sight of God,” he was saying that not only was he mindful of God throughout His ministry but that he conducted His ministry in the literal presence of God who currently stood between he and the Corinthians and testified of His bondservant that Paul offered His body as a means of reaching the lost Corinthians for Christ.

(139h) Temple >> Building the temple (with hands) >> Edification

(177l) Works of the devil >> The religion of witchcraft >> Presumption (Hinduism) >> Presuming the will of God >> Presumption interprets God’s word

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2Cor 12-20,21

(18l) Sin >> Twisted thinking >> Evil is good >> Loving bondage

(24b) Sin >> Poverty (Forms of fear) >> Anxiety >> Fear of losing the fruits of your labors

(64j) Paradox >> Anomalies >> Weaknesses of God >> Foolishness of God -- These verses go with verses 11&12

(121e) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Hope >> Expectation >> Hope is the expectation to receive >> What the wicked fears (expects) will come upon him

(138c) Temple >> Building the temple (with hands) >> Reproof >> Reprove your brother for sinning – The carnal environment of Corinth was a serious obstacle in the way of the Church; it was not easily surmountable, but Paul didn’t care how hard it was for them to mature in Christ. He discounted their environment, saying that it doesn’t matter that they live in a carnal city. God can trump any environment or obstacle in the way of serving Him, so that anybody can be a Christian anywhere in the world no matter how debauched their society of origin. If godliness were dependent on worldly environments, nobody could serve the Lord and Christianity would not have lasted these two millennia. Maybe that was the excuse the Corinthians planned on handing to Paul, but he wasn’t about to accept it. He knew the power that God has to subject all things to Himself. One way or the other, no matter what the opposition, the grace of God can overcome anything, but the question is: do His people see the incentive to repent and obey, and do they understand the benefit of godliness? Are God’s people convinced of the advantage of living for Jesus? Do they have that kind of insight? In the days of the early Church, the first and second century, they did have this insight, and these things were well in place in most churches, but the Corinthians did not recognize the incentive of obeying Christ. Paul taught that the only thing we can expect to gain from obeying Christ was godliness, and to the sinful nature that is a death sentence. If we are intent on holding to our fleshly ways, we will never achieve God’s plan and purpose for our lives, and we will never understand God’s vision for the Church.

(167f) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> Carnality/Secularism (mindset of the world) >> The carnal mind is set on the flesh >> Carnal mind is fueled by our emotions

(184i) Works of the devil >> The origin of lawlessness >> Abusing the grace of God >> Spending His grace on your pleasures >> Adding leaven to His grace

(188k) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Separation from the old man >> Sorrow >> Grieving over your own loss >> Grieving over the loss of others – Paul mourned over those who had sinned in the past and had not repented. Why did it make Paul grieve so bitterly? The Corinthians were not being a good example of Christianity, and the Church cannot grow among a people who are not repentant. Stagnation will seize the Church, then decline will set-in and finally extinction. Carnality is like gangrene that spreads. People have a far greater proclivity for the deeds of the flesh than they have for godliness. Man is far more prone to obeying his flesh than he is to follow the Holy Spirit into the true doctrines of the faith that lead to godliness.

(203k) Denying Christ >> Man chooses his own destiny apart from God >> Back-slider >> Practicing sin >> Living in sin – Paul had reason to grieve over those who sinned and had not repented in that they were at risk of losing their salvation, referring to blaspheming the Holy Spirit instead of submitting to Him, asking Him to leave in response to conviction. Eventually this leads to developing a reprobate mind which is incapable of believing in God. Blaspheming the Holy Spirit is a subject that the Church scarcely grasps. What does the writer of Hebrews say about it? “Today if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts” (Heb 3-7,8). When we hear His voice, the very worst response is to ignore Him. Probably every Christian is guilty of this, so blasphemy against the Holy Spirit does not automatically bar a person from heaven, though Jesus said it was unforgivable. When a person hardens his heart against the Holy Spirit, there is no repentance from it. For example, when God calls an unbeliever to faith in Jesus and he resists, God may never call him again. Eventually His voice grows faint until it becomes imperceptible, and when a person can no longer hear the Holy Spirit, he cannot be saved. It works the same way with a believer who resists the Holy Spirit; he will experience His voice growing fainter until He cannot hear Him, and now he is in a rowboat in the middle of the sea until he repents of his unbelief, but he cannot repent of what he has already denied. Once a Christian has crossed that proverbial line, he tells God that he still wants heaven, but he doesn’t want to obey God. It requires him to invent a doctrine that allows him to continually disobey the Holy Spirit and get away with it, so he says that Christians can live in chronic disobedience and still be saved. There are no examples of this anywhere in the Bible. He has just devised the doctrine of eternal security. This way he can do anything he wants and still go to heaven, but Paul mourned over such Christians, because he knew if they continued in this direction they would eventually lose their souls to a reprobate mind. See also: Blasphemy leading to a reprobate mind; Eph 5-5; 122d

(216i) Sovereignty >> God overrides the will of man >> God’s will over man >> Compelled by the Spirit >> God forces you through your own convictions

(237c) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Transferring the kingdom >> The Church is transferred to the kingdom >> The rapture >> Rapture is delayed – Paul said he was afraid the Corinthians would not find him to be what they wished and he might not find the Corinthians to be what he wished. He was afraid that at his return he would find them in a state of carnality, riddled with sin, debauchery and defilement of flesh and spirit, rejecting His command to repent, and he would mourn over them until his tears went dry and then go on the attack, as he said in 2Cor 13-2, “If I come again I will not spare anyone.” This parallels the scenario of Christ looking upon His people from heaven and observing the Church wallowing in sin just as He was about to return, and then hesitating. Speaking as it were with the voice of Jesus, the clock approaching midnight, He wondered if the Church would be just as disappointed in the person of God in the form of a man, as God was disappointed in them for rejecting His righteousness. The best case scenario is that Paul would visit the Corinthians and rejoice to see them walking in the Spirit, content with all that God offers, and Paul would rejoice with them, embracing them with complements, blessings and encouragement, but the fact that Paul named some of their sins means the last he knew they were still practicing these things. Paul promised that if he returned to a debauched Corinthian Church, he would not spare them, and if we translated that to the return of Christ, not sparing them would mean some of the more rebellious Corinthians would not be going to heaven.

(247d) Priorities >> God’s priorities >> God’s interests >> Concern >> Caring about the body of Christ

(250i) Priorities >> God’s prerequisites >> Lists >> List of traits that can be found in man >> List of deeds of the body – Corinth was a hub of paganism and the casting of different philosophies and ideas, along with venereal diseases. Therefore, when we say this list of deeds of the body is in descending order, it is in part referring to the fact that their deeds were leading them into the descent of the abyss, ill-prepared to meet their maker. There is the true Church and there are those who go to church; every person in the true Church is prepared to meet God, but not everybody who goes to church is prepared to meet Him. The city of Corinth was very carnal and secular before Paul arrived with the gospel and preached to those who would be saved, who became the Corinthian Church, and the expectation was that they would leave all their worldliness behind, and instead live by the principles of God’s kingdom, but the Corinthian Church struggled with leaving behind their old ways.

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2Cor 12-20 

(159h) Works of the devil >> Essential characteristics >> Counterfeit >> Counterfeit godliness >> Counterfeit friendship

2Cor 12-21

(45g) Judgment >> Believer’s sin >> God will judge us with the world if we live like them – Paul was afraid that when he came he would openly weep in front of them over those who had sinned and not repented. He was afraid he would find them no more holy than their hedonistic neighbors, with the exception that they affirmed a few Bible passages and a couple doctrines to be true, but they had not allowed their faith to change them, being nothing more than mental ascent. The world doesn't believe in Jesus, and the Corinthians decided otherwise, and that is what makes them Christians? Is that how we get to heaven? These sins they have committed in the past; they need to put them behind them, for without holiness, no one will see the Lord (Heb 12-14)!

(69c) Authority >> Discernment >> Feeling the body’s infirmities

(70b) Authority >> Righteous judgment (outcome of discernment) >> Sensitivity To The Spirit

(70e) Authority >> Sin of familiarity >> Familiarity-enemy of discernment >> Spirit grieves over sin

(92m) Thy kingdom come >> The narrow way >> Walk it for the sake of your brother -- This verse goes with verses 14-18

(135a) Temple >> Your body is the temple of God >> Sins of the body >> Immorality >> Sexual perversion >> A mixed bag of impurities

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