2 CORINTHIANS 3 STUDY GUIDE & BREAKDOWN
PAUL'S LETTER FOR RECOMMENDATION
2 CORINTHIANS 3:1-3
3:1: THE OUTSIDERS who came to Corinth as prominent apostles demanded evidence of Paul's sincerity they themselves carried forged EPISTLES OF COMMENDATION- letters Paul could not match...They maintained Paul was not a genuine apostle...
3:2-3: PAUL does not need a commendation in INK-(v. 3), for the Corinthians have all experienced the fruit of his ministry; this fruit is of more value than any written EPISTLE: Paul compares the difference between sterile epistles and living spiritual fruit to the difference between the Old Covenant, written ON TABLETS OF STONE, and the New, written ON TABLETS...OF THE HEART: The impostors in Corinth are lifeless legalists: Paul is ministering CHRIST THROUGH THE SPIRIT OF GOD:
PAUL'S SUFFICIENCY: THE LIFE-GIVING SPIRIT
2 CORINTHIANS 3:4-6
3:4-6: THIS PASSAGE holds great hope for the Christian ministry..."who is sufficient for these things???"-( 2 Corinthians 2:16)- the one who places TRUST THROUGH CHRIST IN GOD-(v. 4): The minister gives his all in study and service, but ultimately human power is not sufficient for ministry or for salvation: we must utterly depend on God...
PAUL'S MINISTRY: THE GLORY OF GOD
2 CORINTHIANS 3:7-11
3:7-9: THE OLD COVENANT WAS EXTERNAL, TEMOPRARY, AND POWERLESS: Under God was present, and it WAS GLORIOUS with the presence of God: But it was imperfect and imparted a MINISTRY OF DEATH because men were unable to keep the Law: ISRAEL had access to God but generally failed to apprehend it: The inner veil of the temple and the veil over THE FACE OF MOSES spoke of the veil over the hearts of fallen human nature: men could neither adequately approach nor adequately see God: many even fail to see the Godhead veiled in Jesus' flesh: By contrast, the New Covenant is internal, eternal, and powerful...Under it God is fully present as unlimited, lifegiving GLORY-(v. 9), through THE MINISTRY OF THE SPIRIT-(v. 8) and OF RIGHTEOUSNESS-(v. 9): Christians have bold access to God, for there is no veil to separate us-(v. 16), The New Covenant is therefore MORE GLORIOUS-(v. 8):
PAUL'S RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD
2 CORINTHIANS 3:12-18
3:16-18: THE LORD here is a title: In the NT Lord usually refers to the Son: The Father is sometimes called Lord-(Matthew 11:25; 22:44; Luke 1:32; Luke 4:12, 18; and Luke 10:21; Acts 3:22; Revelation 11:15; and Revelation 21:22), and THE SPIRIT is referred to as Lord here-(v. 17) and in the Nicene Creed: "I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and giver of life..." There is a difference of opinion as to which of the Divine Persons the Lord refers to in each usage here: But Orthodox interpreters all agree that: (1): THE FATHER, THE SON, AND THE HOLY SPIRIT are in no way confused here-Paul has in mind one Person or another: The Son, for example, cannot be the Holy Spirit: (2): THE SPIRIT IS A DIVINE PERSON, not an impersonal force-though elsewhere in the NT "spirit" occasionally refers to a realm or a way of existence: (3): THIS TITLE here describes how God reigns in the world: It does not describe the eternal relationship of the Persons of the Trinity: the Spirit, for instance, does not proceed from the Son: Paul is transforming the Old Covenant understanding of one God, the Lord, into Jesus' New Covenant revelation of One God in Three Persons, each of whom is Lord: SO WHEN ONE TURNS TO THE LORD-(v. 16) he turns not just to the Father but also to the Incarnate Son-(v. 16), in the power of the Holy Spirit-(v. 17):
3:17-18: THE WORK of the Holy Spirit brings LIBERTY-(v. 17), freeing us to behold God and have open access to Him: Created as the image of God, we see His uncreated IMAGE, THE SON, THE GLORY OF THE LORD-(v. 18; see 2 Corinthians 4:4-6), in two ways: (1): THROUGH THE SON'S deified humanity-(see 1 Corinthians 13:12; James 1:23-25) and (2) IN THE POWER OF THE SPIRIT: as we behold Him, we become what we were created to be: God is infinite; therefore, growing in His image and glory has no limits: we shall ever see God more clearly and ever be TRANSFORMED INTO HIS LIKENESS...
2 CORINTHIANS 4 STUDY GUIDE & BREAKDOWN
PAUL'S FAITHFULNESS TO THE GOSPEL
2 CORINTHIANS 4:1-6
4:1: IN THE FACE of numerous onslaughts, challenges to his apostleship, and his responsibility "for all the churches"-(2 Corinthians 11:28), Paul still writes, WE DO NOT LOSE HEART-(see-v. 16): For he is preoccupied with the glories of the MINISTRY of Christ and the MERCY by which it is given to him:
4:3-4: THE VEIL is not over the gospel or the apostle, but over the hearts and minds of those who will not believe...
4:5: THE GOAL in preaching is not to glorify OURSELVES, BUT CHRIST...
THE POWER OF AN APOSTLE
2 CORINTHIANS 4:7-15
4:7: THE TREASURE is the light of God's glory in Christ-(v. 6); EARTHEN VESSELS refer to our humanity: As this light shines in and through us, people will see that THE POWER IS OF GOD AND NOT OF MAN...
4:8-12: THIS IS VICTORIOUS, but not trouble-free-Christianity: These trials "show both the power of God and, more, disclose His Grace"-(JohnChr):
SEEING THE UNSEEN
2 CORINTHIANS 4:16-18
4:16: THE ORTHODOX FAITH teaches that salvation in Christ includes: (1): A PASSAGE from death to life, from darkness to light-(John 3:1-6; Colossians 1:13-14), through repentance, faith, and baptism-("I have been saved") (2): A PROCESS of spiritual growth and maturation-(2 Peter 1:2-8) through ongoing repentance, faith and communion, often called deification-(I am being saved); and (3): A PROMISE of eternal life-(2 Corinthians 5:9-11; and John 14:1-6), calling us to perseverance and righteousness-(I shall be saved): It is this second element, the process of our salvation, that Paul describes here, saying that our inner life IS BEING RENEWED DAY BY DAY...
4:17: DESPITE PAUL'S hardships-(vv. 8-12), he see's God's everlasting GLORY and calls his trials LIGHT AFFLICTION:
4:18: AS PART of our inner renewal in Christ-(v. 16) we gain the gift of seeing the unseen, THE THINGS WHICH ARE...ETERNAL!!!
PSALM 26 (27)
SEE MY VIDEO COMMENTARY FOR SCRIPTURE READ AND BREAKDOWN OF PSALM 26 (27)
The compassionate, steadfast love of God for sinners: Christians reflect the mercy of God by caring for others: The most frequent PRAYER in Orthodox WORSHIP is "Lord have mercy..." (3)-(see Matthew 5:7; Ephesians 2:4-7; Titus 3:4-7):
The remission of sin and guilt through the love of Christ: Forgiveness is given originally in BAPTISM; forgiveness for continuing sin is reclaimed through REPENTANCE As God has forgiven the sins of believers, so are Christians to forgive those who have sinned against them-(Matthew 6:14,15; Matthew 18:21-35; 1 John 1:9):
MAY THE LORD FORGIVE THOSE WHO HATE US, AND THOSE WHO LOVE US!!!
END WITH THE LORD'S PRAYER; LET'S DEPART IN PEACE IN THE NAME OF THE LORD...
JPCE SPIRITUAL TALK
NEVER HOLD BACK
THE LORD IS MY SHEPHERD