Week #145; Wed, Oct 07: 1 Corinthians 4–12

Week #145; Wed, Oct 07: 1 Corinthians 4:1–12:31

CHAPTER OBSERVATIONS:

1 Corinthians 4:1, I. The Ministry of Apostles

I. KEY TEXT (The Ministry of Apostles): “This is how one should regard us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found trustworthy. But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by any human court. In fact, I do not even judge myself. For I am not aware of anything against myself, but I am not thereby acquitted. It is the Lord who judges me.” (4:1-4)
A. INFERENCE: “Therefore do not pronounce judgment before the time, before the Lord comes, who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart. Then each one will receive his commendation from God.” (4:5)
1. FINDINGS: “I have applied all these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, brothers, that you may learn by us not to go beyond what is written, that none of you may be puffed up in favor of one against another. For who sees anything different in you? What do you have that you did not receive? If then you received it, why do you boast as if you did not receive it?.” (4:6-7)
2. CRITERIA: “Already you have all you want! Already you have become rich! Without us you have become kings! And would that you did reign, so that we might share the rule with you! For I think that God has exhibited us apostles as last of all like men sentenced to death, because we have become a spectacle to the world, to angels, and to men. We are fools for Christ’s sake , but you are wise in Christ. We are weak, but you are strong. You are held in honor, but we in disrepute. To the present hour we hunger and thirst, we are poorly dressed and buffeted and homeless, and we labor, working with our own hands. When reviled, we bless; when persecuted, we endure; when slandered, we entreat. We have become, and are still, like the scum of the world, the refuse of all things.” (4:8-13)
3. CONDITION: “I do not write these things to make you ashamed, but to admonish you as my beloved children. For though you have countless guides in Christ, you do not have many fathers. For I became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel. I urge you, then, be imitators of me. That is why I sent you Timothy, my beloved and faithful child in the Lord, to remind you of my ways in Christ, as I teach them everywhere in every church.” (4:14-17)
4. CAUSE: “Some are arrogant, as though I were not coming to you. But I will come to you soon, if the Lord wills, and I will find out not the talk of these arrogant people but their power.” (4:18-19)
5. EFFECT: “For the kingdom of God does not consist in talk but in power. What do you wish? Shall I come to you with a rod, or with love in a spirit of gentleness?” (4:20-21)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Apostles were no more than servants of Christ, but they were not to be undervalued. They had a great trust, and for that reason, had an honorable office. 1 Corinthians 4:1” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

1 Corinthians 5:1, I. Sexual Immorality Defiles the Church

I. KEY TEXT (Sexual Immorality Defiles the Church): “It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that is not tolerated even among pagans, for a man has his father’s wife. And you are arrogant!” (5:1)
A. INFERENCE: “Ought you not rather to mourn? Let him who has done this be removed from among you.” (5:2)
1. FINDINGS: “For though absent in body, I am present in spirit; and as if present, I have already pronounced judgment on the one who did such a thing. When you are assembled in the name of the Lord Jesus and my spirit is present, with the power of our Lord Jesus, you are to deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord.” (5:3-5)
2. CRITERIA: “Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you really are unleavened. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed.” (5:6-7)
3. CONDITION: “Let us therefore celebrate the festival, not with the old leaven, the leaven of malice and evil, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.” (5:8)
4. CAUSE: “I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people–not at all meaning the sexually immoral of this world, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world.” (5:9-10)
5. EFFECT: “But now I am writing to your not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler–not even to eat with such a one. For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? God judges those outside. Purge the evil person from among you.” (5:11-12)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Christians are to avoid familiar converse with all who disgrace the Christian name. Such are only fit companions for their brethren in sin, and to such company they should be left, whenever it is possible to do so. 1 Corinthians 5:9” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

1 Corinthians 6:1, I. Lawsuits Against Believers; II. Flee Sexual Immorality

I. KEY TEXT (Lawsuits Against Believers): “When one of you has a grievance against another, does he dare go to law before the unrighteous instead of the saints?” (6:1)
A. INFERENCE: “Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is to be judged by you, are you incompetent to try trivial cases?” (6:2)
1. FINDINGS: “Do you not know that we are to judge angels? How much more, then, matters pertaining to this life?” (6:3)
2. CRITERIA: “So if you have such cases, why do you lay them before those who have no standing in the church?” (4)
3. CONDITION: “I say this to your shame. Can it be that there is no one among you wise enough to settle a dispute between the brothers, but brother goes to law against brother, and that before unbelievers? To have lawsuits at all with one another is already a defeat for you.” (6:5-7)
4. CAUSE: “Refer the matters in dispute, rather than go to law about them. They are trifles, and may easily be settled, if you first conquer your own spirits. Bear and forbear, and the men of least skill among you may end your quarrels. It is a shame that little quarrels should grow to such a head among Christians, that they cannot be determined by the brethren. 1 Corinthians 6:1” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “Why not rather suffer wrong? Why not rather be defrauded? But you yourselves wrong and defraud–even your own brothers. Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you,. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of God.” (6:8-11)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Christians should not contend with one another, for they are brethren. This, if duly attended to, would prevent many law-suits, and end many quarrels and disputes. In matters of great damage to ourselves or families, we may use lawful means to right ourselves, but Christians should be of a forgiving temper. 1 Corinthians 6:1” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

II. KEY TEXT (Flee Sexual Immorality): “’All things are lawful for me,’ but not all things are helpful. ‘All things are lawful for me, ‘ but I will not be enslaved by anything.” (6:12)
A. INFERENCE: “Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food;–and God will destroy both one and the other. ‘The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. And God raised the Lord and will also raise us up by his power. Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Never!” (6:13-15)
1. FINDINGS: “Or do you not know that he who is joined to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For, as it is written, ‘The two will become one flesh.’ But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him.” (6:16-17)
2. CRITERIA: “Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body.” (6:18)
3. CONDITION: “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” (6:19-20)
4. CAUSE: “There is a liberty wherewith Christ has made us free, in which we must stand fast. But surely a Christian would never put himself into the power of any bodily appetite. The body is for the Lord; is to be an instrument of righteousness to holiness, therefore is never to be made an instrument of sin. 1 Corinthians 6:12” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “It is an honor to the body, that Jesus Christ was raised from the dead; and it will be an honor to our bodies, that they will be raised. The hope of a resurrection to glory, should keep Christians from dishonoring their bodies by fleshly lusts. And if the soul be united to Christ by faith, the whole man is become a member of his spiritual body. 1 Corinthians 6:12” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Its effects fall not only directly upon the body, but often upon the mind. Our bodies have been redeemed from deserved condemnation and hopeless slavery by the atoning sacrifice of Christ. We are to be clean, as vessels fitted for our Master’s use. Being united to Christ as one spirit, and bought with a price of unspeakable value, the believer should consider himself as wholly the Lord’s, by the strongest ties. 1 Corinthians 6:12” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

1 Corinthians 7:1, Principles for Marriage; II. Live as You Are Called; III. The Unmarried and the Widowed

I. KEY TEXT (Principles for Marriage): “Now concerning the matters about which you wrote: ‘It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.’ But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband.” (7:1-2)
A. INFERENCE: “The husband should give to his wife here conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does.” (7:3-4)
1. FINDINGS: “Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.” (7:5)
2. CRITERIA: “Now as a concession, not a command, I say this. I wish that all were as I myself am. But each has his own gift from God, one of one kind and one of another. To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is good for them to remain single as I am. But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion. To the married I give this charge (not I, but the Lord): the wife should not separate from her husband (but if she does, she should remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband), and the husband should not divorce his wife. To the rest I say (I, not the Lord) that if any brother has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she consents to live with him, he should not divorce her. If any woman has a husband who is an unbeliever, and he consents to live with her, she should not divorce him. For the unbelieving husband is made holy because of his wife, and the unbelieving wife is made holy because of her husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy.” (7:6-14)
3. CONDITION: “But if the unbelieving partner separates, let it be so. In such cases the brother or sister is not enslaved. God has called you to peace.” (7:15)
4. CAUSE: “For how do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife?” (7:16)
5. EFFECT: “Man and wife must not separate for any other cause than what Christ allows. Divorce, at that time, was very common among both Jews and Gentiles, on very slight pretexts. Marriage is a Divine institution; and is an engagement for life, by God’s appointment. 1 Corinthians 7:10” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “It should be the labor and study of those who are married, to make each other as easy and happy as possible. 1 Corinthians 7:10” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

II. KEY TEXT (Live as You Are Called): “Only let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him. This is my rule in all the churches.” (7:17)
A. INFERENCE: “Was anyone at the time of his call already circumcised? Let him not seek to remove the marks of circumcision. Was anyone at the time of his call uncircumcised? Let him not seek circumcision.” (7:18)
1. FINDINGS: “For neither circumcision counts for anything nor uncircumcision, but keeping the commandments of God. Each one should remain in the condition in which he was called.” (7:19-20)
2. CRITERIA: “Were you a slave when called? Do not be concerned about it (But if you can gain your freedom, avail yourself of the opportunity.)” (7:21)
3. CONDITION: “For he who was called in the Lord as a slave is a freedman of the Lord. Likewise he who was free when called is a slave of Christ.” (7:22)
4. CAUSE: “You were bought with a price; do not become slaves of men.” (7:23)
5. EFFECT: “So, brothers, in whatever condition each was called, there let him remain with God” (7:24)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “In every state and relation the Lord has called us to peace; and every thing should be done to promote harmony, as far as truth and holiness will permit. 1 Corinthians 7:10” (Matthew Henrys Concise Commentary)

III. KEY TEXT (The Unmarried and the Widowed): “Now concerning the betrothed, I have no command from the Lord, but I give my judgment as one who by the Lord’s mercy is trustworthy.” (7:25)
A. INFERENCE: “I think that in view of the present distress it is good for a person to remain as he is. Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be free. Are you free from a wife? Do not seek a wife.” (7:26)
1. FINDINGS: “But if you do marry, you have not sinned, and if a betrothed woman marries, she has not sinned.” (7:27)
2. CRITERIA: “Yet those who marry will have world troubles, and I would spare you that. This is what I mean, brothers: the appointed time has grown very short. From now on, let those who have wives live as though they had none, and those who mourn as though they were not mourning, and those who rejoice as though they were not rejoicing, and those who buy as though they had no goods, and those who deal with the world as though they had no dealings with it. For the present form of this world is passing away.” (7:28-31)
3. CONDITION: “I want you to be free from anxieties. The unmarried man is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to please the Lord. But the married man is anxious about worldly things, how to please his wife, and his interests are divided. And the unmarried or betrothed woman is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to be holy in body and spirit. But the married woman is anxious about worldly things, how to please her husband. I say this for your own benefit, not to lay any restraint upon you, but to promote good order and to secure your undivided devotion to the Lord.” (7:32-35)
4. CAUSE: “If anyone thinks that he is not behaving properly toward his betrothed, if his passions are strong, and it has to be, let him do as he wishes; let them marry–it is no sin. But whoever is firmly established in his heart, being under no necessity but having his desire under control, and has determined this in his heart, to keep her as his betrothed, he will do well. So then he who marries his betrothed does well, and he who refrains from marriage will do even better.” (7:36-38)
5. EFFECT: “A wife is bound to her husband as long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is free to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord. Yet in my judgment she is happier if she remains as she is. And I think that I too have the Spirit of God.” (7:39-40)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Change of condition ought only to be made after careful consideration, and on probable grounds, that it will be to advantage in our spiritual concerns. 1 Corinthians 7:36” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

1 Corinthians 8:1, I. Food Offered to Idols

I. KEY TEXT (Food Offered to Idols): “Now concerning food offered to idols: we know that ‘all of us possess knowledge.’ This ‘knowledge’ puffs up, but love builds up. If anyone imagines that he knows something, he does not yet know as he ought to know. But if anyone loves God, he is known by God.” (8:1-3)
A. INFERENCE: “Therefore, as to the eating of food offered to idols, we know that ‘an idol has no real existence,’ and that ‘there is no God but one.’ For although there may be so-called gods in heaven or on earth–as indeed there are many gods’ and many ‘lords’–yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.” (8:4-6)
1. FINDINGS: “However, not all possess this knowledge. But some, through former association with idols, eat food as really offered to an idol, and their conscience, being weak, is defiled.” (8:7)
2. CRITERIA: “Food will not commend us to God. We are no worse off if we do not eat, and no better off if we do.” (8:8)
3. CONDITION: “But take care that this right of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak. For if anyone sees you who have knowledge eating in an idol’s temple, will he not be encouraged, if his conscience is weak, to eat food offered to idols? And so by your knowledge this weak person is destroyed, the brother for whom Christ died.” (8:9-11)
4. CAUSE: “Thus, sinning against your brothers and wounding their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ. ” (8:12)
5. EFFECT: “Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble.” (8:13)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Men cannot thus sin against their brethren, without offending Christ, and endangering their own souls. 1 Corinthians 8:7” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

1 Corinthians 9:1, I. Paul Surrenders His Rights

I. KEY TEXT (Paul Surrenders His Rights): “Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord? Are not you my workmanship in the Lord? If to others I am not an apostle, at least I am to you, for you are the seal of my apostleship in the Lord.” (9:1-2)
A. INFERENCE: “This is my defense to those who would examine me. Do we not have the right to eat and drink? Do we not have the right to take along a believing wife, as do the other apostles and the brothers of the Lord and Cephas? Or is it only Barnabas and I who have no right to refrain from working for a living? Who serves as a soldier at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard without eating any of its fruit? Or who tends a flock without getting some of the milk?” (9:3-7)
1. FINDINGS: “Do I say these things on human authority? Does not the Law say the same? For it is written in the Law of Moses, ‘You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain.’ Is it for oxen that God is concerned? Does he not speak entirely for our sake? It was written for our sake, because the plowman should plow in hope and the thresher thresh in hope of sharing in the crop. If we have sown spiritual things among you, is it too much if we reap material things from you? If others share this rightful claim on you, do not we even more?” (9:8-12)
2. CRITERIA: “Nevertheless, we have not made use of this right, but we endure anything rather than put an obstacle in the way of the gospel of Christ. Do you not know that those who are employed in the temple service get their food from the temple, and those who serve at the altar share in the sacrificial offerings? In the same way, the Lord commanded that those who proclaim the gospel should get their living by the gospel,” (9:12-14)
3. CONDITION: “But I have made no use of any of these rights, nor am I writing these things to secure any such provision. For I would rather die than have anyone deprive me of my ground for boasting. For if I preach the gospel, that gives me no ground for boasting. For necessity is laid upon me. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!” (9:15-16)
4. CAUSE: “For if I do this of my own will, I have a reward, but if not of my own will, I am still entrusted with a stewardship. What then is my reward? That in my preaching I may present the gospel free of charge, so as not to make full use of my right in the gospel.” (9:17-18)
5. EFFECT: “For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them. To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though not being myself under the law) that I might win those under the law. To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (not being outside the law of God but under the law of Christ) that I might win those outside the law. To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some. I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings. Do you know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable (one of five crowns). So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.” (9:19-27)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “He sets before himself and them the danger of yielding to fleshly desires, pampering the body, and its lusts and appetites. 1 Corinthians 9:24” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

1 Corinthians 10, I. Warning Against Idolatry; II. Do All to the Glory of God

I. KEY TEXT (Warning Against Idolatry): “For I want you to know, brothers, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, and all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them, and the Rock was Christ.” (10:1-4)
A. INFERENCE: “Nevertheless, with most of them God was not pleased, for they were overthrown in the wilderness.” (10:5)
1. FINDINGS: “Now these things took place as examples for us, that we might not desire evil as they did. Do not be idolaters as some of them were; as it is written, ‘The people sat down to eat and drink and rose up to play.’ We must not indulge in sexual immorality as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in a single day.” (10:6-8)
2. CRITERIA: “We must not put Christ to the test, as some of them did and were destroyed by serpents, nor grumble, as some of them did and were destroyed by the Destroyer. Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come. Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall. No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” (10:9-13)
3. CONDITION: “Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry. I speak as to sensible people; judge for yourselves what I say. The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ. Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread. Consider the people of Israel: are not those who eat the sacrifices participants in the altar? What do I imply then? That food offered to idols is anything, or that an idol is anything? No, I imply that what pagans sacrifice they offer to demons and not to God. I do not want you to be participants with demons.” (10:14-20)
4. CAUSE: “You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons.” (10:21)
5. EFFECT: “Shall we provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than he?” (10:22)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Christians should take care not to use their liberty to the hurt of others, or to their own reproach. In eating and drinking, and in all we do, we should aim at the glory of God, at pleasing and honoring him. 1 Corinthians 10:23” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

II. KEY TEXT (Do All to the Glory of God): “’All things are lawful,’ but not all things are helpful. ‘All things are lawful,’ but not all things build up. Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor. Eat whatever is sold in the meat market without raising any question on the ground of conscience. For the earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof.” (10:23-26)
A. INFERENCE: “If one of the unbelievers invites you to dinner and you are disposed to go, eat whatever is set before you without raising any question on the ground of conscience.” (10:27)
1. FINDINGS: “But if someone says to you, ‘This has been offered in sacrifice,’ then do not eat it, for the sake of the one who informed you, and for the sake of conscience–I do mean you conscience, but his. For why should my liberty be determined by someone else’s conscience? If I partake with thankfulness, why am I denounced because of that for which I give thanks?” (10:28-30)
2. CRITERIA: “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. ” (10:31)
3. CONDITION: “Give no offense to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God, just as I try to please everyone in everything I do, not seeking my own advantage, but that of many, that they may be saved.” (10:32-33)
4. CAUSE: “In every meal and act we must so conduct ourselves that praise and honor may redound to God.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “Christians should take care not to use their liberty to the hurt of others, or to their own reproach. In eating and drinking, and in all we do, we should aim at the glory of God, at pleasing and honoring him. 1 Corinthians 10:23” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “A holy, peaceable, and benevolent spirit, will disarm the greatest enemies. 1 Corinthians 10:23” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

1 Corinthians:11, I. Head Coverings; II. The Lord’s Supper

I. KEY TEXT (Head Coverings): “Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ. Now I commend you because you remember me in everything and maintain the traditions even as I delivered them to you. But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a wife is her husband, and the head of Christ is God.” (11:1-3)
A. INFERENCE: “Every man who prays or prophesizes with his head covered dishonors his head, but every wife who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head, since it is the same as if her head were shaven.” (11:4)
1. FINDINGS: “For if a wife will not cover her head, then she should cut her hair short. But since it is disgraceful for a wife to cut off her hair or shave her head, let her cover her head. For a man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God, but woman is the glory of man.” (11:6-7)
2. CRITERIA: “For man was not made from woman, but woman from man. Neither was man created for woman, but woman for man. That is why a wife ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels.” (11:8-10)
3. CONDITION: “Nevertheless, in the Lord woman is not independent of man nor man of woman; for as woman was made from man, so man is now born of woman. And all things are from God.” (11:11-12)
4. CAUSE: “Judge for yourselves; is it proper for a wife to pray to God with her head uncovered? Does not nature itself teach you that if a man wears long hair it is a disgrace for him, but if a woman has long hair, it is her glory? For her hair is given to her for a covering.” (11:13-15)
5. EFFECT: “If anyone is inclined to be contentious, we have no such practice, nor do the churches of God.” (11:16)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Though our intelligence may give us a wide liberty in regard to personal conduct, we must allow a check to be placed on it by the thoughtfulness of Christian love.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)

II. KEY TEXT (The Lord’s Supper): “But in the following instructions I do not commend you, because when you come together it is not for the better but for the worse. For, in the first place, when you come together as a church, I hear that there are divisions among you. And I believe it in part, for there must be factions among you in order that those who are genuine among you may be recognized.” (11:17-19)
A. INFERENCE: “When you come together, it is not the Lord’s supper that you eat. For in eating, each one goes ahead with his own meal. One goes hungry, another gets drunk.” (11:20-21)
1. FINDINGS: “What! Do you not have houses to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God and humiliate those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I commend you in this? No, I will not.” (11:22)
2. CRITERIA: “For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, ‘This is my body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.’ In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.’ For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.” (11:23-26)
3. CONDITION: “Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty concerning the body and blood of the Lord. Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks judgment on himself.” (11:27-29)
4. CAUSE: “That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died.” (11:30)
5. EFFECT: “But if we judged ourselves truly, we would not be judged. But when we are judged by the Lord, we are disciplined so that we may not be condemned along with the world. So then, by brothers, when you come together to eat, wait for one another–if anyone is hungry, let him eat at home–so that when you come together it will not be for judgment. About the other things I will give directions when I come.” (11:31-34)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Let all look to it, that they do not come together to God’s worship, so as to provoke him, and bring down vengeance on themselves. 1 Corinthians 11:23” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

1 Corinthians:12, I. Spiritual Gifts; II. One Body with Many Members

I. KEY TEXT (Spiritual Gifts): “Now concerning spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be uninformed. You know that when you were pagans you were led astray to mute idols, however you were led.” (12:1-2)
A. INFERENCE: “Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking in the Spirit of God ever says ‘Jesus is accursed!’ and no one can say ‘Jesus is Lord’ except in the Holy Spirit.” (12:3)
1. FINDINGS: “Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues.” (12:4-10)
2. CRITERIA: “All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills.” (12:11)
3. CONDITION: “If we have any knowledge of the truth, or any power to make it known, we must give all the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 12:1” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “We have little cause to glory in any gifts bestowed on us, or to despise those who have them not. 1 Corinthians 12:1” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “Notice that the allotment is made by the Holy Spirit acting sovereignly as He will, 1Co_12:11. We are not informed when it is made-perhaps it is at the moment of our regeneration or adoption-but it is important to bear in mind that our gifts will probably correspond with our natural endowment. Hence our Lord tells us that to every man was given according to his several ability, Matthew 25:15.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: Know the sum is, “None have the Holy Spirit but Christians: all Christians have this Spirit.” (John Wesley)

II. KEY TEXT (One Body with Many Members): “For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ.” (12:12)
A. INFERENCE: “For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body–Jews or Greeks, slaves or free–and all were made to drink of one Spirit.” (12:13)
1. FINDINGS: “For the body does not consist of one member but of many. If the foot should say, ‘Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,’ that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear should say, ‘Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,’ that would not make it any less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, yet one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I have no need of you,’ nor again the head to the feet, ‘I have no need of you.’ On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, which our more presentable parts do not require.” (12:14-24)
2. CRITERIA: “But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.” (12:25-26)
3. CONDITION: “Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, helping, administrating, and various kinds of tongues.” (12:27-28)
4. CAUSE: “Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret?” (12:29-31)
5. EFFECT: “But earnestly desire the higher gifts. And I will show you a still more excellent way.” (12:31)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “How blessed the Christian church, if all the members did their duty! Instead of coveting the highest stations, or the most splendid gifts, let us leave the appointment of his instruments to God, and those in whom he works by his providence. 1 Corinthians 12:27” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

Week #146; Wed, Oct 14: 1 Corinthians 13–2 Corinthians 5

Week #146; Wed, Oct 14: 1 Corinthians 13:1–2 Corinthians 5:21

CHAPTER OBSERVATIONS:

1 Corinthians 13:1, I. The Way of Love

I. KEY TEXT (The Way of Love): “If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.” (13:1-3)
A. INFERENCE: “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” (13:4-7)
1. FINDINGS: “Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away.” (13:8-10)
2. CRITERIA: “When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.” (13:11-12)
3. CONDITION: “So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” (13:13)
4. CAUSE: “Faith fixes on the Divine revelation, and assents thereto, relying on the Divine Redeemer. Hope fastens on future happiness, and waits for that; but in heaven, faith will be swallowed up in actual sight, and hope in enjoyment. There is no room to believe and hope, when we see and enjoy. But there, love will be made perfect. There we shall perfectly love God. And there we shall perfectly love one another. Blessed state! how much surpassing the best below! God is love, 1 John 4:8, 16. Where God is to be seen as he is, and face to face, there charity is in its greatest height; there only will it be perfected. 1 Corinthians 13:8” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “Love is the best of all, because it is eternal. All else will perish. Our highest attainments will be as the babblings and playthings of childhood. But when we are in touch with the reality of things, love will be all in all.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “God is love, and if you would love, you must abide in Him and He in you.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)

1 Corinthians 14:1, I. Prophecy and Tongues; II. Orderly Worship

I. KEY TEXT (Prophecy and Tongues): “Pursue love, and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy. For one who speaks in a tongue speaks not to men but to God; for no one understands him, but he utters mysteries in the Spirit. On the other hand, the one who prophesies speaks to people for their upbuilding and encouragement and consolation.” (14:1-3)
A. INFERENCE: “The one who speaks in a tongue builds up himself, but the one who prophesies builds up the church.” (14:4)
1. FINDINGS: “Now I want you all to speak in tongues, but even more to prophesy. The one who prophesies is greater than the one who speaks in tongues, unless someone interprets, so that the church may be built up.” (14:5)
2. CRITERIA: “Now, brothers, if I come to you speaking in tongues, how will I benefit you unless I bring you some revelation or knowledge or prophecy or teaching? If even lifeless instruments, such as the flute or the harp, do not give distinct notes, how will anyone know what is played? And if the bugle gives an indistinct sound, who will get ready for battle?” (14:6-8)
3. CONDITION: “So with yourselves, if with your tongue you utter speech that is not intelligible, how will anyone know what is said? For you will be speaking into the air. There are doubtless many different languages in the world, and none is without meaning, but if I do not know the meaning of the language, I will be a foreigner to the speaker and the speaker a foreigner to me. So with yourselves, since you are eager for manifestations of the Spirit, strive to excel in building up the church.” (14:9-12)
4. CAUSE: “Therefore, one who speaks in a tongue should pray for the power to interpret. For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays but my mind is unfruitful. What am I to do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will pray with my mind also. Otherwise, if you give thanks with your spirit, how can anyone in the position of an outsider say “Amen” to your thanksgiving when he does not know what you are saying? For you may be giving thanks well enough, but the other person is not being built up. I thank God that I speak in tongues more than all of you. Nevertheless, in church I would rather speak five words with my mind in order to instruct others, than ten thousand words in a tongue.” (14:13-19)
5. EFFECT: “Brothers, do not be children in your thinking. Be infants in evil, but in your thinking be mature. In the Law it is written, ‘By people of strange tongues and by the lips of foreigners will I speak to this people, and even then they will not listen to me, says the Lord.’ Thus tongues are a sign not for believers but for unbelievers, while prophecy is a sign not for unbelievers but for believers. If therefore, the whole church comes together and all speak in tongues, and outsiders or unbelievers enter, will they not say that you are out of your minds? But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or outsider enters, he is convicted by all, he is called to account by all, the secrets of his heart are disclosed, and so, falling on his face, he will worship God and declare that God is really among you.” (14:20-25)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Prefer prophecy to the gift of tongues.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

II. KEY TEXT (Orderly Worship): “What then, brothers? When you come together, each one has a hymn, a lesson, a revelation, a tongue, or an interpretation. Let all things be done for building up.” (14:26)
A. INFERENCE: “If any speak in a tongue, let there be only two or at most three, and each in turn, and let someone interpret. But if there is no one to interpret, let each of them keep silent in church and speak to himself and to God. Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others weigh what is said.” (14:27-29)
1. FINDINGS: “If a revelation is made to another sitting there, let the first be silent. For you can all prophesy one by one, so that all may learn and all be encouraged, and the spirits of prophets are subject to prophets. For God is not a God of confusion but of peace.” (14:30-32)
2. CRITERIA: “As in all the churches of the saints, the women should keep silent in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak, but should be in submission, as the Law also says. If there is anything they desire to learn, let them ask their husbands at home. For it is shameful for a woman to speak in church.” (14:33-35)
3. CONDITION: “Or was it from you that the word of God came? Or are you the only ones it has reached? If anyone thinks that he is a prophet, or spiritual, he should acknowledge that the things I am writing to you are a command of the Lord. If anyone does not recognize this, he is not recognized. So, my brothers, earnestly desire to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues. But all things should be done decently and in order.” (14:36-40)
4. CAUSE: “The Apostle sums up his directions in two simple rules: 1. Let all things be done unto edifying; that is, to building up individual character, and to fitting each member as a brick or stone into the rising fabric of the Church. Hence the stress laid on prophesying or speaking under the impulse of God’s Spirit. All who had that gift should certainly have a chance to use it, because the whole Church would be thereby profited and enriched. 2. Let all things be done decently and in order: decently, so as not to interrupt the dignity and gravity of the services; in order, not by hazard or impulse, but by design and arrangement.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “The man who is inspired by the Spirit of God will observe order and decency in delivering his revelations. God never teaches men to neglect their duties, or to act in any way unbecoming their age or station. 1 Corinthians 14:26” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “The way to keep peace, truth, and order in the church, is to seek that which is good for it, to bear with that which is not hurtful to its welfare, and to keep up good behavior, order, and decency. 1 Corinthians 14:34” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

1 Corinthians 15:1, I. The Resurrection of Christ; II. The Resurrection of the Dead; III. The Resurrection Body; IV. Mystery and Victory

I. KEY TEXT (The Resurrection of Christ): “Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you–unless you believed in vain.” (15:1-3)
A. INFERENCE: “For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, the he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. ” (15:3-6)
1. FINDINGS: “Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me. For I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.” (15:7-9)
2. CRITERIA: “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me. Whether then it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.” (15:10-11)
3. CONDITION: “All true Christians believe that Jesus Christ, and him crucified, and then risen from the dead, is the sum and substance of Christianity. All the apostles agreed in this testimony; by this faith they lived, and in this faith they died. 1 Corinthians 15:1” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “The doctrine of Christ’s death and resurrection, is the foundation of Christianity. Remove this, and all our hopes for eternity sink at once. And it is by holding this truth firm, that Christians stand in the day of trial, and are kept faithful to God. We believe in vain, unless we keep in the faith of the gospel. This truth is confirmed by Old Testament prophecies; and many saw Christ after he was risen. 1 Corinthians 15:1” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “This apostle was highly favored, but he always had a low opinion of himself, and expressed it. When sinners are, by Divine grace, turned into saints, God causes the remembrance of former sins to make them humble, diligent, and faithful. He ascribes to Divine grace all that was valuable in him. True believers, though not ignorant of what the Lord has done for, in, and by them, yet when they look at their whole conduct and their obligations, they are led to feel that none are so worthless as they are 1 Corinthians 15:1” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Notice that the Resurrection was primarily not a doctrine but a fact. It is not necessary to argue it, but simply to say that Christ arose, therefore all will arise, because Christ is the Son of man.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)

II. KEY TEXT (The Resurrection of the Dead): “Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised.” (15:12-13)
A. INFERENCE: “And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised.” (15:14-15)
1. FINDINGS: “For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.” (15:16-19)
2. CRITERIA: “But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power.” (15:20-24)
3. CONDITION: “For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death.” (15:25)
4. CAUSE: “For ‘God has put all things in subjection under his feet.’ But when it says, ‘all things are put in subjection,’ it is plain that he is excepted who put all things in subjection under him.” (15:26-27)
5. EFFECT: “When all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to him who put all things in subjection under him, that God may be all in all.” Otherwise, what do people mean by being baptized on behalf of the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, why are we in danger every hour? I protest, brothers, by my pride in you, which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die every day! What do I gain if, humanly speaking, I fought with beasts at Ephesus? If the dead are not raised, ‘Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.’ Do not be deceived: ‘Bad company ruins good morals.’ Wake up from your drunken stupor, as is right, and do not go on sinning. For some have no knowledge of God. I say this to your shame. (15:28-34)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Belief in this sublime undoing of the last effects of sin was one of the chief features in the conquering power of Christianity.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)

III. KEY TEXT (The Resurrection Body): “But someone will ask, ‘How are the dead raised? With what kind of body do they come?’” (15:35)
A. INFERENCE: “You foolish person! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. And what you sow is not the body that is to be, but a bare kernel, perhaps of wheat or of some other grain. But God gives it a body as he has chosen, and to each kind of seed its own body. For not all flesh is the same, but there is one kind for humans, another for animals, another for birds, and another for fish. There are heavenly bodies and earthly bodies, but the glory of the heavenly is of one kind, and the glory of the earthly is of another. There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for star differs from star in glory.” (15:36-41)
1. FINDINGS: “So is it with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable; what is raised is imperishable. It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power. It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body.” (15:42-44)
2. CRITERIA: “Thus it is written, ‘The first man Adam became a living being;’ the last Adam became a life-giving spirit. .” (15:45)
3. CONDITION: “But it is not the spiritual that is first but the natural, and then the spiritual. The first man was from earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven.” (15:46-47)
4. CAUSE: “As was the man of dust, so also are those who are of the dust, and as is the man of heaven, so also are those who are of heaven.” (15:48)
5. EFFECT: “Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven.” (15:49)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Life on the other side will be as real and as earnest as here. We shall not dissolve into thin mist or flit as bodiless ghosts. We shall each be provided with a body like that which our Lord had after, He arose from the dead. It will be a spiritual body, able to go and come at a wish or a thought; a body that will be perfectly adapted to its spiritual world environment.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)

IV. KEY TEXT (Mystery and Victory): “I tell you this brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.” (15:50)
A. INFERENCE: “Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed.” (15:51-52)
1. FINDINGS: “For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. ” (15:53)
2. CRITERIA: “When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: ‘Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?’” (15:53-55)
3. CONDITION: “The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.” (15:56)
4. CAUSE: “But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (15:57)
5. EFFECT: “Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.” (15:58)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “May Christ give us faith, and increase our faith, that we may not only be safe, but joyful and triumphant. 1 Corinthians 15:51” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary) Rapture can be read here.

1 Corinthians 16:1, I. The Collection for the Saints; II. Plans for Travel; III. Final Instructions; IV. Greetings

I. KEY TEXT (The Collection for the Saints): “Now concerning the collection for the saints: as I directed the churches of Galatia, so you also are to do.” (16:1)
A. INFERENCE: “On the first day of every week, each of you is to put something aside and store it up, as he may prosper, so that there will be no collecting when I come.” (16:2)
1. FINDINGS: “And when I arrive, I will send those whom you accredit by letter to carry your gift to Jerusalem.” (16:3)
2. CRITERIA: “If it seems advisable that I should go also they will accompany me.” (16:4)
3. CONDITION: “All our purposes must be made with submission to the Divine providence, James 4:15. Adversaries and opposition do not break the spirits of faithful and successful ministers, but warm their zeal, and inspire them with fresh courage. 1 Corinthians 16:1” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “A faithful minister is more discouraged by the hardness of his hearers’ hearts, and the backslidings of professors, than by the enemies’ attempts. 1 Corinthians 16:1” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “It is remarkable that the Apostle can turn from one of his sublimest flights of sacred eloquence to deal with so ordinary a matter as the collection. But, after all, there is no incongruity. The thoughts to which he has given expression should surely lead to some tangible response of Christian duty and activity, or they would injure rather than help.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “We should give according to a system, and not merely by impulse.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)

II. KEY TEXT (Plans for Travel): “I will visit you after passing through Macedonia, for I intend to pass through Macedonia, and perhaps I will stay with you or even spend the winter, so that you may help me on my journey, wherever I go.” (16:5-6)
A. INFERENCE: “For I do not want to see you now just in passing. I hope to spend some time with you, if the Lord permits.” (16:7)
1. FINDINGS: “But I will stay in Ephesus until Pentecost, for a wide door for effective work has opened to me, and there are many adversaries.” (16:8-9)
2. CRITERIA: “When Timothy comes, see that you put him at ease among you, for he is doing the work of the Lord, as I am.” (16:10)
3. CONDITION: “So let no one despise him. Help him on his way in peace, that he may return to me, for I am expecting him with the brothers.” (16:11)
4. CAUSE: “Timothy came to do the work of the Lord. Therefore to vex his spirit, would be to grieve the Holy Spirit; to despise him, would be to despise Him that sent him. Those who work the work of the Lord, should be treated with tenderness and respect. 1 Corinthians 16:10” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “Faithful ministers will not be jealous of each other. It becomes the ministers of the gospel to show concern for each other’s reputation and usefulness. 1 Corinthians 16:10” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “It is God who opens great and effectual doors before His servants. It is of no use to force them. Let us wait for the Lord Jesus, who has the key of David, to open them, for then none can shut. Our duty is to be prepared to enter when the moment comes and the door swings wide.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)

III. KEY TEXT (Final Instructions): “Now concerning our brother Apollos, I strongly urged him to visit you with the other brothers, but it was not at all his will to come now. He will come when he has opportunity.” (16:12)
A. INFERENCE: “Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love.” (16:13-14)
1. FINDINGS: “Now I urge you, brothers–you know that the household of Stephanas were the first converts in Achaia, and that they have devoted themselves to the service of the saints–be subject to such as these, and to every fellow worker and laborer. I rejoice at the coming of Stephanas and Fortunatus and Achaicus, because they have made up for your absence, for they refreshed my spirit as well as yours. Give recognition to such men.” (16:15-18)
2. CRITERIA: “A Christian is always in danger, therefore should ever be on the watch. He should be fixed in the faith of the gospel, and never desert or give it up. By this faith alone he will be able to keep his ground in an hour of temptation. 1 Corinthians 16:13” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
3. CONDITION: “Christians should be careful that charity not only reigns in their hearts, but shines in their lives. There is a great difference between Christian firmness and feverish warmth and transport. 1 Corinthians 16:13” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “Those who serve the saints, those who desire the honor of the churches, and to remove reproaches from them, are to be thought much of, and loved. They should willingly acknowledge the worth of such, and all who labored with or helped the apostle. 1 Corinthians 16:13” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “The Apostle was careful to cultivate friendship, one of the priceless gifts of God; and he was very generous not only in his references to his friends, but also in his dealings with them.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Human love is a revelation of the divine; an earthen pitcher which God fills with heavenly treasure; a chalice holding the wine of life.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)

IV. KEY TEXT (Greetings): “The churches of Asia send you greetings. Aquila and Prisca, together with the church in their house, send you hearty greeting in the Lord. All the brothers send you greetings. Greet one another with a holy kiss.” (16:19-20)
A. INFERENCE: “I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand. ” (16:21)
1. FINDINGS: “If anyone has no love for the Lord, let him be accursed.” (16:22)
2. CRITERIA: “The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you. My love be with you all in Christ Jesus. Amen.” (16:23-24)
3. CONDITION: “True Christianity makes us wish those whom we love, the blessings of both worlds; this is meant in wishing the grace of Christ to be with them. The apostle had dealt plainly with the Corinthians, and told them of their faults with just severity; but he parts in love, and with a solemn profession of his love to them for Christ’s sake. 1 Corinthians 16:19” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “May our love be with all who are in Christ Jesus. Let us try whether all things appear worthless to us, when compared with Christ and his righteousness. 1 Corinthians 16:19” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “Maranatha!-our Lord cometh. He will put right the wrongs of time, and crown His faithful servants with honor and glory. Hallelujah!” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “May our love be with all those who are in Christ Jesus! Amen.” (Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible)

2 Corinthians 1:1, I. Greeting; II. God of All Comfort; III. Paul’s Change of Plans

I. KEY TEXT (Greeting): “Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother. To the church of God that is at Corinth, with all the saints who are in the whole of Achaia: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” (1:1-2)
A. INFERENCE: “We are encouraged to come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. The Lord is able to give peace to the troubled conscience, and to calm the raging passions of the soul. 2 Corinthians 1:1” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
1. FINDINGS: “These blessings are given by him, as the Father of his redeemed family. It is our Savior who says, Let not your heart be troubled. All comforts come from God, and our sweetest comforts are in him. He speaks peace to souls by granting the free remission of sins; and he comforts them by the enlivening influences of the Holy Spirit, and by the rich mercies of his grace. 2 Corinthians 1:1” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
2. CRITERIA: “This was a circular letter, including in its scope all the scattered communities in the district. Grace was the usual salutation of the West, Peace of the East. Here they meet. All our mercies emanate from the Father’s heart, and all comfort comes from the Comforter.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
3. CONDITION: “Remember that you are being comforted in order to comfort others. God is training you to be, like Barnabas, a ‘son of consolation.’” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “The gains of trial are immense, because they furnish the experience from which others may profit. Often God ministers comfort by sending a friend, 2 Corinthians 7:5-7.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us – The sufferings endured on his account. So our comfort also aboundeth through Christ – The sufferings were many, the comfort one; and yet not only equal to, but overbalancing, them all.” (John Wesley)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Christ calls His people’s sufferings His own suffering: (1) because of the sympathy and mystical union between Him and us (Romans 8:17; 1 Corinthians 4:10); (2) They are borne for His sake; (3) They tend to His glory (Ephesians 4:1; 1 Peter 4:14, 1 Peter 4:16).” (Jamieson, Fausset, Brown Commentary)

II. KEY TEXT (God of All Comfort): “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” (1:3-4)
A. INFERENCE: “For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.” (1:5)
1. FINDINGS: “If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer. Our hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort.” (1:6-7)
2. CRITERIA: “For we do not want you to be ignorant, brothers, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself.” (1:8)
3. CONDITION: “Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead. He delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will deliver us again.” (1:9-10)
4. CAUSE: “You also must help us by prayer, so that many will give thanks on our behalf for the blessing granted us through the prayers of many.” (1:11)
5. EFFECT: “He is able to bind up the broken-hearted, to heal the most painful wounds, and also to give hope and joy under the heaviest sorrows. The favors God bestows on us, are not only to make us cheerful, but also that we may be useful to others. He sends comforts enough to support such as simply trust in and serve him. 2 Corinthians 1:1” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Past experiences encourage faith and hope, and lay us under obligation to trust in God for time to come. And it is our duty, not only to help one another with prayer, but in praise and thanksgiving, and thereby to make suitable returns for benefits received. Thus both trials and mercies will end in good to ourselves and others. 2 Corinthians 1:1” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

III. KEY TEXT (Paul’s Change of Plans): “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.” (1:12)
A. INFERENCE: “For we are not writing to you anything other than what you read and acknowledge and I hope you will fully acknowledge–just as you did partially acknowledge us–that on the day of our Lord Jesus you will boast of us as we will boast of you.” (1:13-14)
1. FINDINGS: “Because I was sure of this, I wanted to come to you first, so that you might have a second experience of grace. I wanted to visit you on my way to Macedonia, and to come back to you from Macedonia and have you send me on my way to Judea. Was I vacillating when I wanted to do this? Do I make my plans according to the flesh, ready to say ‘Yes, yes’ and ‘No, no’ at the same time? As surely as God is faithful, our word to you has not been Yes and No. For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, whom we proclaimed among you, Silvanus and Timothy and I, was not Yes and No, but in him it is always Yes.” (1:15-19)
2. CRITERIA: “For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory.” (1:20)
3. CONDITION: “And it is God who establishes us with you in Christ, and has anointed us, and who has also put his seal on us and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.” (1:21-22)
4. CAUSE: “But I call God to witness against me–it was to spare you that I refrained from coming again to Corinth. Not that we lord it over your faith, but we work with you for your joy, for you stand firm in your faith.” (1:23-24)
5. EFFECT: “The Holy Spirit makes Christians firm in the faith of the gospel: the quickening of the Spirit is an earnest of everlasting life; and the comforts of the Spirit are an earnest of everlasting joy. 2 Corinthians 1:15” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “The holy tempers and gracious fruits which attend faith, secure from delusion in so important a matter. 2 Corinthians 1:15” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

1 Corinthians 9:1, I. Paul Surrenders His Rights

I. KEY TEXT (Paul Surrenders His Rights): “For I made up my mind not to make another painful visit to you. For if I cause you pain, who is there to make me glad but the one whom I have pained?” (2:1-2)
A. INFERENCE: “And I wrote as I did, so that when I came I might not suffer pain from those who should have made me rejoice, for I felt sure of all of you, that my joy would be the joy of you all.” (1:3)
1. FINDINGS: “For I wrote to you out of much affliction and anguish of heart and with many tears, not to cause you pain but to let you know the abundant love that I have for you.” (1:4)
2. CRITERIA: “The Apostle desires the Corinthians to understand that he also had shed many tears over the case, 2 Corinthians 2:4. His was a very affectionate and tender disposition, which shrank from inflicting pain, and yet was resolute at all costs to maintain truth.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
3. CONDITION: “The penitent offender was to be restored to church fellowship and received with brotherly welcome.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “I would not come to you then (2 Corinthians 2:1), as, if I were to come then, it would have to be “in heaviness” (causing sorrow both to him and them, owing to their impenitent state).” (Jamieson, Fausset, Brown Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “The latter happy effect was produced by his first Epistle, whereas the former would have been the result, had he then visited them as he had originally proposed.” (Jamieson, Fausset, Brown Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “The Apostle desires the Corinthians to understand that he also had shed many tears over the case, 2 Corinthians 2:4.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)

2 Corinthians 2, I. Forgive the Sinner; II. Triumph in Christ

I. KEY TEXT (Forgive the Sinner): “Now if anyone has caused pain, he has caused it not to me, but in some measure–not to put it too severely–to all of you.” (2:5)
A. INFERENCE: “For such a one, his punishment by the majority is enough, so you should rather turn to forgive and comfort him, or he may be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow.” (2:6-7)
1. FINDINGS: “So I beg you to reaffirm you love for him.” (2:8)
2. CRITERIA: “For this is why I wrote, that I might test you and know whether you are obedient in everything.” (2:9)
3. CONDITION: “Anyone whom you forgive, I also forgive.” (2:10)
4. CAUSE: “Indeed, what I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, has been for your sake in the presence of Christ, so that we would not be outwitted by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his designs.” (2:11)
5. EFFECT: “The apostle desires them to receive the person who had done wrong, again into their communion; for he was aware of his fault, and much afflicted under his punishment. Even sorrow for sin should not unfit for other duties, and drive to despair. 2 Corinthians 2:5” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “In this, as in other things, wisdom is to be used, that the ministry may not be blamed for indulging sin on the one hand, or for too great severity towards sinners on the other hand. 2 Corinthians 2:5” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

II. KEY TEXT (Triumph in Christ): “When I came to Troas to preach the gospel of Christ, even though a door was opened for me in the Lord, my spirit was not at rest because I did not find my brother Titus there. So I took leave of them and went on to Macedonia.” (2:12-13)
A. INFERENCE: “But thanks be to God, who in Christ always lead us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere.” (2:14)
1. FINDINGS: “For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life. Who is sufficient for these things?” (2:15-16)
2. CRITERIA: “For we are not, like so many, peddlers of God’s word, but as men of sincerity, as commissioned y God, in the sight of God we speak in Christ.” (2:17)
3. CONDITION: “A believer’s triumphs are all in Christ. To him be the praise and glory of all, while the success of the gospel is a good reason for a Christian’s joy and rejoicing. 2 Corinthians 2:12” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “Observe the awful impressions this matter made upon the apostle, and should also make upon us. The work is great, and of ourselves we have no strength at all; all our sufficiency is of God. 2 Corinthians 2:12” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “For if I grieve you, who is he that cheereth me, but he that is grieved by me – That is, I cannot be comforted myself till his grief is removed.” (John Wesley)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “May we carefully watch ourselves in this matter; and seek the testimony of our consciences, under the teaching of the Holy Spirit, that as of sincerity, so speak we in Christ and of Christ. 2 Corinthians 2:12” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)”

2 Corinthians:3, I. Ministers of the New Covenant

I. KEY TEXT (Ministers of the New Covenant): “Are we beginning to commend ourselves again? Or do we need, as some do, letters of recommendation to you, or from you? You yourselves are our letter of recommendation, written on our hearts, to be known and read by all.” (3:1-2)
A. INFERENCE: “And you show that you are a letter from Christ delivered by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.” (3:3)
1. FINDINGS: “Such is the confidence that we have through Christ toward God. Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God, who has made us competent to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.” (3:4-6)
2. CRITERIA: “Now if the ministry of death, carved in letters on stone, came with such glory that the Israelites could not gaze at Moses’ face because of its glory, which was being brought to an end, will not the ministry of the Spirit have even more glory? For if there was glory in the ministry of condemnation, the ministry of righteousness must far exceed it in glory.” (3:7-9)
3. CONDITION: “Indeed, in this case, what once had glory has come to have no glory at all, because of the glory that surpasses it. For if what was being brought to an end came with glory, much more will what is permanent have glory.” (3:10-11)
4. CAUSE: “Since we have such a hope, we are very bold, not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face so that the Israelites might not gaze at the outcome of what was being brought to an end. But their minds were hardened. For to this day, when they read the old covenant, that same veil remains unlifted, because only through Christ is it taken away.” (3:12-14)
5. EFFECT: “Yes, to this day whenever Moses is read a veil lies over their hearts. But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.” (3:15-18)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “It is the duty of the ministers of the gospel to use great plainness, or clearness, of speech. 2 Corinthians 3:12 We behold Christ, as in the glass of his word; and as the reflection from a mirror causes the face to shine, the faces of Christians shine also. 2 Corinthians 3:12” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

2 Corinthians:4, I. The Light of the Gospel; II. Treasure in Jars of Clay

I. KEY TEXT (The Light of the Gospel): “Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart. But we have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways. We refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God’s word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God.” (4:1-2)
A. INFERENCE: “And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled only to those who are perishing. In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” (4:3-4)
1. FINDINGS: “For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake.” (4:5)
2. CRITERIA: “For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” (4:6)
3. CONDITION: “The best of men would faint, if they did not receive mercy from God. And that mercy which has helped us out, and helped us on, hitherto, we may rely upon to help us even to the end. 2 Corinthians 4:1” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “Christ by his gospel makes a glorious discovery to the minds of men. But the design of the devil is, to keep men in ignorance; and when he cannot keep the light of the gospel of Christ out of the world, he spares no pains to keep men from the gospel, or to set them against it.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “The rejection of the gospel is here traced to the willful blindness and wickedness of the human heart. 2 Corinthians 4:1” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Do not tamper with God’s word.” (4:3)

II. KEY TEXT (Treasure in Jars of Clay): “But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies.” (4:7-10)
A. INFERENCE: “For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.” (4:11)
1. FINDINGS: “So death is at work in us, but life in you.” (4:12)
2. CRITERIA: “Since we have the same spirit of faith according to what has been written, ‘I believed, and so I spoke,’ we also believe, and so we also speak, knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence. For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.” (4:13-15)
3. CONDITION: “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. ” (4:16-17)
4. CAUSE: “For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” (4:18)
5. EFFECT: “There are unseen things, as well as things that are seen. And there is this vast difference between them; unseen things are eternal, seen things but temporal, or temporary only. Let us then look off from the things which are seen; let us cease to seek for worldly advantages, or to fear present distresses. Let us give diligence to make our future happiness sure. 2 Corinthians 4:13” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Faith enables to make this right judgment of things. 2 Corinthians 4:13” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

2 Corinthians:5, I. Our Heavenly Dwelling; II. The Ministry of Reconciliation

I. KEY TEXT (Our Heavenly Dwelling): “For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this tent we groan, longing to put on the heavenly dwelling, if indeed by putting it on we may not be found naked.” (5:1-3)
A. INFERENCE: “For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened–not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.” (5:4-5)
1. FINDINGS: “So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight.” (5:6-7)
2. CRITERIA: “Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord.” (5:8)
3. CONDITION: “So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him.” (5:9)
4. CAUSE: “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.” (5:10)
5. EFFECT: “Let all consider the judgment to come, which is called, The terror of the Lord. Knowing what terrible vengeance the Lord would execute upon the workers of iniquity, the apostle and his brethren used every argument and persuasion, to lead men to believe in the Lord Jesus, and to act as his disciples. 2 Corinthians 5:9” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: Know the difference between the “Bema Seat of Christ–for believers” and the “Great White Throne of Judgment–for unbelievers.”

II. KEY TEXT (The Ministry of Reconciliation): “Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade others. But what we are is known to God, and I hope it is known also to your conscience.” (5:11)
A. INFERENCE: “We are not commending ourselves to you again but giving you cause to boast about us, so that you may be able to answer those who boast about outward appearance and not about what is in the heart.” (5:12)
1. FINDINGS: “For if we are beside ourselves, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.” (5:13-15)
2. CRITERIA: “From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer.” (15:16)
3. CONDITION: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.” (15:17-19)
4. CAUSE: “Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.” (15:20)
5. EFFECT: “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (15:21)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “The end and design of all this was, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him, might be justified freely by the grace of God through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus. Can any lose, labor, or suffer too much for Him, who gave his beloved Son to be the Sacrifice for their sins, that they might be made the righteousness of God in him? 2 Corinthians 5:16” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

Week #147; Wed, Oct 21: 2 Corinthians 6–Galatians 2

Week #147; Wed, Oct 21: 2 Corinthians 6:1–2 Galatians 2:21

CHAPTER OBSERVATIONS:

2 Corinthians 6:1, I. The Grace of God; II. The Temple of the Living God

I. KEY TEXT (The Grace of God): “Working together with him, then, we appeal to you not to receive the grace of God in vain. For he says, ‘In a favorable time I listened to you, and in a day of salvation I have helped you.’ Behold, now is the favorable time; behold, now is the day of salvation. We put no obstacle in anyone’s way, so that no fault may be found with our ministry, but as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: by great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities, beatings, imprisonments, riots, labors, sleepless nights, hunger; by purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, the Holy Spirit, genuine love; by truthful speech, and the power of God; with the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and for the left; through honor and dishonor, through slander and praise. We are treated as impostors, and yet are true; as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold, we live; as punished, and yet not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, yet possessing everything.” (6:1-10)
A. INFERENCE: “We have spoken freely to you, Corinthians; our heart is wide open. ” (6:11)
1. FINDINGS: “You are not restricted by us, but you are restricted in your own affections. In return (I speak as to children) widen your hearts also.” (6:12-13)
2. CRITERIA: “The gospel is a word of grace sounding in our ears. The gospel day is a day of salvation, the means of grace the means of salvation, the offers of the gospel the offers of salvation, and the present time the proper time to accept these offers. 2 Corinthians 6:1” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
3. CONDITION: “We now enjoy a day of grace; then let all be careful not to neglect it. Ministers of the gospel should look upon themselves as God’s servants, and act in every thing suitably to that character. 2 Corinthians 6:1” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “The root of the problem was in their worldly affections, which had closed their hearts toward God and Paul. Paul’s solution encouraged the readers to make room for God in their hearts (6:13; 7:2). Although Paul claimed great glory for his ministry (2 Cor. 3), the treasure was in earthen vessels (2 Cor. 4). Therefore, true glory could easily be missed if one focused on the container rather than its contents. This is why Paul only related to realities of people’s hearts in Christ (5:12, 16). (Tyndale Concise Bible Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “As Paul drove his point home, he exposed the core of the problem. It was a problem of the heart (6:12) and could only be remedied by perfecting holiness in the fear of God (7:1). (Tyndale Concise Bible Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Believers, in this world, need the grace of God, to arm them against temptations, so as to bear the good report of men without pride; and so as to bear their reproaches with patience. They have nothing in themselves, but possess all things in Christ. 2 Corinthians 6:1” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

II. KEY TEXT (The Temple of the Living God): “Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness:” (6:14)
A. INFERENCE: “What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said,” (6:15-16)
1. FINDINGS: “’I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Therefore go out from their midst, and be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch no unclean thing; then I will welcome you, and I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me, says the Lord Almighty.’” (6:16-18)
2. CRITERIA: “To receive grace in vain (6:1) is similar to the concept of emptying the cross of its power (1 Cor. 1:17). It would thwart the full intended purpose of God’s redemption in Christ—in this case, renouncing God’s ways of true glory through weakness and suffering. (Tyndale Concise Bible Commentary)
3. CONDITION: “The gospel, when faithfully preached, and fully received, betters the condition even of the poorest. They save what before they riotously spent, and diligently employ their time to useful purposes. They save and gain by religion, and thus are made rich, both for the world to come and for this, when compared with their sinful, profligate state, before they received the gospel. 2 Corinthians 6:1” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “The promises of God are strong reasons for us to follow after holiness; we must cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of flesh and spirit. If we hope in God as our Father, we must seek to be holy as he is holy, and perfect as our Father in heaven. His grace, by the influences of his Spirit, alone can purify, but holiness should be the object of our constant prayers. 2 Corinthians 7:1” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “As God was present with Israel in the Old Testament tabernacle, so the presence of God through the Spirit is seen in the church. As God brought Israel out from bondage in Babylon, God would also bring about the greater exodus from sin and death into purity through Christ’s sacrificial death. As God had chosen to bless the royal line of David, God would also view believers as royal sons and daughters. This grand understanding of the Old Testament promises as they relate to New Testament believers illustrates the truth that in Christ every believer is a “new person” with a “new life” (5:16–17). God had taken what was old and made it new in Christ. (Tyndale Concise Bible Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: Seek ‘new life’ in Christ.

2 Corinthians 7:1, I. Paul’s Joy

I. KEY TEXT (Paul’s Joy): “Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of the body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God.” (7:1)
A. INFERENCE: “Make room in your hearts for us. We have wronged no one, we have corrupted no one, we have taken advantage of no one. I do not say this to condemn you, for I said before that you are in our hearts, to die together and to live together.” (7:2-3)
1. FINDINGS: “I am acting with great boldness toward you; I have great pride in you; I am filled with comfort. In all our affliction I am overflowing with joy.” (7:4)
2. CRITERIA: “For even when we came into Macedonia, our bodies had no rest, but we were afflicted at every turn–fighting without and fear within.” (7:5)
3. CONDITION: “But God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus, and not only by his coming but also by the comfort with which he was comforted by you, as he told us of your longing, your mourning, your zeal for me, so that I rejoiced still more.” (7:6-7)
4. CAUSE: “For even if I made you grieve with my letter, I do not regret it–though I did regret it, for I see that that letter grieved you, though only for a while.” (7:8)
5. EFFECT: “As it is, I rejoice, not because you were grieved, but because you were grieved into repenting. For you felt a godly grief, so that you suffered no loss through us. For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death. For see what earnestness this godly grief has produced in you, but also what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what longing, what zeal, what punishment! At every point you have proved yourselves innocent in the matter. So although I wrote to you, it was not for the sake of the one who did the wrong, nor for the sake of the one who suffered the wrong, but in order that your earnestness for us might be revealed to you in sight of God. Therefore we were comforted. And besides our own comfort, we rejoiced still more at the joy of Titus, because his spirit has been refreshed by you all. For whatever boasts I made to him about you, I was not put to shame. But just as everything we said to you was true, so also our boasting before Titus has proved true. And his affection for you is even greater, as he remembers the obedience of you all, how you received him with fear and trembling. I rejoice, because I have perfect confidence in you.” (7:9-16)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Deep humility before God, hatred of all sin, with faith in Christ, a new heart and a new life, make repentance unto salvation. May the Lord bestow it on every one of us. 2 Corinthians 7:5” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

2 Corinthians 8:1, I. Encouragement to Give Generously; II. Commendation of Titus

I. KEY TEXT (Encouragement to Give Generously): “We want you to know, brothers, about the grace of God that has been given among the churches of Macedonia, for in a severe test of affliction, their abundance of joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part.” (8:1-2)
A. INFERENCE: “For they gave according to their means, as I can testify, and beyond their means, of their own accord, begging us earnestly for the favor of taking part in the relief of the saints–and this, not as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then by the will of God to us.” (8:3-5)
1. FINDINGS: “Accordingly, we urged Titus that as he had started, so he should complete among you this act of grace. But as you excel in everything–in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all earnestness, and in our love for you–see that you excel in this act of grace also.” (8:6-7)
2. CRITERIA: “I say this not as a command, but to prove by the earnestness of others that your love also is genuine. For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that your by his poverty might become rich.” (8:8-9)
3. CONDITION: “And in this matter I give my judgment: this benefits you, who a year ago started not only to do this work but also to desire to do it. So now finish doing it as well, so that your readiness in desiring it may be matched by your completing it out of what you have.” (8:10-11)
4. CAUSE: “For I do not mean that others should be eased and you burdened, but that as a matter of fairness your abundance at the present time should supply their need, so that their abundance may supply your need, that there may be fairness.” (8:12-14)
5. EFFECT: “As it is written, ‘Whoever gathered much had nothing left over, and whoever gathered little had no lack.” (8:15)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “All should think themselves concerned to relieve those in want. This is shown from the gathering and giving out the manna in the wilderness, Exodus 16:18. Those who have most of this world, have no more than food and raiment; and those who have but little of this world, seldom are quite without them. 2 Corinthians 8:10” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

II. KEY TEXT (Commendation of Titus): “But thanks be to God, who put into the heart of Titus the same earnest care I have for you.” (8:16)
A. INFERENCE: “For he not only accepted our appeal, but being himself very earnest he is going to you of his own accord.” (8:17)
1. FINDINGS: “With him we are sending the brother who is famous among all the churches for his preaching of the gospel. And not only that, but he has been appointed by the churches to travel with us as we carry out this act of grace that is being ministered by us, for the glory of the Lord himself and to show our good will.” (8:18-19)
2. CRITERIA: “We take this course so that no one should blame us about this generous gift that is being administered by us, for we aim at what is honorable not only in the Lord’s sight but also in the sight of man.” (8:20-21)
3. CONDITION: “And with them we are sending our brother whom we have often tested and found earnest in many matters, but who is now more earnest than ever because of his great confidence in you.” (8:22)
4. CAUSE: “As for Titus, he is my partner and fellow worker for your benefit And as for our brothers, they are messengers of the churches, the glory of Christ.” (8:23)
5. EFFECT: “So give proof before the churches of your love and of our boasting about you to these men.” (8:24)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “They brought glory to Christ as instruments, and had obtained honor from Christ to be counted faithful, and employed in his service. The good opinion others have of us, should be an argument with us to do well. 2 Corinthians 8:16” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

1 Corinthians 9:1, I. The Collection for Christians in Jerusalem; II. The Cheerful Giver

I. KEY TEXT (The Collection for Christians in Jerusalem): “Now it is superfluous for me to write to you about the ministry for the saints, for I know your readiness, of which I boast about you to the people of Macedonia, saying that Achaia has been ready since last year. And your zeal has stirred up most of them.” (9:1-2)
A. INFERENCE: “But I am sending the brothers so that our boasting about you may not prove empty in this matter, so that you may be ready, as I said you would be.” (9:3)
1. FINDINGS: “Otherwise, if some Macedonians come with me and find that you are not ready, we would be humiliated–to say nothing of you–for being so confident.” (9:4)
2. CRITERIA: “So I thought it necessary to urge the brothers to go on ahead to you and arrange in advance for the gift you have promised, so that it may be ready as a willing gift, not as an exaction.” (9:5)
3. CONDITION: “The duty of ministering to the saints is so plain, that there would seem no need to exhort Christians to it; yet self-love contends so powerfully against the love of Christ, that it is often necessary to stir up their minds by way of remembrance. 2 Corinthians 9:1” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “When we would have others do good, we must act toward them prudently and tenderly, and give them time. Christians should consider what is for the credit of their profession, and endeavor to adorn the doctrine of God their Savior in all things. 2 Corinthians 9:1” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “Paul’s readers needed to learn how to give freely from the heart, trusting God to provide for their own needs. (Tyndale Concise Bible Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “He (Paul) wanted the offering to issue from sincere love (8:8), not from guilt or pride.
(Tyndale Concise Bible Commentary)

II. KEY TEXT (The Cheerful Giver): “The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.” (9:6)
A. INFERENCE: “Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” (9:7)
1. FINDINGS: “And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at al times, you may abound in every good work. As it is written, ‘He has distributed freely, he has given to the poor; his righteousness endures forever.” (9:8-9)
2. CRITERIA: “He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God.” (9:10-11)
3. CONDITION: “For the ministry of this service is not only supplying the needs of the saints but is also overflowing in many thanksgivings to God.” (9:12)
4. CAUSE: “By their approval of this service, they will glorify God because of your submission flowing from your confession of the gospel of Christ, and the generosity of your contribution for them and for all others, while they long for you and pray for you, because of the surpassing grace of God upon you.” (9:13-14)
5. EFFECT: “Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift!” (9:15)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Money bestowed in charity, may to the carnal mind seem thrown away, but when given from proper principles, it is seed sown, from which a valuable increase may be expected. It should be given carefully.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

2 Corinthians 10:1, I. Paul Defends His Ministry

I. KEY TEXT (Paul Defends His Ministry): “I, Paul, myself entreat you, by the meekness and gentleness of Christ–I who am humble when face to face with you, but bold toward you when I am away!–I beg of you that when I am present I may not have to show boldness with such confidence as I count on showing against some who suspect us of walking according to the flesh.” (10:1-2)
A. INFERENCE: “For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.” (10:3-4)
1. FINDINGS: “We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete.” (10:5-6)
2. CRITERIA: “Look at what is before your eyes. If anyone is confident that he is Christ’s, let him remind himself that just as he is Christ’s, so also are we.” (10:7)
3. CONDITION: “For even if I boast a little too much of our authority, which the Lord gave for building you up and not for destroying you, I will not be ashamed. I do not want to appear to be frightening you with my letters. For they say, ‘His letters are weighty and strong, but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech of no account.’” (10:8-10)
4. CAUSE: “Let such a person understand that what we say by letter when absent, we do when present. Not that we dare to classify or compare ourselves with some of those who are commending themselves. But when they measure themselves by one another and compare themselves with one another, they are without understanding.” (10:11-12)
5. EFFECT: “But we will not boast beyond limits, but will boast only with regard to the area of influence God assigned to us, to reach even to you. For we are not overextending ourselves, as though we did not reach you. For we were the first to come all the way to you with the gospel of Christ. We do not boast beyond limit in the labors of others. But our hope is that as your faith increases, our area of influence among you may be greatly enlarged, so that we may preach the gospel in lands beyond you, without boasting of work already done in another’s area of influence. ‘Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.’ For it is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends.” (10:13-18)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Therefore, instead of praising ourselves, we should strive to approve ourselves to God. In a word, let us glory in the Lord our salvation, and in all other things only as evidences of his love, or means of promoting his glory. Instead of praising ourselves, or seeking the praise of men, let us desire that honor which cometh from God only. 2 Corinthians 10:12” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

2 Corinthians 11:1, I. Paul and the False Apostles; II. Paul’s Sufferings as an Apostle

I. KEY TEXT (Paul and the False Apostles): “I wish you would bear with me in a little foolishness. Do bear with me!” (11:1)
A. INFERENCE: “For I feel a divine jealousy for you, since I betrothed you to one husband, to present you as a pure virgin to Christ. But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ.” (11:2-3)
1. FINDINGS: “For if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed, or if your receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it readily enough.” (11:4)
2. CRITERIA: “Indeed, I consider that I am not in the least inferior to these super-apostles. Even if I am unskilled in speaking, I am not so in knowledge; indeed, in every way we have made this plan to you in all things. Or did I commit a sin in humbling myself so that you might be exalted, because I preached God’s gospel to you free of charge? I robbed other churches by accepting support from them in order to serve you. And when I was with you and was in need, I did not burden anyone, for the brothers who came from Macedonia supplied my need. So I refrained and will refrain from burdening you in any way.” (11:5-9)
3. CONDITION: “As the truth of Christ is in me, this boasting of mine will not be silenced in the regions of Achaia. And why? Because I do not love you? God knows I do!” (11:10-11)
4. CAUSE: “And what I do I will continue to do, in order to undermine the claim of those who would like to claim that in their boasted mission they work on the same terms as we do. For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ.” (11:12-13)
5. EFFECT: “And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds.” (11:14)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “It is far better to be plain in speech, yet walking openly and consistently with the gospel, than to be admired by thousands, and be lifted up in pride, so as to disgrace the gospel by evil tempers and unholy lives.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

II. KEY TEXT (Paul’s Sufferings as an Apostle): “I repeat, let no one think me foolish. But even if you do, accept me as a fool, so that I too may boast a little. What I am saying with this boastful confidence, I say not with the Lord’s authority but as a fool.” (11:16-17)
A. INFERENCE: “Since many boast according to the flesh, I too will boast. For you gladly bear with fools, being wise yourselves!” (11:18-19)
1. FINDINGS: “For you bear it if someone makes slaves of you, or devours you, or takes advantage of you, or puts on airs, or strikes you in the face. To my shame, I must say, we were too weak for that!” (11:20-21)
2. CRITERIA: “But whatever anyone else dares to boast of–I am speaking as a fool–I also dare to boast of that. Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? so am I. Are they offspring of Abraham? So am I. Are they servants of Christ? I am a better one–I am talking like a madman–with far greater labors, far more imprisonments, with countless beatings, and often near death. ” (11:22-23)
3. CONDITION: “Five times I received at the hands of the Jews the forty lashes less one. Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was ship-wrecked; a night and a day I was adrift at sea; on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers; in toil and hardship, through many sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. And, apart from other things, there is the daily pressure on me of my anxiety for all the churches. Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to fall, and I am not indignant?” (11:24-29)
4. CAUSE: “If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness. The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, he who is blessed forever, knows that I am not lying.” (11:30-31)
5. EFFECT: “At Damascus, the governor under King Aretas was guarding the city of Damascus in order to seize me, but I was let down in a basket through a window in the wall and escaped his hands.” (11:32-33)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “The apostle gives an account of his labors and sufferings; not out of pride or vain-glory, but to the honor of God, who enabled him to do and suffer so much for the cause of Christ; and shows wherein he excelled the false apostles, who tried to lessen his character and usefulness. It astonishes us to reflect on this account of his dangers, hardships, and sufferings, and to observe his patience, perseverance, diligence, cheerfulness, and usefulness, in the midst of all these trials. See what little reason we have to love the pomp and plenty of this world, when this blessed apostle felt so much hardship in it. Our utmost diligence and services appear unworthy of notice when compared with his, and our difficulties and trials scarcely can be perceived.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

2 Corinthians 12, I. Paul’s Visions and His Thorn; II. Concern for the Corinthian Church

I. KEY TEXT (Paul’s Visions and His Thorn): “I must go on boasting. Though there is nothing to be gained by it, I will go on to visions and revelations of the Lord.” (12:1)
A. INFERENCE: “I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven–whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows.” (12:2)
1. FINDINGS: “And I know that this man was caught up into paradise–whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows–and he heard things that cannot be told, which man may not utter. On behalf of this man I will boast but on my own behalf I will not boast, except of my weaknesses. Though if I should wish to boast, I would not be a fool, for I would be speaking the truth. But if I refrain from it, so that no one may think more of me than he sees in me or hears from me.” (12:3-6)
2. CRITERIA: “So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh. a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited.” (12:7)
3. CONDITION: “Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” (12:7-9)
4. CAUSE: “For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities.” (12:10-)
5. EFFECT: “For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (12:10)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Paul defended himself against attacks by certain opponents and false apostles (11:3). The Corinthians had been taken in by these criticisms. As a result, their evaluation of the apostle was appearance-oriented (10:7). They were focused on external matters rather than internal issues. Paul had to defend himself against these criticisms to prevent his ministry and teaching from being undermined (13:3).” (Tyndale Concise Bible Commentary) Internal issues must be held fast.

II. KEY TEXT (Concern for the Corinthian Church): “I have been a fool! You forced me to it, for I ought to have been commended by you. For I was not at all inferior to these super-apostles, even though I am nothing. The signs of a true apostle were performed among you with utmost patience, with signs and wonders and mighty works.” (12:11-12)
A. INFERENCE: “For in what were you less favored than the rest of the churches, except that I myself did not burden you? Forgive me this wrong!” (12:13)
1. FINDINGS: “Here for the third time I am ready to come to you. And I will not be a burden, for I seek not what is yours but you. For children are not obligated to save up for their parents, but parents for their children.” (12:14)
2. CRITERIA: “I will most gladly spend and be spent for your souls. If I love you more, am I to be loved less? But granting that I myself did not burden you, I was crafty, you say, and got the better of you by deceit.” (12:15-16)
3. CONDITION: “Did I take advantage of you through any of those whom I sent to you? I urged Titus to go, and sent the brother with him. Did Titus take advantage of you? Did we not act in the same spirit? Did we not take the same steps?” (12:17-18)
4. CAUSE: “Have you been thinking all along that we have been defending ourselves to you? It is in the sight of God that we have been speaking in Christ, and all for your upbuilding, beloved. ” (12:19)
5. EFFECT: “For I fear that perhaps when I come I may find you not as I wish, and that you may find me not as you wish–that perhaps there may be quarreling, jealousy, anger, hostility, slander, gossip, conceit, and disorder. I fear that when I come again my God may humble me before you, and I may have to mourn over many of those who sinned earlier and have not repented of the impurity, sexual immorality, and sensuality that they have practiced.” (12:20-21)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “We owe it to good men, to stand up in the defense of their reputation; and we are under special obligations to those from whom we have received benefit, especially spiritual benefit, to own them as instruments in God’s hand of good to us.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

2 Corinthians:13, I. Final Warnings and Greetings

I. KEY TEXT (Final Warnings and Greetings): “This is the third time I am coming to you. Every charge must be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. I warned those who sinned before and all the others, and I warn them now while absent, as I did when present on my second visit, that if I come again I will not spare them–since you seek proof that Christ is speaking in me. He is not weak in dealing with you, but is powerful among you.” (13:1-3)
A. INFERENCE: “For he was crucified in weakness, but lives by the power of God. For we also are weak in him, but in dealing with you we will live with him by the power of God.” (13:4)
1. FINDINGS: “Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?–unless indeed you fail to meet the test!” (13:5)
2. CRITERIA: “I hope you will find out that we have not failed the test. But we pray to God that you may not do wrong–not that we may appear to have met the test, but that you may do what is right, though we may seem to have failed.” (13:6-7)
3. CONDITION: “For we cannot do anything against the truth, but only for the truth. For we are glad when we are weak and you are strong. Your restoration is what we pray for.” (13:7-9)
4. CAUSE: “For this reason I write these things while I am away from you, that when I come I may not have to be severe in my use of the authority that the Lord has given me for building up and not for tearing down.” (13:10)
5. EFFECT: “Finally, brothers, rejoice. Aim for restoration, comfort one another, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you. Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the saints greet you. The grace of the Lord Jesus and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” (13:11-14)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “God is the Author of peace and Lover of concord; he hath loved us, and is willing to be at peace with us. And let it be our constant aim so to walk, that separation from our friends may be only for a time, and that we may meet in that happy world where parting will be unknown. 2 Corinthians 13:11” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

Galatians 1, I. Greetings; II. No Other Gospel; III. Paul Called By God

I. KEY TEXT (Greetings): “Paul, an apostle–not from men nor through man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead–and all the brothers who are with me, To the churches of Galatia: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.” (1:1-5)
A. INFERENCE: “Unless Christ be in us by his Spirit, and power of his love, our faith is dead, and we are yet disapproved by our Judge.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
1. FINDINGS: “Once more Paul refers to the charge that his ministry was characterized by weakness. This deeply wounded him. He admitted that in his personal appearance and speech he might be all that his enemies averred, but he contended that weakness did not count when married to the divine.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
2. CRITERIA: “Who have since then sinned in any of these kinds. I will not spare – I will severely punish them.” (John Wesley)
3. CONDITION: “The letter to the Galatians was designed to correct legalistic approaches to Christianity by demonstrating the priority of righteousness by faith over the works of the law. Paul made his argument by showing the priority of the promises to Abraham over the covenant with Moses. The goal of both the Abrahamic promise and Mosaic obedience was fulfilled in the righteousness brought through faith in Jesus Christ.” (Tyndale Concise Bible Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “Was not Christ weak when He was crucified? yet through that cross He has exerted His mighty saving power upon myriads! Through the weakness of death He passed to the right hand of power and bestowed the Pentecostal gift.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “The practical result of these doctrinal debates was an atmosphere of critical fighting (5:25), snobbish dismissal rather than restoration of sinning believers (6:1, 3), and a general tendency to give up and lose heart (6:9). The Galatian squabbles were not simply doctrinal niceties. They were damaging the fiber of the believers’ compassion and perseverance. (Tyndale Concise Bible Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Let us not always be dwelling on our weakness and limitations; did not the divine fire tremble around the poor shrub of the wilderness?” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)

II. KEY TEXT (No Other Gospel): “I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel–not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ.” (1:6-7)
A. INFERENCE: “But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.” (1:8-9)
1. FINDINGS: “For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.” (1:10)
2. CRITERIA: “Pleased men . . . — Studied to please them; if this were my motive of action; nay, if I did in fact please the men who know not God. I should not be the servant of Christ — Hear this, all ye who vainly hope to keep in favor both with God and with the world!” (John Wesley)
3. CONDITION: “Note how strenuously Paul insists upon the genuineness of his call as an Apostle. It had come directly from the lips of Christ. Neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, Galatians 1:1. We who are redeemed have been lifted out of the present age, Galatians 1:4, into the next age, which may soon break forth in manifestation. It is now concealed, but it shall be unveiled.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “The false teachers who dogged Paul’s footsteps suggested that he had only one side of the gospel, and that there was therefore abundant room for their statement of it. But this the Apostle indignantly repudiated, Galatians 1:8. No, he said; there is no gospel other than that which you have heard from my lips.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “Once, when a Pharisee, I was actuated only by a regard to human authority and to please men (Luke 16:15; John 5:44), but NOW I teach as responsible to God alone (1 Corinthians 4:3).” (Jamieson, Fausset, & Brown Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “These are solemn questions that each of us should ask: “What has been the effect of the gospel upon my life? Have I been redeemed out of the world that passes away, into that unseen and eternal kingdom of which my Lord is Center and Chief? Do I live according to the will of my God and Father?” Galatians 1:4.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)

III. KEY TEXT (Paul Called by God): “For I would have you know, brothers, that the gospel that was preached by me is not man’s gospel. For I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ.” (1:11-12)
A. INFERENCE: “For you have heard of my former life in Judaism, how I persecuted the church of God violently and tried to destroy it. And I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my own age among my people, so extremely zealous was I for the traditions of my fathers.” (1:13-14)
1. FINDINGS: “But when he who had set me apart before I was born, and who called me by his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son to me, in order that I might preach him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately consult with anyone; nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me, but I went away into Arabia, and returned again to Damascus.” (1:15-17)
2. CRITERIA: “Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to visit Cephas and remained with him fifteen days. But I saw none of the other apostles except James the Lord’s brother.” (1:18-19)
3. CONDITION: “(In what I am writing to you, before God, I do not lie!) Then I went into the regions of Syria and Cilicia. And I was still unknown in person to the churches of Judea that are in Christ.” (1:20-22)
4. CAUSE: “They only were hearing it said, ‘He who used to persecute us is now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy.’” (1:23)
5. EFFECT: “And they glorified God because of me.” (1:24)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Paul was wonderfully brought to the knowledge and faith of Christ. All who are savingly converted, are called by the grace of God; their conversion is wrought by his power and grace working in them. It will but little avail us to have Christ revealed to us, if he is not also revealed in us. ” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

Galatians 2, I. Paul Accepted by the Apostles; II. Paul Opposes Peter; III. Justified by Faith

I. KEY TEXT (Paul Accepted by the Apostles): “Then after fourteen years I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, taking Titus along with me. I went up because of a revelation and set before them (though privately before those who seemed influential) the gospel that I proclaim among the Gentiles, in order to make sure I was not running or had not run in vain. But even Titus, who was with me, was not forced to be circumcised, though he was a Greek.” (2:1-3)
A. INFERENCE: “Yet because of false brothers secretly brought in–who slipped in to spy out our freedom that we have in Christ Jesus, so that they might bring us into slavery–to them we did not yield in submission even for a moment, so that the truth of the gospel might be preserved for you. And from those who seemed to be influential (what they were makes no difference to me; God shows no partiality)–those, I say, who seemed influential added nothing to me.” (2:4-6)
1. FINDINGS: “On the contrary, when they saw that I had been entrusted with the gospel to the uncircumcised, just as Peter had been entrusted with the gospel to the circumcised (for he who worked through Peter for his apostolic ministry to the circumcised worked also through me for mine to the Gentiles), and when James and Cephas and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given to me, they gave the right hand of fellowship to Barnabas and me, that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised. Only they asked us to remember the poor, the very thing I was eager to do.” (2:7-10)
2. CRITERIA: “Observe the apostle’s faithfulness in giving a full account of the doctrine he had preached among the Gentiles, and was still resolved to preach, that of Christianity, free from all mixture of Judaism. This doctrine would be ungrateful to many, yet he was not afraid to own it.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
3. CONDITION: “Here we learn that the gospel is not ours, but God’s; and that men are but the keepers of it; for this we are to praise God.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “The apostle showed his charitable disposition, and how ready he was to own the Jewish converts as brethren, though many would scarcely allow the like favor to the converted Gentiles; but mere difference of opinion was no reason to him why he should not help them.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “Herein is a pattern of Christian charity, which we should extend to all the disciples of Christ.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Christ is of no effect unto you whosoever are justified by the law” (Ga 5:4) (Jamieson, Fausset, & Brown Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible)

II. KEY TEXT (Paul Opposes Peter): “But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. For before certain men came from James, he was eating with the Gentiles; but when they came he drew back and separated himself, fearing the circumcision party.” (2:11-12)
A. INFERENCE: “And the rest of the Jews acted hypocritically along with him, so that even Barnabas was led astray by their hypocrisy.” (2:13)
1. FINDINGS: “But when I saw that their conduct was not in step with the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas before them all, ‘If you, though a Jew, live like a Gentile and not like a Jew, how can you force the Gentiles to live like Jews?” (2:14)
2. CRITERIA: “Notwithstanding Peter’s character, yet, when Paul saw him acting so as to hurt the truth of the gospel and the peace of the church, he was not afraid to reprove him. When he saw that Peter and the others did not live up to that principle which the gospel taught, and which they professed, namely, That by the death of Christ the partition wall between Jew and Gentile was taken down, and the observance of the law of Moses was no longer in force; as Peter’s offense was public, he publicly reproved him. Galatians 2:11” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
3. CONDITION: “There is a very great difference between the prudence of Paul, who bore with, and used for a time, the ceremonies of the law as not sinful, and the timid conduct of Peter, who, by withdrawing from the Gentiles, led others to think that these ceremonies were necessary. Galatians 2:11” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “But Paul’s remonstrance probably brought Peter back to his former and happier practice.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “Paul goes on to show that the death of Christ has taken us altogether out of the realm of the ancient Law, with its restrictions and distinctions between clean and unclean, Jew and Gentile, Galatians 2:15-19. ” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Christians must struggle on two fronts. They must admit their tendencies to sin and thankfully acknowledge God’s complete and rich forgiveness by faith in Christ alone. But they also need to evidence their saving faith with good actions and deeds. While doing this, it is very easy to fall into replacing honest acts of faith with works of law that are subtly motivated by the desire to gain favor with God. There is a conscious effort at times for believers to earn at least a piece of their own salvation by doing good and piling up merit. The struggle between humbly receiving and legalistically meriting God’s grace can be complicated by God continually asking his people throughout Scripture to obey him. What are believers to make of God’s continual commands to keep his laws. What does he have in mind? Must believers keep laws to gain his favor? Or do they keep his commands because they already have the full measure of his favor? (Tyndale Concise Bible Commentary) Abide in Jesus Christ always; He will keep you in compliance with the law through the power of the Holy Spirit.

III. KEY TEXT (Justified by Faith): “We ourselves are Jews by birth and not Gentile sinners; yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified.” (2:15-16)
A. INFERENCE: “But if, in our endeavor to be justified in Christ, we too were found to be sinners, is Christ then a servant of sin? Certainly not!” (2:17)
1. FINDINGS: “For if I rebuild what I tore down, I prove myself to be a transgressor. For through the law I died to the law, so that I might live to God.” (2:18-19)
2. CRITERIA: “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” (2:20)
3. CONDITION: “I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose.” (2:21)
4. CAUSE: “The more simply the believer relies on Christ for every thing, the more devotedly does he walk before Him in all his ordinances and commandments. Galatians 2:20” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “Christ lives and reigns in him, and he lives here on earth by faith in the Son of God, which works by love, causes obedience, and changes into his holy image. Thus he neither abuses the grace of God, nor makes it in vain. Galatians 2:20” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Rely on Christ for everything.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)