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2 CORINTHIANS CHAPTERS 6 & 7

KJV    NAS

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1 And working together with Him, we also urge you not to receive the grace of God in vain - 2 for He says, "AT THE ACCEPTABLE TIME I LISTENED TO YOU, AND ON THE DAY OF SALVATION I HELPED YOU." Behold, now is "THE ACCEPTABLE TIME," behold, now is "THE DAY OF SALVATION "- 

 

2Cor 6,1-10

(101h) Thy kingdom come >> Ambition >> Be an ambitious businessman for God >> Managing God’s business

2Cor 6-1,2

(31f) Gift of God >> Grace >> Salvation >> God is willing to respond to man’s need

(116k) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Working the grace of God >> His Grace in us is in vain without Him 

2Cor 6-1

(131k) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Unity >> Working together for one cause

(137j) Temple >> Building the temple (with hands) >> Maturity >> Stages of maturity are levels of accountability >> Maturity is working with God – This verse says there is a way to receive the grace of God in vain by not working with Him. His grace is effective only when we follow Him and ask for His strength to do His will. When we made our commitment to follow Jesus, He listened to us. Therefore, when He calls us to His will, we should reciprocate His faithfulness. We should help Him fulfill His will in our lives. Being children of God, we have an obligation and a duty to listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit working in us and do whatever He says. Working with Him to fulfill all the words that the Spirit of God who speaks in us according to Scripture is the very purpose of receiving His grace. There is something we need to do. That is, we are not passive spectators of our own salvation, but active participants of His grace. Just as Jesus’ mother said to the wedding servants at His first miracle in Cana, “Whatever He says to you, do it” (Jn 2,1-11). This is good advice for us too. We will always be the beneficiaries of His will, leading us into further righteousness, even if it doesn’t seem like it would be very much fun. To listen and obey His voice is our calling, even as He called Abraham.

(171a) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> Outward appearance >> Vanity >> Vain effort >> Vain religion

(199c) Denying Christ >> Man exercises his will against God >> Frustrating the grace of God >> Frustrating Jesus >> Frustrating the Holy Spirit

2Cor 6-2

(82a) Thy kingdom come >> Three elements of prayer >> Direction (Attitude) >> What to pray for

(214j) Sovereignty >> God controls time >> God’s timing >> God’s time is soon >> God’s time is always now – These are two separate days, the day we asked God for help and today. A day is coming when we will ask God for help, and another day is coming when the evangelist sweeps through town carrying his message of salvation to our ears, and Paul is saying, ‘Let these two days converge.’ On the day we hear the gospel, let it be the day we asked God for help and get saved. This is an Old Testament verse that Paul is quoting (Isaiah 49-8) about a man who asked God for help thousands of years ago (Israel), and Paul is talking about today saying, ‘Don’t wait.’ There are days when we ask God for help and don’t get it, and there is another day when we hear the word of God; even if we are not asking God for help, recognize that help is calling us in a way that we may never hear again. So what if we are not asking God for help? If we heard the word of God, we must reach out to Him and receive the salvation that he has made for us. A day is coming when we will need his help; if we procrastinate and say we will make things right with God another day, if we let the moment slip, the devil may steal the word from our hearts. If we promise to consider the word another day, the next day we may not even remember what we heard. When God knocks at the door of our hearts, that is when we must seek Him, when the evangelist is speaking in our ear.

KJV    NAS  /  Navigation Bar

3 giving no cause for offense in anything, so that the ministry will not be discredited,

 

2Cor 6,3-10

(7b) Responsibility >> Protecting the Gospel >> Defend the word of God by obeying it – In effort to protect the gospel through his reputation, he commended himself as a servant of God in much endurance, in afflictions, in hardships and distress, in beatings, in imprisonments…. He suffered all these things so the lies that went ahead of him would be virtually unbelievable. Why would someone willingly suffer this level of treatment, and then suddenly destroy his own life’s work in an act of self-betrayal? This was the question he wanted to generate in people’s minds, and it cost him dearly to create that protective shield around his reputation. Living in a world like this, preaching the gospel of Christ, one that speaks of love and change, one that totally revamps the Jewish faith and customs, suffering was unavoidable.

(116f) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Working the grace of God >> Through hardship 

(142g) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Witnesses of Jesus >> Reputation exposed to slander >> Your reputation under attack Paul was considered a deceiver in the world, but in the Church he was a saint. There were many reports spoken against Paul in his day. He tried not to give offense in anything in order that his ministry be not discredited. Paul didn’t worry what people thought of him, knowing they would talk no matter what he said and did, but he didn’t want to put himself in a position of explaining to others what they had heard about him before he could preach the gospel to them. 1Cor 4-1 says, “Let a man regard us in this manner, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God.” Paul took great pains to protect his reputation, but in the end he was the only person who could discredit his ministry. He wrote extensively about reputation being the single most valuable asset of a Christian evangelist; our reputation is everything. He offended a lot of people, but he did it trying to spread the message of salvation. In that sense His reputation was marred, but in Paul’s view, it bolstered his reputation. Paul wrote to churches as one Christian to another, and for that reason they were on the same page; they understood that the world condemning Paul didn’t mean Paul was guilty of anything; it just meant they were haters of God and of Paul’s message. This is the true condition of the world, and it is the reason Jesus died for our sins. Of course, then, the world will do what it can to discredit the gospel if only in their own minds, yet all the lies perpetrated against Paul’s good name did nothing to tarnish our historical view of him, meaning their dishonor had little effect in his time. Regardless of being a deceiver or found true, none of the lies against him had any relevance, for without evidence their accusations were unbelievable. His negative reputation in the world actually helped the cause of Christ, according to the old saying, ‘bad publicity is good publicity.’ Paul would rather have bad publicity over being an unknown, because with bad publicity at least people learned his name, and when Paul arrived at a certain location to discover that his name had preceded him, he could straighten out the facts in person with the advancement of the gospel continuing unhampered.

2Cor 6-3

(1d) Responsibility >> Avoid offending God and people >> Maintain a good reputation – Some people actually want us to offend them, so they can excuse themselves from the message of Christ, while salvaging their conscience. They are not interested in destroying the gospel in society; they personally just don’t want to hear it. But they are not being fair to themselves to get off the hook so easily. Perhaps if they heard the word in power they would repent of their unbelief. Paul writes a long list of things he does to ensure not to nullify the grace of God, and at the top of his list was giving no offense to anyone in order that his ministry be not discredited. He does everything in His power not to offend anyone, knowing if he does, those offended will tell others and their words will spread like wildfire. Myths and untruths about him already multiplied without him doing anything wrong; imagine how fast the news would travel had Paul not concentrated on living as near perfect as humanly possible. He didn’t want to arm his enemies with ammunition they would use to knock down his life’s work, which was the very work of God. Rather, he sought to expose his enemies, so when they spoke evil against him, those he reached with the gospel would not listen to them. He especially didn’t want to offend his non-enemies, because people would certainly listen to them. As it was, people tried to get dirt on Paul, but since the vast majority of their claims were unfounded, little stuck to him. 

(9a) Responsibility >> Prevent being blamed for something you did not do >> Prevent accusations

KJV    NAS  /  Navigation Bar

4-7 but in everything commending ourselves as servants of God, in much endurance, in afflictions, in hardships, in distresses, 5 in beatings, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors, in sleeplessness, in hunger, 6 in purity, in knowledge, in patience, in kindness, in the Holy Spirit, in genuine love, 7 in the word of truth, in the power of God; by the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and the left, 

 

2Cor 6,4-10

(14f) Servant >> Ministry of helps >> Helpers obey Christ – Helpers help through thick and thin, through hardship and persecution. Whatever it takes to ensure the Church is properly and spiritually nourished and made to feel that someone is taking care of the saints. They are not alone in their confidence in God. The ministry of helps strives to take the Church to the next level of faith and love.

(46b) Judgment >> Spiritual warfare >> Subjecting your flesh >> Preparing for battle

(129e) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Bearing fruit >> Bear fruit by dying to self

(148l) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Works of the church bear witness to Jesus >> Evangelism >> Obligation to preach the gospel >> Slave laborers – Paul was a servant of God, regardless of the slanderous reports about him. Likewise, when Paul said, “by good report and by bad report,” he was talking about the many fables that people in the world had conspired against him in attempt to at least slow the spread of the gospel, because at this time Christianity was spreading like wildfire. The Church's first and second century experience was that of revival, which the world since then had seldom seen. Jesus alluded to this in Jn 4-35, “Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look on the fields, that they are white for harvest.” The people were ready to be harvested with the gospel of Christ as Gal 4-4 also speaks, “But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son....” The reason the time was right had to do with the openness of the gentiles to receive the message of Christ. The Romans had the world under oppression for many decades and the peasant community were ready for something positive to come to them. They were tired of their stale, pagan religion, serving the same  moldy gods. None of these things had any fulfillment, so people were ready for change, and this is why Jesus came when He did. So the gospel found root and spread rapidly and increased among the people who were ready for it, and when the dark ages came, the gospel would survive. Today we worship God according to His Truth that was virtually unscathed by the religious abuse of past millennia, and is ready to reach out to another generation whose fields are white with harvest. Thank God for the written word! Without it, man would be lost.

(164j) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> The world is at enmity with God >> The world hates the Church

(188c) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Separation from the old man >> Suffering >> Growing pains >> Growing outwardly – Paul was whipped and beaten many times for the sake of the gospel of Christ, yet God spared his life that he may continue preaching the gospel and encouraging the saints, managing the Church and protecting it from wolves. Paul traveled the world often suffering cold and exposure, half starving at times, preaching a gospel of unimaginable wealth, promising his parishioners they would walk down streets of gold one day while having the living God dwelling in their hearts. He spoke of a spiritual wealth that transcended the human imagination that will one day be ours to enjoy for eternity, as having nothing, yet possessing heaven itself and the one who owns it, even as we are possessed by Him.

(234h) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Invest in the kingdom >> Sold out >> Placing no boundaries on your commitment to God >> Going to any extreme to fulfill the will of God – As a complete unknown along his travels among those in a new land, a new country, a new village, they knew nothing about his message, yet he was well known by God. As dying to the evil nature of sin that never rests in our flesh, bombarding the truth that dwells in our spirit with weapons of opposing stamina, being stripped of our dignity and self destiny, taking on God’s purpose, incurring much sorrow to ourselves, yet behold we live by the power of God. As punished, yet not put to death. 

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

(250c) Priorities >> God’s prerequisites >> Sequence of priorities >> In all things ... >> Be a servant in all things

(250m) Priorities >> God’s prerequisites >> Lists >> Terms of graduating to the next level >> List of physical circumstances

2Cor 6-4,5

(99e) Thy kingdom come >> Endurance (Thorn in the flesh) >> Enduring the will of God >> Endure the position of a servant

(242kb) Kingdom of God >> Opposition toward the Kingdom of God >> Persecuting the kingdom >> Reacting to persecution >> Enduring

2Cor 6-4

(165l) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> The hardship of affliction

2Cor 6-6,7

(80c) Thy kingdom come >> Know the word in spiritual warfare >> To fight in the Spirit

(111f) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Spirit and the word >> Word and the power (meaning) of God >> Word in obedience cannot evade the power of God

2Cor 6-6

(78d) Thy kingdom come >> Sincerity >> Taking God to heart >> Having a genuine heart

(105a) Thy kingdom come >> Pure in heart >> A pure heart is a genuine heart

(124d) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Love >> Acts of love >> Love is one of the fruits of the Spirit

(126j) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Patience >> The patience of God >> Have the patience of God

(127a) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Kindness >> Be kind like God >> Practice the kindness of God

KJV    NAS  /  Navigation Bar

8-10 by glory and dishonor, by evil report and good report; regarded as deceivers and yet true; 9 as unknown yet well-known, as dying yet behold, we live; as punished yet not put to death, 10 as sorrowful yet always rejoicing, as poor yet making many rich, as having nothing yet possessing all things.

 

2Cor 6,8-10

(53a) Paradox -- Key verse for the entire chapter – The study of paradoxes takes a break from the theological platform and examines the many anomalies of Scripture. Observe an extensive compilation of ironies, opposites, two implied meanings and a host of other related topics prepared for a wide variety of uses. Most paradoxical studies examine the apparent contradictions of Scripture, but this study conceptualizes the aberrations of human nature as compared to Scripture that have been previously overlooked until now.

(94f) Thy kingdom come >> God’s perspective >> His perspective on the gift of God – Paul is showing the dual-perspective of the Church: the world’s view of Christians versus God’s view of His own people. We know that God’s view of us is the true one that opposes the world’s view that sees us as fools, but God sees us as partakers of the divine nature and possessing His wisdom and glory. As we strive to maintain a good reputation, the world sees us as evil. It perceives us as deceivers, yet God bears witness in our spirit that we are His children. To the world we are ignored, by-passed, insignificant and not worth mentioning, but to God we are well-known, chosen, beloved and the subject of conversation in heaven. The world sees us as dying, yet all they see is the things we sacrifice to do God’s will. The world has tried to kill the Church since its onset; the world tried to kill Paul for years, yet he lived to be an old man; they tried to silence him from the very beginning of his ministry, yet he turned the world upside down with the gospel of Christ. We are sorrowful; there are pressures on us that are not on the world; we struggle with things that are incomprehensible to those outside the Church; we have the weight of the world on our shoulders with the commission to save human souls for Jesus’ sake and the stakes are infinitely high, yet we do it with joy that is greater than the happiness of the world. The world sees us as poor; in fact, most Christians have little to nothing, yet our gospel makes many rich with the hope of eternal life and rich with the promises of God’s love and acceptance. To the world we appear to have nothing, yet in reality we possess all things from Him. This dual perspective is one of the temporal world and eternity, one of this life and the Kingdom of Heaven that we will inherit that God is pleased to give. The world points at us, naming these things over us, reminding us that we are nobody in a world of some-bodies, and so it takes faith to believe in God in this world and to maintain a true perspective and reject the world’s perception of us.

2Cor 6-8

(107h) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Hearing from God >> The Church is of the truth >> God’s people are the true witnesses of God – There are highly religious charlatans who go to church every week who are not the true witnesses of God. If it were just the pastors, it would be bad enough, but who would regularly attend a charlatan’s church if they were not charlatans themselves? There are some born-again Christians who regularly attend churches that do not teach being born-again, yet generally, a church that does not teach the truth is not of the truth and nor are those in attendance. We are living in very difficult times; one of the most difficult things about these days is knowing who to trust. There are some people who know and love God with all their hearts, and we can usually trust them, but they are far and few between, and the fact is, many of them go to the same church together, and so the task is to find that church. It does no one any good to be a born-again Christian and attend a church that doesn’t teach the truth, for if the people were seeking truth, they wouldn’t be there. Much of the evidence we have as to who is a true brother in the faith is unreliable, for we cannot go by circumstantial evidence.

(153l) Witness >> Validity of the Father >> God bears witness against the world >> Shame >> Living for Jesus exposes sin >> Suffering shame for the cause of righteousness

(182i) Works of the devil >> The origin of lawlessness >> Deception >> Being deceptive with people >> Distorted perception of others

2Cor 6-9

(53a) Paradox >> Opposites >> Of life and death >> Die in order to live

(54n) Paradox >> Opposites >> As sorrowful yet always rejoicing

(254c) Trinity >> Holy Spirit’s relationship between Father and Son >> Jesus is the life of the Spirit >> We live because He is life >> We live because we died with Him

2Cor 6-10

(34e) Gift of God >> Believer owns everything >> All things belong to us

(35c) Gift of God >> God is willing to Give >> God’s immeasurable generosity

(54m) Paradox >> Opposites >> As having nothing yet possessing all things

(109b) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Revelations of the Holy Spirit >> Revelation of the gift of God

(125e) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Joy is the result of partaking of the Holy Spirit >> Joy of the revelation of Jesus Christ

(188h) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Separation from the old man >> Sorrow >> Grieving over your own loss >> Grieving over your sinful nature

(249h) Priorities >> God’ s preeminence >> Wealth >> True perception of wealth >> The infinite and eternal wealth of God >> Being rich in Jesus We can afford to be content; we have everything. There is one thing a believer does not have without contentment: character. If we endure we will receive the inheritance of all things. But the one who toils after the wind wants it all right now, not knowing he already has it in his spirit, where Jesus lives. The wealth that God put in us is of greater value than all the riches in heaven, for Jesus is priceless above anything He could ever create. 

 

KJV    NAS  /  Navigation Bar

11-13 Our mouth has spoken freely to you, O Corinthians, our heart is opened wide. 12 You are not restrained by us, but you are restrained in your own affections. 13 Now in a like exchange -I speak as to children -open wide to us also.

 

2Cor 6,11-13

(74g) Thy kingdom come >> Heart is central value system >> Man’s treasure chest

(194i) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Turn from sin to God >> Yielding >> Yield to God’s right to direct your way

(196d) Denying Christ >> Man exercises his will against God >> Immaturity >> Not mature enough to die to self >> Unable to put down your own flesh – Most people live and walk according to how they feel, and it makes perfect sense to them; however, there are things God wants us to do that will require us to put down our affections. What Christians fail to understand when they live according to their affections is the value of freedom. When we tell them that they have sacrificed their freedom to live according to their affections, they just shrug their shoulders. What value is there in freedom so important that we must sacrifice our affections to attain it? Most people who sacrifice the freedom of Christ to serve their flesh have an invalid definition of freedom, being the reason they are so willing to sacrifice it. What does any of this have to do with salvation and going to heaven? Our affections lead us astray, so the way we feel makes the decision about what we do, and if we allow this, it will determine how we live. If we live according to our affections instead of according to the word of God, it will lead us astray. Following our affections will never lead us to Christ; this is why Paul commanded us to die to self.

(197c) Denying Christ >> Man exercises his will against God >> Spiritual laziness >> Rebelling against where God wants you to go >> Refuse to walk in freedom – We have been told that freedom is the right to do whatever we want. The military wars against other nations to maintain our freedom to live however we want. We live in a democracy and have freedom of speech among other things, but Jesus' definition of freedom was different: He wants us to be free to do whatever God wants us to do. Unbelievers say they could do the will of God if they wanted; they just don’t feel like it, but this is a lie; they are in bondage to their affections that forbid them to do the will of God. The Bible speaks about freedom from sin and freedom to righteousness. We know that many of our fleshly impulses are sinful, and that they lead to doing the will of Satan, and so Jesus wants us free from these things, which means we will have to sacrifice our affections. The unbeliever might say that he would be happy to serve the Lord so long as it didn’t infringe on their affections, but Paul’s answer is that we cannot do what we please (Gal 5-17). Unbelievers simply cannot prioritize the freedom of Christ over their affections. Their freedom to act impulsively is more important to them than doing the will of God, and this is the problem with the world, and it is a growing problem in the Church. When the world sees the Church acting impulsively, sacrificing their freedom to do righteousness, they learn this very quickly, and the floodgates of depravation have opened wide. Now that the world has seen the Church acting this way, they feel they have been given a green light to explore their sinful passions and desires, and it has produced every imaginable crime against humanity. Now, if someone wants to shoot somebody or a whole crowd of people, they just do it.

2Cor 6-11

(85g) Thy kingdom come >> Words that are spoken in faith >> Testify of God’s works

(150j) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Works of the Church bear witness of Jesus >> Speak the word >> Preaching the word to the Church

2Cor 6-12

(22f) Sin >> Lust (craving pleasure) >> Fleshly desire

(96f) Thy kingdom come >> Positive attitude toward God >> Good attitude toward the Father

(163b) Works of the devil >> Being a slave to the devil (Addictions) >> Bondage >> Being slaves of men >> Prison – “Restrained” is a variant of restraint, which means: fetters, handcuffs, bondage. Their own affections were putting handcuffs on the Corinthians, keeping them from doing the will of God, and the devil was behind it, using their flesh to accomplish his will. Satan and our flesh both come from a common realm that God has cursed. Therefore, the devil and man’s flesh understand each other and are in perfect agreement, so when the devil speaks to our flesh, our flesh understands and agrees with him, but we also can correspond with God, with the Spirit He has given us, and so it reduces to: are we going to listen to God in our heart or are we going to listen to the devil in our flesh? Just as our flesh leads us astray from the will of God, so does the devil, and whether it is the devil or our flesh is irrelevant. Conversely, when we do the will of God, it is not we doing it but God working in us to do His will, for we work with Him (v1). We can work with God or we can work with the devil, and this is our daily choice. Paul is saying to the Corinthians that their hands were tied when it came to doing the will of God; Satan had placed handcuffs on them and fetters on their feet and placed them in a prison of their own making with bars consisting of their affections.

(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 – The Corinthians were restrained from doing the will of God, which is how Paul started this chapter, encouraging them not to receive the gracing of God in vain. He denounces any responsibility for their complacency, placing the onus completely on them saying, ‘you are not restrained by us from doing the will of God, but you are restrained by your own affections.’ He Urged them to rise above them, to overcome their affections to avoid being overcome by them.

(202c) Denying Christ >> Man chooses his own destiny apart from God >> Running from God >> Running to your sinful nature >> Run from God by running to your flesh – The Corinthians were some of the most carnal people of all the Churches to whom Paul wrote letters that found their way in the Bible. The Corinthians most represent American Christianity today. The Scriptures do not restrain us from serving the Lord; rather, we are restrained by our own affections, and by our own affections we have misinterpreted the Scriptures and devised doctrines that appeal to our flesh, undermining the administration of the Holy Spirit, reducing Him to just a lot of doctrines and a few miscellaneous duties that He performs as though He acted apart from our will. People teach the grace of God these days in the sense that we have no part in it. It is true that God’s mercy is sovereign; Jesus died on the cross for our sins without asking us, but His grace is a concerted effort between God and man, requiring our cooperation with Him. If we are not willing to work with Him, it is questionable if we believe in God enough to receive His mercy.

(241g) Kingdom of God >> Opposition toward the Kingdom of God >> Hindering the kingdom >> Obstacles in the way of the kingdom >> Distractions – The Church is restrained by its own affections. Most people are too busy following their feelings to obey God. They don’t feel like getting saved, so they don’t; they don’t feel like a religious person, so they remain secular in their thinking. Their affections distract them from the truth that is literally all around them. This should lead them to the truth of God, but there are just as man influences in the world that lead in directions that oppose the truth. There is only one truth, and there is only one God, and if we understand Him and His creation differently than the truth, than we are idolaters worshipping a false god, proving that we don’t know Him (Mat 7-23).

2Cor 6-13

(33g) Gift of God >> God is our Father >> Children need a Father to care for them

KJV    NAS  /  Navigation Bar

14&15 Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? 15 Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever?

 

2Cor 6,14-18

(3c) Responsibility >> To the Family >> Instruction about marriage – The term “ignorant Christian” is an oxymoron; hence, a Christian who would marry an unbeliever knows it’s wrong. Faith is based on knowledge, and a true Christian has seen the light. If a person has no knowledge of God, especially if he lives in a land where there is a Bible in every house and a Bible-believing church in every small town, he has no excuse for his ignorance. Moreover, if the person were truly a Christian, he would have the Holy Spirit dwelling in him, who would be screaming in his ear not to marry an unbeliever. He does not obey the Holy Spirit; he does not obey the Scriptures; he has all the signposts waving at him, yet he marries her anyway.

(10a) Responsibility >> Bring order to the Church >> Dealing with problems in the Church – If a person unequally yokes himself to an unbeliever from an attitude of defiance, it can only end in tragedy. To repent after you have married somebody can only mean divorce, and God hates divorce, so it is a hopeless situation. Many believers have indeed married unbelievers and woken up one day to realize what they have done. A day came along when they wanted to grow in their faith and discovered that they have an unbeliever strapped to their back, and so they must live that way. Unequally yoked means, you are helping the farmer plow his field, and you are one of the oxen tied to his plow, and you notice that the ox tied to you is waiting for you to move the farmer’s plow forward so he can reach the next clump of grass. He is doing no work at all, and it is at this point you finally realize that you would be further ahead without him. The farmer represents the law of Moses that hates divorce. This is the arrangement that will remain until the field is plowed, and the field represents your lives together. It is one thing if the other person respects your faith, even though he doesn’t want to be a Christian; that is like the ox that walks with you but does no work. It’s another thing, though, when your spouse despises your faith and resists you at every step, and the farmer is putting the whip across your back, not noticing the dynamics between the two oxen tied to his plow. This is why they say marriage will be your biggest decision in life, just under your commitment to follow Christ. Marriage says, ‘I will live with this person for the rest of my life,’ and divorce turns that into a lie. Someone might say, ‘I lie all the time; why should I keep this promise?’ This is why divorce is rampant. If your relationship is well enough that you can actually get along with each other, God would prefer that you stayed married, than to divorce him for the cause of Christ.

(112e) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Light >> Jesus light in us overcomes darkness >> The light of His truth

(167k) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> Do not conform to the world >> The world’s unbelief – There are those who believe we have some sort of right to indefinitely remain in a state of disobedience as Christians, yet the Bible in no way teaches this. Yes, we are all disobedient at times, and we all make mistakes, and for this reason God has instituted the ministry of repentance through the blood of Christ to forgive our sin and to cleans us from all unrighteousness (1Jn 1-9). Sometimes we get into a bad situation and fall under bondage to sin even as Christians and remain there sometimes for years, until finally we learn the error or our ways, but during that time we are utterly miserable. The one in bondage to sin who feels comfortable and even revels in it is something other than a true Christian. Later when he looks back, a true Christian who has lived in sin will see that those were some of the most miserable years of his life, because the Holy Spirit was constantly hounding him to break free of bondage through the power of Christ.

(185h) Works of the devil >> The result of lawlessness >> Blasphemy >> Responding with contempt to the Holy Spirit >> Resisting the Holy Spirit – We know that we must do what the Holy Spirit commands; we must remain reverent of Him, knowing that if we spurn Him too often or if we become too brazen, eventually He will give up on us, and we don’t want to put ourselves in that position, because then we would have less hope than an unbeliever. The unbeliever has hope of possibly being saved one day, but the Bible teaches that if we let our lamps go out, we have no way of re-igniting it. There is a difference, though, between the lamp of our salvation and the lamp of anointing. The lamp of anointing normally flickers brighter and dimmer as a function of our spiritual and natural circumstances, but our lamp of salvation is a steady light without hills or valleys, and if we allow that light to dwindle until if finally goes out, the Bible lends no hope of its rebirth, for we cannot be re-born-again. We dare not blaspheme the Holy Spirit to the point of complete disintegration of our faith, and this is what often happens to those who marry unbelievers.

(191j) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Result of putting off the old man >> Set apart >> Set apart from the world – Paul warns the Church not to marry the wrong person, namely an unbeliever. Christians should not marry non-Christians. It may seem like something Paul shouldn’t need to mention, but it happens all the time. Christians become emotionally tied to someone before they know anything about the other person’s faith, and before long they feel they can’t live without him or her. They start talking about marriage, yet the subject of faith still has not made it to the light of day. They wake up one morning with an unbeliever in their bed and can hardly retrace their steps that led them together. Meanwhile their differences in faith cause them to drift apart and often ends in divorce after children have become involved. Why would a born again Christian who is in love with God marry someone who doesn’t even know Him? It is a very common and very big mistake to think you are going to lead the other person to the Lord after you get married. What fellowship has light with darkness? Why would you be attracted to someone like that anyway? If you are of the light, how could you possibly be attracted to darkness? There is no light in a person who does not know the Lord, and may never know the Lord. 

(222i) Kingdom of God >> The elusive Kingdom of Heaven >> Do not give what is holy to dogs >> God shares no intimacy with dogs >> Do not fellowship with dogs

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2Cor 6,14-16

(1m) Responsibility >> Avoid offending God >> Carrying a false burden >> Making commitments that contradict Scripture – Do not feel obligated to pair up with an unbeliever or to have unbelieving friends. That does not mean you cannot have unbelieving friends; It just means you shouldn’t feel obligated. However, if you should marry an unbeliever, it may quite well be the biggest mistake of your life. The trouble it will cause you is a false burden that will only weigh you down, while adding very little positive to show for of your misery and endurance.

(195d) Denying Christ >> Man exercises his will against God >> Idolatry >> Serving two masters >> You cannot serve righteousness and sin together – Paul didn’t understand why anyone would marry an unbeliever. Spiritually, they have nothing in common, anymore than light has anything in common with darkness. The moment you turn on the light, the darkness disappears, so there is no fellowship between them. Paul asks the question, wording it as unequally yoked to an unbeliever. Is there anyone out there who is willing to be yoked to an ox that has conspired to make you do all the work while it simply walks along eating grass? The unfortunate truth is, the Christian who marries an unbeliever must have more in common spiritually than we think, suggesting that anyone who makes this mistake must have a heavy mixture of secularism, carnality and rebellion stirring in their hearts. Unfortunately, “believers” have a lot in common with unbelievers nowadays, because there are so many rooms in people’s lives that are not lighted with the truth. They have their dark rooms in common with unbelievers, but this is not God’s will. That makes us take one step back and ask what fellowship Jesus had with the devil – absolutely none. Can you imagine Jesus being buddies with the Pharisees? Although Jesus was essentially a spirit, giving him that much in common with the devil, and though he was as much flesh and blood, giving him that in common with the Pharisees, yet in their situations the nature of one was giving, while the nature of the other was taking. They were polar opposites by nature, and so are the believer and the unbeliever on a spiritual level. They should not be able to coexist together, and in most cases they don’t for long. For a Christian to marry an unbeliever, most likely means there are rooms that are unlit by the truth in their hearts, but God wants our entire lives to be a light for all the world to see, so that there is no dark part or unlit room in our hearts where we hide things we know are wrong. Christians who have one foot dabbling in the world would understand why they would marry an unbeliever, but Paul doesn’t recognize people who seek to live this way as Christians. He doesn’t accept their lifestyle as a legitimate description of Christianity.

(242i) Kingdom of God >> Opposition toward the Kingdom of God >> Persecuting the kingdom >> Worldly pressure >> World pressures you to forsake your values

(250j) Priorities >> God’s prerequisites >> Lists >> List of traits that can be found in man >> List of traits of the heart

2Cor 6-14

(181f) Works of the devil >> Practicing witchcraft >> Lawlessness >> Having no regard for the law >> Forsaking the law

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16-18 Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said, "I WILL DWELL IN THEM AND WALK AMONG THEM; AND I WILL BE THEIR GOD, AND THEY SHALL BE MY PEOPLE. 17 "Therefore, COME OUT FROM THEIR MIDST AND BE SEPARATE," says the Lord. "AND DO NOT TOUCH WHAT IS UNCLEAN; And I will welcome you. 18 "And I will be a father to you, And you shall be sons and daughters to Me," Says the Lord Almighty.

 

2Cor 6,16-18

(33b) Gift of God >> God is our Father >> Believers are His sons and daughters

(104h) Thy kingdom come >> Pure in heart shall see God >> Shall see the Father >> God is in our presence

(132a) Temple >> Your body is the temple of God >> Holy Spirit is in God’s people >> spirit of God in the spirit of man >> Spirit of the Father – We are individually temples and collectively the temple of the living God. There, he said it. This is something other people have written in other parts of the Bible, but never so succinctly as this. It is the beginning idea of Israel's ancient form of worship using the old covenant temple as their medium of worship, whereas our bodies in the new covenant era have become the new medium, which is the beginning reason for it being a better covenant. 

(172e) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> Tares among the wheat >> Communion between the world and the Church >> The Church in the world – We know that the Church today is a facet of the world and society; the Church also happens to be impotent for that very reason. There are true believers that assemble in churches that are part of a world that God is trying to save. The world has accepted the Church, not on God’s terms but on their own terms, and for this favor of acceptance the world imposes upon the Church an unwritten code dictating that the Church should also accept the world and society. However, the world is unacceptable to God in its natural state, but needs God to forgive them and cleanse them from all unrighteousness that they might be born-again. There are born-again Christians that go to one church and born-again Christians that go to another church, and those people who go to those churches are really of one True Church that belongs to God. They are separate because they live by different principles. If we try to put them together, the result is disastrous. As Jesus said in Mat 9-16, “No one puts a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment; for the patch pulls away from the garment, and a worse tear results.” The world says that it is repulsed by the Church, but the opposite is more true: the true Church is repulsed by the world.

(213g) Sovereignty >> God is infinite >> Jesus owns you >> We are his instruments >> We are reflectors of His glory – It says He will dwell in us and walk among us; those are two separate things. For God to dwell in us refers to being born-again, for He is the seal of our salvation, but what does it mean to walk among us? For Him to dwell in us is invisible to others, though it is a greater proof to the individual, but for God to walk among us refers to the anointing. When we think about the Church in the days of Jesus’ return, in the second and third chapters of Revelation, it talks about Jesus walking among the various churches, meaning that the anointing will be very important in the last days prior to His return. It is something that only the mature in Christ can successfully maintain, for the immature tend to spend the anointing on their sins. The anointing is defined as an external manifestation of an inward work.

(231k) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Seeking the kingdom >> Count the cost >> Don’t look back >> Don’t look back to bondage

2Cor 6-16

(132a) Your Body is the Temple of God (Key verse)

2Cor 6-17

(31a) Gift of God >> God is our Father >> He favors the Church to spite the world – Paul is talking about two things at once, being essentially the same: the indwelling Holy Spirit and a conjugate anointing. In order to have and maintain an anointing from God, we must come out from among them and be separate, which refers to sanctification. We must be separate from the world in order for our anointing to become evident. If we integrate into the value systems of the world and believe in the natural realm as though our five senses could tell us everything that exists, then the world, the flesh and the devil will rob us of the anointing, so it never becomes evident to anyone, including ourselves. However, if we respect the process of sanctification for the purpose of carrying and maintaining an anointing from God, based on the indwelling Holy Spirit, then God will lead us to do exploits for Him as a way of life.

(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 – The Bible says that God is both in us and around us, “I will dwell in them and walk among them.” For one person to have an anointing is not as meaningful as many people carrying and maintaining an anointing, for it employs synergy, where the effects are greater than the sum of its parts. Sharing the anointing with one another describes this concept of God walking among His people. This anointing originated from the heart of the individual as something that God has always expected from His people throughout the age of grace, for if God’s inward work doesn’t manifest, then neither is it meaningful, yet there is very little mention about the anointing, and what is mentioned in the Church today is mostly a muddling of doctrines, concepts and ideas thrown every which-way with no agreement or cohesion, so the teaching of the anointing is totally misunderstood, if not absent from the doctrines of Christendom, to the point that people have completely given-up on it.

(145g) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Jesus’ works bear witness of Himself >> Demon possession >> Human state >> Filthiness >> That which Is unclean

 

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Scripture quotations taken from the New American Standard Bible ® (NASB), Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation Used by permission. www.Lockman.org

 

2 CORINTHIANS CHAPTER 7

 

1 Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. 

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2Cor 7-1

(4i) Responsibility >> The choices you make >> Accountable for your sinful nature

(43l) Judgment >> Satan destroyed in the absence of sin >> Perfecting the will of God

(85c) Thy kingdom come >> Your words can lead to your own demise >> Your mouth defiles the rest of your body

(88j) Thy kingdom come >> Fear of God is the beginning of wisdom >> It causes repentance

(103h) Thy kingdom come >> Purifying process >> Cleans yourself – There are two kinds of sin: fleshly sins and spiritual sins. Fleshly sins refer to the sins we commit every day by which we can become addicted. Fleshly sins that do not pertain to bondage are sins that Jesus implied in John chapter thirteen when He washed His disciples feet. He washed them because they walked on dusty ground, and the dust clinging to their feet represents sin that happens through no fault of their own. The rest of their body was clean enough that they didn’t need a full bath. However, bondage is something different; there are fleshly sins that can lead to spiritual sins. As Christians, we have an obligation to cleans ourselves from all forms of fleshly bondage, but if we allow them to continue, they can turn into spiritual defilement after the Holy Spirit has confronted us about them numerous times and we resist His gentle nudge.

(133k) Temple >> Your body is the temple of God >> Holiness >> Having an awareness of God’s holiness >> The fear of God makes us aware of His holiness

(138a) Temple >> Building the temple (with hands) >> Maturity >> Maturing by the word of God

(145f) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Jesus’ works bear witness of Himself >> Deliverance from demon possession >> Human state >> Filthiness >> Being defiled – Paul is talking about Christians, yet the subject is about deliverance from demon possession. That is not to say that Christians can be demon possessed, anymore than God can have fellowship with demons. A person doesn’t have to ask the Holy Spirit to come and dwell in him to be born-again, which is the concept of the sinner’s prayer. To be saved all a person needs to do is believe in His heart and commit his life to the purpose of God. If a person is willing to do the will of God, everything else falls in place. The level of faith required to commit himself to the will of God is enough to evict any demons that may have been previously living in his spirit. The incentive for a Christian to commit his life to God is the promise of eternal life. That doesn’t mean a Christian must know the promises of God before he can become a Christian; by the leading of the Holy Spirit into all the truth even before he makes His commitment, he can know that God has good intensions for him. This is the reason he is becoming a Christian in the first place, and with these promises the Christian cleanses himself from all defilement of flesh and spirit. However, if the Christian doesn't seek the freedom of Christ but gives all freedom to his flesh to do whatever it wants, it can lead to fleshly bondage, then to spiritual bondage, then to losing his salvation, and possibly even to demon possession.

(162e) Works of the devil >> Being a slave to the devil (Addictions) >> Bondage >> A slave to unbelief >> Bondage to an inability to believe – Spiritual sins are far worse than fleshly sins, even worse than murder, at least they are to God. On the one hand, fleshly sins are like the abrasive properties of sandpaper that cause our faith to slowly erode over time, which if not put in check often lead to spiritual sins. On the other hand, spiritual sins are like a hammer and chisel that takes out chunks of our faith at a time. Hence, fleshly sins cause us to backslide, whereas spiritual sins ultimately cause us to fall away altogether. We commit spiritual sins through a spirit of unbelief. The way back from fleshly sin is a simple matter of repentance, whereas repenting from spiritual sins is not as straightforward. To cleans ourselves from the defilement of flesh and spirit is a matter of praying the word of God over our lives, rooting out various sins committed by the flesh and various demonic spirits that have attached themselves and are controlling us. We need God to set us free, “From all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God,” who will begin to reveal His truth to us for the purpose of obeying it. Until then we are held under bondage to our own devices.

(183i) Works of the devil >> The origin of lawlessness >> Spirit of Error (Anti-Christ / Anti-Semitism) >> Spirit of the broad road >> Spirit of error will lead you astray – To commit a sin is nothing to the Christian, compared to living in bondage to sin, because it defiles the conscience to the point of rendering it ineffective. This is an example of spiritual sins being more dangerous to the Christian than fleshly sins, for they tamper with the conscience and are hence capable of separating us from our faith. In Rom 8,35-39 Paul challenges anything to separate us from the love of Christ, mentioning tribulation, distress, persecution, etc, none of which have power to separate us from the love of Christ, but what was not on the list of impotent forces was the Christian himself. That is, we can separate ourselves from the love of Christ by walking out the same door we used to enter His grace. If we neglect to take the appropriate measures to cleans ourselves from fleshly bondage, they can progress into spiritual defilement by repeatedly resisting the Holy Spirit. Each time the Holy Spirit calls us to repentance and we resist Him, it causes us to take another step from His grace. Eventually His pull on our lives will weaken, like a lost planet separated from its solar system, or as Jude put it, “wandering stars, for whom the black darkness has been reserved forever” (Jd-13). The most obvious example of spiritual sin is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. There are many forms of blasphemy. We can be in bondage to sin, and it can distance us from the love of God, so when an occasion arises to confess our faith in Jesus, we deny Him as Peter did. We don’t automatically lose our salvation over it anymore than Peter lost his, but it marks the beginning of a slide that if not corrected can take us down a steep grade. It is the road that leads to destruction. for example, had Peter not repented, Satan would have multiplied his guilt and separated him from the love he knew that Jesus had for him, until it was too painful to contemplate and it became unbelievable. Over time, he would have lost the faith to believe that God loved him, and the Bible says that we are saved by grace through faith. If we lose our faith, we lose the grace too. So, one leads to the other; defilement of flesh leads to defilement of spirit.

(187e) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Separation from the old man >> Die to the flesh >> Dying to receive the glory of God >> Die to self to be set free – This is the main verse in the Bible that makes a distinction between sins of the flesh and sins of the spirit. Catholics separate them as mortal (venial) sins and cardinal sins (or something like that, I really don’t know), and there may be other terms they use, but none they have clarified. In contrast, Paul makes the division between flesh and spirit. We all know the sins of the flesh, those which our fleshly bodies have tempted us to commit, such as sexual immorality, anger, stealing, lying, essentially all the sins the Ten Commandments cover. You might say, ‘I didn’t know there were others sins that the law did not cover,’ and you would be right. The law also covers spiritual sins through the very first commandment, “You shall love the Lord with all your heart, mind, soul and strength.” The only difference between fleshly sins and spiritual sins is that one you commit against man and the other you commit against God. For instance, you can lie to man and you can lie to God.

(192j) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Turn from sin to God >> Repent >> Stop practicing sin >> Stop sinning

(205d) Salvation >> Salvation is based on God’s promises >> According to promise >> Promise of His inheritance

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2&3 Make room for us in your hearts; we wronged no one, we corrupted no one, we took advantage of no one. 3 I do not speak to condemn you, for I have said before that you are in our hearts to die together and to live together. 

 

2Cor 7,2-10

(74g) Thy kingdom come >> Heart is central value system >> Man’s treasure chest

(123i) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Love >> Spiritual affection >> Being in love with the body of Christ >> Emotional situations -- These verses go with verse 13. We hear a wide range of emotions in this passage, contrary to much of the reason people don’t want to be Christians, because they don't want to have a boring life. Most people live for their emotions; they do things that make them feel happy or give them pleasure. Their emotions are their God, their idol; they worship and serve them, but Christians have emotions too. Unbelievers do not allow themselves to be depressed, and they don’t want anything to do with mourning or grieving. We look on TV at all the happy people looking for the next party; their acceptable range of emotions are far narrower than the Christian. Of course, the unbelievers would say, ‘What a ridiculous defense, who wants to be depressed?’ but what they don't understand is that a Christian getting depressed by doing the will of God is a rich experience. In contrast, depression and mourning of unbelievers is just that, very depressing, sad and pathetic, and nobody wants any part of it. The so-called negative emotions of the Christian doing the will of God adds to the richness of our emotions, the depression we experience is also the joy of knowing there is reward for faithfully doing God’s will regardless of the circumstances. For this reason Christians are more willing to accept depression: they will be rewarded for their suffering, whereas for the unbeliever, there is no reward for them, no benefit, no purpose.

2Cor 7-2,3

(131l) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Unity >> Having soul ties

(161j) Works of the devil >> Essential characteristics >> Satan’s attitude determines our direction >> Carried Away >> Condemnation >> Condemnation without basis of sin

2Cor 7-2

(11j) Servant >> Paul is our example of how to walk with God

(92m) Thy kingdom come >> The narrow way >> Walk it for the sake of your brother

(155c) Witness >> Validity of the believer >> Witness of the believer >> Conscience >> Having a good conscience >> Conscience bears witness that we obey God’s law

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4-7 Great is my confidence in you; great is my boasting on your behalf. I am filled with comfort; I am overflowing with joy in all our affliction. 5 For even when we came into Macedonia our flesh had no rest, but we were afflicted on every side: conflicts without, fears within. 6 But God, who comforts the depressed, comforted us by the coming of Titus; 7 and not only by his coming, but also by the comfort with which he was comforted in you, as he reported to us your longing, your mourning, your zeal for me; so that I rejoiced even more.

 

2Cor 7,4-10

(93n) Thy kingdom come >> Perspective on the circumstances of this life – When we struggle doing the will of God through hardship and difficulty, striving to accomplish the things that God has called us to do, it has a way of separating us from our fleshly perspective and delivers to us on a silver platter a richer spiritual understanding of God. These things come to us through the grace of God. One of the benefits of serving Christ is having a spiritual outlook on life. Part of that is divorcing our fleshly and carnal perspectives. These things have been sown into us from a very young age, and our flesh naturally understands them; our natural lives have an affinity for worldly belief systems that try to explain reality, and we have an affinity to receive them. Most people don't stop to wonder if they are true or if this world is just a gigantic lie. What pain and difficulty and hardship does for a person who is suffering under the hand of God is separates us from our natural lives in this world and makes it less attainable, so we can stop and get a wider perspective and perceive the world in a different way, that the world is not as deeply rooted in reality as we thought.

2Cor 7,4-7

(29l) Gift of God >> God knows our needs; therefore we don’t have to care

(98h) Thy kingdom come >> Endurance (Thorn in the flesh) >> (Faith à Suffering à Glory) – What temporal sufferings are we willing to endure in order to live in eternity with God? He lets us suffer because this is man's relationship with the world, now that he has transgressed God's command starting with Adam and Eve. He said to them, ‘I told you that you would die if you ate that fruit.' How did Adam and Eve die after they sinned? God removed His presences from His creation, and death and destruction rushed in to fill the void. Regarding the subject of suffering and evil, some might say, what good is Jesus if He doesn’t deliver us from our troubles? God might reply, ‘And what good is your faith if I must deliver you from every difficulty before you will believe in Me?’ Faith is not about God serving us, but about us serving Him. If God had to deliver us from every circumstance that we considered difficult, it wouldn’t be long before His sovereignty took a backseat to our demands. God is God and He intends to be Lord of His creation and not the other-way-round. He knows that He is worthy of our service during difficult times. He knows our eternal destiny in heaven is worth any suffering we must endure in this life. It might be painful; we’re not going to like it and it might seem to last a long time, but eternity is longer. Once this life has ended, eternal blessing and glory will be ours forever. So what are we willing to endure in order to have such a future? That is the question God poses to us.

(125g) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Joy >> Joy is the result of unity

(228a) Kingdom of God >> God’s kingdom is a living organism >> God working in you >> Comforted >> God comforts you in times of adversity >> He comforts you in your suffering -- These verses go with verse 13. There will be heavenly rewards for the things we suffer for Christ, but there are even rewards in this life, because it causes a range of understanding and wisdom that unbelievers cannot achieve. When they are depressed, nothing comes of it; their sadness has no benefit, and so they try to avoid it. However, the things we suffer for Jesus’ sake are the stories we have to tell each other to encourage one another to continue in the faith. That might sound discouraging to tell somebody how depressed we felt while serving the Lord; it might even discourage some people from getting saved, but the faithful disciples of Jesus are looking forward to their time in the trenches, so they too might boast among the ranks of those who are faithful in Christ and have stories of their own to tell and encouragement to offer those who are going through the same things. These are times that have a beginning and an end; we come out the other side and can tell people that it was worth the suffering to live for Jesus because of the fruit it produces, the salvation of those who have come to Christ because of our extraordinary efforts on their behalf through the ministry we have fulfilled.

2Cor 7,4-6

(57c) Paradox >> Opposites >> The more you love the less you fear

(188c) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Separation from the old man >> Suffering >> Growing pains >> Growing outwardly – Titus comforted Paul and his companions with his report on the Church, that the people of God were doing well. That was all Paul needed to hear. He was willing to go though just about anything after that, but the one thing that would discourage him to the point of death would be a report that the churches were falling away from the faith. Those words hitting Paul’s ears would have destroyed him, but when Titus came and presented the good news of faith and love, that the Church was growing spiritually and numerically, it suddenly didn’t matter anymore the circumstances of his affliction. They just took a backseat to the report he heard from Titus, because he was suffering for a reason, for human souls. Though Paul will be rewarded for his efforts, he was more interested in giving glory to God than he was in the rewards that he expected to receive for his faithfulness. The only thing Paul wanted for all his trouble was for the Church to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. Paul wanted nothing more than to enjoy the presence of Christ in heaven, and he did everything in his power to simulate his relationship with God in this life to spite his flesh.

2Cor 7-4

(84d) Thy kingdom come >> Words of your mouth >> Boasting >> It needs to be said and no one is saying it >> Boasting of my accomplishments in Christ -- This verse goes with verse 14

(122h) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Confidence in yourself as you die to sin >> Confidence in the Church through your ministry -- This verse goes with verse 16

2Cor 7-5

(24a) Sin >> Poverty (Oppression) >> Fear of hardship (punishment)

(46e) Judgment >> Spiritual warfare >> Subjecting your flesh >> Being fearless in battle

(231b) Kingdom of God >> God’s kingdom is a living organism >> Solving the mystery of godliness >> The mystery is solved in contentment -- The greatest weapon we have that most directly opposes our enemies is to be absent from fear. It is incomprehensible to them. Their strategy is to provoke fear in us. If they succeed, they have won, but if we remain fearless, their own fear will come upon them. The problem is being fearless in fearful situations. The secret is keeping our hands off the circumstances and letting God deliver us. He can turn everything around and work in hundreds of people and custom design our deliverance so in the end we will be facing the right direction for the next odyssey. We must accept our circumstances, and wait for God to turn them around His way and in His own time. 

2Cor 7-6,7

(130m) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Unity >> Interdependent on each other >> Depend on your brother to walk in the gifts of God’s calling

2Cor 7-7

(101b) Thy kingdom come >> Zeal >> For the manifestation of God’s kingdom >> Zealous for good works -- This verse goes with verses 11&12

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8 For though I caused you sorrow by my letter, I do not regret it; though I did regret it-for I see that that letter caused you sorrow, though only for a while -

 

2Cor 7,8-11

(32a) Gift of God >> God is our Father >> Grace >> God’s grace seeks man – Sin has one of two effects: it either sickens us, driving us back to God, or it embitters us against God and drives us further from Him. When we go the other way, we will pay the full price of our sin in sorrow, and this is the case with many people, so who can be saved? With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible (Mat 19-26). Salvation is truly a miracle. God is mostly responsible for man’s salvation. Not only was Jesus responsible for going to the cross to pay for our sins, but He is also responsible for drawing man to Himself. All man needs to do is take His hand in repentance for salvation to be complete. The rest is all God reaching for us, yet there are many people in the world today claiming that God has abandoned the human race. They say this only because they are unwilling to respond to the small, still voice in their hearts.

(89l) Thy kingdom come >> God convicts us of sin >> Conviction reminds us to repent – The Corinthians were slowly realizing that believing in Jesus meant more than just affirming certain doctrines to be true. When they came to the realization that they had to live what they believed in order to legitimize their beliefs, that is when they developed a godly sorrow. They really wanted the hope of heaven; they really wanted God’s love and acceptance, and they were willing to do anything for it, including patterning their lives after the Son of God.

(104b) Thy kingdom come >> Purifying process >> Purified by circumstances >> Purified through dying to sin – Paul presents only two choices in life, and they both pertain to sorrow. We either have sorrow as a result of following the world or we have sorrow as a result of following Christ. That might sound depressing to some who have made it their life’s goal to be happy, but in order to do that, they must either be really lucky and be born in the right generation and at the right time to the right parents and have a lot of things go right for them throughout their lives, which is a lot to ask, or they must pretend to know the truth when in fact they don’t. The truth itself brings sorrow, knowing the true condition of the world. This is not the actual life that God intended for us, but is merely a temporal situation that He is using to test us to see if we will serve Him when given a choice. It is not God who needs to know if we will serve Him, since He knows everything; rather, it is we who need to know.

(188h) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Separation from the old man >> Sorrow >> Grieving over your own loss >> Grieving over your sinful nature – Paul was referring to his first letter, how fervently he rebuked the Corinthians for their fleshly ways. He didn’t regret it because it led them to repentance in order that they may not suffer any loss through his ministry. That is, he wasn’t about to let the Corinthians backslide or fall away from God. He didn’t have the attitude, ‘Oh well, they won’t serve the Lord, so that’s that.’ Instead, he fought for them; he got in the trenches with them and rooted out the problems they had, exposing them to the light of God’s word, and gave them solutions. Jesus is the Good Shepherd, but Paul was a good shepherd too. He said the sorrow of the world produces death. Too often people are sorry for what they do, but only for their consequences after the fact, but if they are not actually sorry for the sin being in their hearts, first chance they get they will commit the sin again. Paul had a little more rebuking to do in the next couple chapters, which suggest they were lacking in gratitude and respect for their elders, and in discernment regarding who they should be following, being short-sighted, not knowing what it takes to walk in Paul's shoes. Some in the Corinthian Church thought they could do it, so Paul had to remind them what he had been through, what it takes to be an apostle of Christ and what to look for in those who claim to have such a ministry.  

(192f) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Result of putting off the old man >> Gain by losing >> Waiting for God to do it His way >> Lose your rights to gain His vindication – Paul said they went about vindicating themselves. We know by some of the things Paul said in First Corinthians that they were having all sorts of problems, and now Paul is saying they have vindicated themselves, meaning they have repented and have corrected the problems. When a person is vindicated, he was in the right and were falsely accused, and then later vindicated. So too, the way the Corinthians were living accused their faith of being disingenuous, but they vindicated their faith through repentance. They had a genuine faith; it was their walk that wasn’t too steady. They demonstrated that their faith was real, and they had indignation (anger) for living that way as Christians and allowing themselves to think that they could abuse the grace of God while considering themselves in His will, basically lying to themselves. They developed a fear of God and a longing and zeal to do His will in avenging evil, not avenging themselves on others who have done them wrong, but avenging their own wrongs that they had done to other people.

2Cor 7,8-10

(11c) Servant >> Standard for a servant >> Freedom – If we pursue happiness as a life-goal and shun anything that brings sorrow, we will find neither God nor happiness, but if we seek the will of God and strive to fit into His purpose, we will know the truth and the truth will set us free. There are things more fulfilling than happiness; there is freedom, but with freedom comes sorrow, for there are sacrifices we must make if we are going to possess the freedom of Christ. The sorrow that God causes is in regard to our sin. It is not fun to realize we are sinners, nor is it fun to repent, but the freedom that comes with repentance replaces happiness. We are not guaranteed happiness in the world, but God promises godly sorrow with repentance in salvation, which leads to the ultimate reward of eternal life. It is ironic that the pursuit of happiness more often brings sorrow, yet joy is the result of doing the will of God. Therefore, anyone who would seek happiness from the world is gambling with his eternal soul in high risk and low potential yield, compared to God’s promise of eternal life, mixed with equal measures of sorrow and joy.

(57b) Paradox >> Opposites >> World’s perspective versus God’s perspective – There is a process of substitution that transpires in the believer when we suffer for Christ; we don’t endure hardship in vain. Not only are we rewarded for our suffering in the life to come, we are rewarded also in this life with the wisdom and knowledge that we receive from God through our suffering. It comes with a side order of added perspective that is invaluable to the believer, not only to help us know God better, but also to know that this world is not right. We need to know both at the same time in equal portions. On the one hand, the more we understand that the world is not right with God, the better we can understand our relationship with Him; on the other hand, the more we are convinced that this world is the true reality, the less we will seek God, because we will assume we already have reality in a basket, yet more often than not, people who assume they know the truth and figure they have a firm grasp on reality, these are the ones in Satan’s basket.

(86j) Thy kingdom come >> Obedience >> Be doers of the word >> Clothe yourself with the word of God >> Walk the truth

(248c) Priorities >> God’s priorities >> The will of God is sometimes a mystery

2Cor 7-8

(170i) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> Outward appearance >> Temporary >> All suffering is temporary

KJV    NAS  /  Navigation Bar

9-11 I now rejoice, not that you were made sorrowful, but that you were made sorrowful to the point of repentance; for you were made sorrowful according to the will of God, so that you might not suffer loss in anything through us. 10 For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation, but the sorrow of the world produces death. 11 For behold what earnestness this very thing, this godly sorrow, has produced in you: what vindication of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what longing, what zeal, what avenging of wrong! In everything you demonstrated yourselves to be innocent in the matter.

 

2Cor 7-9,10

(188g) Sorrow (Key verse)

2Cor 7-10

(26f) Sin >> Consequences of sin >> Death is the fruit of the world – People in the world spend an inordinate amount of time and money trying to make themselves happy, and it is like propping up a corpse, sowing a fake smile on its face. The majority of their efforts lead directly to sorrow, and the sorrow of the world produces death, meaning separation from God. When we seek happiness from the world and it all turns sour, we get mad at God, but we are the ones at fault, because the world’s promises are not guaranteed, whereas God promises both sorrow and joy. Yet, people risk everything for the hope of momentary happiness based on their terms, indicating their motive of rebellion. Later, when things don’t work as expected, we blame Him for it all. They say after the fact, ‘Had God told me this would happen, I wouldn’t have done it,’ but that is a blatant avoidance of accountability. We get ourselves in trouble pursuing happiness, and if we never repent and get saved, we’ll end up in hell, which is the second death, and then we will really be unhappy, so again the sorrow of the world produces death.

(161i) Works of the devil >> Essential characteristics >> Satan’s attitude determines our direction >> Carried Away >> Condemnation based on evidence of sin

(165d) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> The world is at enmity with God >> The world has no hope

2Cor 7-11,12

(78f) Thy kingdom come >> Sincerity >> Embracing your first love >> Single devotion – To a person with sincere faith godly sorrow is like a spanking from the Lord, only it is one that we must agree to receive. 2Cor 10-6 says, “We are ready to punish all disobedience, whenever your obedience is complete.” When we were kids, our parents spanked us against our will, but with God, He never does anything to violate our will. If we don’t submit to this godly sorrow, all we have to do is go into denial and everything is erased, though we only lie to ourselves. We have the power to say that none of this is real, that what we did was not wrong, or that it didn’t happen in the first place, but we manipulate our minds and our conscience to our own demise. When we submit to godly sorrow, we elect to accept it in our heart as our struggle, and it makes us determined to repent. We become dedicated to rooting out all wickedness so we don’t have to deal with the sorrow of grieving the Holy Spirit. It hurts when we grieve the one who loves us, who has elected to come and live in our hearts by a covenant He made with His own blood. We only want to please Him, and what did we do but just the opposite, and He made us aware of His sadness. This can only happen to a person with a sincere faith in Jesus Christ. Any lack of sincerity turns this into a charade. Instead of feeling sorry for what we have done, our insincerity mocks God for the sins we committed, which multiplies the offense. Paul talks this way throughout all his letters; he lived this way, always striving to please the Lord in everything, never wanting to cause Him any grief.

(101b) Thy kingdom come >> Zeal >> For the manifestation of God’s kingdom >> Zealous for good works -- These verses go with verse 7. Paul is talking about that case in First Corinthians chapter five about a man having his father’s wife (step-mother), saying that he did not write for the sake of the offender but for the sake of the one who was offended (the father). He commanded the Corinthians to expel the man from church, importuning the husband/father to let this be fair treatment for the injustice he suffered. We punish offenders in church for the victims’ sake for the sake of righteousness. It is indescribably discouraging to those who are trying to serve the lord to see grievous sins committed by those who claim to believe in Jesus with them; it makes them wonder who else is doing things like this; it makes them wonder if any of the things they believe about Jesus are true, and it discourages people from believing in God. Anybody who would do this Jesus said it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and cast into the depths of the sea. Paul was trying to preserve earnestness and sincerity of heart in the saints, for these things are what help people believe in Jesus. The whole world discourages Christians from believing in Jesus; the last thing we need is for our own people to discourage us by their worldly actions. Christians have the capacity to be more evil than the world, because of our calling to be an example for what is right.

2Cor 7-11

(42e) Judgment >> Satan destroyed >> Be like Jesus >> Innocent before God – This verse corresponds with Jm 4-9,10, “Be miserable and mourn and weep; let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you.” This is something the world doesn’t understand; people run from this sort of thing; they are constantly pursuing happiness. If they are unhappy one day, they scratch the day off their calendar, wishing it never existed. They consider unhappiness a complete and utter waste of life, this being one of the reasons they reject Christianity. They are deathly afraid of unhappiness, but Paul is telling the Corinthians to embrace this godly sorrow, because it produces fruit that has value, and in the end we will benefit. Godly sorrow is all about the sins that separate us from God. As Christians, the one thing that can make us sorrowful more than anything is to be separated from God. We can’t explain this to worldly people who don’t know God. When we do things that grieve the Holy Spirit, we feel it in our heart where He lives.

(96b) Thy kingdom come >> Positive attitude about suffering >> Abstaining from sin

(194e) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Turn from sin to God >> Hate evil >> Condemning sin >> Hate evil by being innocent of it – Paul was talking about the Corinthian’s repentance since his last letter to them. He tore into them about certain things, and after reading his letter they repented. They still had a ways to go, clearly as the most carnal church of all Paul's letters. There is only one way to condemn sin, and that is to be innocent of it. There are times when we get mad at ourselves for sinning; we try and fail; we get up and fall right down again. The Corinthians had godly sorrow for some of their ways. They misunderstood the gospel, having abused the grace of God, figuring that since God had forgiven them, they could sin all the more, but then the question arose, how are they different from the world? The only difference between that kind of faith and downright unbelief is a set of doctrines they affirm to be true.

(234g) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Invest in the kingdom >> Sold out >> Placing no boundaries on your commitment to God >> Completely given over to the will of God

(244i) Kingdom of God >> Spirit realm imposed on the natural realm >> Literal manifestations >> Literal manifestation of God’s word >> Manifesting the righteousness of His kingdom

(250d) Priorities >> God’s prerequisites >> Sequence of priorities >> In all things ... >> Be innocent of all sin – Godly sorrow is the conviction of the Holy Spirit regarding sin, God stopping us and saying, ‘No, this is wrong, don’t do it.’ Just about everybody who belongs to God has experienced this, and it happened to the Corinthians. Paul kept on them, showing them their sin and how to correct their thinking and behavior. It is not a happy moment, because we must humble ourselves and admit we were wrong and repent. None of this is fun, like walking in the woods and getting lost; we walk for quite a ways and then realize we were going in the wrong direction and have to stop and turn. That is not a good feeling, but continuing in the wrong direction is worse, knowing we are only plunging further into the unknown and adding to our trip home. Once we turn, our confidence builds that we are headed in the right direction and that we will find our way, whereas the person who is defiant and will not turn is proud in heart and refuses to admit he was wrong and just gets more lost, until it becomes an even bigger problem to find his way. Godly sorrow can be very deep and cut us to the quick, showing the severity of mistakes we can make, and the consequences only get worse the longer we wait to repent. We are talking about death in one form or another, deep separation from God. We find ourselves alone after we have made our lives a disaster and refused to repent. It’s a long journey back to the place where we belong, and that is why this godly sorrow is a good sign if we follow it, if we listen and do what He says. These are times when God says, ‘If you will do what I say, your life will be spared, but if you don’t, you stand to lose everything.’ It is the valley of decision; will we obey what we know is God, or will we obey our fleshly pride and rebel? Human pride is the height of wickedness; it doesn’t even promise a reward, meaning that it doesn’t even have a motive, and we deserve whatever consequences befall us if we follow it. God promises eternal life and intends to give us literally everything; all we have to do is humble ourselves, confess our sins and turn from our wicked ways.

KJV    NAS  /  Navigation Bar

12-16 So although I wrote to you, it was not for the sake of the offender nor for the sake of the one offended, but that your earnestness on our behalf might be made known to you in the sight of God. 13 For this reason we have been comforted. And besides our comfort, we rejoiced even much more for the joy of Titus, because his spirit has been refreshed by you all. 14 For if in anything I have boasted to him about you, I was not put to shame; but as we spoke all things to you in truth, so also our boasting before Titus proved to be the truth. 15 His affection abounds all the more toward you, as he remembers the obedience of you all, how you received him with fear and trembling. 16 I rejoice that in everything I have confidence in you.

 

2Cor 7-12

(104g) Thy kingdom come >> Pure in heart shall see God >> Shall see the Father >> God can see us – we are in His sight – Paul didn’t write for the sake of the man who had sex with his mother-in-law, and he didn’t write for the sake of the man's father; rather, he wrote for the sake of the entire church in Corinth that everyone might know he was concerned about them, that they were on his mind and that he had not forgotten them. He was saying that this issue had not yet been resolved and that he was still praying about it and seeking the wisdom of God in what to do and that the Church was not past this yet; it was still an issue that remained relevant among them all. To the degree that Paul struggled with the Corinthians, so did God, and just as Paul went through this with them, so did God, and just as Paul grieved over their circumstances, so did God.

2Cor 7,13-16

(226h) Kingdom of God >> Illustrating the kingdom >> Rewards of heaven >> Levels of reward >> God rewards us to the degree of our faithfulness – Paul used Titus as a gauge to measure the Corinthians’ sincerity of heart in their reception of him, indicating that to the degree they well received him was the degree of their earnestness of faith. This was his second letter to them; all the effort Paul put into the Corinthians based on his first letter has paid-off. They took what he said to heart and believed the message, and all this was conveyed by the reception of Titus. He didn’t have to report to Paul and tell him all the details of their conduct; the only thing Paul needed to know was how he was received; that said everything. We have all felt it after speaking to certain people about Jesus, when we see them again, they turn their heads with a scowl; by that we know our message was not received, or else they receive us, and it brings great joy and openness to speak freely about the word of God to those who want to hear more. This is how the Corinthians received Titus, and it was a sign that they had been faithful in obeying Jesus Christ and living and walking by the Spirit as Paul had instructed them.

2Cor 7-13

(123i) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Love >> Spiritual affection >> Being in love with the body of Christ >> Emotional situations -- This verse goes with verse 15

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

(228a) Kingdom of God >> God’s kingdom is a living organism >> God working in you >> Comforted >> God comforts you in times of adversity >> He comforts you in your suffering -- This verse goes with verses 4-7

2Cor 7-14

(84d) Thy kingdom come >> Words of your mouth >> Boasting >> It needs to be said and no one is saying it >> Boasting of my accomplishments in Christ -- This verse goes with verse 4. Paul did a lot of boasting; people complain about that, and some outright condemn him just for using the word “boast”. There are some words that are out-of-bounds, because they have inherent negative connotations, but this is not true about Paul’s “boasting”. He boasted about the Corinthians like a father is proud of his children. He felt like a father to them, having initially brought the gospel to them. Prior to coming to them, they may have heard rumors about Jesus, but no one knew what to think of them until Paul came and preached the gospel in purity of truth. He explained the importance of believing in Jesus for eternal life, the significance of this man, what He did for us, the fact that He was the Son of God and was sent by the Father to save us from our sins. Many believed in the word Paul spoke to them, and it resulted in the Corinthian Church, and he was proud of them, not just proud of their faith, but proud of himself as their father. This was the very essence of Paul’s life; there was nothing else that mattered to him. There wasn’t evangelism plus fishing; there wasn’t evangelism plus tent-making; there was just evangelism and spreading the word of God and teaching people about Jesus. He was absolutely compelled to preach the gospel, and he happily risked his life to do it, and the success that came of it made him proud.

2Cor 7-15

(87l) Thy kingdom come >> Obedience >> Minister to people through obedience – What is the New Testament’s definition of “obedience”? We know in the Old Testament it was the Ten Commandments, but if we are not living according to the Law anymore, then what do we obey in the new covenant? For one thing, everything Paul said we should obey. Does that make Paul’s comments the new law, and what is the difference between serving an old law or a new one? If the Corinthians listened to Paul and did what he said, it would seem they were obeying him, but Paul was God’s spokesman, so to obey Paul was to obey God, who lives in each of us who are born-again. To obey the written or spoken word, and to have that word revealed to us by the Spirit, when we obey Him we obey God. Obeying Paul is nothing compared to obeying the Holy Spirit who reveals the meaning of Scripture. Paul came preaching the gospel to the Corinthians, and His ultimate hope was to wean them off himself and onto the Holy Spirit.

(88g) Thy kingdom come >> Fear the judgment of God is the beginning of wisdom >> Fear the consequences of your disobedience – A true sign of genuine faith is “fear”. This is another word the Church considers be inherently negative, but this is not true. The Bible’s definition of fear is reverence, though we know Jesus everywhere He went told people, “Do not be afraid,” so obviously we are not talking about that kind of fear, which is the kind we feel when watching a horror movie. That is a paralyzing fear, the kind that invokes the fight or flight response, the kind that considers our lives in danger, but the fear of God is a type of reverence, like the caution of putting our hand in a running saw blade turning at 1500 rpms. This is a healthy fear, a protective fear that keeps our fingers and hands intact. We can fill our mind full of crazy ideas that if we pass our hand through the blade, it won’t cut us, but whatever mental calisthenics we contrive will be proven wrong if we touch our hand to the turning blade. We also know that if we do evil, judgment will ensue, and so we should fear God, who created this principle that where sin is unchecked by repentance, consequences closely follow. So long as we live in this body, we have reason to fear God, because there is a contrast between He and us. Even in the purity of faith and love toward God and our fellow man, we know sin is waiting for an opportune time, waiting for us to get tired of serving God, waiting to tempt us with greed, lust and pride. We know it only takes a moment for everything to flip on its head, meet the wrong person, run into adverse circumstances, be injured or contract a disease; we are put to the test and faith suddenly becomes difficult and we are tempted to give up on God.

(123i) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Love >> Spiritual affection >> Being in love with the body of Christ >> Emotional situations – This verse goes with verses 2-10

2Cor 7-16

(122h) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Confidence in yourself as you die to sin >> Confidence in the Church through your ministry -- This verse goes with verse 4

(125j) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Joy >> Joy is the result of hope

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