2 Corinthians 5
The Lord makes us new creatures in Him
He will give us an eternal body like His
He has given us His Spirit
1 For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle is dissolved, we have a building of God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2 For in this house we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with our house from heaven: 3 If indeed being clothed we will not be found naked. 4 For we that are in this tabernacle groan, being burdened: not to be unclothed, but clothed so that mortality might be swallowed up in life. 5 Now the one having worked this very thing for us is God, who also has given to us the earnest of the Spirit. 6 Therefore always being confident, knowing that, while we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: 7 (For we walk by faith, not by sight:)
- When man fell in Genesis 3 it was by not following, not trusting what God said.
- The way back to God is by trusting what He has said.
- Earnest means down payment. The Greek word is ‘arrabon’ meaning engagement ring.
- 1 John 3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
8 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. 9 Therefore we labor, so that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted by him. 10 For we must all appear before the footstool of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to what he has done, whether it is good or bad. 11 Knowing therefore the fear of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest/the hidden revealed to God; and I trust also are revealed in your consciences.
- 1Corinthians 3:11 For no other foundation can man lay than what is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if any man builds on this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; 13 Every man’s work will be shown: for the day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test every man’s work, of what sort it is. 14 If any man’s work that he has built remains, he will receive a reward. 15 If any man’s work is burned, he will suffer loss: but he himself will be saved; yet so as by fire.
12 For we are not commending ourselves to you again, but give occasion for you to boast on our behalf, that you may have something to answer those who boast in appearance, and not in heart. 13 For whether we are beside ourselves, it is to God: or whether we are sober, it is for you. 14 For the love of Christ holds/constrains us; because we judge this, that if one died for all, then all were dead.
- Constrain means to hold together—to hold captive as a prisoner.
- His love holds us captive.
- God looks at our hearts not our outer appearance (1 Samuel 16:7).
God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself
He makes us the righteousness of God in Him
15 And he died for all so that those who live no longer live to themselves, but to him who died for them, and rose again. 16 So from now on we know no man according to the flesh: yes, though we have known Christ according to the flesh, but now we no longer know him that way. 17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things have become new. 18 And all things are from God who has reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 that is, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, not imputing their trespasses to them; and has committed to us the word of reconciliation. 20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God urged you by us: we beg you in Christ’s place, be reconciled to God. 21 For he has made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
- In Christ we are: The righteousness of God, justified, sanctified, redeemed, freed from all condemnation, forgiven all sin, a totally new creation, in the image of God, we inherit all with Him and we are accepted in the beloved.
- This is all a gift from God. We beg others to return to Him and receive it also.
2 Corinthians 6
The Almighty God has made us His temple; He dwells in us
1 We then, as workers together with him, urge you not to receive the grace of God in vain/for nothing. 2 (For he said, In an acceptable time I heard you, and in a day of salvation I helped you: behold, now is the acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation.) 3 Let us give no cause for offence in anything, that the ministry not be blamed: 4 But in all things setting ourselves out as the God’s servants, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses, 5 in beatings, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors, in sleeplessness, in fastings; 6 in purity, in knowledge, in longsuffering, in kindness, in the Holy Spirit, in genuine love, 7 in the word of truth, in the power of God, by the weapons of righteousness on the right hand and on the left, 8 through honor and dishonor, through evil report and good report: as deceivers, and yet true; 9 as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, yet behold we live; as chastened, and not killed; 10 as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.
- His Holy Spirit, His love, His word, His power, His armor support us.
- He chastens for their good those that He loves (Revelation 3:19, Hebrews 12:6-9).
- Revelation 21:7 He that overcomes will inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he will be my son.
He has made us His sons and daughters
11 Our mouth has spoken freely to you, O Corinthians; our heart is open wide. 12 You are not restrained in us, but you are restrained in your own affections. 13 But now, in a similar exchange (I speak as to my children,) open wide to us. 14 Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship has righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion does light have with darkness? 15 And what harmony does Christ have with Belial/Satan? Or what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? 16 And what agreement does the temple of God have with idols? For you are the temple of the living God; as God has said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they will be my people. 17 Therefore come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord, and do not touch the unclean thing; and I will receive you, 18 And will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.
- The One who created the universe makes us His children—the One who knows all things, has all the power, is infinitely righteous, and loving.
- The word ‘receive’ means ‘to take into ones favor.’
- Ephesians 3:19 And to know the love of Christ, which passes knowledge, that you might be filled with all the fullness of God.
2 Corinthians 7
1 Therefore having these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
- God’s word cleanses the evil out of our souls; it makes us One with Him in our thinking.
- John 15:3 Now you are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.
- 2Corinthians 6:16 … for you are the temple of the living God; as God has said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they will be my people.
The Lord comforts those that are cast down
2 Make room for us; we have wronged no man, we have corrupted no man, we have defrauded no man. 3 I do not speak this to condemn you: for I have said before, that you are in our hearts to die together and live together. 4 My boldness toward you is great, great is my boasting on your behalf: I am filled with comfort, I am exceeding joyful in all our trouble. 5 For, when we came into Macedonia, our flesh had no rest, but we were troubled in every way; fightings on the outside, and fears on the inside. 6 Nevertheless God, that comforts those that are cast down, comforted us by the coming of Titus.
- 2Corinthians 1:3 Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; 4 who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, by the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
7 And not by his coming only, but by the comfort with which he was comforted in you, when he told us of your earnest desire, your mourning, your fervent mind toward me; so that I rejoiced all the more. 8 For though I made you distressed with a letter, I do not repent, though I did repent: for I see that that letter has made you grieve, though just for a season. 9 Now I rejoice, not that you were grieved, but that you sorrowed to repentance: for you were made grieved according to God, that you might suffer no loss by us. 10 For the sorrow that is according to God works repentance without regret: but the sorrow of the world works death.
- Repentance means to turn around and go the other way.
- Paul’s first letter to the Corinthian church rebuked them on many points.
- They were full of sorrow and stopped doing what they were doing—squabbling, getting drunk at communion, allowing gross immorality among them.
11 Do you see that this thing, your Godly sorrow, has produced earnestness in you, yes, what vindication, yes, what indignation, yes, what fear, yes, what vehement desire, yes, what zeal, yes, what revenge! In all things you have proved yourselves to be clear in this matter.
- They turned back to God in a mighty way.
- They perfected fear in holiness.
- God could live comfortably within them once again.
12 So although I wrote to you, it was not for the one who had done the wrong, nor for those that suffered wrong, but that you might see our care for you in the sight of God. 13 For this reason we have been comforted in your comfort: yes, and we rejoiced exceedingly more for the joy of Titus because his spirit has been refreshed by you all. 14 For if in anything I have boasted to him about you, I am not ashamed; but as we spoke all things to you in truth, so also our boasting, which I made before Titus, is found true. 15 And his inward affection is more abundant toward you, while he remembered the obedience of you all, how you received him with fear and trembling. 16 I rejoice therefore that I have confidence in you in all things.
- The passage is speaking of the affection of Titus for the Corinthians.
- God's inward affection toward us is total.
- John 15:13 Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
2 Corinthians 8
1 Now brothers we wish to make known to you the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia; 2 how that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded to the richness of their generosity. 3 For I testify to their ability, yes, and beyond their ability they were willing in themselves; 4 begging us with much urging that we would receive the gift, and that they might receive from us the grace and the fellowship of ministering to the saints. 5 And they did this, not as we hoped, but first gave themselves to the Lord, and to us by the will of God. 6 So we urged Titus, that as he had begun, so he would complete this gracious work as well. 7 Therefore, as you abound in every thing, in faith, and word, and knowledge, and in all diligence, and in your love to us, see that you abound in this grace also. 8 I do not speak by commandment, but through the earnestness of others, and to prove the sincerity of your love.
The Lord laid aside the riches of eternity and infinity to make us rich
9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that you through his poverty might be rich. 10 And I give my advice here: for this is to your advantage, who has begun before, not only to do, but also to be willing a year ago. 11 Now finish doing it so that just as there was a ready desire, there will be the completion of it out of that which you have. 12 For if there is first a willing mind, it is accepted according to what a man has, and not according to that he does not have. 13 For I do not mean that other men are eased, and you burdened: 14 but an equality, that now your present abundance may supply their lack, and that their abundance may also supply your lack: that there may be equality: 15 as it is written, He that gathered much had nothing over; and he that had gathered little had no lack.
- This quote is found in Exodus 16:18 in the gathering of the manna in the wilderness. Each had just enough no matter how much they gathered.
- We need to pray that the church be mindful of this today. Some brothers around the world don’t have Bibles or adequate food and clothing.
- Yet others pour huge amounts of money into their buildings and sound systems etc. My brothers these things ought not to be.
16 But thanks be to God, who put the same earnest care into the heart of Titus for you. 17 For he not only accepted our appeal; but being more earnest, he went to you of his own accord. 18 And we have sent with him the brother whose fame in the gospel has spread throughout all the churches; 19 and not only this, but who was chosen by the churches to travel with us in this gracious work, which is administered by us to the glory of the Lord himself, and your ready mind: 20 avoiding this, that no man blame us in this abundance that is administered by us: 21 providing for honest things, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men.
- Proverbs 15:3 The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.
- Acts 17:28 For in him we live, and move, and have our being.
We are messengers of His glory
22 And we have sent with them our brother, whom we have often proved diligent in many things, but now much more diligent, upon the great confidence which I have in you. 23 As for Titus, he is my partner and fellow-helper concerning you: and our brothers, they are the messengers of the churches, and of the glory of Christ. 24 Therefore show them and the churches the proof of your love, and of our boasting on your behalf.
- Our gifts prove our love.
- James 2:26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.
2 Corinthians 9
God loves a cheerful giver
1 It is unnecessary for me to write to you concerning the service to the saints:
2 For I know your eagerness. I boast about you to those of Macedonia, that Achaia was ready a year ago; and your zeal has provoked many. 3 Yet I have sent the brothers, lest our boasting about you be in vain regarding this; that, as I said, you may be ready: 4 lest perhaps those of Macedonia come with me and find you unprepared, and we (we do not say you) be ashamed in this same confident boasting. 5 Therefore I thought it necessary to exhort the brothers, that they go before to you and arrange beforehand your previously promised bountiful gift, of which you had prior notice, so that it would be ready as a bountiful gift, and not affected by covetousness.
- If they prepare ahead of time it won’t strain their budgets.
- However, if they do not prepare in advance, they might be short of funds and despair giving it.
6 But I say this, He that sows sparingly will also reap sparingly; and he that sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. 7 Every man, as he purposes in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or by necessity: for God loves a cheerful giver.
- We are to plan what we give. There is always a
needful plea somewhere in a needy world. We are not required to give to every worthy cause, but prayerfully let God guide our giving.
- If you don’t have it, don’t give it or pledge it.
- If your kids need food, clothes or shoes or your car needs repairs, then God requires that you take care of those things.
- 1Timothy 5:8 But if he does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his own house, he has denied the faith, and is worse than an unbeliever.
The Lord is able to provide abundantly in all things
8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that always having all sufficiency in all things, you may abound to every good work: 9 (As it is written, He has dispersed abroad; he has given to the poor: his righteousness remains forever.
- Psalm 112 goes well with this chapter.
- Philippians 4:19 But my God will supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
- 2Corinthians 3:5 Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God
The Lord supplies seed and bread
He multiplies and enriches
10 Now he that supplies seed to the sower and bread for food, and will supply and multiply your seed for sowing, and multiply the harvest of your righteousness;) 11 You will be enriched in every thing for all abundance, which causes thanksgiving to God through us. 12 For the administration of this service not only supplies the lack of the saints, but abounds with many thanksgivings to God.
- Their generosity supplies to the need of the saints producing great thanksgiving of heart to God.
- So it is not only a physical gift that they give, but a spiritual gift that they are giving to God by their generosity to those in need.
His gift is unspeakable
13 Because of the proof given by this service they will glorify God for your obedience to the gospel of Christ, and for your bountiful sharing with them, and with all men; 14 And by their prayer for you, who long after you for the exceeding grace of God in you. 15 Thanks be to God for his unspeakable gift.
- Generosity bears much fruit in many ways.
- God’s gifts to us are far greater. He gave us life and breath. He created us in His image—the image of the One who created the universe.
- Then, as if that were not enough, He sent His Holy Eternal Son to die for our sins. Words cannot express such love.
- He also guards, guides, protects, provides, comforts, gives the desires of the heart to those who delight in Him and guides us to an eternity beyond imagining. When the Father gave us Jesus, He gave us more than the universe.
- John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him not perish, but have everlasting life.
- Revelation 3:21 To him that overcomes I will grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and have sat down with my Father in his throne.
- Revelation 21:7 He that overcomes will inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he will be my son.
SUMMARY: 2 Corinthians 5-9
- The Lord makes us new creatures in Him
- He will give us an eternal body like His
- He has given us His Spirit
- God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself
- He makes us the righteousness of God in Him
- The Almighty God has made us His temple; He dwells in us
- He has made us His sons and daughters
- The Lord comforts those that are cast down
- The Lord laid aside the riches of eternity and infinity to make us rich
- We are messengers of His glory
- God loves a cheerful giver
- The Lord is able to provide abundantly in all things
- The Lord supplies seed and bread
- He multiplies and enriches
- His gift is unspeakable