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This second letter by Paul to the Corinthians shows the love he had for the people he evangelized and the churches he planted. Even though the church in Corinth caused him a great deal of pain, he remained deeply invested in their well-being. He gave them his heart, and his second letter to Corinth clearly demonstrates this dimension of his missionary method. This letter also displays his firm commitment to integrity in both his message and his methods. He states this more than once. The first century had its share of religious and philosophical charlatans.

Paul was familiar with known rhetorical tricks of the trade that could be used to stir up a crowd.

Bible Gateway 2 Corinthians 10 :: NIV

There was significant temptation to modify the message to fit better with popular culture. Paul resisted all these temptations. He refused to tamper with the message to make it more popular, and he refused to utilize methods that he regarded as disgraceful or underhanded. He wanted the results of his ministry to rest entirely on the power of God and not on the slickness of his packaging of the message or on the cleverness of his methods. Therefore, there is ultimate seriousness to the work of the gospel.

He understood the gospel in terms of a glorious substitution: Jesus became sin in our place so that we might be counted righteous in him. He understood the consequences of the gospel in extreme terms: those who are in Christ are so radically transformed that it can only be described as a brand new act of creation. People are alienated from God, and this alienation has drastic eternal consequences.

They become equipped to take up Jesus' cruciform life and make it their own. Through the cross and resurrection, believers may live differently and model the values God desires, including generosity, humility, and weakness. Prose Discourse,. Paul resolves his conflict with the Corinthians by showing how the scandal of the crucifixion turns our value systems upside-down.

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Life through The Cross. Paul's Reconciliation. Despite a division between Paul and the Corinthian Christians, he offers forgiveness and desires an open and honest relationship, which he affirms in 2 Corinthians. We have been given the Holy Spirit as a down payment for the fullness of what God will do. The Holy Spirit is just a pledge of greater things to come. As Christians, God has purchased us on the lay-away plan, and has given us an impressive down payment.

He won't walk away from the final payment, because He has so much invested already! Moreover I call God as witness against my soul, that to spare you I came no more to Corinth. Not that we have dominion over your faith, but are fellow workers for your joy; for by faith you stand.

Lesson 11: Christ Is All We Need for Life (2 Corinthians 13:1-14)

I call God as witness against my soul : Paul is taking a serious oath. While Jesus said we should live our lives in such a way so that oaths were not necessary Matthew , it does not mean oaths are prohibited. On occasion, even God swears an oath Hebrews That to spare you I came no more to Corinth : The Corinthian Christians had assumed that Paul did not come in person because of selfish reasons. They wanted to think he simply was not a man of integrity, or was just afraid of conflict.

Paul is setting them straight: to spare you I came no more. Paul insists that it was out of concern for the Corinthian Christians that he did not make the visit at that particular time.

1 Peter was written primarily for the benefit of Christians who were suffering from

Not that we have dominion over your faith : Paul is careful to point out that he is no one's lord in the church, even though he is an apostle. It has been said that God reserves three things to Himself: first, to make something of nothing; second, to know future events; third, to have dominion over men's consciences. Sadly, there are far too many that are entirely willing to take dominion over other believers in a manner that Paul would not. The word of God alone is his rule, and to its Author he is to give account of the use he has made of it.

Fellow workers for your joy : Instead of seeing himself as some kind of "lord" over the Corinthian Christians, Paul gives a great description of what a minister should be. Leaders among Christians should work alongside their people to increase their joy.

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Every Sermon from the Old Testament Should Include Missions

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