2 Corinthians 12:2 I Knew a Man

2 Corinthians 12:2 (KJV)
I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven.

I knew a man
The context allows us to understand this man to be Paul. He uses the third person to detach himself somewhat and remove from the passage any cause for self-glory. Indeed, the entire passage is designed to remove from Paul any self-glory. All anyone need ever know about Paul is what they see and hear.[1]

I knew a man above fourteen years ago
I’m thinking of myself fourteen years or more ago. I’m thinking of those days just beginning the pastorate in Astoria about thirty-eight years ago. All of that seems more like a dream than reality these days. I know it happened. I know I was there. I know we started with absolutely nothing. I know some people hurt us so terribly. I know others stayed by us. I know God did miraculous things to care for us, provide for us, and to bring us to the place we are today.

I want to, even need to tell those stories. But they are almost unreal in my memory and maybe seem irrelevant to those who might hear.

Is that some of what Paul expressed?


[1] 2 Corinthians 12:6 (KJV)
For though I would desire to glory, I shall not be a fool; for I will say the truth: but now I forbear, lest any man should think of me above that which he seeth me to be, or that he heareth of me.

To my readers:
Thank you! It is a great joy to me to know you read the thoughts and lessons God has given me in His word. I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave comments.

Donate to Bible Baptist Church every time you make an Amazon purchase through this link, https://smile.amazon.com/ch/91-1265824

For this and, more than 5400 earlier Daily Visits with God, visit https://mckenzie-visit-with-god.blogspot.com. There you will find daily visits going back to 2005.

If you have been blessed by this blog, please subscribe to my feed and share it with others.

For more resources from Pastor Marvin McKenzie visit http://puyallupbaptistchurch.com.

My books are available at:
https://marvinmckenzie.org

2 Corinthians 12:2 I Knew a Man

2 Corinthians 11:6 Effectiveness in the Message

2 Corinthians 11:6 (KJV)
But though I be rude in speech, yet not in knowledge; but we have been throughly made manifest among you in all things.

The Apostle’s only genuine concern was that he minister to the souls of these people. He wasn’t trying to impress anyone or build himself up to be someone. He only wanted to present them chaste before the Lord Jesus Christ.[1]

There are three parts to this verse that contribute to his effectiveness in the message:

Rudeness of speech
The word has to do with a simple or unlearned pattern of speech. Interestingly, we know that Paul was quite well educated. Any plainness in his speech patterns then, was intentional. He chose not to use a manner of speaking that would bring attention to his education but instead would bring clarity to his message. He put all his cookies on the bottom shelf.

Knowledge
Though his manner of speech was plain, his level of knowledge in the things of God was far from limited. The Apostle’s relationship with the Lord was personal. His understanding of the plan of God was deep. His experience as a man of God was full. One would miss nothing if his teacher were Paul.

Transparency
Rather than impress people with his knowledge by using excellency of speech, Paul elected to demonstrate Christian truth by being fully transparent in his life. This choice had its hiccups. Some then found things to fault him. Some could suggest people would not grow to maturity as quickly this way. The truth is knowledge in the things of God does not produce maturity. Genuineness does.

Paul chose genuine Christianity over quick results.


[1] 2 Corinthians 11:2 (KJV)
For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.

To my readers:
Thank you! It is a great joy to me to know you read the thoughts and lessons God has given me in His word. I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave comments.

Donate to Bible Baptist Church every time you make an Amazon purchase through this link, https://smile.amazon.com/ch/91-1265824

For this and, more than 5400 earlier Daily Visits with God, visit https://mckenzie-visit-with-god.blogspot.com. There you will find daily visits going back to 2005.

If you have been blessed by this blog, please subscribe to my feed and share it with others.

For more resources from Pastor Marvin McKenzie visit http://puyallupbaptistchurch.com.

My books are available at:
https://marvinmckenzie.org

2 Corinthians 11:6 Effectiveness in the Message

2 Corinthians 7:2 A Reason to Be Upset

2 Corinthians 7:2 (KJV)
Receive us; we have wronged no man, we have corrupted no man, we have defrauded no man.

No man is perfect, and all of us have sinned. That being the case, there is pretty much always a reason for one to be upset at another – if that’s what we want to be.

Apostle Paul knew some people in the church at Corinth were not fans of his. He besought those very same people to receive him based on these three truths:

We have wronged no man
He had not hurt any of them, either physically or socially. On the contrary, he had corrected and rebuked them. Neither of those has effected an injury upon them.

We have corrupted no man
Nothing he had said, done, or taught had influenced anyone to ruin or defilement. No one was morally or spiritually worse for the ministry of Apostle Paul.

We have defrauded no man
He had not taken advantage or gotten gain for himself from any of them. He had not stolen from them or even coveted what was theirs.

To my readers:
Thank you! It is a great joy to me to know you read the thoughts and lessons God has given me in His word. I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave comments.

Donate to Bible Baptist Church every time you make an Amazon purchase through this link, https://smile.amazon.com/ch/91-1265824

For this and, more than 5400 earlier Daily Visits with God, visit https://mckenzie-visit-with-god.blogspot.com. There you will find daily visits going back to 2005.

If you have been blessed by this blog, please subscribe to my feed and share it with others.

For more resources from Pastor Marvin McKenzie visit http://puyallupbaptistchurch.com.

My books are available at:
https://marvinmckenzie.org

2 Corinthians 7:2 A Reason to Be Upset

2 Corinthians 6:1 Workers Together

2 Corinthians 6:1 (KJV)
We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain.

It seems to me that the Apostle, as an ambassador for Christ,[1] beseeches his reader toward two things:

  • First, to the lost, that they would come immediately to Christ for salvation.
  • Second, to the believer, that they would come out from among them of the world.

The context, as I understand it, is a sect of Judaizers in the church. They would have prevented some from coming to true saving faith by adding the works of the law as necessary for salvation. Moreover, they would have spoiled the testimony of those already saved by teaching them a legalistic form of Christianity that required works for righteousness.

As a worker together with Christ, Paul suffered dramatically for begging souls not to receive the grace of God in vain. They ought to come to Christ by faith without works and then come out from among[2] those who taught anything otherwise.


[1] 2 Corinthians 5:20 (KJV)
Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.

[2] 2 Corinthians 6:17 (KJV)
Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,

To my readers:
Thank you! It is a great joy to me to know you read the thoughts and lessons God has given me in His word. I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave comments.

Donate to Bible Baptist Church every time you make an Amazon purchase through this link, https://smile.amazon.com/ch/91-1265824

For this and, more than 5400 earlier Daily Visits with God, visit https://mckenzie-visit-with-god.blogspot.com. There you will find daily visits going back to 2005.

If you have been blessed by this blog, please subscribe to my feed and share it with others.

For more resources from Pastor Marvin McKenzie visit http://puyallupbaptistchurch.com.

My books are available at:
https://marvinmckenzie.org

2 Corinthians 6:1 Workers Together

2 Corinthians 5:5-6 Confidence

2 Corinthians 5:5-6 (KJV)
Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit.
Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord:

Paul was confident. He said so twice.[1]

But his confidence was not in himself. He was confident because he knew that God had wrought or made him for the purpose of life swallowing up mortality.[2]

  • He knew the purpose of God was more than a few years on earth. 
  • He knew that God had created him to live forever. 
  • He knew that death, whenever it came, would only usher in this life God had created him to experience. 
  • He knew that when this tabernacle we currently reside in dissolves, there is a house awaiting us in heaven.[3]
  • He knew to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.

Knowing these, he was confident to deliver the Word of God in whatever circumstance.


[1] 2 Corinthians 5:8 (KJV)
We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.

[2] 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.

[3] 2 Corinthians 5:1 (KJV)
For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.

To my readers:
Thank you! It is a great joy to me to know you read the thoughts and lessons God has given me in His word. I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave comments.

Donate to Bible Baptist Church every time you make an Amazon purchase through this link, https://smile.amazon.com/ch/91-1265824

For this and, more than 5400 earlier Daily Visits with God, visit https://mckenzie-visit-with-god.blogspot.com. There you will find daily visits going back to 2005.

If you have been blessed by this blog, please subscribe to my feed and share it with others.

For more resources from Pastor Marvin McKenzie visit http://puyallupbaptistchurch.com.

My books are available at:
https://marvinmckenzie.org

2 Corinthians 5:5-6 Confidence

2 Corinthians 4:14 He Speaks Because He Believes

2 Corinthians 4:14 (KJV)
Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you.

In the verse previous to this, Paul says he speaks because he believes.

In this verse, he clarifies that what he believes he knows to be true and then describes that truth as three resurrections.

The resurrection of the Lord Jesus
Who is the first fruit of the resurrection and the assurance of all that is the Christian faith.

The resurrection of himself
Christianity is personal. There is a practical benefit. Why else embrace it?

The resurrection of others
Christianity is personal but quickly becomes communal. 

  • We are not alone in this world
  • We are not alone in our need
  • We are not alone as a believer 

We do not have to work alone to share our faith with others.

To my readers:
Thank you! It is a great joy to me to know you read the thoughts and lessons God has given me in His word. I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave comments.

Donate to Bible Baptist Church every time you make an Amazon purchase through this link, https://smile.amazon.com/ch/91-1265824

For this and, more than 5400 earlier Daily Visits with God, visit https://mckenzie-visit-with-god.blogspot.com. There you will find daily visits going back to 2005.

If you have been blessed by this blog, please subscribe to my feed and share it with others.

For more resources from Pastor Marvin McKenzie visit http://puyallupbaptistchurch.com.

My books are available at:
https://marvinmckenzie.org

2 Corinthians 4:14 He Speaks Because He Believes

2 Corinthians 12:19 Balance

2 Corinthians 12:19 (KJV)
Again, think ye that we excuse ourselves unto you? we speak before God in Christ: but we do all things, dearly beloved, for your edifying.

Here is the balance every man of God seeks. 

He cannot apologize to his congregation for his ministry. 
He is not accountable to them. He must not allow himself to be. They must not place him such a position. 

When the man of God serves, whether in the pulpit or in personal contact, he stands before God in Christ. 
His life belongs to Jesus. He is accountable only to God. 

But at the same time everything he does has, as its objective, the edifying, building, and strengthening of the believers as they are unified in the local church.

To my readers:
First of all, thank you! It is a great joy to me to know you read the thoughts and lessons God has given me in His word. Secondly, I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave comments.

Donate to Bible Baptist Church every time you make an Amazon purchase through this link, https://smile.amazon.com/ch/91-1265824

For this and more than 5100 earlier Daily Visits with God visit https://mckenzie-visit-with-god.blogspot.com. There you will find daily visits going back to 2005.

If you have been blessed by this blog, please subscribe to my feed and share it with others.

For more resources from Pastor Marvin McKenzie visit http://puyallupbaptistchurch.com.

My books are available at:
https://marvinmckenzie.org

2 Corinthians 12:19 Balance

2 Corinthians 11:3 Simplicity

2 Corinthians 11:3 (KJV)
But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.

It seems to me that, when we get to the heart of things, the battle every ministry must face is the battle for simplicity. 

Simplicity of salvation
The religious mind can never accept that the eternal saving of the soul is as simple as faith in Christ. The dead spirit wishes to resurrect itself. There must be, insists religion, some measure of human input for salvation to be effectual. The pressure to find that measure and include it must be continuously fought.

Simplicity of doctrine 
The Judaizers of Paul’s day survive still and continue to lead people away from a simple statement of faith. The Judaizers are not the only ones. Catholicism and Protestantism each have developed faith systems so complicated that the most brilliant of men debate them. Baptists sometimes jump on board, creating arguments for their position too tricky for the most seasoned believers to grasp 

The battle to possess and keep a simple and childlike faith is an aggressive one for sure. 

Simplicity of practice 
How we apply and act out our faith is as equally important as what our faith is. Churches desire to grow. We want to minister to the perceived needs of the people to attract them and to keep them. In so doing, the trouble is developing church programs that become the priority over the one thing that God says the church is about, the preaching of the Word of God. 

The battle is real. May we be courageous in the battle. 

To my readers:
First of all, thank you! It is a great joy to me to know you read the thoughts and lessons God has given me in His word. Secondly, I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave comments.

Donate to Bible Baptist Church every time you make an Amazon purchase through this link, https://smile.amazon.com/ch/91-1265824

For this and more than 5100 earlier Daily Visits with God visit https://mckenzie-visit-with-god.blogspot.com. There you will find daily visits going back to 2005.

If you have been blessed by this blog, please subscribe to my feed and share it with others.

For more resources from Pastor Marvin McKenzie visit http://puyallupbaptistchurch.com.

My books are available at:
https://marvinmckenzie.org

2 Corinthians 11:3 Simplicity

2 Corinthians 9:15 Unto God

2 Corinthians 9:15 (KJV)
Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.

The entire chapter is taken up with, if you will, praises for the church in Corinth. 

  • Their forwardness to give
  • Their readiness
  • Their bountifulness 
  • Their cheerfulness 
  • Their contribution to thanksgiving of others
  • Their prayers
  • Their exceeding grace

were all an example and had provoked others to the same. 

We are bound to recognize and give thanks to those who “get it” and then “give it.”

Then the chapter ends, not with their gifts, but God’s unspeakable gift. 

Someone might argue that His gift was their generosity. I beg to differ. The only gift that could possibly be considered unspeakable is that gift God Himself gave when He so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son. 

His unspeakable gift is the foundation upon which all Christian giving rests. 

To my readers:
First of all, thank you! It is a great joy to me to know you read the thoughts and lessons God has given me in His word. Secondly, I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave comments.

Donate to Bible Baptist Church every time you make an Amazon purchase through this link, https://smile.amazon.com/ch/91-1265824

For this and more than 5100 earlier Daily Visits with God visit https://mckenzie-visit-with-god.blogspot.com. There you will find daily visits going back to 2005.

If you have been blessed by this blog, please subscribe to my feed and share it with others.

For more resources from Pastor Marvin McKenzie visit http://puyallupbaptistchurch.com.

My books are available at:
https://marvinmckenzie.org

2 Corinthians 9:15 Unto God

2 Corinthians 7:16 Purposeful Measures

2 Corinthians 7:16 (KJV)
I rejoice therefore that I have confidence in you in all things.

Knowing, as we do, that there was a contingent, however large or small, who were adamantly opposed to the ministry of the Apostle, this passage is remarkable. 

In order for Titus to return from Corinth with a good report he had to have, for the most part, dismissed this negative contingent. For the Apostle Paul to state his confidence in this church, “in all things” he must have had to do the same. 

This is not to say they ignored them. Paul clearly confronts this negative element in subsequent chapters. Therefore, Titus must have given Paul a report concerning them. This suggests that, while aware of the negative element, and willingly addressing it, neither Titus, nor Paul allowed themselves to focus upon them. 

Our nature tends to amplify and remember the negative. It is for that reason we have to take purposeful measures to note and record what is positive. One must choose to focus on what God is doing. In that way what the world does, the negative, diminishes into its appropriate space in our lives. 

To my readers:
First of all, thank you! It is a great joy to me to know you read the thoughts and lessons God has given me in His word. Secondly, I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave comments.

Donate to Bible Baptist Church every time you make an Amazon purchase through this link, https://smile.amazon.com/ch/91-1265824

For this and more than 5100 earlier Daily Visits with God visit https://mckenzie-visit-with-god.blogspot.com. There you will find daily visits going back to 2005.

If you have been blessed by this blog, please subscribe to my feed and share it with others.

For more resources from Pastor Marvin McKenzie visit http://puyallupbaptistchurch.com.

My books are available at:
https://marvinmckenzie.org

2 Corinthians 7:16 Purposeful Measures