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REFLECTING JESUS

CHRISTIAN REFLECTIONS

Christianity Oasis provides this Reflecting God and Reflecting Jesus study on Christian Reflections and Biblical Reflections bringing forth truth & understanding.



THE SECOND EPISTLE OF PAUL THE APOSTLE TO THE CORINTHIANS

CHAPTER 3

REFLECTING GOD & REFLECTING JESUS
CHRISTIAN REFLECTIONS & BIBLICAL REFLECTIONS

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CHECK OUT THE SECOND EPISTLE OF PAUL THE APOSTLE TO THE CORINTHIANS STUDY FROM THE BEGINNING

2 CORINTHIANS BIBLE STUDY


CLICK ON THE LINK BELOW FOR YOUR REFLECTION

REFLECTION ... WHO AM I


THE SECOND EPISTLE OF PAUL THE APOSTLE TO THE CORINTHIANS

CHAPTER 3


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 again.

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 living God,
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. Hebrews 8:6-8 just as God predicted ... Jeremiah 31:31-33


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,
Exodus 34:33-35
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.

In 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 earlier)
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.




NEW TESTAMENT DAILY BREAD


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