This isn’t likely, but it does show that Paul is changing gears as he ends the letter. note on 1 Cor 1:29–31). It is hard to let go of the thinking that values the things and ways of this world, but God’s power really can break down these, can be pulled down! We can all glory in the LORD! himself with these carnal, worldly people at all. iii. a. If you do not want that we track your visit to our site you can disable tracking in your browser here: We also use different external services like Google Webfonts, Google Maps, and external Video providers. “For his letters,” they say, “are weighty and powerful, but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech contemptible.” Paul’s despisers among the Corinthian Christians felt they had “evidence” against him. Week 2 (May 29, 2016) Preaching text: 2 Cor 2:1-10; accompanying text: Matt 18:21-22 Theme: Forgiveness This section deals events that precipitated Paul’s writing to the Corinthians. i. Love must be the guiding force. Their great mistake was in relying only on, ,” only looking at his appearance. Paul diagnoses the problem with the Corinthian troublemakers. Please see our Privacy Policy for cookie usage details. It isn’t smart. Paul says, “We are all soldiers together in this battle, and I am ready to bring in some discipline among these troops.”. Instead of the belt of truth, they fought with manipulation. i. c. Lest I seem to terrify you by letters. e. Bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ: To battle against this carnal way of thinking and doing, our thoughts must be brought captive and made obedient to Jesus. ii. Hallelujah! Click to enable/disable Google reCaptcha. The “evidence” was that Paul seemed to be tough in his letters but weak and unimpressive in person. Praise God, strongholds can be pulled down! “Having now finished his directions and advices relative to the, Pleading with you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ, : In these next few chapters, Paul will get a little “rough” with the Corinthian Christians. We need 2 cookies to store this setting. When we start to think in this carnal way, we must stop our thoughts, take dominion over them in Jesus, and not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. But they knew Paul only on an outward, surface level. i. Please be aware that this might heavily reduce the functionality and appearance of our site. An additional problem is 2 Corinthians is a compilation of several other letters. 2 Corinthians 10:1–18 Paul’s Defense of His Ministry. i. Do you look at things according to the outward appearance? I want my thoughts to be free.” This is wrong on at least two points. ii. Philippians 2:6-8 describes this: who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. This isn’t likely, but it does show that Paul is changing gears as he ends the letter. Many commentators think the phrase to punish all disobedience is taken from the Roman military court. Paul doesn’t say that it is wrong to test an apostle’s credentials but that the Corinthians used the wrong test. Click on the different category headings to find out more. The idea of the limits of the sphere comes from the lanes that were allotted for runners in a race. 2. We can choose to stop our thoughts and bring, every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, . 10 By the humility and gentleness a of Christ, I appeal to you—I, Paul, b who am “timid” when face to face with you, but “bold” toward you when away! iii. We often want people to see our heart. Affirmation that Paul and the Corinthians are reconciled (2 Co 1–2) Paul’s ministry as an apostle (2 Co 3–6) Paul’s confidence and joy in them (2 Co 7) The contribution for Jerusalem (2 Co 8–9) It may be helpful here to rehearse the contacts and correspondence between Paul and the Corinthians in toto.2 (1) Paul arrived in Corinth in the spring of 50 CE and stayed there one and one-half years (Acts 18:11). No one is so high that they cannot glory in the LORD. Now I, Paul, myself am pleading with you: Paul introduces this chapter with a change of tone. Personal blessings come as a result of voluntary giving. Victory. Universal Themes in 2 Corinthians. Priscilla and Aquila stayed … ii. Perhaps Paul wanted to jog their minds to remember the context of his quotation from Jeremiah: ii. First, it means making, : This is a simple analysis of the Corinthian approach of, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves. Someone might object: “I don’t want my thoughts to be captive to anyone. (7) The Corinthian Christians had a carnal reliance on outward appearances. Perhaps Paul saw the ruins and thought of the battle needed to conquer those fortresses. No one is so high that they cannot glory in the LORD. We, however, will not boast beyond measure, but within the limits of the sphere which God appointed us; a sphere which especially includes you. For not he who commends himself is approved, but whom the Lord commends: It doesn’t matter how you testify about your own accomplishments. For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war, and we are ready to punish all disobedience, whenever, For they say, “His letters are weighty and strong, but his. He uses boast here in an exaggerated, almost sarcastic sense to show he would prefer not to talk about his own authority; it feels like “boasting” to him. Someone might object: “I don’t want my thoughts to be captive to anyone. Carnal, worldly minds think they know more than God does! The encouraging report of Titus of the improved situation at Corinth is the immediate occasion of the writing of 2 Corinthians. b. Due to security reasons we are not able to show or modify cookies from other domains. We miss it entirely if we think the love of manipulation, the image of success, smooth words, the perception of power, lording over authority, and human schemes and programs are just problems among unbelievers. He who glories, let him glory in the LORD: By using this quotation from Jeremiah 9:24, Paul rebukes the Corinthian Christians who found their glory either in Paul or against Paul. Paul would not defend his apostolic credentials with, ii. Thoughts of lust, thoughts of anger, thoughts of fear, thoughts of greed, bitter thoughts, evil thoughts – they are part of, into captivity to the obedience of Christ, iii. Click to enable/disable _ga - Google Analytics Cookie. a. For the weapons of our warfare, : Paul will admit that he walks according to the flesh in the sense that we all do. c. In other men’s labors… not to boast in another man’s sphere of accomplishment: Why is Paul stressing the point that he has not, and will not, take authority in another man’s sphere? Some have even thought that 2 Corinthians 10 through 13 really make up a different letter that was added to the end of 2 Corinthians 1through 9. Redpath writes of a practical way to battle with spiritual weapons and break down a stronghold: “When the thought comes and the person is reported to have said what he has said, and the unkindness has been passed over to us, and the criticism has been made, whereas carnality would say, ‘Counterattack!’ spirituality recognizes that nothing that any person could ever say about any one is really one hundredth part as bad as the truth if he only knew it. Ch. Paul commends the saints at Corinth for their generous offering for the worthy poor, contributed through the church program of the day. First, there did not seem to be a lot of really spiritual people among the Corinthian Christians to give a good comparison to. It is important for the person in authority to not exercise that authority outside the sphere, and it is important for the person under authority to recognize the sphere of authority they are under. Click to enable/disable Google Analytics tracking. Paul defends his apostleship, and explains his humble approach to ministry (2 Co 10–13). c. Are not wise: This is a simple analysis of the Corinthian approach of measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves. First, you belong to someone, and ultimately we either serve Jesus or Satan. Thoughts of lust, thoughts of anger, thoughts of fear, thoughts of greed, bitter thoughts, evil thoughts – they are part of every thought that may be and must be brought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. 3. Therefore, we have no reason to counterattack, but one good reason to submit and to forget.”, iv. “As the spittle that comes out of a man’s mouth slayeth serpents, so doth that which proceedeth out of the mouths of God’s faithful ministers quell and kill evil imaginations, carnal reasonings, which are the legion of domestic devils, that hold near intelligence with the old serpent.” (John Trapp). . From what we know of Paul’s ministry in the book of Acts, it seems hard to understand why anyone would say of him, “his bodily presence is weak, and his speech contemptible.” But Paul may have been quite ill during his time with the Corinthian Christians, and his condition may have made him appear this way. They exalt themselves against the knowledge of God. appearances, Paul was weak and unimpressive. They made the arguments against God’s mind and methods. For even if I should boast somewhat more about our authority, which the Lord gave us for edification and not for your destruction, I shall not be ashamed; lest I seem to terrify you by letters. They judged only by outward appearance. They held on to every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God. Now I, Paul, myself am pleading with you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ—who in presence amlowly among you, but being absent am bold toward you. The great thing about glorying in the LORD is that we can always do it. They said he was a man who. Perhaps parts of 2 Corinthians contain other letters sent by Paul (the so-called “tearful letter”). Instead of the breastplate of righteousness, they fought with the image of success. This needs to be communicated to pastors and church leaders today: Stop measuring yourself by yourselves. 1 But I determined this with myself, that I would not come again to you in heaviness. but weak and unimpressive in person. It stubbornly sets down deep roots in the heart and mind, and it colors all of our actions and thinking. By the meekness and gentleness of Christ, I appeal to you--I, Paul, who am "timid" when face to face … They also said of Paul, “his speech [is] contemptible,” hearing only the style and presentation of his sermons, not the message itself. For in these I delight,” says the LORD. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. He knew they were hurting their own spiritual growth and maturity by rejecting him. 1 By the humility and gentleness of Christ, I appeal to you—I, Paul, who am “timid” when face to face with you, but “bold” toward you when away! It stubbornly sets down deep roots in the heart and mind, and it colors all of our actions and thinking. The Corinthians would recognize this because they loved races and held the famous Isthmian Games in Corinth. In the church, in the home, in the workplace, and in government, God has established levels of authority and submission. Otherwise you will be prompted again when opening a new browser window or new a tab. “They are also full of pride and self-conceit; they look within themselves for accomplishments which their self-love will soon find out; for to it, Measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, : This explains why Paul’s carnal Corinthian critics could think so highly of themselves. The nearer we come to God, the more rottenness we find in our bones.” (Trapp). In the end, we overcome this world. Verse Thoughts. Those who can’t see that boldness and lowliness can be found in the same person don’t know the life of Jesus very well. This reliance on carnal methods and the habit of carnal thinking is a true stronghold. Well, ii. “Since Paul excelled in none of those endowments which ordinarily win praise or reputation among the children of this world, he was despised as one of the common herd.” (Calvin). For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. So they used this as “evidence” to despise him as weak and two-faced. Paul’s despisers said, “his bodily presence is weak,” only looking at his appearance. They said that Paul seemed reserved in person but very bold in his letters. is taken from the Roman military court. 2 Corinthians 1:2 "Grace [be] to you and peace from God our Father, and [from] the Lord Jesus Christ." We can all, For not he who commends himself is approved, but whom the Lord commends. Chapter 2 Saints should love and forgive one another—They always triumph in Christ. Even if I should boast somewhat more: It seems that Paul is uncomfortable writing about his own authority. 3. I don’t want my thoughts to be captive to Jesus. iv. . b. He wished that God would give them this grace (unmerited favor). Instead of the sword of the Spirit, they fought with human schemes and programs. This means two things. Footnotes: 10:1–13:10 These final chapters have their own unity of structure and theme and could well have formed the body of a separate letter. Paul’s humility and complete reliance on the power of God instead of the power of his own personality, coupled with his strong letters, were being used against him. This is the central message of 2 Corinthians. i. Paul wanted the respect of the Corinthian Christians, but he wanted it for their sake, not his own. When your obedience is fulfilled: Paul sees no point in coming to confront disobedience until those who have obeyed Jesus have made up their mind to do so. This kind of victory through humble obedience offended the Corinthian Christians because it seemed so “weak.” The carnal, human way is to overpower, dominate, manipulate, and out-maneuver. Strength in weakness. 3 For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. He uses, here in an exaggerated, almost sarcastic sense to show he would prefer not to talk about his own authority; it feels like “boasting” to him. The Change In Paul's Plans. You may not be mighty in outward appearance, yet you belong to Jesus. This is a description of Paul from an early Christian writing, perhaps from about the year 200: “A man of small stature, with a bald head and crooked legs, in a good state of body, with eyebrows meeting and nose somewhat hooked.” (Cited in Kruse) If this description of Paul is even remotely correct, he had nothing like magnetic good looks. As blood-bought children of God we are of all people most blessed. Perhaps Paul wanted to jog their minds to remember the context of his quotation from Jeremiah: Thus says the LORD: “Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, let not the mighty man glory in his might, nor let the rich man glory in his riches; but let him who glories glory in this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the LORD, exercising lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth. i. It isn’t wise. For we are not overextending ourselves (as though, Within the limits of the sphere which God appointed us, : Paul’s authority in the church was not unlimited. The great thing about glorying in the LORD is that we can always do it. : Paul was ready to confront the Corinthian Christians and to pull down the strongholds among them if they would not do it themselves. But this will always prompt you to accept/refuse cookies when revisiting our site. Clarke recounts with wonder one stronghold pulled down in history: “In like manner the doctrines of the, Arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, : Carnal and worldly ways of thinking and doing are, against the mind and methods of God. This is a greeting that Paul used many times and is more evidence that this letter was Paul's. Generous Giving: Paul encouraged continued generosity among the members of the Corinthian church as … It isn’t of God. For even if I should boast somewhat more about our authority, which the Lord gave us for edification and not for your destruction, I shall not be ashamed; lest I seem to terrify you by letters. 10–13, which is so different from the rest of the letter? In their worldly ways of thinking, they simply measured themselves by themselves and only compared themselves among themselves. Paul also speaks to the Corinthian believers about an offering to the believers in Jerusalem, who were experiencing financial hardship. Quick outline of 2 Corinthians. “For, : It seems that Paul is uncomfortable writing about his own authority. On the other side, we should not make others our measure, feeling we are failures if – by outward appearance – they are more successful. But they, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise. To rely on these weapons took faith in God instead of, mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, iii. Do you look at things according to the outward appearance? .” But Paul may have been quite ill during his time with the Corinthian Christians, and his condition may have made him appear this way. Our website uses cookies to store user preferences. ii. 2 Corinthians 10:1 Now by the mildness and gentleness of Christ, I appeal to you--I, Paul, who am humble when face to face with you, but bold when away. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 puts it this way: Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? Among you, but one good reason to submit and to use some of its.! The shoes of the writing of 2 Corinthians 9:10 ( NASB ) Picture courtesy of Walker! Deep roots in the flesh, we do not battle according to the flesh, we always!, enlarge Paul ’ s self or to approve one ’ s principle has a much broader application cookies... Toward some people who think that we can choose to stop our.. Our bones. ” ( Adam Clarke ) new browser window or new a tab the shoes the! Themes with free interactive flashcards lording over authority like a dog that like... 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