Notes from talks at a recent weekend away with our mid-week Bible study group:
Deep People in a Shallow World
(1) 2 Corinthians 2:12-3:18
We live by faith, not by sight – the world, however, is looking for the visible.
2. God’s sovereign processions 2:12-17
Is not without its problems.
2v14 – put your Bible glasses on! – see things rightly.
I believe, therefore I have spoken.
Letters written on human hearts – are the letters the Corinthian converts? Probably not – on our hearts – real ministry not authenticated outside a person (they came, because of their love for the Corinthians).
3. God’s spiritual transformation 3:1-6
It is easy for humans to fall into law-keeping – remember that God gave the law to His saved people.
4. God’s superior ministry 3:7-18
How can the new New Covenant be more glorious than the Old Covenant?
The OC surely more spectacular? Paul traditionally thought to be weedy, bow legs.. just walked into a town and started speaking.
“You are all going to meet the Lord. Don’t walk backwards towards Him”
(2) 2 Corinthians 4:1-18
Ouk eg kakoumen (sp??) – we do not lose heart – 4v1, 4v16
We cannot change blind people ourselves.
God is a god who enlightens – light out of darkness.
2. Confident ministry despite trouble in our listeners vv1-6
v5 we make sure people know they must go to Jesus.
3. Confident ministry despite trouble in ourselves vv7-18
We are jars of clay.
Biographies can be encouraging – how great Jesus is to use them.
Resurrection confidence v13
Renewal confidence v16
Walking out of a church and putting a green sticker on everything that will remain, and a red sticker on everything which will pass away…
(3) 2 Corinthians 5:1-21
2. Perspective vv1-10
The world is obsessed with food and clothes and homes.
v7 – we walk by faith, not by sight.
3. Incentive vv11-15
Fear (godly fear) v11
v14 – is Christ teaching universalism? His death is sufficient (for the world) and efficient (for those who respond. BUT – the gospel does not sit on a table waiting for someone to respond.
4. Directive vv16-21
v18 – autobiographical?
v17 – new creation ready for the new creation
v21 – several PhDs could be written on this verse!
v20 – God’s ambassadors – no ‘you’ added (Ambassadors must convey the message they are given – not their own response).
(4) 2 Corinthians 6:1 – 7:4
The grace of God is (also) for the believer – not a case that (to the unbeliever ) “The Grace of God is for you” but (to the believer) “Get yourself together!!”
2. A decision about the gospel vv1-2
3. A decision about Paul vv3-15
vv3+4 – we aim to help people believe
vv6+7 practise godliness
v8 – we put up with assessment.
Widen your heart before opening your mouth.
4. A decision about lifestyle 6v14 – 7v4
What partnership can there be? Difficulty (e.g. righteous/unbelievers), and impossibility! (light/darkness).
In the same way – what harmony between Christ and Belial – spiritual battle.
Pray that God would help you not grow cold.
How often do we say (these days) that someone is “on fire” for Jesus – clear-headed, warm-hearted, Kingdom-focussed, love of the Lord Jesus.
Work on what cools and kills. Feed fellowship in the Father.