May 2013

Commended in Every Way -- Part Four

The second category of things that Paul mentions here in 2 Corinthians has to do with his character. Paul’s list contains purity, understanding, patience, and kindness. Just a few pages further on in the Bible, in the fifth chapter of Galatians, Paul gives another list, this one containing the fruit of the Spirit. The Galatians list includes a number of the traits mentioned here in this letter. In Galatians 5:22-23 Paul wrote, "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control." In spite of being an aggressive evangelist, and a bit of a feisty man, Paul was characterized by these great fruits of the Spirit.

Commended in Every Way
2 Corinthians 6:3-13
Theme: Commending the Gospel.
This week’s lessons teach us how to endure in all circumstances.

Lesson

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Commended in Every Way -- Part Three

The bulk of this passage in 2 Corinthians deals with how Paul conducted himself in the situations into which his ministry brought him. In chapter 6, verse 4, Paul begins to list what he has experienced during his ministry. Paul's list contains thirty-seven items; the last fourteen are in seven pairs. Paul begins by commending himself in the work of ministry. A key term there is endurance.

Commended in Every Way
2 Corinthians 6:3-13
Theme: Commending the Gospel.
This week’s lessons teach us how to endure in all circumstances.

Lesson

The Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals is member supported and operates only by your faithful support. Thank you.

Commended in Every Way -- Part Two

2 Corinthians 6:1-13 has two parts, one negative and the other positive. The negative portion is shorter. In verse 3 Paul wrote, "We put no stumbling block in anyone’s path, so that our ministry will not be discredited." I do not know precisely what Paul had in mind as he wrote that. But I think it is quite possible that Paul, undoubtedly having meditated on the words of our Lord, was thinking of that occasion when Jesus himself spoke about causing someone to stumble. Jesus was thinking of children when he said, "But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea" (Matt. 18:6).

Commended in Every Way
2 Corinthians 6:3-13
Theme: Commending the Gospel.
This week’s lessons teach us how to endure in all circumstances.

Lesson

The Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals is member supported and operates only by your faithful support. Thank you.

Commended in Every Way -- Part One

Our study of 2 Corinthians brings us to chapter 6, verse 3. Here we find a remarkable passage from the hand of the Apostle Paul describing the nature of his ministry, and the way in which, in all kinds of difficulties and hardships, he conducted himself so as to commend the Gospel to his hearers. It is hard to praise this passage sufficiently. I reflect on it and try to think of anything to which it can be compared.

Commended in Every Way
2 Corinthians 6:3-13
Theme: Commending the Gospel.
This week’s lessons teach us how to endure in all circumstances.

Lesson

The Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals is member supported and operates only by your faithful support. Thank you.

Christ or Big Brother?

Do the wire taps of the AP News agency sound intrusive? Do you feel the IRS tactics with politically conservative groups seem over-reaching? Does the news of Benghazi make you wonder what is up with the government? Does all of this remind you in some way of George Orwell's 1984? Then you will want to hear Jim Boice, R.C. Sproul, David Wells, and Bob Godfrey from the 1984 Philadelphia Conference on Reformed Theology where they address just these types of issues.

Do the wire taps of the AP News agency sound intrusive? Do you feel the IRS tactics with politically conservative groups seem over-reaching?

Now is the Time -- Part Five

The second reason we should carry the Gospel forward lies in our concern for the well-being of other people. Where the Gospel goes, blessing comes to people’s lives. It is out of that that hospitals have been built, schools have been established, and so on. The suffering of the world is a concern that motivates us, but of all the concerns and reasons we have for going to others with the Gospel, the chief among them is what Paul gives in this portion of 2 Corinthians. It is the love of Christ that compels us.

Now Is the Time
2 Corinthians 5:1 - 6:2
Theme: The urgency of the Gospel.
This week’s lessons remind us that we are not guaranteed a tomorrow.

Lesson

The Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals is member supported and operates only by your faithful support. Thank you.

Now is the Time -- Part Four

In addition to tents, Paul uses a second image to refer to our earthly bodies, that of clothing. That is an image that we can all understand. Paul says that although our bodies are great things, they are, nevertheless, weakened by sin so that they are mortal. Our bodies are subject to disease. They die. They are like clothing that has fallen into rags. He wrote, "Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked. For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life" (2 Cor. 5:2-4).

Now Is the Time
2 Corinthians 5:1 - 6:2
Theme: The urgency of the Gospel.
This week’s lessons remind us that we are not guaranteed a tomorrow.

Lesson

The Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals is member supported and operates only by your faithful support. Thank you.

Now is the Time -- Part Three

In the opening section of 2 Corinthians 5, Paul wrote about the dissolution of his body, in other words, of his death. He explained that death comes sooner or later to everybody. In his case, he said, death would perhaps come sooner because of the kind of hardships he had endured. Our bodies are at best ragged tents, tents that are going to be folded up and put away one day. But the glory of the Christian hope is to know that when that tent is put away, we have an eternal dwelling made with God in heaven.

Now Is the Time
2 Corinthians 5:1 - 6:2
Theme: The urgency of the Gospel.
This week’s lessons remind us that we are not guaranteed a tomorrow.

Lesson

The Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals is member supported and operates only by your faithful support. Thank you.

Now is the Time -- Part Two

Basing our knowledge on Scripture often leads to criticism. Some people say, "That really is something you can't support because, after all, why should you regard the Bible in particular as God's revelation? Certainly, there are other revelations or at least there are other books that claim to reveal God." We can answer those criticisms by saying, "We believe that the Bible is the Word of God because the Lord Jesus Christ taught that the Bible is the Word of God; we can trust what he says about the Bible."

Now Is the Time
2 Corinthians 5:1 - 6:2
Theme: The urgency of the Gospel.
This week’s lessons remind us that we are not guaranteed a tomorrow.

Lesson

The Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals is member supported and operates only by your faithful support. Thank you.

Now is the Time -- Part One

This week we will be studying a long passage containing two separate sections. In the first verse of each of those sections, we find the words, we know.
2 Corinthians 5:1 says, "Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God...." Then in verse 11 we read, "Since then we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade men." That introduces us to a theme that ties these two sections together, the theme of Christian knowledge.

Now Is the Time
2 Corinthians 5:1 - 6:2
Theme: The urgency of the Gospel.
This week’s lessons remind us that we are not guaranteed a tomorrow.

Lesson
This week we will be studying a long passage containing two separate sections. In the first verse of each of those sections, we find the words, we know.

The Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals is member supported and operates only by your faithful support. Thank you.