Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Reading Through 2 Corinthians #3 (10-13)

schenk 1 CorinthiansThis post concludes the read through of Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians still accompanied by 1 & 2 Corinthians: A Commentary for Bible Students, by Kenneth Schenck. Paul concludes 2 Corinthians with a rebuke in chapters 10-13. He warns the church that if they do not respond he will be tough on them when he returns to Corinth. I am posting from my reading in the New Testament accompanied by various commentaries on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and welcome comments and discussion on my Facebook page. I am using the Logos version of the book. As usual my comments are in black and quotes from the book are in blue.

In chapters 10-13 Paul changes his tone from reconciliation to rebuke. It is possible that here he is changing his focus from those who repented to those who still opposed him. It is also possible that this section is from a later letter that addresses those who did not follow through on their promised repentance. In chapter 10 he affirms his desire to be gentle and humble with them, but also assures them he is willing to assert his apostolic authority frankly and with power if that is what it takes to save them from destruction and build them up. He reluctantly talks about his qualifications of birth, calling and visions from God, but says that he would rather speak of what he has endured as a servant of God and how God has worked through his weaknesses.

The purpose of flexing his authority is to build them up, to bring them into proper relationship with God and to where they need to be in the faith. His authority is not the problem. The problem is their refusal to obey God’s commands as Paul has made them clear to the Corinthians. 2 Corinthians 10, 315

True greatness is to be connected to the cosmic power source of the universe, whose resources and strength are without measure. For when I am weak, then I am strong (12:10). Our human weakness and difficulty only give us a chance to turn to God’s power. When God turns on the power, it brings a voltage far greater than anything we could produce on our own. 2 Corinthians 11.1-12.10, 327

He closes the letter by warning the Corinthians that he will be tough with them when he makes his 3rd visit to them. However, he would rather that they repent and he could come to them gently. He urges them to be unified and deal with the issues he has raised. If they do that God will work through them in a powerful way. He closes with a beautiful benediction that has been used in Christian worship throughout church history.

While Paul wants to clear himself, he is far more concerned with furthering true understanding and behavior that is true to God. May God help us to have the same attitude when we are wrongly treated in the church! 2 Corinthians 12.11-13.10, 333

Paul tells the Corinthians to be of one mind and to live in peace (2 Cor. 13:11). The potential pay-off was great: And the God of love and peace will be with you (13:11), words that are easy to understand—too easy. We should linger on every word until the depth of this promise sinks into our deepest soul. 2 Corinthians 13.11-14, 334

No comments: