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2 Corinthians

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Letters From God

2 Corinthians 3:1-6

How did travelling philosophers gain acceptance? Some with powerful oratory or strong personalities pushed their way into the public arena. But most needed an introduction. A letter from an official or recognised patron in another city was usually effective.

Glorious Ministry

2 Corinthians 3:7-11

Paul has just described the believers in Corinth as 'letters from God'. They were His 'handwriting' to communicate to other people the richness of His grace and His life-changing power. Paul then compared those 'living letters' with the writing on stone tablets which God gave Moses to teach His people. Not only were those words literally stone cold, they could never bring life. The commandments condemned lawbreakers.

Humble Honest Ministry

2 Corinthians 4:1-2

It is very sad when you see religion operating as a business, making money and promoting power. Alas, it is not uncommon. The bustling ancient city of Corinth, like many international commercial hubs, looked for heroes to follow – role models of success. When popularist false teachers infiltrated the church after Paul left, their personalities and preaching style disparaged Paul and the gospel, as they eagerly received money, fame and power.

Veiled and Unveiled Ministry

2 Corinthians 3:12-18

Paul has been accused of being too enthusiastic for the gospel. But the expectation of sharing Christ's glory spurred him on. Contrasting the new covenant of grace with the old covenant of law given to Moses, Paul said that there is no reason to hold back from gospel ministry. Moses had to veil his face because the glory was temporary (

Blinded To Gospel Ministry

2 Corinthians 4:3-4

How can some people listen to the gospel and understand it, responding in repentance and faith, whereas to others it makes no sense at all? Paul's critics said it was because he was not clear and that he tried to manipulate people – those charges he rebutted in

Preaching Only The Light Of Christ

2 Corinthians 4:5-6

Paul's preaching was greatly used by God to start a cascade of church planting which has spread all over the world, and continues to this day. But Paul was not a celebrity preacher. He did not advertise himself or seek a personal following: his only interest was to announce Jesus Christ to a sin-stricken world through an undiluted gospel message.

Treasure In Clay Pots

2 Corinthians 4:7-12

Marketing is all about making people want to buy. It makes us expect that products will be presented in enticing packaging, accompanied by compelling advertising and endorsed by celebrities. But the gospel is not like that. No, not at all. The good-news message, about how to be saved through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, is the finest treasure apart from Jesus Himself. And it is only contained in the hearts of people who have already been saved.

Speaking Truth With Faith And Grace

2 Corinthians 4:13-15

Why did Paul spend his life proclaiming Jesus, teaching believers how to follow Him, and getting into so much trouble for doing so? The church in Corinth was immature, and often rejected Paul's apostolic role. Although he founded the church and stayed teaching there for at least eighteen months (Acts 18:11), other preachers came.

Troubled But Not Losing Heart

2 Corinthians 4:16-18

From conversion to martyrdom, Paul's lifestyle was a catalogue of troubles punctuated by episodes of God's grace, bringing salvation to new believers and joy to the churches (2 Corinthians 4:15).

Groaning But Confident

2 Corinthians 5:1-5

For worldly people, death is the end. It was a prospect Paul faced often, but he was not afraid (Romans 8:36); it did not divert him from his mission.

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