The Triumph of the Broken and Burdened

This piece is longer than usual but it deals with a pivotal text and topic in Paul’s ministry and in our lives. Paul hadn’t made the trip to Corinth he had written (and apparently talked) about (1 Corinthians 16:5-9; 2:1:15-17). Instead, he ended up making a quick, “painful visit” to them that didn’t go wellContinue reading “The Triumph of the Broken and Burdened”

The Judgment (2)

Judgement texts can and have been over-literalized so that a picture is painted where absolutely every thought, every motive, every attitude, every word and every deed we have ever done will be brought up. Overly sensitive followers of Jesus can go into an deaths spiral over this and quickly feel overwhelmed, unsaved and worst of all—without hope.Continue reading “The Judgment (2)”

The Judgment (1)

Paul alluded to the afterlife in 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 so it’s natural that he develops this more in 5:1ff. It’s an encouraging section of Scripture as the apostle speaks of what God has planned for His people and his personal desire to enter into that. “So that what is mortal may be swallowed up byContinue reading “The Judgment (1)”

Something about 2 Corinthians

Any way you care to look at it, Corinth was Paul’s most challenging church. We have more writing from him to this congregation than any other (by quite a bit)—and we know of at least two more letters he wrote that haven’t been preserved for us (1 Cor. 5:9; 2:2:1-4). 1 Corinthians deals primarily withContinue reading “Something about 2 Corinthians”

Living Without a Veil

Paul is absolutely unequivocal when he tells the Corinthians, “What we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake” (2 Corinthians 4:5). This was in contrast to the “super-apostles” who had captured the Corinthians’ attention and had much to say about themselves (10:12, 11:18). Paul continues onContinue reading “Living Without a Veil”

Life Among the Thorns

Paul’s thorn in the flesh (2 Corinthians 12) can be the gateway to some important and profound truths—and none of them have anything to do with identifying what his infirmity was! Whatever Paul’s “messenger of Satan” (v. 7) was is unimportant. What matters was God’s purpose in allowing it and Paul’s response to it. EverythingContinue reading “Life Among the Thorns”

Letters and Life

Moses comes to the forefront of Paul’s thoughts in chapter 3. He’s already present in 2:14-17 to a limited degree in the triumphal procession and then to a greater measure in the aroma of life and death (Numbers 16). Still, both of those are more subtle than chapter 3 where he rises above the waterContinue reading “Letters and Life”

I Can Only Imagine

In the second half of 2 Corinthians 3, Paul continues to use Moses as he speaks to the Corinthians. It seems likely that the false teachers opposing Paul were overemphasizing Moses and the law and underemphasizing the covenant brought by Jesus. This would explain why Paul continues on the Moses track as he contrasts theContinue reading “I Can Only Imagine”

God’s POV

Paul has something to say in 2 Corinthians 10! It was something he had been building toward the entire letter. It concerned a problem that had been brewing at Corinth for quite some time. Things weren’t as they should have been because there were some people who weren’t as they should have been. They complained,Continue reading “God’s POV”

Don’t Miss the Treasure

Paul had addressed the Corinthians’ tendency to exalt certain messengers of Christ in 1 Corinthians 3:1ff. As he writes the letter we know as 2 Corinthians, it doesn’t seem as if his words had their desired effect. The Corinthians still seem caught up with the messenger rather than the message. The situation has been exacerbatedContinue reading “Don’t Miss the Treasure”