Today’s readings are 2 Corinthians 1-4
Today’s notes will be a bit of a hodge podge but I have some things I want to share with you and you’re here now so this is where I will share them.
Quick Facts about 2 Corinthians:
- 2 Corinthians is the second letter we have from Paul addressed to the fellowship in Corinth. However, some scholars think that there is another letter, which has been lost, that is referenced in this one. This letter would have been necessitated by the problems Paul addressed in 1 Corinthians not being resolved. We see this reference in 2 Cor 2:4.
- The author of this letter is still Saul/Paul.
- We must keep in mind that, once again, we are only privy to one side of a multi faceted conversation. A great part of this letter is spent addressing problems we are not given the full details of, but must infer what they are based on Paul’s judgements and presented solutions.
2 Cor 1:3-4 is a directive disguised as a statement. As YHWH has comforted us, so we are called to comfort one another. I want you to especially consider that, in this context, the family of YHWH, both Jew and Gentile branch, were still considered one body, seeking after YHWH. We have a divide today, to be sure, and our belief in Messiah is a glaring contrast to those who don’t believe in Him. But that does not take away the responsibility we have to comfort our brethren. Remember, we are supposed to be living in such a way as to cause them to be jealous of what we have. I’ve never found myself jealous of someone who bullied me or told me I was wrong all the time. But someone who showed me love? That was a person I wanted to be around.
Oh my goodness, what a wonderful declaration!
For our boast is this, the testimony of our conscience, that we behaved in the world with simplicity and godly sincerity, not by earthly wisdom but by the grace of God, and supremely so toward you. 2 Cor 1:12
To be able to say that you behaved with godly sincerity, operating out of YHWH’s Grace rather than the world’s ways. Let’s strive towards that goal today. Once you taste the wisdom of the Father, it becomes pretty easy to take a hard pass on the “wisdom” of the world.
I want to paraphrase 2 Cor 1:20 but I want you to make sure you read the original verse, too!
“All the promises of YHWH are fulfilled in Yeshua.” <- My paraphrase. That does not mean that all of YHWH’s promises are fulfilled already because some are still awaiting fulfillment, but even those will be fulfilled through Yeshua. This may not make a lot of sense right now but put it in your back pocket and ponder it in your heart. The Father will reveal it to you over time. Perhaps in our next go around. I often find that the first read through the Bible is is exciting and really amazes us how much we learn. But that first read through is also where we are given the questions to ask on the second read through.
For we are not, like so many, peddlers of God’s word, but as men of sincerity, as commissioned by God, in the sight of God we speak in Christ. 2 Cor 2:17
This is a good one to look up on Biblehub and read some of the other translations to get a better picture of what is being said there. One translation I have uses the phrase “who water down the word of YHWH”. We need to take a moment and realize that this wasn’t unbelievers as in this time they just worshipped other gods or no gods at all. They weren’t spending time studying and preaching YHWH’s Word. Instead, this had to be leadership of some sort or new believers. There was a habit of watering down YHWH’s Word in order to make it more palatable to new believers, idol worshippers, etc. What was the point of this? Increase of following and thereby increase of income. Bring in some of their own customs and do what would eventually come to be known as “Christianizing” them or in this case, perhaps they were “Judaizing” them to make them fit. As Aaron showed us, a golden calf is easier to present to the body if you claim it represents YHWH. Of course, YHWH sees this differently as He has shown us time and time again since the beginning of His Word.
Moving onto chapter 3 – Do you remember what the New Covenant is? This is a vital piece of information to have here. Jeremiah 31:33.
We will read about condemnation being abolished in Chapter 3 as well. When is condemnation abolished? When the Holy Spirit writes YHWH’s laws on our heart and indwells within us to cause us to want to obey and to help us obey. From there, with our hearts earnestly set on Him, there is no condemnation if we falter, there is grace.
Y’all, the other day I was talking about the characteristics we are to have. I want to recap those real quick. These are my notes from 1 Corinthians 13, flipping around the “Love is patient…” passage and turning it into a list of do’s and don’ts for Believers.
- We are to be patient and kind
- We are not to envy others or be boastful
- We are not to be arrogant
- We are not to be rude
- We are not to insist on our own way.
- We are not to be irritable or resentful.
- We are not to rejoice at evil but instead rejoice in truth (YHWH’s way)
- We are to bear all things (preferably without grumbling)
- We are to trust in others (The Greek word used here for believe means to trust)
- We are to remain filled with hope.
But how are we to do this? In this world at this time, it can seem overwhelming – because it is – IF we are working in our flesh. We have to take hold of that opportunity of a lifetime and let the Holy Spirit dwell within us, direct all we do, and help us to follow the Father’s ways rather than our own. It’s not just about scooting over to the passenger side and letting the Holy Spirit take the wheel, it’s about letting the Holy Spirit take the wheel and while He’s doing that, we’re getting out of the car and pushing from behind! Wholehearted, all in.
Backtracking to our conversation about Spiritual Gifts: Amy Whitehead shared some wonderful insight with me. This is not meant to condemn those spiritual gift quizzes or those who enjoy taking them but I think it adds another element of wisdom to our understanding and is definitely something to consider in addition to that.
A few years ago, I transferred my church membership to a local church. As recommended by one of the church leaders, I took a written test to “discover ” my spiritual gift. I questioned the validity of the test at that time… Should I focus on trying to “discover” my spiritual gift? If I am focusing on examining my life daily according to YHWH’s Word, then maybe my focus shouldn’t be on my spiritual gift…rather fearing YHWH and keeping His commandments. The spiritual gift will be revealed through my actions naturally without having to take a written test to “discover” it.
In closing I wanted to add some fruit from my morning time with the Father this week. The world is in turmoil, but those who place their faith and trust in the God of all things shouldn’t be. If you are, I would like to respectfully submit that you’ve been targeted by the enemy and distracted from your true God. In all of our moments of crisis and turmoils, as problems arise throughout the day, as fears or concerns pass through our thoughts, I’d like to challenge you to say this statement out loud.
This is our statement:
“I have full faith and confidence in the Father’s hand in this.“
Say that now, out loud.
Okay, now, say it again. Got it? Good.
Repeat this, out loud, as needed as you go about your day.
I have full faith and confidence in the Father’s hand in this.
I leave you with this parting thought from our reading today:
So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. 2 Cor 4:16-18
We have to put our faith in Him and keep it there. I want to challenge you to write this down as I have below.
Yeah, you know I’m gonna want you to write this out for yourself now, right?
Test everything, hold tight to what is good.~ 1 Thess 5:21
We are saved by Grace alone: Obedience is not the root of our salvation, it is the fruit!
May YHWH bless the reading of His Word!