Tag Archives: 2 Corinthians 13

December 5, 2017 Bible Study — Rewards For Generous Giving

I am using the daily Bible reading schedule from “The Bible.net” for my daily Bible reading.

Today, I am reading and commenting on 2 Corinthians 9-13.

    Paul tells us that we should give generously to those in need, in particular to our fellow believers who are in need. In many ways what he writes here is a reflection of the guidelines to giving we can draw from Luke’s account of the sharing undertaken by the early Church in Acts. In Acts we were told that no one was under obligation to give of their wealth to help others. Here, Paul tells the Corinthians that their giving should not be under compulsion. We should cheerfully give as we are able. God is more than able to supply our needs and will do so. If we give generously, God will reward us generously…although we should not make the mistake of thinking that the reward which God gives us will necessarily be material. Nevertheless, the more generous we are in our giving, the more generous we will be able to be going forward. This comes to be in two ways. As we give generously God may reward us financially so that we can give even more going forward. However, even if He does not, the joy of giving will cause us to ferret out ways in which we can reduce our expenses so that we can give more.

    At the end of his letter to the Corinthian believers Paul makes a defense of his ministry against the teachings of other teachers whom some of the Corinthian believers were more impressed with than they were with Paul. His defense contains two lines of argument. He warns the Corinthians not to be impressed by the credentials and personality of people whose teachings contradict what they already believe. Paul does not go into detail about what these other “apostles” are teaching, but he makes it clear that even those who follow them acknowledge it contradicts what Paul taught. These teachers were building on top of the foundations of belief which Paul had laid among the Corinthian believers, yet contradicting his teachings. These “apostles” presented themselves as having great credentials and wonderful accomplishments. For the most part all the Corinthians knew about the credentials of these “apostles” is what they said about themselves. Which brings me to Paul’s second line of argument. Paul laid out to them his own credentials, credentials which had been attested to by others, many of which had been directly witnessed by Corinthian believers.
    From this we learn to judge teachers and leaders by how their teaching and leadership lines up with what we already know about the Gospel. A true leader or teacher from God should encourage us to go to Scripture for ourselves and see if what they are teaching is supported by Scripture. Any teacher who claims authority to interpret Scripture in a way which only those with “secret” knowledge would understand is suspect. The second part of Paul’s argument reminds us that we must occasionally explain to people how we came by our understanding and knowledge of the Gospel. We should not ask people to accept our understanding of the Gospel on the basis of “appeal to authority”, but we do need to remind them that we learned from authoritative sources. To put that in personal perspective: I have no special knowledge and have no authority to demand your obedience or agreement, but I have studied the Scripture and the Holy Spirit has guided my thinking.

September 13, 2015 Bible Study — Examine Yourself. Is Your Faith Genuine?

For today, One Year Bible Online links here.

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Proverbs 23:9-11

    There is no point in arguing with fools, nor in trying to give them advice. No matter how good your argument, or how wise your advice, they will continue in their foolishness.
    The second proverb is just as important, although only remotely related to the first. Do not think you can get away with cheating your neighbors by trickery or taking from those who do not have the connections to defend themselves. God will act as their redeemer in each case and will argue their case before the Judge of final recourse (which is Himself). You will lose that case.

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Psalm 57

    When danger threatens I will turn to God. I call on you to do the same. He will shelter you from the dangers. If your enemies have set traps in your path, and I promise you that they will, do as God has instructed and you will not be caught in those traps. Instead, your enemies will be caught in the traps which they have laid for you. I am confident in God, which is why I sing His praises (well, in my case, not so much “sing” as “bellow”, but God appreciates it anyway).

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2 Corinthians 13

    Let us examine ourselves, test our lives. Do our actions reflect the faith we claim to have? If our actions reflect the fact that Jesus is within us than we have passed the test. If not we have failed. Paul reminds us that it is more important to do what is right, than that it appear that we have done what is right. Even more importantly, when we advise, guide, lead others, we need to be more concerned with them doing the right thing than with us being seen as a success. I will happily be seen as a failure if those to whom I have given advice, guidance, and/or leadership faithfully serve the Lord.

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Isaiah 12-14

    God lifts up people and nations to serve His purposes. Time and again these people and nations have come to believe that the power they have gained is theirs to use solely to satisfy their own desires. They begin to believe, and to act on that belief, that the only standard of what is right or wrong is the standard of what pleases themselves. When that happens and they do evil because it pleases them to do so, God will bring judgment against them. God will bring destruction upon them and raise another in their place. Wherever we are in life, let us examine our motives and our actions. Do we choose our actions based on what is right? Or only based on what pleases us?