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)

One thought on “Week #147; Wed, Oct 21: 2 Corinthians 6–Galatians 2

  1. Important words stressing God’s master plan: “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, . . . ” Galatians 1:15-16

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