THE SECOND EPISTLE OF PAUL THE APOSTLE TO THE CORINTHIANS
REFLECTING GOD & REFLECTING JESUS
CHRISTIAN REFLECTIONS & BIBLICAL REFLECTIONS
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THE SECOND EPISTLE OF PAUL THE APOSTLE TO THE CORINTHIANS
REFLECTING GOD - REFLECTING JESUS QUEST
CHRISTIAN REFLECTIONS - BIBLICAL REFLECTIONS PATH
Welcome again to Christianity Oasis
and our Daily Bread program. Glad to have you back to continue our
study of this second letter from Paul to the Corinthians. We're getting a
bit of an idea of what it was like to be an Apostle.
Of course we can't
possibly fathom the intensity of the ups and downs or the joy or pain of the
job, but we sure know that it included all of those things.
I always like to
have you put yourself in the Biblical author's shoes, to more closely relate
to what he's writing, so let's say you're Paul for a moment, you've been to
Corinth and brought many people out of the darkness of man's world into the
light of Faith in Jesus.
You've poured out your heart to them, you've spent
years leading them, starting them from the beginning, like little children
in Faith, and have watched them grow through good times, and some bad. You
love them, like your own family, you want the best for them, you try your
best to answer all their spiritual needs. In sincerity, you've given them a
part of your life.
REFLECTING GOD / REFLECTING JESUS LESSON
CHRISTIAN REFLECTIONS / BIBLICAL REFLECTIONS TRUTH
Then ... WHAM!
Somebody comes along who says you're not for real. Seeds of doubt are
planted. Their roots take hold before you can get there to remove them, so
the doubt grows deeper. Now, you feel like you have to start at square one
Paul didn't hide
his disappointment about this in the first two chapters of this letter. And
he didn't hide the fact that this hurt his feelings either. Paul isn't
bashful about expressing himself about anything, you may have noticed, and
he has a very effective way of wording his wide range of emotions. Now, at
this point he gets a little snappy for a few words, and then he can't help
but melt back into the Paul who understands mankind, and ever seeks to guide
them with Grace back
to righteousness. You can sort of imagine him, if he were speaking these
things instead of writing them, standing with his fists propped on his sides
and tapping one toe on the ground saying:
So, do we (Paul and Timothy) have to start all over again
to prove ourselves worthy?
Or do we need letters of recommendation to show you,
or letters of commendation from you?
REFLECTING GOD / REFLECTING JESUS TRUTH
CHRISTIAN REFLECTIONS / BIBLICAL REFLECTIONS FACTS
The fists probably open up now and one hand
covers the other, placed over his heart as Paul reminds the Corinthians that
they themselves are the evidence of his worthiness.
You are our letter written in our hearts,
known and read by all men,
since as you are clearly seen as a letter from Christ,
delivered by us,
not written in ink,
but with the
Spirit of the
not in tables of stone,
but in the fleshy tables of the heart.
And through Christ, we have such trust in God,
not that we're sufficient by our own efforts,
but our sufficiency is from God,
who has also made us able servants of the New Testament,
not by the letter (of the law), but by the spirit
because the letter kills, but the spirit gives life.
We know how Paul likes to compare things by
saying, If you think this old thing was great, how can this new thing not be
even greater? This is sort of more evidence still, on Paul's behalf, of his
worthiness, that he is an able servant of the New Testament, as he said
above. He explains this further:
REFLECTING GOD + REFLECTING JESUS BLESSING
CHRISTIAN REFLECTIONS + BIBLICAL REFLECTIONS HOPE
If the ministry of death, written and engraved in stones,
was so glorious that the children of Israel
could not steadfastly look upon the face of Moses
because of the brilliance of his countenance;
which glory was to be done away:
Isn't the ministry of the Spirit even more glorious?
There are a few things to know, here. Firstly, what is the ministry of death? It's just a phrase that Paul is
using to describe law. Remember how he explained in Romans and in 1
Corinthians, how the law brings death and destruction, and Faith brings
life and peace.
Secondly, the children of Israel didn't know that the Old Testament was
the "Old" Testament, or was going to be done away with and replaced. They
thought it was the "only" testament. As we've discussed before, it was a
glorious thing in those days. It was the difference between them and the
rest of the world. God gave them such a righteous law, which nobody else
had, which made them a people more righteous than anyone else. It didn't
become "Old" until the "New" was brought to life.
just as God predicted ...
REFLECTING GOD AND REFLECTING JESUS TODAY
CHRISTIAN REFLECTIONS AND BIBLICAL REFLECTIONS GIFT
Thirdly, the Old Testament was written
on stones, the New Testament is
written in hearts. Which one is spiritual?
Okay, now remember that glory means
magnificence in these next few passages, and let's get back to Paul's letter
as he repeats the comparison in different words.
If the ministry of condemnation is glorious,
the ministration of righteousness exceeds it by far in glory.
Because even that which was made glorious
had no glory
in this respect,
because of the glory
that is greater.
For if that which is done away was glorious,
that which remains is much more glorious.
Seeing then that we have such hope,
we use great boldness of speech:
not like Moses, who put a veil over his face,
so that the children of Israel couldn't steadfastly look
to the end of that which is done away with:
But their minds were blinded:
for until this day the same veil remains untaken away
in the reading of the Old Testament;
which veil is done away in Christ.
REFLECTING GOD REFLECTING JESUS FOREVER
CHRISTIAN REFLECTIONS BIBLICAL REFLECTIONS VOW
It's amazing how symbolic so many things
from the Old Testament were. If you haven't read this story about Moses in a
while, after reading Paul's explanation of it here, now is a great time to
go back and read it again, with your new understanding of it's symbolism.
But even to this day, when Moses is read,
the veil is upon their heart.
Nevertheless when one shall turn to the Lord,
the veil shall be taken away.
Exodus 34:34, when Moses went to talk to
the Lord, he removed the veil. When a person turns to the Lord, their
blindness is taken away, the veil is done away with, and you can clearly see
Christ is the New Way.
Now the Lord is that Spirit:
(the Spirit that gives life, that Paul talked about
and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
But we all, with uncovered faces,
seeing as in a mirror the glory of the Lord,
are changed into the same image from glory to glory,
even as by the Spirit of the Lord.
REFLECTING GOD - REFLECTING JESUS SUMMARY
CHRISTIAN REFLECTIONS - BIBLICAL REFLECTIONS END
What does this
mean? We are not blinded with a veil, so when you look at yourself, you can
see the magnificence of the Lord within you. When He is in your heart, you
reflect Him. You are in His image. His magnificence is transferred to you by
the power of the Holy Spirit. The next time you look in the mirror, think
about that! Now that's an image to imagine.
Can't wait until next time when we share more
Daily Bread. You know where.
CONTINUE TO THE NEXT STUDY
TESTAMENT DAILY BREAD
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