2 Corinthians 11:22-23 So Much More

2 Corinthians 11:22-23 (KJV)
Are they Hebrews? so am I. Are they Israelites? so am I. Are they the seed of Abraham? so am I.
Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft.

Paul’s enemies against the gospel were obviously Jews but not just Jews, they were Jews with another gospel.

  • They were of the same blood as Paul,
  • They had embraced some part of that Christian faith as Paul had, but
  • They were enemies of Paul and the Gospel that he preached.

In contending against this false gospel, Paul did not disavow his heritage. It would have been foolish to do so. He was a Hebrew. He was an Israelite. He was of the seed of Abraham. But he was more; he was a minister of Christ.

Gill writes, “The apostle could have answered to this question that they were not, being neither sent by Christ, nor preachers of him, and who sought their own things and not his, being false apostles, and deceitful workers…” Rather than arguing that they weren’t ministers of Christ, however, his argument is he is more.

The Jew who becomes a Christian doesn’t give up his blood or his heritage but he becomes something much more.

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2 Corinthians 11:22-23 So Much More

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2 Corinthians 10:18 Only His Approval

2 Corinthians 10:18 (KJV)
For not he that commendeth himself is approved, but whom the Lord commendeth.

Paul has much to say in this chapter about his relationship with other preachers. I think he means the false teachers known in his day as Judaizers.

He won’t compare himself among them.
Paul has no interest in signing up for a popularity contest.

He wouldn’t take credit for another man’s labor
Paul had a team and understood that a large part of his ministry relied upon them. He was quick to give them credit and never attempted to usurp over another man’s ministry.

He did not puff himself up but waited on the Lord’s commendation.
You will notice no church buildings were named after Paul, especially in his lifetime.

Paul’s interest was Jesus Christ and it was Jesus Christ Paul promoted. It was only His approval Paul sought.

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For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

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2 Corinthians 10:18 Only His Approval

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2 Corinthians 8:1-2 The Grace of Giving

2 Corinthians 8:1-2 (KJV)
Moreover, brethren, we do you to wit of the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia;
How that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality.

We often think of the grace of God in terms of its benefit to ourselves.

  • His grace in saving us
  • His grace in providing for us
  • His grace in empowering us
  • Etc.

The grace of God Paul wants us to learn of here might not be so attractive. This grace:

  • Was in the midst of trials and affliction and
  • Was despite their deep poverty

The churches of Macedonia experienced no relief, so far as we can see, from these troubles and yet God moved upon them to give. Paul goes further to say this gift was not what he hoped for from them but went far beyond what could possibly have been expected.

When God moves his people to give beyond their reasonable means, that’s called grace.

The Macedonian churches had a compelling example because this is the very same grace that belonged to our Lord who, 2 Corinthians 8:9… though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.

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For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

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2 Corinthians 8:1-2 The Grace of Giving

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2 Corinthians 7:11 The Benefits of Sorrow

2 Corinthians 7:11 (KJV)
For behold this selfsame thing, that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you, yea, what clearing of yourselves, yea, what indignation, yea, what fear, yea, what vehement desire, yea, what zeal, yea, what revenge! In all things ye have approved yourselves to be clear in this matter.

There is a kind of sorrow that is of little use and is in many ways destructive. It is:

  • A sorrow after a worldly sort
  • A sorrow for getting caught and
  • A sorrow over the consequences

Those with this sorrow have no intention of changing but of making better sure they don’t get caught again. These who sorrow after this sort hate the source of their sorrow and will blame that source rather than their actions.

There is another type of sorrow, which is after a godly sort. Albert Barnes says of it,
“…such sorrow as has respect to God, or is according to his will, or as leads the soul to him. This is a very important expression in regard to true repentance, and shows the exact nature of that sorrow which is connected with a return to God.”

Those who sorrow after a godly sort:

  • Benefit from the sorrow, are
  • Thankful for that sorrow and
  • Appreciate the source of such sorrow

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For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

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2 Corinthians 7:11 The Benefits of Sorrow

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2 Corinthians 6:11-13 Love Him Back

2 Corinthians 6:11-13 (KJV)
O ye Corinthians, our mouth is open unto you, our heart is enlarged.
Ye are not straitened in us, but ye are straitened in your own bowels.
Now for a recompence in the same, (I speak as unto my children,) be ye also enlarged.

The Apostle expresses here what I believe is the constant struggle of the preacher; he grows to love his congregation but they don’t always equally love him.

In the case of Paul, the problem was others who came to claim that affection for themselves. We too have enemies vying for our congregation’s affection:

Sometimes it is a worldly love
A sports event or a boat or a cabin in the hills.

Sometimes it is another agenda
A political cause, a social issue or a pet peeve.

Sometimes it is another preacher
They abound today through TV, radio and social media.

Sometimes it is a nearby church
Whose members try to draw from other churches into their own.

Every pastor I think has experienced those emotions when it becomes obvious that a member of his church hasn’t the same love for him that he has for the member.

Paul simply urges them to love him as much as he loves them.

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For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

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2 Corinthians 6:11-13 Love Him Back

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2 Corinthians 5:4 Immerse Mortality into Service

2 Corinthians 5:4 (KJV)
For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life.

Paul’s contrast is not between death and life but between mortality and life. He does not say that he wishes death to be swallowed up of life but that mortality should be swallowed up of life.

Of this Gill writes, “…his desire is, that it may be swallowed up “of the life”, which is properly and emphatically life, as this life is not…” As this life is all we know, we tend to cling to it as life. Paul did not believe it to be so but was confident that mortality is a cheap substitute of the real thing.

Paul did not want to replace death with life. Perhaps this is the thinking of the person who commits suicide. His concern is not with the eternal but with the now. Earthly life has been a failure in his eyes so that it is more a death than life and death would seem more like life. Paul’s mindset was on the eternal. This mortality is so far below what awaits the believer that it isn’t properly called life. Life is what we have in heaven. He wasn’t looking for this mortality to end. He used it to the fullest for Christ. He was, however, completely confident that a day was coming when what he then experienced as mortality would be so swallowed by what God promised as life that his mortal years would be as nothing.

Such a confidence compels a person to plunge mortality into Christian service.

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For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

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2 Corinthians 5:4 Immerse Mortality into Service

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2 Corinthians 4:1-5 Paul’s Plan for Preaching

2 Corinthians 4:1-5 (KJV)
Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not;
But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.
But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:
In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake.

This passage lays out clearly the work of the ministry. Paul had no intention of:

  • Manipulating his message to please people
  • Tweaking the sermon to fit the culture
  • Avoiding topics that would be less popular

Paul’s ministry plan was to:

  • Bring everything into the open,
  • Expose all he could to all of the Word of God he could and
  • Commend the results of that to the Lord

Paul did not preach himself. He wasn’t trying to build himself up as a leader and role model (other than that he did encourage people to follow him as he followed Christ). His only purpose was to clearly, completely and honestly preach Christ and trust that souls would respond. He also trusted that, if they did not, that would be the work of the devil. It wasn’t his place to “make” people believe. He did not concern himself with that. He only preached the truth and gave the results of that truth to God.

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For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

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2 Corinthians 4:1-5 Paul’s Plan for Preaching

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2 Corinthians 3:7-11More Glorious Than Glory

2 Corinthians 3:7-11 (KJV)
But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away:
How shall not the ministration of the spirit be rather glorious?
For if the ministration of condemnation be glory, much more doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory.
For even that which was made glorious had no glory in this respect, by reason of the glory that excelleth.
For if that which is done away was glorious, much more that which remaineth is glorious.

The topics Paul contrast here is the ministry of the Old Testament law to the New Testament work of the Holy Spirit in saving souls. There is no argument on Paul’s part that the Mosiac Law is glorious. That history of the Jews:

  • God’s work among them, the
  • Calling of them out of the world through Abraham and of
  • Delivering to the world His Word through them

is indeed glorious. There are no arguments that circumvent that.

But Paul presents another work of the Holy Spirit. Christ was conceived of the Holy Ghost and led by the Spirit into the wilderness. When Christ had finished His work He sent the Holy Spirit to come alongside and indwell the believers. He reproves the world of Sin righteousness and judgment. He regenerates the repentant who place faith in Christ and He seals the believer until the day of redemption. Paul in no way dismisses the glory of the Old Testament ministry, he only seeks to reveal the glory of the New Testament ministry, a glory, which he insists out glories the glory of the former.

I am reminded of the appearance of the glorified Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration and again on the Damascus road when Paul was saved. The Bible describes His glory as brighter than the noonday sun. No one can deny the brightness of the sun. Who would want to? But the Bible insists that Christ’s glory out glories the sun.

In much the same manner the New Testament ministry out glories that of the Old Testament.

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For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

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2 Corinthians 3:7-11 More Glorious Than Glory

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2 Corinthians 2:1 How to Conquer Depression

2 Corinthians 2:1 (KJV)
But I determined this with myself, that I would not come again to you in heaviness.

The apostle often gave reference to his personal disciplines:

  • He counted gain loss that he might win Christ
  • He pressed toward the mark
  • He kept under his body to bring it into subjection

Here he said he “determined with (himself).”

Paul told us that the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets. In other words, none of us have to be driven by:

  • Our emotions,
  • Our temptations or
  • Our lusts

As believers God has given us the power necessary, through the indwelling Holy Spirit, to conquer and put into subjection those things. We can determine to be in charge of them.

I would suggest that in order to do so a few things have to be in order:
We have to determine ahead of time.
To wait until the moment of crisis to choose is to choose crisis.

He have to count the flesh dead
That just means we accept that it has no power except what we give it.

We need to be surrendered to the Holy Spirit
He is, after all, the One with the power.

We need to be immersed in the Bible.
Which is the key to cleansing our way and finding that Christ satisfies.

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For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

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2 Corinthians 2:1 How to Conquer Depression

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2 Corinthians 1:9-10 Saved Forever

2 Corinthians 1:9-10 (KJV)
But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead:
Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us;

The passage is speaking of some very dangerous situation Paul had been through. It was a situation obviously known by the Corinthians but lost now to us. It was a dangerous enough situation that Paul says God delivered him from it

Paul uses the experience to teach the believers that they can trust God

I do not believe viewing this as a picture of eternal salvation does any damage to the text. Surely the phrase “so great a death” brings to mind the ultimate death, which is eternity separated from God in hell. The salvation wrought by Christ delivers us from the most hopeless situation. We could never save ourselves. This deliverance is so complete that it may fairly be said:

We are delivered
It is a finished work. It is finalized and can never be taken from us.

We are constantly being delivered
The world, the flesh and the devil long to rip us from the hands of the Lord. Daily we are tempted so that, if it were possible, we surely know that we would lose our salvation.

We will be finally delivered
He is able to keep that which He has promised. In the day of Christ, when everything is said and done, we who know Christ will know full and absolute deliverance in eternal glory.

To my readers:
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For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

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2 Corinthians 1:9-10 Saved Forever

Please consider helping our church’s teen department by signing up for cash back shopping at Bible Baptist Church Fundraiser. This program has three levels of participation, the first being completely free.