II Corinthians 5-8
We are in the Church Stream reading from the New King James Version this week.
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Commentary by Dr. Drake Travis
Lord, we rest all our hope AND build all our faith on your resurrection. We anticipate being raised up ourselves to be with you eternally. Until then we will be a giving people. You gave of yourself and may we be motivated to give – following your graciousness. Amen
5 – The theme of the resurrection gets another strand of truth regarding our resurrection and our understanding of it. In I Cor. 15 and I Thess. 4 our resurrected bodies are a theme linked to the 2nd Coming of Christ. But here Paul teaches that there is a blessedness of being with Christ Jesus upon death and being immediately aware of where we are – with Christ! There is more coming too following the final Resurrection. And remember that ALL will face Christ – [and though this is joy for Believers] –> this will be a terror for those who rejected Him. This mindset of Resurrection is to overshadow all other thinking for us. People are either in Christ or not in Christ. Christ makes all things new; he recreates His followers, renews them and transforms them into Ambassadors for Christ who live in His righteousness
6 – Paul relays the urgency of the gospel. It isn’t something to fit in after we get something together; our thoughts, our lives, our “act” – that’s never all together – so receive salvation in Jesus now (Paul urges). He gives a sobering list of what is involved for those in ministry; these difficulties along with the verifications of such ministry are all included for those who serve the Almighty. And he closes out ch. 6 reminding us – imploring if your will – the Corinthians to be a holy people that have set themselves apart from a worldly culture so to ready themselves to walk with their holy God.
7 – The back story of this chapter is that Paul had sent Timothy (mentioned twice in I Cor.) and then later sent Titus to Corinth to provide some discipline and leadership. Timothy got the correction process started but Titus’ follow up was needed. Titus is specifically referenced three times in ch. 7 for having done commendable teaching. The Corinthian church had repented. The lecherous yet influential person in
I Cor. 5 had been exhorted, been humbled, and the church as a whole was healthier. This is the good report that Titus’ presence had brought about. It was good news, Paul was happy about it and God was blessed.
8 – Though ch. 8 finishes our reading today, ch’s 8-9 [together] are the clearest teaching of Christian giving and generosity in the New Testament. Read them both before the day is out if you will… The incident at hand is that an offering is being gathered by Paul for the Church back at the starting point; the church in Judah, Israel. Offerings were being gathered for over a year and this development required instruction, administration, proper thinking plus hearts that were touched by Christ’s sacrificial giving. The teaching that Paul laid forth here still applies to church bodies and denominations today. Giving should be voluntary (not coerced), proportionate; meaning based on percentage as well our grace found in Christ, and also, giving should be systematic. [We insist that our pay at work be regular, yes?! – what are church staff workers to do when people give 2% v.s. 10% and they only give the weekend of Easter and Christmas, not weekly. This teaching on giving continues next week. Come what may, we will be together again, tomorrow 🙂
The theme that reoccurred this week distilled to be “you may not be ready for this, but it’s going to happen, ready or not, good or bad, here it comes.
Leviticus ended with all the sacrifices in place and GOD Himself BROUGHT FIRE. Millions of people shouted in exclamation, fell on their faces overwhelmed. That was a sight!
I Kings wraps up with Elijah also preparing a sacrifice and overly proving his point with extra water and white hot fire that left everyone in shock and awe fell from heaven. Even pagans praised God
Psalm 84 hit like a fresh breeze -unexpectedly- after a few painful, desperate, exasperated Psalms were stacked together. It was good – and just as some may have been braced for more stinging verse – there we were taken into the wonder of the house of God
In Jeremiah, tere were two unexpected jolts: Hananiah gets zapped for contradicting Jeremiah with his “positive” (all’s fine) message. Then Jeremiah writes the Jews in Babylon telling them to settle in live [among the Babylonians?!?!]. Yes, it was strange times.
The pompous ones in Samaria are getting a earful from Amos. They don’t want to listen however. So God is going to “fish-hook” them together and march them to Assyria. So you’re not ready for Amos’ words? Are you going to be ready for that sadistic torture/treatment?!!
Jesus has a faceoff with Satan in Luke’s gospel. Would any of us been ready for that? yeesh.
II Corinthians, in this portion, Paul is commenting (between the lines) that Timothy was not quite ready to deal with the Corinthians, so Titus was sent. And the reason Titus was sent was to doubly rebuff the ebullient sinner- he didn’t expect that. Then he repented. No one expected that, either. Hey, walk with God! It’s better and more exciting/surprising/jolting at times than anything any of us ever have planned.