A STUDY GUIDE FOR THE BOOK OF SECOND CORINTHIANS

(Trumpet Ministries,Inc. / Words of Righteousness)

A STUDY GUIDE FOR THE BOOK OF SECOND CORINTHIANS Copyright Š 2006 Trumpet Ministries, Inc. All Rights Reserved

In the sixth chapter of the Book of Romans we are commanded to count ourselves as crucified with the Lord Jesus and risen with Him.

Here, in the Book of Second Corinthians, we see the crucifixion and resurrection worked out in daily life.

Each believer who suffers with Christ reigns with Christ.

The power by which Christ rules is that of eternal, indestructible, resurrection life, the life that proceeds only from our crucifixion with Him.

The power of resurrection life insured that Paul was not bound, was not crushed, was not in despair, was not at a loss, was not forsaken, was not destroyed.

Paul was carrying around in his mortal body the death of the Lord Jesus.

The eternal life by which Paul lived brought eternal life to those to whom he ministered.

But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead. (II Corinthians :9)

Table of Contents

QUESTIONS

Chapter One Chapter Two Chapter Three Chapter Four Chapter Five Chapter Six Chapter Seven Chapter Eight Chapter Nine Chapter Ten Chapter Eleven Chapter Twelve Chapter Thirteen

ANSWERS

Chapter One Chapter Two Chapter Three Chapter Four Chapter Five Chapter Six Chapter Seven Chapter Eight Chapter Nine Chapter Ten Chapter Eleven Chapter Twelve Chapter Thirteen

A STUDY GUIDE FOR THE BOOK OF SECOND CORINTHIANS

QUESTIONS

Chapter One

1. How does Paul announce himself?

2. Who was with Paul at this time?

3. To whom is the letter written?

4. Who else are addressed?

5. What blessing does Paul extend to the saints in Achaia?

6. How does Paul describe God the Father?

7. What was the Father doing for Paul and Timothy?

8. What is a saint able to do after God has comforted and encouraged him or her in a time of tribulation and affliction?

9. What is true of the saint in whom the sufferings of Christ are abounding?

10. Why is the servant of Christ afflicted?

11. Why is the servant of Christ comforted?

12. On what is Paul’s hope for the Corinthian saints based?

13. Of what situation did Paul wish to inform the saints in Corinth?

14. How severe was Paul’s trial in Asia?

15. What did Paul have within himself?

16. What is the constant attitude of the saint who has within himself the sentence of death?

17. What was God’s response to the Apostle’s trust in Him?

18. How were the saints in Corinth laboring together with Paul?

19. Why was Paul pleased that many of the saints in Corinth had prayed for him while he was in Ephesus?

20. Paul’s conscience was causing him to boast and rejoice. What was his conscience telling him?

21. What did Paul say about his letters to the church in Corinth?

22. What is Paul’s hope?

23. What was true of the understanding of the saints in Achaia?

24. What will the saints in Corinth recognize when they understand Paul fully?

25. What was Paul’s confidence?

26. What did Paul have in mind to do, as a result of his "confidence" in the church in Corinth?

27. What was Paul explaining in verse seventeen?

28. What does Paul affirm?

29. What is true of the Son of God who was preached by Paul and Silvanus and Timothy?

30. What is true of the promises of God in Christ?

31. What four things has God done for Paul and for the saints in Corinth?

32. What reason does Paul give for not stopping by Corinth as he had planned?

33. How does Paul keep his own role in balance?

Chapter Two

1. What had Paul determined?

2. Who was it that was to make Paul glad?

3. Why did Paul write as he did in his first letter?

4. What was Paul’s confidence concerning them?

5. What was Paul’s attitude when he wrote the first letter?

6. What was Paul’s motive in writing to them as he did?

7. To whom did the sinning believer cause grief?

8. What had happened to this sinner as a result of Paul’s letter?

9. What did Paul state concerning the punishment that had been administered?

10. What does Paul direct to be done now, concerning this individual?

11. What other reason did Paul have for writing to them?

12. What became true when the believers in Corinth forgave a transgression?

13. Why was Paul quick to forgive a sinner who repented?

14. What happened when Paul, having left Ephesus, arrived in Troas?

15. Why was Paul restless in Troas?

16. What did Paul do as a result of not finding Titus?

17. For what did Paul thank God?

18. What was Paul "unto God"?

19. What does the Presence of Christ do to those who are sinning against God?

20. What does the Presence of Christ do to those who are serving God?

21. What does Paul mean by the question, "Who is sufficient for these things"?

22. What were many preachers of Paul’s day doing?

23. What was Paul doing?

Chapter Three

1. What does Paul ask them now?

2. What was Paul’s letter of recommendation—a letter inscribed in Paul’s heart, being known and read by everyone?

3. What was shown clearly?

4. With what kind of "ink" was Christ’s letter written?

5. On what surface was Christ’s letter written?

6. What was Paul’s confidence through Christ before God?

7. How did Paul feel about his own judgment and his own ability to do anything concerning the work of the Kingdom of God?

8. What ability did God give to Paul?

9. What is true of the new covenant?

10. What does the "letter" of the Scriptures do?

11. What does the Holy Spirit do?

12. How does Paul refer to the old Mosaic covenant?

13. Where were the letters of the ministry of death written?

14. What was true of the ministry of death, the Ten Commandments?

15. What happened to Moses as a result of his nearness to the Glory of the God of Israel?

16. What was true of the glory of the old covenant?

17. If such glory accompanied the giving of the Ten Commandments, a ministry of death that is passing away, what undoubtedly is true of the new covenant—the ministry of the Spirit of God written on the human heart?

18. If the ministry of condemnation was brought forth in such power and majesty, what is true of the ministry of righteousness?

19. When the glory of the ministry of death is compared with the glory of the ministry of life, what is seen to be true?

20. How can we know that the ministry of death had no glory at all when compared with the ministry of life?

21. What did Paul’s hope in the surpassing glory of the new covenant cause him to do?

22. Why did Moses put a veil over his face?

23. What happened to the sons of Israel?

24. What is true even today, when the Law is read in the synagogue?

25. When does the old covenant pass away? When is the veil lifted?

26. Who is the Spirit of the new covenant?

27. What does the Spirit of the Lord bring to us?

28. What is true of the believer in Christ?

29. In what "mirror" do we behold the Glory of Christ?

30. What happens to us when we see the Glory of Christ?

31. What power transforms us into the image of what we are beholding?

32. What process of transformation occurs in us?

Chapter Four

1. Why did Paul not faint nor lose heart as a result of the multitude of persecutions and tribulations that came on him?

2. What did Paul renounce?

3. What did Paul practice?

4. To whom does the Gospel remain veiled?

5. Who has blinded the minds of the unbelieving?

6. Why does Satan blind the minds of the people?

7. Whom does Paul proclaim?

8. How does Paul present himself and Timothy to the believers in Corinth?

9. Who has shone in our hearts?

10. What light has God shed in our hearts?

11. In what vessel are we holding this treasure, this light of the knowledge of the Glory of God in the face of Christ?

12. Why has God given us such a treasure while we are in a state of humiliation, of weakness, of frailty, of corruption?

13. Name some of the forms of tribulation that were keeping Paul in a state of suffering.

14. What was Paul carrying around in his mortal body?

15. For what purpose was Paul bearing about the death of Jesus in his mortal body?

16. What is true of Christ’s servants who are living in and by His eternal life?

17. Why does Christ continually deliver over His servants to trouble, to afflictions, to perplexity, to persecution, to being struck down?

18. What is working continually in the faithful minister of the Gospel?

19. What is working continually in those who are partaking of the ministry of the faithful minister?

20. What faith does the Apostle have?

21. Read Psalms 116:10.

22. What did Paul know?

23. Why were the things that were happening taking place, especially the tribulations that were coming on Paul?

24. Why did Paul not faint or lose heart because of his troubles?

25. What was happening to Paul’s natural personality, his flesh and blood self?

26. What was happening to Paul’s inner, born-again man?

27. What was Paul’s momentary, light tribulation achieving?

28. What was Paul looking at and considering?

29. Why did Paul keep his attention on the invisible things of the Kingdom of God rather than on the visible things of the world?

Chapter Five

1. What is our "earthly house of this tabernacle"?

2. Why do we not worry about our physical body being destroyed?

3. What was Paul’s desire?

4. What guarantee does the saint have who serves the Lord Jesus?

5. What does the saint on earth greatly desire?

6. What does Paul mean when he says, "not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon"?

7. Why is God forming Christ in our inner man?

8. What has God given us while we yet are in a physical body?

9. What was Paul’s confidence?

10. How does the Christian walk?

11. What thought gives the saint pleasure?

12. What is our ambition, and toward what end do we labor?

13. What will happen to every person born on the earth?

14. What will each saint receive at the Judgment Seat of Christ?

15. What did Paul know?

16. What did Paul’s knowledge of the terror of the Lord cause him to do?

17. Where had Paul already been made manifest?

18. Where did Paul hope that he had been made manifest?

19. What was Paul attempting to give the saints in Corinth?

20. Why did Paul wish to give them a reason to be proud of him?

21. What reason does Paul give for his behavior while he was at Corinth, for his times of madness and also of sober-mindedness?

22. What power was controlling and motivating Paul?

23. What conclusion had Paul reached?

24. What viewpoint did this conclusion give to Paul?

25. What about the Lord Jesus Christ?

26. What is true of every person who is abiding in the resurrected Lord Jesus Christ?

27. What about the flesh and blood personality of the believer, his "old man," his first personality—that which was born of his parents on earth?

28. What is true now?

29. What is true of every aspect of our born-again personality when God’s work is completed in us?

30. What has God done through Christ?

31. What did the Lord Jesus give to Paul?

32. How can this sinful, rebellious world be reconciled to the holy Father?

33. What has God done about our sins and rebellion?

34. What did God commit to Paul?

35. What were Paul and Timothy?

36. Who was entreating the Corinthians through Paul?

37. In whose name, in whose stead, was Paul beseeching the Corinthians to be reconciled to God?

38. What did the holy, righteous, obedient Christ become on our behalf?

39. What was accomplished by Christ’s being made sin for us?

Chapter Six

1. With whom was Paul working?

2. Concerning what danger did Paul exhort the believers in Corinth?

3. Read Isaiah 49:8.

4. What was Paul careful to do?

5. In what ways did Paul and his assistants who accompanied him show themselves to be God’s servants?

6. How did Paul speak to the saints in Corinth?

7. What was Paul’s attitude toward the Corinthians?

8. What did Paul urge them to do, as his children?

9. What are the saints not to do?

10. What is true of righteousness and wickedness?

11. What is true of light and darkness?

12. What is true of Christ and Belial (the devil)?

13. What is true of a believer and an unbeliever?

14. What is true of the Temple of God and idols?

15. What is a saint?

16. Read Exodus 29:45, Leviticus 26:12.

17. What has God stated concerning His saints?

18. How are the saints unique among mankind?

19. Since we are a special people to the Lord, what are we to do, therefore?

20. What will become true when we turn away from the unclean works of the flesh?

Chapter Seven

1. What "promises" do we have?

2. What should we do because we have these promises?

3. What does Paul ask the saints in Corinth to do?

4. What does Paul maintain?

5. Was Paul’s attitude toward the Corinthians one of condemnation?

6. What did Paul experience when he came into Macedonia on his way toward Corinth?

7. Whom does God encourage?

8. How did God encourage Paul?

9. What encouragement did Titus bring to Paul?

10. Why was Paul rejoicing now?

11. How had Paul’s letter of rebuke affected the Corinthian saints?

12. How did Paul respond to the fact that his letter had grieved them?

13. How did Paul feel now?

14. What kind of grief had they experienced?

15. What does God-given sorrow result in?

16. What does the grief of the world result in?

17. What did their God-given sorrow, produced by the Apostle’s letter to them, result in?

18. Did they purify themselves?

19. What was Paul’s main purpose in writing to them?

20. How had their attitude of repentance affected Paul?

21. What additional encouragement and joy had come to Paul?

22. What had Titus found to be true?

23. Why had Titus grown in affection towards the Corinthians?

24. In what was Paul rejoicing?

Chapter Eight

1. What did Paul wish to make known to the saints in Corinth?

2. What was true of the churches in Macedonia?

3. How did the saints in Macedonia demonstrate the grace of God?

4. To what extent did the believers in Macedonia give of their material blessings for the poor saints in Jerusalem?

5. For what opportunity did the Macedonians beg Paul?

6. In what way had the believers in Macedonia gone beyond Paul’s expectations?

7. What did Paul exhort Titus to do?

8. In what things were the Corinthians abounding?

9. In what additional way did Paul desire that they abound?

10. In what manner did Paul speak to them concerning sharing with their brothers and sisters in the Lord?

11. In what way was the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ revealed?

12. What is Paul’s opinion?

13. How does God view the believer who is willing to share his material means?

14. What does the Apostle not intend?

15. What is the desired condition?

16. What does the manna, given in the wilderness, teach us?

17. What had God put in the heart of Titus?

18. What did Titus do?

19. Whom did Paul send with Titus?

20. What special responsibility rested on the Christian brother whom Paul sent with Titus?

21. What was the purpose of having Luke in charge of the collection?

22. What was Paul careful to do?

23. Whom else did Paul send in addition to Titus and the unnamed brother (possibly Luke) who was appointed to supervise the collection for the poor saints?

24. How did Paul desire that the church in Corinth would regard Titus?

25. How did Paul desire that the church in Corinth regard the two Christian men who accompanied Titus to Corinth?

26. What did Paul ask the Corinthians saints to do?

Chapter Nine

1. What did Paul say concerning his writing to them about giving to the destitute saints?

2. What had Paul told the saints in Macedonia?

3. What effect did the zeal for giving of the Corinthians have on the Macedonian churches?

4. Why then did Paul send Titus and the other two brothers?

5. What did Paul wish to avoid?

6. Why had Paul urged the three men to go before him to Corinth?

7. How did Paul want the collected goods and money to be regarded?

8. What principle of giving does Paul present?

9. How should each saint give of his means?

10. What kind of giver does God love?

11. What is God able to do?

12. Read Psalms 112:9.

13. What does the above passage teach us?

14. What does the Lord God supply to mankind?

15. What will the Lord God supply to the liberal saints of Corinth?

16. Why will God enrich the Corinthians?

17. What will their liberality cause to happen?

18. What two things are being accomplished?

19. What will many believers do when they witness the offering given by the Corinthians?

20. What will the Lord’s people do, therefore?

21. For what does Paul thank God?

Chapter Ten

1. On what basis and in what attitude of mind does Paul exhort the believers in Corinth?

2. How does Paul appear when he is face to face with the Corinthians?

3. How does Paul act toward them when he is not in their mist?

4. What does Paul request urgently of them?

5. Of what does Paul notify them, concerning his ability to execute judgment?

6. What does Paul state concerning his "weapons"?

7. What does Paul overthrow by the power of God?

8. What does Paul lead captive by the power of God?

9. What is Paul ready to do?

10. What does Paul explain to them that they are doing?

11. What does Paul request of those who trust that they belong to Christ?

12. What is Paul boasting about now?

13. In what will Paul not be put to shame?

14. What did Paul wish to refute?

15. What were some people in Corinth saying about Paul?

16. How does Paul reply to the individual who is attempting to belittle him?

17. With whom did Paul not dare to rank or compare himself?

18. What does Paul say about people who measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves?

19. On what basis did Paul judge his own works?

20. Was Paul reaching beyond his commission by issuing apostolic directions to the saints in Corinth?

21. Of what was Paul not boasting when he was boasting about the saints in Corinth?

22. What was Paul’s hope?

23. What was Paul’s desire?

24. In what did Paul not boast?

25. In what should the Christian boast?

26. Read Jeremiah 9:23,24.

27. What saint is shown to be approved?

Chapter Eleven

1. What did Paul request of the Corinthians?

2. What reason does Paul give for his remarks to the Corinthians?

3. What was Paul attempting to do?

4. What did Paul fear?

5. What is Paul telling them, perhaps sarcastically, in verse four?

6. How does Paul regard himself?

7. What does Paul state concerning his own speaking ability?

8. What does Paul state about his knowledge as an Apostle of Christ?

9. What question does Paul ask?

10. How was Paul supported?

11. What happened when Paul ran out of funds while he was preaching in Corinth?

12. What was Paul’s attitude and determination?

13. Is Paul boasting because he does not love the saints in Corinth?

14. Why, then, is Paul boasting about bringing the Gospel to them without charge?

15. What does Paul term these "great ones"?

16. What were the deceivers doing?

17. Why is it not surprising that they should so disguise themselves?

18. What is not a great or surprising matter?

19. How did Paul not wish to be regarded?

20. Is Paul speaking from the Lord when he says this?

21. Why is Paul boasting?

22. Why are the Corinthians ready to bear with the foolish?

23. Who are the "wise" Corinthians willing to bear?

24. How is Paul speaking to them?

25. What will Paul do concerning the areas in which the false apostles dare to behave boldly?

26. In what ways was Paul equal to their false apostles?

27. In what ways had Paul been proven to be a servant of Christ—ways of which the Jewish false apostles knew nothing because they were seeking their own gain?

28. What additional burden did Paul bear?

29. What was true when one of the saints was weak?

30. What was true when one of the saints was offended and stumbled?

31. If he is required to boast, in what will Paul boast?

32. What does God the Father know?

33. What took place in Damascus (Acts 9:25)?

34. How did Paul escape?

Chapter Twelve

1. What did Paul say about his boasting?

2. What did Paul proceed to describe?

3. How long ago did Paul have this particular revelation?

4. Was Paul caught up to Heaven in his body?

5. Where was Paul brought by the Lord?

6. What did Paul hear while he was in Paradise?

7. About whom would Paul boast?

8. Now, openly speaking of himself, concerning what would Paul boast on his own behalf?

9. What would be true if Paul decided to boast of his revelations and works?

10. Why did Paul refrain from boasting?

11. What danger was Paul in because of the exceeding greatness of his revelations?

12. How did the Lord Jesus protect Paul from the danger of exalting himself?

13. Did Paul accept the "thorn" passively?

14. How did Christ respond to Paul’s prayer to remove the thorn?

15. What was Paul’s response to being made weak?

16. In what, therefore, did Paul take pleasure?

17. Why was Paul well content with such unpleasant circumstances?

18. Why was Paul writing foolishly in his boasting to the believers in Corinth?

19. Why should the Corinthians have commended Paul instead of belittling him?

20. What marks of an apostle were patiently wrought through Paul among the saints in Corinth?

21. For what did Paul, with a tinge of sarcasm, ask forgiveness?

22. What trip was Paul planning at this time?

23. What did Paul promise the believers in Corinth?

24. What reason does Paul give for desiring not to be a burden to them?

25. For what purpose would Paul gladly devote all that he had and be fully spent?

26. What question does Paul put to the Corinthians?

27. What does Paul ask those who may be accusing him of attempting to get their goods by guile?

28. What does Paul ask the Corinthians concerning Titus and the Christian man that he had sent with Titus?

29. What else does Paul ask them?

30. How was Paul speaking to them?

31. Why did Paul speak to them as he did?

32. What did Paul fear?

33. What did Paul not want to find?

34. What would take place if Paul should find such behavior among the saints in Corinth?

Chapter Thirteen

1. What trip was Paul preparing for now?

2. How are facts confirmed, according to Scripture?

3. Read Deuteronomy 19:15.

4. What had Paul told them previously during his short visit from Ephesus, and now while absent was stating again just before he came to them for the third time?

5. Of what were the Corinthians seeking proof?

6. How would one describe the expression of Christ toward the Corinthians?

7. What was Christ’s condition when He was crucified?

8. By what power is Christ living now?

9. What was Paul’s condition?

10. What does Paul advise the Corinthian believers to do?

11. What should the Corinthian believers recognize concerning themselves?

12. What was Paul’s hope and trust?

13. What was Paul’s prayer for them?

14. Why did Paul desire that they would do no evil?

15. In what way could Paul use his power?

16. When did Paul rejoice?

17. What was Paul’s prayer for the believers in Corinth?

18. Why was Paul reproving and instructing them in this letter, while he was absent from them?

19. What was Paul’s admonition to them?

20. What is the promise to those who will live in such a manner?

21. How were the believers to greet one another?

22. Who were sending greetings to the believers in Corinth?

23. What Divine blessing did the Apostle Paul pronounce on all the Christian people in Corinth?

A STUDY GUIDE FOR THE BOOK OF SECOND CORINTHIANS

ANSWERS

Chapter One

1. How does Paul announce himself?

As an apostle of Christ, by the will of God.

It is proper for a servant of Christ to affirm his authority. He is an ambassador of the King.

All ministry of eternal value proceeds from the cross, as the Lord’s bondslaves understand well. Our position on the cross keeps us in a state of true humility.

But the man of God must stand up and declare who he is and by what authority he is acting and speaking, for he will be held accountable to Christ for his actions and words.

2. Who was with Paul at this time?

Timothy.

This letter was written from Macedonia in Northern Greece, probably from the city of Philippi in A.D. 57.

3. To whom is the letter written?

To the church (assembly) of God in the city of Corinth, the capital of Achaia.

The Scriptures, both Old and New Testaments, are written to God’s people. Even the four Gospels, which present Christ to the saved and unsaved alike, are directed toward God’s saints. The greater part of the Bible, as in the case of II Corinthians, is written to the called-out people of the Lord.

4. Who else are addressed?

All the saints in the whole of Achaia.

Achaia was the name given to central and southern Greece where Corinth was located.

5. What blessing does Paul extend to the saints in Achaia?

Grace and peace from the Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.

6. How does Paul describe God the Father?

As "the Father of mercies [compassion], and the God of all comfort."

7. What was the Father doing for Paul and Timothy?

God was comforting and encouraging them in all their tribulations.

8. What is a saint able to do after God has comforted and encouraged him or her in a time of tribulation and affliction?

The saint then is able to comfort those who are in any trouble by the comfort with which he himself has been comforted of God.

There are at least two concepts included here. The first is that a person whom the Lord has brought through a trial will have words of encouragement and advice for another person who currently is going through the same trial.

It is difficult to help someone in serious trouble if we ourselves have never been in deep trouble. Our counsel is apt to be light, lacking in substance.

The second concept is a principal aspect of Christian discipleship. It is a major theme in Second Corinthians and is mentioned several times. We are speaking of death and life, of crucifixion and resurrection.

Life from death, ministry from the cross, strength from weakness, the overflow of resurrection life, "I am crucified, nevertheless I live." Here is one of the key aspects of the Christian discipleship of victory and service.

God raises us up, and by that overflow of resurrection power we raise others up with us. Adam dies, but Christ lives and brings life to others.

9. What is true of the saint in whom the sufferings of Christ are abounding?

His encouragement is abounding through Christ.

The more suffering there is the more comfort there is. The two go together. As we suffer we reign. We experience the power of Christ’s resurrection as we share his sufferings. Mature saints have learned that when trouble increases the grace and Glory of God increase proportionally.

The martyr knows the comfort of Christ in a special way. This is one of the laws of the Kingdom of God. The warrior is given the hidden manna to eat.

If we would carry life to others we must be willing to be brought down to death.

10. Why is the servant of Christ afflicted?

For the comfort and salvation of those to whom he is ministering. The servant of Christ is brought low so that through him God the Father can comfort and save those who are in need of Divine assistance and encouragement.

11. Why is the servant of Christ comforted?

So he can comfort those who are going through the same tribulations that he himself has endured.

12. On what is Paul’s hope for the Corinthian saints based?

The knowledge that as they have shared in the sufferings of the apostles, so they will share also in the encouragement that comes to the apostles from God the Father.

13. Of what situation did Paul wish to inform the saints in Corinth?

Of the great tribulation he had experienced in Asia.

14. How severe was Paul’s trial in Asia?

"We were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life."

15. What did Paul have within himself?

"The sentence of death."

16. What is the constant attitude of the saint who has within himself the sentence of death?

He or she does not trust in himself but in God who raises the dead.

Here again is our concept of life from death.

17. What was God’s response to the Apostle’s trust in Him?

He delivered "from so great a death", He does deliver, and He will yet deliver.

18. How were the saints in Corinth laboring together with Paul?

By praying for him.

19. Why was Paul pleased that many of the saints in Corinth had prayed for him while he was in Ephesus?

Because many now would be thanking God for the answer to their prayers, that is, the saving of Paul’s life.

20. Paul’s conscience was causing him to boast and rejoice. What was his conscience telling him?

That in simplicity and godly sincerity, not in fleshly wisdom, but in God’s grace, he had conducted himself in the world—and especially toward the saints in Corinth.

21. What did Paul say about his letters to the church in Corinth?

What he writes to them is what he means. There is no double meaning. They can read the letters and understand them.

22. What is Paul’s hope?

The saints will keep understanding him and fully grasp his meaning.

23. What was true of the understanding of the saints in Achaia?

They had only partially understood Paul.

24. What will the saints in Corinth recognize when they understand Paul fully?

He is their reason for boasting and rejoicing, just as they are his, in the Day of the Lord Jesus.

25. What was Paul’s confidence?

The saints in Corinth would come to appreciate the genuineness and worth of his apostleship to them.

It appears, from the texts of First and Second Corinthians, that some of the believers in Corinth were unwilling to admit that Paul was equal to the other apostles of the Lord.

26. What did Paul have in mind to do, as a result of his "confidence" in the church in Corinth?

He was going to make two visits to them: the first on his way to Macedonia, and the second on his return from Macedonia on his way toward Judea. By doing this Paul would bless the Corinthians twice with his presence. Also, they would have the opportunity to assist him on his way to Judea.

This had not worked out. The present letter was being written from Macedonia. Paul had not gone by way of Corinth as he had intended.

27. What was Paul explaining in verse seventeen?

He knew they were disappointed at his not having stopped by Corinth first as he had planned. He was informing them that his change of plans did not come about because he was a changeable person, making his decisions in the lightness of human emotions.

28. What does Paul affirm?

His word to the saints in Corinth was a solid word, unchanging, based on the faithfulness of God.

29. What is true of the Son of God who was preached by Paul and Silvanus and Timothy?

He does not change.

30. What is true of the promises of God in Christ?

They all are yes. In Christ is the Amen to God’s promises. This is the unchanging glory Paul was bringing.

31. What four things has God done for Paul and for the saints in Corinth?

God has established them in Christ.

God has anointed them.

God has set the seal of ownership on them.

God has given them the Spirit of God in their hearts as the pledge and guarantee of the redemption that will come with the return of the Lord Jesus.

32. What reason does Paul give for not stopping by Corinth as he had planned?

Evidently he wished to give them an opportunity to solve some of the problems he had mentioned in the first letter, so that his coming to them would not bring additional judgment and sorrow but instead would provide blessing and joy.

33. How does Paul keep his own role in balance?

He explains to the church in Corinth that he is not a lord over their faith; rather, he is working together with them for their joy. They are founded on Christ. Their foundation is their faith in Him.

To Paul alone, apparently, was given the explanation of the difference between the old covenant and the new covenant. To Paul alone was given the concept of the Body of Christ. These revelations were not entrusted to the other apostles as clearly as they were to Paul. Yet, Paul never lost sight of his own role as a servant of Christ.

Many saints who have been deceived into usurping the Glory of God for themselves were not given anywhere near the greatness of the role and authority that God gave to Paul. Paul was chosen carefully by the Lord for a level of responsibility in the Kingdom of God that has been assigned to few men in history. He did not fail the Lord by claiming glory for himself—a remarkable testimony!

Chapter Two

1. What had Paul determined?

Not to come again bringing grief to the saints in Corinth.

2. Who was it that was to make Paul glad?

The believers in Corinth, whom he had rebuked previously concerning incest, drunkenness at the Lord’s Table, and confusion in the assembly.

3. Why did Paul write as he did in his first letter?

So when he came to them their behavior in the Lord would make him rejoice.

4. What was Paul’s confidence concerning them?

That all the saints would share his joy in the Lord.

5. What was Paul’s attitude when he wrote the first letter?

He wrote from much tribulation and distress of heart, shedding many tears while writing.

6. What was Paul’s motive in writing to them as he did?

Not to make them sorrowful but so they might know how strong his love was for them.

7. To whom did the sinning believer cause grief?

Not so much to Paul, but to a certain extent to the entire church in Corinth.

Perhaps Paul was referring here to the man who had been committing incest (I Corinthians 5:1).

8. What had happened to this sinner as a result of Paul’s letter?

Many members of the church had rebuked him.

9. What did Paul state concerning the punishment that had been administered?

It was sufficient.

10. What does Paul direct to be done now concerning this individual?

He should be forgiven and comforted. Otherwise he would be swallowed up in an excess of grief. They should affirm their love toward him.

11. What other reason did Paul have for writing to them?

He wished to test them to see if they would be obedient in all matters.

12. What became true when the believers in Corinth forgave a transgression?

For their sakes, Paul forgave it also as Christ’s representative.

13. Why was Paul quick to forgive a sinner who repented?

So that Satan would not be able to cause trouble and confusion in the church.

14. What happened when Paul, having left Ephesus, arrived in Troas?

He found an open door to preach the Gospel.

15. Why was Paul restless in Troas?

He did not find Titus there.

Paul was fond of Titus. He refers to him as "mine own son after the common faith" (Titus 1:4). The fact that Paul could find no rest in his spirit because of the absence of Titus reveals that this greatly used servant of Christ had a deep concern for other people.

16. What did Paul do as a result of not finding Titus?

He left the "open door" and went to Macedonia.

17. For what did Paul thank God?

That he was marching in Christ’s victory procession, and that wherever God led him there was a fragrance of the knowledge of Christ.

18. What was Paul "unto God"?

The incense of Christ being offered to God among those who were being saved and those who were perishing.

19. What does the Presence of Christ do to those who are sinning against God?

It convicts them and illumines their spiritually dead condition.

20. What does the Presence of Christ do to those who are serving God?

It blesses them and renews their spiritual life.

21. What does Paul mean by the question, "Who is sufficient for these things"?

We believe Paul meant that death and life are matters that only God can decide. When we, in sincerity, walk in the Presence of Christ in the world, all mankind is brought into judgment before God. Those who reject Christ, die; those who receive Christ, live. We are not competent to make such decisions. Our responsibility extends only as far as presenting Christ. The rest is the responsibility of the Father in Heaven.

22. What were many preachers of Paul’s day doing?

They were peddling the Word of God in order to make a profit.

Making material profit from the Gospel is the "error of Balaam" (Jude 11).

23. What was Paul doing?

He was preaching and teaching in sincerity what God was giving him. He was speaking in Christ in the sight of God.

Chapter Three

1. What does Paul ask them now?

"Are we recommending ourselves again? Do we need a letter of recommendation to you? Do we need a letter of recommendation from you?"

2. What was Paul’s letter of recommendation—a letter inscribed in Paul’s heart, being known and read by everyone?

The believers in Corinth.

3. What was being shown clearly?

That the saints in Corinth are Christ’s letter, having been ministered to by Paul.

4. With what kind of "ink" was Christ’s letter written?

The Spirit of the God.

5. On what surface was Christ’s letter written?

Not on stone tablets but on tablets of the heart.

Such is the nature of the new covenant. It cannot be written on stone, on parchment, on paper. The Spirit of God is the "ink." The human heart is the "paper." The finished "epistle" is the mature saint in whom is the image of Christ, the fruit of the Spirit.

6. What was Paul’s confidence through Christ before God?

That the Christians in Corinth indeed were Christ’s letter.

7. How did Paul feel about his own judgment and his own ability to do anything concerning the work of the Kingdom of God?

Paul was not able to judge or do anything of himself. His ability came from God.

8. What ability did God give to Paul?

The ability to minister the new covenant.

9. What is true of the new covenant?

The new covenant cannot be contained in letters and words. The new covenant is Christ and is ministered by the Holy Spirit.

The new covenant is the forming of Christ within the saint, which is the work of the Holy Spirit.

The new covenant, or new testament, can be written only on the human heart and mind.

It is customary to refer to the section of the Bible from Matthew to Revelation as the "New Testament." But these writings are not the new testament, the new covenant. Both the Old Testament and the New Testament are the inspired Word of God, and we are to give heed to everything that is written therein. But the New Testament writings are not the new testament, the new covenant.

What, then, is the New Testament, the holy writings of the Apostles?

As we have stated, the New Testament is the inspired Word of God, written by men who themselves were having the new testament created within them.

The four Gospels are four separate accounts of the Person and ministry of Christ. The Book of Acts is a history of the early missionary activity. The Epistles are letters of explanation and direction to the young churches. The Book of Revelation is a prophetic vision.

None of the above is the new covenant, the new testament put into effect by the blood of Christ.

The new covenant is the creating of Christ in the Saint.

For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: and they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest. For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more (Hebrews 8:10-12).

10. What does the "letter" of the Scriptures do?

The letter kills.

Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful (Romans 7:13).

11. What does the Holy Spirit do?

The Holy Spirit gives us eternal resurrection life.

12. How does Paul refer to the old Mosaic covenant?

As the "ministration [ministry] of death."

13. Where were the letters of the ministry of death written?

They were engraved on stone tablets.

14. What was true of the ministry of death, the Ten Commandments?

It was brought forth in glory.

Mount Sinai shook with the Presence of God. The trumpet of the Lord sounded through the wilderness. There were thunder and lightning. The fire and the smoke caused the mountain to resemble a furnace. The Israelites witnessed the majesty of God Almighty.

15. What happened to Moses as a result of his nearness to the Glory of the God of Israel?

Moses’ face was transfigured permanently. He wore a veil for the remainder of his days because the people could not bear to look at him. He removed the veil only when he went into the Most Holy Place to speak with God.

16. What was true of the glory of the old covenant?

It was to pass away with the coming of the new covenant.

17. If such glory accompanied the giving of the Ten Commandments, a ministry of death that was destined to pass away, what undoubtedly is true of the new covenant—the ministry of the Spirit of God written on the human heart?

It is brought forth with more glory than appeared on Mount Sinai.

18. If the ministry of condemnation was brought forth in such power and majesty, what is true of the ministry of righteousness?

It abounds much more in glory.

19. When the glory of the ministry of death is compared with the glory of the ministry of life, what is seen to be true?

The glory of the ministry of life surpasses to such a extent the glory of the ministry of death that the demonstration of the Glory of God on Mount Sinai is not found to be glorious at all.

20. How can we know that the ministry of death had no glory at all when compared with the ministry of life?

The ministry of death was temporary, having been superseded by a better covenant. The ministry of life is eternal.

21. What did Paul’s hope in the exceptional glory of the new covenant cause him to do?

To boldly proclaim the Word of Christ.

Paul’s boldness and plainness of speech is in contrast to the veil over the face of Moses, the veil over the old covenant.

22. Why did Moses put a veil over his face?

So that the sons of Israel could not gaze on that which was passing away.

The thought here seems to emphasize the fact that the old covenant was incomplete and temporary. It was a "veiled" covenant, the purpose of which was to bring us to a fuller revelation of Christ. Christ is the permanent fullness of the Divine Glory which, prior to the establishing of the new covenant, had been veiled and not permanently established.

23. What happened to the sons of Israel?

Their minds were blinded.

24. What is true even today, when the Law is read in the synagogue?

The Glory of God remains hidden behind the veil.

25. When does the old covenant pass away? When is the veil lifted?

When the worshiper receives Christ and believes in Him.

26. Who is the Spirit of the new covenant?

The Lord Jesus Christ.

27. What does the Spirit of the Lord bring to us?

The liberty of the new covenant, the liberty to serve God as we should, the glorious liberty of the children of God.

Because of the error of our day we must add that the liberty of the children of God is not freedom from the eternal moral law of God but freedom from the Levitical statutes. We are free from Moses that we may be married—married to Christ. Marriage to Christ is a far stricter law and government than ever could be true of the Law of Moses.

We have been set free also from the obligation to sin. But we must choose to serve righteousness. If we do not choose to serve righteousness we return to servitude to sin. There is no middle ground. If we return to servitude to sin, God will judge the sin, and the result is spiritual death.

28. What is true of the believer in Christ?

His face is not veiled from the Glory of the Lord.

29. In what "mirror" do we behold the Glory of Christ?

In the mirror of the Holy Spirit. As we behold the Presence and working of the Holy Spirit in ourselves and in other people we are witnessing the Glory of Christ.

30. What happens to us when we see the Glory of Christ?

Every time we see the Glory of Christ in the Holy Spirit we are transformed into the image of what we are beholding.

31. What power transforms us into the image of what we are beholding?

The power of the Spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ.

32. What process of transformation occurs in us?

We are transformed by the Spirit into the Glory of the Lord—"from glory to glory."

Verse eighteen is an excellent summary of what the new covenant is.

The new covenant is the dwelling of Christ in us according to our faith. It is, "Christ in you, the hope of glory." Our hope is that our constant, persevering faith in Christ will bring us into the fullness of the Glory of God. We do not want to come short of that glory.

Christ dwells in us through the Holy Spirit. This is not all. We ourselves are being transformed. The vessel that contains the Lord is being remade through contact with Him, making it a sanctified vessel.

As Christ dwells in us we are transformed into His image, His Substance, His Nature. As we are transformed we are able to receive a greater portion of Christ. The greater portion transforms us to a greater extent. The process of conversion to His Person continues, from glory to increasing glory—perhaps for eternity.

We are being created the Glory of the Lord. We forge ahead each day through the wisdom and power of the Holy Spirit, the transforming Agent of the new covenant, proceeding from one state of glory to the next. The goal is complete, perfect union with the Father through Christ, and complete, perfect conformity to the image of God.

Chapter Four

1. Why did Paul not faint nor lose heart as a result of the multitude of persecutions and tribulations that came upon him?

Because God’s mercy sustained him as he ministered to the saints the marvelous glory of the new covenant.

2. What did Paul renounce?

The hidden things of shame; walking in craftiness; adulterating the Word of God.

3. What did Paul practice?

He revealed the truth of Christ plainly, commending himself to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.

4. To whom does the Gospel remain veiled?

To those who are perishing.

5. Who has blinded the minds of the unbelieving?

The god of the present age.

6. Why does Satan blind the minds of the people?

So they will be unable to behold the radiance of the Gospel of the Glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

7. Whom does Paul proclaim?

Christ, the Lord.

8. How does Paul present himself and Timothy to the believers in Corinth?

As their bondservants, for Jesus’ sake.

9. Who has shone in our hearts?

The same God who in the beginning commanded the light to shine out of darkness.

10. What light has God shed in our hearts?

The light of the knowledge of the Glory of God in the face of Christ.

11. In what vessel are we holding this treasure, the light of the knowledge of the Glory of God in the face of Christ?

In the earthen vessel of our human form.

12. Why has God given us such a treasure while we are in a state of humiliation, of weakness, of frailty, of corruption?

So that the exceeding greatness of the power may be of God and not from ourselves.

Again we have theme (suffering and comfort; death and resurrection) we encountered first in Chapter One— that of ministry from the cross, strength from weakness, life from death, the Glory of God proceeding from our flesh and blood inabilities and perplexities.

Paul was beginning to understand that the tribulations that came upon him continually were accomplishing a Divine purpose. They were keeping king self off the throne of Paul’s life so that King Jesus, the Lord of glory, would be able to bring the fullness of the Glory of God to the imprisoned human race.

13. Name some of the forms of tribulation that were keeping Paul in a state of suffering.

Trouble, afflictions, perplexity, persecution—especially from the Jews, being struck down by people and circumstances.

Notice that these pains and problems were not coming on Paul as a judgment on his sins or to purge him from fleshly behavior. Rather, they were given so that the power of Paul’s ministry would come from God and not from Paul’s own abilities.

Paul was a helpless, suffering human being. But from the first century the Glory of God in Christ has poured through Paul’s writings until the fruit that has resulted passes human ability to measure.

In your estimation, how many people of the world have been saved, strengthened, or otherwise affected for good through the letters of the Apostle Paul?

We have mentioned the trouble, afflictions, perplexity, persecution, being struck down. These are the sufferings of Christ.

In the sixth chapter of the Book of Romans we are commanded to count ourselves as crucified with the Lord Jesus and risen with Him. Here, in the fourth chapter of II Corinthians, we see the crucifixion and resurrection worked out in daily life. Every one who suffers with Christ reigns with Christ. The power by which Christ rules is that of eternal, indestructible, resurrection life, the life that proceeds only from crucifixion with Christ.

The power of resurrection life insured that Paul was not bound, was not crushed, was not in despair, was not at a loss, was not forsaken, was not destroyed.

14. What was Paul carrying around in his mortal body?

The death of the Lord Jesus.

15. For what purpose was Paul bearing about the death of Jesus in his mortal body?

So the resurrection life of Jesus might be revealed in his mortal body.

When we are young in the Lord our union with Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection delivers us from the authority of the Law of Moses and from the guilt and force of sin. When we are older in the Lord the same union enables us to bring resurrection life to other people. Finally, we perceive as the goal of our life the removal of all self-centeredness and the gaining of the perfect knowledge of Christ, of the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings.

16. What is true of Christ’s servants who are living in and by His eternal life?

They constantly are delivered to death for Jesus’ sake.

17. Why does Christ continually deliver over His servants to trouble, to afflictions, to perplexity, to persecution, to being struck down?

Because such suffering provides the opportunity for the eternal, indestructible, resurrection life of Jesus to raise them up. The servants of the Lord thus are driven to live by the power of Christ’s resurrection rather than by their own energy and wisdom.

When we become powerless to act, the Lord must assume control if something is to be done. We always have the sentence of death in ourselves such that we do not trust our own strength or wisdom but in trust God who raises the dead.

18. What is working continually in the faithful minister of the Gospel?

The death of trouble, afflictions, perplexity, persecution, being struck down.

19. What is working continually in those who are partaking of the ministry of the faithful minister?

The indestructible resurrection life of Christ; Christ’s power that raises up the minister and is conveyed to the hearers.

20. What faith does the Apostle have?

The spirit of faith that causes him to speak the Word of God.

21. Read Psalms 116:10.

I believed, therefore have I spoken: I was greatly afflicted: (Psalms 116:10).

22. What did Paul know?

God who raised the Lord Jesus will raise Paul also with Jesus and will present him with the saints in Corinth before His holy Presence.

23. Why were the things that were happening taking place, especially the tribulations that were coming upon Paul?

They were taking place for the spiritual benefit of the believers in Corinth.

The grace of God that was raising up Paul was spreading out to many people. Therefore many people would be praying for Paul and giving thanks for his deliverance, bringing an abundance of glory to God.

24. Why did Paul not faint or lose heart because of his troubles?

Because he understood that God was bringing forth the Glory of Christ through Paul’s tribulations.

25. What was happening to Paul’s natural personality, his flesh and blood self?

It was decaying, perishing.

26. What was happening to Paul’s inner, born-again man?

It was being renewed day by day.

27. What was Paul’s momentary, light tribulation creating?

An eternal weight of glory so marvelous as to be beyond all comparison.

Notice that it is the tribulation that produces the glory.

Tribulation, when we permit it to bring forth the Life of Jesus in us, produces a weight of glory. The weight of glory is the "house which is from heaven" of the next chapter. The house from Heaven is the robe of righteousness and glory that will clothe our resurrected body when the Lord appears from Heaven. The robe of righteousness consists of the "things done in his body," of II Corinthians 5:10.

One of the basic principles of the Kingdom of God is that we reap what we sow.

Each of us was brought forth in iniquity and conceived in sin (Psalms 51:5). We began life as a self-centered, lawless individual.

The great question of life is, "O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?" (Romans 7:24).

It is the Lord’s will that we be fashioned in the moral image of the Lord Jesus Christ. To this end we have been predestined.

For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be changed into the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers (Romans 8:29).

We were born with a blemished personality. The program of redemption is designed to remove the blemishes and present us before the Father in the image of Christ.

Let us take, for an example, the personality blemish we term impatience. In the Kingdom of God, patience is a very important attribute of personality. God is patient. The Lord Jesus is a patient Person. Satan, and those who follow him, are impatient, demanding and seizing by force whatever they desire.

God may have put strong desires and ambitions in us. As we seek to obtain and fulfill our desires many hindrances arise. At this point we have a choice. We can force our way through to the objective, breaking the laws of God in the meantime; or we can go to the Lord in prayer, seeking His help and comfort, and the patience of Christ, until the Lord brings to pass what we desire.

We are perplexed and struck down by circumstances but the eternal Life of the Lord Jesus raises us up. We keep on pressing forward in the Lord, and we keep on being frustrated in terms of our hopes and desires.

Our original "robe," our adamic nature with its impatience, is torn down and passes away. At some point, God rewards us by giving us the Divine patience of Christ. It is not a shaping of our adamic soul but the substitution of Divine patience for our natural ability or inability to be patient.

The attributes of personality we desire are all in Christ. God is ready to add these to us as soon as we prove worthy of them. We prove worthy of them by doing what God has commanded to the best of our ability.

God rewards us for striving to be patient by giving us of Christ’s patience. Divine patience is a reward that is given to us because we have learned to lean on the Lord, obeying Him in all matters as we are able. In fact, the ability to lean on the Lord is a gift from Heaven which we are to pray for.

The robe of righteousness from Heaven is a change in personality, which may be given to us now in part, and shall be given to us in its fullness when the Lord returns. The ability to be righteous, holy, and obedient to God is our reward for keeping the Lord’s commandments to the best of our ability. It is a "house from heaven."

When we are robed in righteousness, holiness, and obedience to God, all the glory and blessing of the Kingdom of God will become ours because we are righteous, holy, and obedient. The robe of righteousness finally includes the glorified body, the house from Heaven.

In this life we must learn to fear, love, and trust the Lord. We must acquire the habit of leaning on Him for every detail of thought, word, and action. We must obey Him in all matters. We shall be tested!—tested!—tested!

If we are willing and obedient to learn the lessons life in the world is designed to teach, God will transform our personality, removing our old adamic robe and giving us a new robe of righteousness—in part now, and in fullness at the coming of the Lord.

Notice the changing of robes, in the following passage:

And he shewed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him. And the Lord said unto Satan, The Lord rebuke thee, O Satan; even the Lord that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire? Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and stood before the angel. And he answered and spake unto those that stood before him, saying, Take away the filthy garments from him. And unto him he said, Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment. And I said, Let them set a fair mitre upon his head. So they set a fair mitre upon his head, and clothed him with garments. And the angel of the Lord stood by. And the angel of the Lord protested unto Joshua, saying, thus saith the Lord of hosts; If thou wilt walk in my ways, and if thou wilt keep my charge, then thou shalt also judge my house, and shalt also keep my courts, and I will give thee places to walk among these that stand by. Hear now, O Joshua the high priest, thou, and thy fellows that sit before thee: for they are men wondered at: for, behold, I will bring forth my servant the Branch (Zechariah 3:1-8).

It was not the guilt of Joshua that passed from him, it was the filthy garments of iniquity. This passage is not speaking of the forgiveness of sins but of that which is possible only under the new covenant—the actual removal of the sin itself.

The Lord did not require of Joshua that he remove his iniquity by himself, because only God can do that. Rather, Joshua was required only to walk in the Lord’s ways and to keep His charge.

Then the "Branch" is mentioned. The Branch is the Lord Jesus Christ. The Branch is emphasized because the "change of raiment" speaks of the righteous Nature of Christ, which God brings forth in us. The "fair mitre" [turban] portrays the mind of Christ which is given to the faithful saint.

The ministries of the Body of Christ travail until Christ is formed in the members of the Body. It is not Christ-likeness that is formed in us, as though our adamic soul could be changed into the image of God. Rather, it is the substitution of the Divine Nature and Substance of Christ for our adamic nature. We are being converted, not only in image but in actual substance and spirit.

To have a personality like that of Christ is God’s gift to us, a gift given on the basis of our making the choices God requires of us.

I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness (Romans 6:19).

Adam cannot imitate Christ. Adam must die and the very Substance and Life of Christ must take his place. Only then can the individual please God, becoming the brother of the Lord.

God is pleased when He sees His Son in us. The Lamb is pleased when He beholds the Bride who has been formed from His own body and blood.

Our light affliction is the tool that God uses to bring our adamic nature down to futility and death in order that the Life of Christ may arise. The result of Divine Life coming forth from Adam’s death is the robe of a new, righteous personality which is being fashioned before the Throne of God in Heaven and which will be given to us as a reward at the coming of the Lord from Heaven.

28. What was Paul looking at and considering?

The invisible, eternal glory of the Kingdom of God.

29. Why did Paul keep his attention on the invisible things of the Kingdom of God rather than on the visible things of the world?

Because the things of the world are temporary while the things of God’s Kingdom are eternal, therefore of infinitely greater value.

Chapter Five

1. What is our "earthly house of this tabernacle"?

Our physical body.

2. Why do we not worry about the destruction of our physical body?

Because we have "a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens."

Our "house not made with hands" is the "far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory" of the preceding chapter. It is the abiding place (mansion) of which Jesus spoke (John 14:2).

Our momentary, light tribulation is achieving for us a solid, eternal glory. This solid glory is our spiritual house that is before the Throne of God in Heaven.

The same thought is stated in I Corinthians 15:44:

It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.

The weight of glory is our spiritual body, our body of eternal life, our crown of righteousness and life.

A farmer sows seed. The disciple sows his physical body. The farmer reaps wheat. The disciple reaps a spiritual body of righteousness, a robe of eternal life.

Our spiritual body, our house from Heaven, is being formed now. The disciple allows God to bring him down into difficult, painful places. The believer is perplexed, cast down, weak, denied what he or she is longing for, compelled to do things that are disagreeable, sometimes persecuted so severely as to result in his or her physical death.

There is a portion of eternal resurrection life assigned to each difficulty, each pain, each perplexity, each oppression, each weakness. This eternal life raises and strengthens the inner man of the saint. At the same time it creates before the Throne of God a spiritual body adapted to our strengthened inner man. The development of our inner nature is linked to the new body in Heaven—one complements the other.

Eternal, indestructible resurrection righteousness and life are having their rise in two places simultaneously: (1) in the inner man of the saint on earth; (2) in a body fashioned from resurrection life that will clothe strengthened inner man of the saint at the coming of the Lord from Heaven.

Here is the righteousness and justice of God. We are reaping exactly what we are sowing on the earth. If we are sowing to our flesh, no house of life is being constructed for us in the Presence of the Father. If we are sowing to the Holy Spirit, a house of eternal life is being constructed for us in Heaven.

We shall be clothed with our own righteous works. If we allow God to bring us into the fellowship of the sufferings of Christ in the present world, then we will come to know the power of His resurrection in the ages to come. If we choose instead to walk in the lusts of our body and soul we will reap corruption. We will be a naked spirit in the Day of the Lord, perhaps saved, perhaps lost to the Presence and purposes of God for eternity.

3. What was Paul’s desire?

To be clothed with his house from Heaven.

Paul expresses the same longing in his letter to the saints in Rome:

And not only they [the material creation], but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body (Romans 8:23).

4. What guarantee does the saint have who serves the Lord Jesus?

He shall not be found naked in the Day of the Lord (Revelation 19:8).

5. What does the saint on earth greatly desire?

That his flesh and blood, his mortal body, may be swallowed up by his body from Heaven—the body fashioned from incorruptible, indestructible, resurrection life.

6. What does Paul mean when he says, "not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon"?

Paul was not longing that he would be "unclothed," that is, lose his physical body. Rather, he was desiring earnestly that his flesh and blood body would be clothed with his body of eternal life from Heaven.

This is an important concept. When we are new converts our goal is to go to Heaven when we die so we may enjoy the beauty and wonder of the spirit paradise.

As we mature in the Lord we begin to understand that God’s purposes are in the earth rather than in Heaven. God’s Kingdom is coming to the earth. Our longing changes from desiring to rest in the spirit Paradise to that of being clothed with the indestructible power of resurrection life. We want to overcome every enemy of Christ in the earth and establish His righteous rule on the earth.

The earth and its peoples are the inheritance of the Lord Jesus Christ. Because they are Christ’s inheritance they also are the inheritance of the overcomer. We cannot possess our inheritance at the present time because we are dwelling in a sin-filled, corruptible, weak physical body. When we are clothed with our body of righteousness and life we will be able to possess the earth and its peoples as God has ordained.

7. Why is God forming Christ in our inner man?

So we may be clothed with a body suited to our calling as sons of God. God cannot invest us with a body like that of the Lord Jesus Christ when our inner man is disobedient, sinful, fearful, unbelieving, impatient, self-centered, prone to worshiping idols.

There are halfhearted, nominal Christians who believe that God intends to take them to Heaven in a "rapture" so they will not be harmed by tribulation. Then He will invest them (they imagine) with authority and power as His kings and priests that they may govern the nations of the earth.

They have never turned away from the world, taken up their cross, and followed the Lord Jesus in stern obedience to God. Their pastors and teachers have flattered and sought favor with them in order to gain their material support.

Such believers are ignorant of spiritual realities, of the laws of cause and effect that are unchanging. It is only as we suffer that we reign with Christ. It is tribulation that brings us down to death, providing the opportunity for resurrection life to strengthen our inner man and also fashion our body of life before the Throne of God in Heaven.

If God were to clothe a halfhearted Christian with a body of eternal power while that person is yet unformed by the rigorous trials of the wholly dedicated disciple, the result would be an unbalanced creature who would be a danger to himself and to those about him.

Only the victorious saints will take the Kingdom at the first resurrection (Revelation 20:6).

8. What has God given us while we yet are in a physical body?

A foretaste ("earnest; pledge") of the Holy Spirit as the guarantee that we belong to God and will not be found spiritually naked in the Day of the Lord.

9. What was Paul’s confidence?

Paul realized that although he was temporarily separated from the Lord because of his flesh and blood existence he possessed a house of eternal life, a weight of exceedingly great glory, before the Throne of God in Heaven.

10. How does the Christian walk?

By faith. The righteous live by faith.

Our life is spent beholding what is invisible. The Gospel of Christ is a vision of the future. We are saved by hope—the hope of the glory to come with the return of our Lord from Heaven. We are able to endure all things because we are seeing Him who is invisible. One day we will be eternally alive and our hoped-for city will exist in solid reality on the earth.

11. What thought gives the saint pleasure?

That of being absent from his flesh and blood existence and at home with the Lord Jesus.

12. What is our ambition, and toward what end do we labor?

That whether we are at home with the Lord or absent from the Lord we may be pleasing to Him.

13. What will happen to every person born on the earth?

Each of us will be revealed before the Judgment Seat of Christ.

The King James translation reads: "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ."

Today we speak of people appearing in court, and so we transfer that thought to II Corinthians 5:10. This is somewhat misleading.

The concept here is that we will be revealed, made manifest, at the Judgment Seat of Christ.

When an individual appears in court today he may or may not be made manifest. He may be successful in hiding what he is and what he has done. He is not necessarily revealed or made manifest.

The translation should read: We all must be made manifest before the Judgment Seat of Christ. This is what will happen.

Notice carefully what is to take place at the Judgment Seat of Christ.

For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad (II Corinthians 5:10).

We shall receive the things we have done while in our mortal body, whether they were good things or evil things.

The directness of the reward is surprising. We tend to think of the verse as meaning that we will be rewarded according to our behavior. This may be the meaning. But what it states is more direct. The statement is, we shall receive what we have done; not we shall be rewarded according to what we have done, but we shall receive the things we have done.

If we were to interpret this in its exact form we would say that if we have practiced love we will receive love itself; not a reward for love but love itself. If we have practiced hate we will receive hate itself.

This well may be the case. It may in fact be true that we will receive a change in our personality according to what we have done, a corresponding change in our appearance and body, and a corresponding destiny.

Some of the translators have added the thought that we shall receive a reward appropriate to our behavior and not the behavior itself. It is possible that this is what Paul meant. However, it usually is wise to follow the Scriptures as closely as possible. Things may be different in the Day of the Lord from what would be the case today.

We may observe that Satan practiced rebellion. As part of Satan’s judgment, God has given him a spirit of rebellion from which he cannot escape. Satan no longer is capable of obedience. Therefore his appearance is unimaginably horrible and his destiny frightful beyond words. "He who is filthy, let him remain filthy" (Revelation 22:11).

If such is the meaning of II Corinthians 5:10, the believer who keeps on striving for righteousness will be given a spirit of righteousness, a body of eternal righteousness and life, and a glorious future of nearness to God.

The believer who battles lust, denying himself and carrying his cross, will be given a spirit of holiness, a body of eternal righteousness and life, and an inheritance of people to love.

The believer who is neglectful and lazy, will be given a spirit of sluggishness, a weak, lazy body, and a destiny in outer darkness.

It is believed commonly that if a person makes a profession of faith in Christ, receiving Him as the sacrifice for sins and believing that He rose from the dead, there is little else of significance to do as far as redemption is concerned, other than to wait for His appearing. Then, when the believer is presented before the Judgment Seat of Christ, he is to affirm his belief in the atoning death and victorious resurrection of the Lord. On this basis he will be ushered into glorious rewards of blessings, and rulership over the nations.

This is the understanding of the new covenant held by the majority of Christian believers of our day.

It is incorrect.

One does not need to be a Greek scholar to perceive that this is not what II Corinthians 5:10 teaches.

When the Christian appears before the Judgment Seat of Christ he will be revealed for what he truly is. God will not "see him through Christ."

If he has laid hold on the grace of God so that the sufferings of Christ and the power of the resurrection are abounding in him, Divine life, light and glory will flow from him at his unveiling before Christ.

If his Christian discipleship has been occupied with the satisfying of his flesh, the things of the present world, then the poverty of his threadbare soul will be uncovered before Christ. He will be ashamed, naked, found wanting.

There is no question here of the correctness of his theology concerning the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus. The question concerns the things he has done while in the flesh and the corresponding condition of his inner spiritual nature.

The first part of the fifth chapter of Second Corinthians has to do with reaping what we have sown.

If the believer, when he is made manifest before the Judgment Seat of Christ, has pleased God by his decisions and actions, he will be clothed inwardly with the Spirit of righteousness and outwardly with the body of indestructible life, also having righteous tendencies.

If the believer has occupied himself with the things of the world, has indulged in sin, has followed his personal ambitions rather than taken up his cross and followed the Master, then his inner corruption, self-centeredness, and love of the things of Satan will be revealed before the Judgment Seat of Christ. The believer will be found to be without spiritual clothing.

Is it your understanding that Christ will clothe an immature, halfhearted "believer" with an all-powerful body, assigning him to a post of rulership over the nations of the earth, on the basis of his statement of faith in the Person of Christ?

If he is halfhearted, not seeking the Lord with all his might, does he really believe?

Will the careless Christian be saved at all?

Only God knows the outcome of each individual.

The teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ are stern, and we must take heed to them because they do apply to us.

Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents. For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth (Matthew 25:28-30).

Notice that in the Day of the Lord, Christ does not raise the question of one’s belief. The issue is, rather, what the believer has done with the things of the Kingdom of God that have been given to him.

Those who believe and teach that our inheritance in the Kingdom of God depends on our profession of belief rather than on our behavior will stand one day before the Lord with their followers. They then will give an accounting of their manner of life in the world, before the eyes of the Judge of all the earth.

Having read in the Gospel accounts the teachings of Christ, how will they answer?

14. What will each saint receive at the Judgment Seat of Christ?

He will receive the things done in his body, whether good or bad.

This is a remarkable passage—remarkable in its clarity and its meaning.

Here is the righteousness and justice of almighty God.

Every individual shall reap what he has sown.

Is God not merciful?

Yes, He is indeed. His mercy is shown to us in the world by calling us to His Son, washing away our sins, and filling us with His Holy Spirit. God shows unbounded mercy to every person on the earth. Christ on Calvary is God’s mercy for all to behold.

The Judgment Seat of Christ is a demonstration of spiritual laws of cause and effect, of reaping and sowing. We shall reap what we have sown. Spiritual laws are as powerful as the laws that govern the physical universe.

It would not be the mercy of God for a careless, double-minded "believer" to be showered with spiritual blessing in the Day of Christ. It would be a transgression of fundamental spiritual law, a setting aside of the Word of God.

For every work of evil done in our flesh we shall receive a corresponding loss of glory in the Kingdom of Christ, unless we have repented thoroughly, confessing our sin, and through Christ’s Presence have gained victory over it.

Can our loss mount until our salvation is placed in jeopardy?

Every believer is judged by the Lord, and only the Lord will decide. Christ stated, "Cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness." The question raised here is one of diligence in the use of God’s grace.

If our teaching at this point should frighten the reader, let us call to mind two facts. First, it is well for us to be warned. There is not enough fear of God in the land today. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. We have become overfamiliar with the things of Christ and are paying the price in the loss of His Presence and glory.

Our overconfidence is not based on spiritual realities, on the true nature of the coming Day of Christ.

Second, our fear of the Lord must not paralyze us. The Lord is full of mercy, full of lovingkindness. He always is waiting to receive and assist the humble seeker, the person who trembles at the Word of the Lord.

Every one of us is a sinner saved by grace. There is only one Conqueror, only one Overcomer. His name is Christ. We overcome because He overcomes within us. His life and glory are sufficient for every individual.

The right kind of fear of the Lord will lead us to Christ for grace to help us in living the Christian discipleship so we will not be ashamed before Him at His appearing. He will help us if we will invite Him into every aspect of our life.

The proud among us will have their head-knowledge of Christ shaken severely in the coming days.

The preceding paragraphs can hardly be overemphasized. There is at the present time an emphasis on the concept that, while out of love we should attempt to please Christ, we never can be severely punished by the Lord or lose our redemption altogether no matter what we do.

This doctrine is totally unscriptural and totally destructive of the spiritual life, being void of the fear of God. It has destroyed the moral light of the Christian churches, and as a result the moral character of the nations that look to the churches for moral guidance.

The Scriptures teach clearly, both Old Testament and New Testament, the terrible severity of God. The recent stress on the goodness of God, and the corresponding ignoring of the frightful warnings of the Scriptures by "ministers" who are afraid of public opinion, has rendered the churches incompetent in Kingdom warfare—and this at a time when the forces of darkness are arising and filling the earth with lust and violence.

15. What did Paul know?

The terror of the Lord.

It is good and wholesome for the Christian believer to have some concept of the dreadfulness that attends the Father of spirits and His beloved Son, Christ. Apart from such an awareness of spiritual authority and power we become much too careless and overconfident concerning the things of Christ.

We are to have no fear of Satan. His authority and power were stripped from him on the cross of Calvary. We are to fear Christ. Those who are teaching that we are not to fear God and Christ are ignorant of the Word of God and also of the realities that are to be disclosed shortly.

Whoever does not fear God has never seen Him or known Him. Whoever does not fear Christ has never seen Him or known Him.

The Christian who has been taught only of God’s love may be quite unprepared when God brings him into a deeper, more rigorous area of discipleship. He may have been pampered to the extent that he cannot understand the harshness of his changed environment. He may not be willing to accept the fact that his loving heavenly Father would permit him to encounter so much pain.

The sight of the Lord Jesus Christ on the cross helps us understand both the mercy and the judgment of God Almighty. If we will allow the rigors of the cross to enter our spirit we will not be thrown off balance when we are given the opportunity to suffer for His name.

The believer who fears God and Christ with a wholesome fear and who loves God and Christ with all his heart and strength has a true perception of the Person of God. It is likely that he or she will make a success of the walk of faith.

16. What did Paul’s knowledge of the terror of the Lord cause him to do?

To persuade people concerning the fact that one day each of us will stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ and be made manifest as to what we have done in life.

We cannot emphasize too strongly that it is our actions rather than our intentions that are judged.

I the Lord search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings. (Jeremiah 17:10)

God waits until our behavior has produced results. Then He judges the results ("the fruit of his doings"). We like to think that God sees us as having a good heart even though we do not always do good things. However, God does not judge our intentions as much as He judges what we actually do.

There is a crippling sense of inevitably that affects mankind, a sense that no matter what we do everything somehow will come out all right. Nothing could be further from the truth. The Scriptures proclaim that which is literally true. Salvation is a window of opportunity. If we practice what is good, the rewards will be precisely as the Word has stated. If we practice what is evil, the rewards will be precisely as the Word has stated.

The greatest surprise we shall experience during the Day of the Lord is that there will be no surprise. Everything will be exactly as the Word has stated. The rewards to the victorious saints will be fantastic beyond their dreams. The punishments of the lazy and wicked will be more painful than we can imagine.

Let us believe every Word of God, for all shall come to pass literally, just as the Scriptures declare.

17. Where had Paul already been made manifest?

In the sight of God.

18. Where did Paul hope that he had been made manifest?

In the consciences of the saints in Corinth.

19. What was Paul attempting to give the saints in Corinth?

A reason to be proud of him.

20. Why did Paul wish to give them a reason to be proud of him?

So that the believers in Corinth would be able to give an answer to people who came among them and boasted of appearances rather than what truly was in the heart.

Paul expresses the same thought in both First and Second Corinthians. Paul had founded the church in Corinth. As soon as he left there came in other teachers who were seeking their own gain, not Christ’s gain. Whereas Paul deliberately made himself to be nothing of importance and spoke plainly and simply, these other teachers exalted themselves and pretended to be important and capable.

These self-seeking teachers attempted to make the Corinthian Christians believe that Paul was not an apostle and was not to be followed or heeded. Paul refers to this problem several times and attempts to reassure the saints in Corinth that he actually is an apostle of Christ and has presented to them the true way of the Lord.

There always have been false, self-seeking teachers and leaders in the churches of Christ, just as there are today. How many ministers of today truly love the Lord Jesus?

How many are active in the churches because of the personal gain they are deriving?

The coming tribulation will answer this question.

21. What reason does Paul give for his behavior while he was at Corinth, for his times of "madness" and also of sober-mindedness?

Everything he does is for their sakes.

Paul was a Hebrew of extraordinary training and ability, and no doubt of personal family wealth. He was not impressed by the accomplishments of the pagan Greeks (Gentile dogs to him). Rather, he suffered all things and behaved as he did for their edification in Christ.

It is difficult for a proud man to be spurned by those whom he is endeavoring to help, especially when he has made himself foolish and of no account for their sakes. It is part of the sufferings of Christ.

22. What power was controlling and motivating Paul?

The love of Christ.

23. What conclusion had Paul reached?

If Christ died for every person, then every person has died. Therefore every person should no longer live for himself or herself but should live for Christ who died on his behalf and rose again on his behalf.

24. What viewpoint did this conclusion give to Paul?

He no longer recognized or regarded any person from a human standpoint.

25. What about the Lord Jesus Christ?

Even though Paul had gained some understanding of Christ on a human level he no longer was perceiving and learning of Christ in human terms, according to flesh and blood relationships.

26. What is true of every person who is abiding in the resurrected Lord Jesus Christ?

A new creation has been brought forth in his personality. The new creation is the eternal union of Christ and the individual. The new creation is the Kingdom of God.

27. What about the flesh and blood personality of the believer, his "old man," his first personality—that which was born of his parents on earth?

All the "old things" have passed away, in the sight of God.

28. What is true now?

All of the elements of the believer’s personality have become new and all are of God.

God sees the believer’s personality as new, and we also shall see a new personality in ourselves if we keep seeking the Lord and following Him.

It is important to notice here that God does not make all new things, He makes all things new. There is a difference.

God is not doing away with us or with mankind and the world. Rather, He is bringing Christ into us now, and in the future He will bring Christ into saved mankind throughout the world. God is transforming the creation by filling it with Christ. All who believe and receive will be saved and transformed. All who refuse and rebel will be destroyed. The kingdoms of this world shall become the Kingdom of Christ. The Glory of God shall cover the earth as the waters cover the sea.

It is absolutely true that the old world, including the present earth and the heaven, will pass away. But then there will brought into existence a new heaven (sky) and a new earth. The point is, the Lord is not making all different things, but the things we are accustomed to are being made new in Christ. This means all that is to be saved is being brought down to death and then raised again in Christ.

29. What is true of every aspect of our born-again personality when God’s work is completed in us?

"All things are of God."

30. What has God done through Christ?

God has reconciled us to Himself.

Notice that God has not reconciled Himself to us, He has reconciled us to Himself. God does not change. It is we who are required to change. It always is a mistake to change the Word of God so that people are attracted. We are to be reconciled to God, not God to us.

31. What did the Lord Jesus give to Paul?

The ministry of reconciliation.

32. How can this sinful, rebellious world be reconciled to the holy Father?

God came in Christ and through His own sacrificial offering, and the giving of the Holy Spirit, has enabled those who believe to be reconciled to Himself.

33. What has God done about our sins and rebellion?

He has forgiven them through Christ.

34. What did God commit to Paul?

The word of reconciliation.

35. What were Paul and Timothy?

Ambassadors sent by Christ to the people of Corinth.

36. Who was entreating the Corinthians through Paul?

God.

37. In whose name, in whose stead, was Paul beseeching the Corinthians to be reconciled to God?

The Lord Jesus Christ.

38. What did the holy, righteous, obedient Christ become on our behalf?

Sin.

The concept of Christ becoming sin, becoming the bronze serpent, is unimaginable. It accounts for His awful cry in Gethsemane. No other person will ever be able to experience or comprehend such an ordeal. We can do no less than be thankful and serve Him by the grace He imparts to us.

39. What was accomplished by Christ’s being made sin for us?

In Him we have the opportunity to become the righteousness of God. When we abide in Christ, God sees us as possessing the righteousness that exists only in the Divine Godhead.

Chapter Six

1. With whom was Paul working?

With God.

Here is the correct relationship. We are not to be working for God. God is not working for us. God is working in terms of His own counsel and purposes, and He brings us into that labor as part of His joy, His travail, His sufferings, His Life, His power, His wisdom.

We are workers together with Him.

2. Concerning what danger did Paul exhort the believers in Corinth?

The danger of receiving the grace of God in vain.

How can believers in Christ receive the grace of God "in vain"?

We can read in First and Second Corinthians of the many problems the believers in Corinth were having. There was trouble with arrogance, with personal loyalties, with drunkenness at the Lord’s Table, with unbecoming conduct on the part of women, with confusion in the use of spiritual gifts, with eating with unbelievers in the temples of idols, with being swayed by self-seeking teachers, with incest.

Further on in Chapter Six we notice that Paul was concerned about holiness, about their fellowshiping with unbelievers.

Any of these problems can take a believer off the track so he makes shipwreck of the life of faith in Christ. He may make a fine start, believing on Christ and being born again. He then may become arrogant or consumed with sectarian pride and loyalty or may abandon himself to food and drink.

What happens then to his spiritual life, to the planting of the Lord within him?

It withers and dies because it was not cared for with diligence. He received the grace of God in vain!

And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. (Matthew 13:6)

The Christian discipleship is a dangerous warfare. We are safe only as long as we keep ourselves in Christ each day by praying, reading the Word, fellowshiping with the saints, and obeying the Spirit of God.

Current Christian theology has been so corrupted, has been removed so far from the truth, that our admonition to prayer, reading the Word and so forth are regarded as desirable practices but not essential to salvation. When we stress them we are accused of "legalism."

The truth is, if we do not give ourselves to the things of Christ we have received the grace of God in vain. Some have complained that we are teaching "works." Indeed we are!—the works that are the daily life of the true saint.

A destructive concept that has confused Christian thinking for centuries is still being preached and well may be one of the major tools of Satan in the years to come. It is that Christ has overcome the enemy and our sole task is to partake of His victory by identifying ourselves with Him.

The deadliness of this idea results from the fact that it is so close to the truth. In fact, it is the truth. The spiritual and moral destruction takes place when the conclusion is drawn that the believer is to make no effort to overcome.

The doctrinal poison that portrays redemption taking place apart from our personal effort can be found in many different forms. "Irresistible grace" and "the perseverance of the saints," which are specialized beliefs held by some sects, are examples of salvation apart from personal effort.

The recent development, the concept that Christ did all the overcoming for us and we now are to rest in Him, is one leg of a paradox. The other leg is that we must "awake to righteousness, and sin not" (I Corinthians 15:34).

The New Testament writings contain numerous exhortations to personal effort. Victorious Christian living depends on our learning how to rest in the victory wrought by Christ, while at the same time running the race with all of our might.

Satan will do everything in his power to discourage the believers from making the daily effort to pray and seek the Lord that is necessary for victorious living. He will even point out the perfect victory of Christ and use that as a reason for our not stirring up the gift that is in us.

We could hardly overemphasize the deadliness of the idea that Christ has done it all and our sole task is to trust that this is so. It is absolutely true that Christ finished the work of redemption on the cross. Our task is to receive that victory by faith, and then to work it out by pressing forward to total victory over the enemy. We press forward by offering our body as a living sacrifice and proving the will of God each day.

We must run the race to win. We must keep the Word of the Lord, praying to Him constantly for help. We must work out our own salvation with fear and trembling. We must overcome as He overcame—always by living, working, and pressing forward in Him.

Our salvation, including our rewards, depends on our diligence in serving the Lord. Any other teaching will lead to passivity, moral chaos, and spiritual death.

For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; (Titus 2:11,12).

If someone would ask, Will God love me and bless me even if I am not faithful in keeping the Word of Christ?, the answer is, no!

Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him (John 14:23).

Is God’s love unconditional? No!

Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not (Matthew 25:11,12).

Are we teaching that we are justified in God’s sight by works? Yes—works in the sense of doing diligently what the New Testament commands us to do.

Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only (James 2:24).

Are we teaching that we actually have to do something in order to escape outer darkness? Yes. And if we do not do what Jesus expects of us, there shall be dire consequences.

And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth (Matthew 25:30).

Will we come into great trouble if we do not do what Jesus commanded? Yes, we will.

And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it. (Matthew 7:26,27)

Are we actually required to exert ourselves in order to please the Lord? Yes, the Lord hates laziness, and the future of the lazy believer is not enviable.

His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed: (Matthew 25:26).

Do we have to bear the fruit of righteousness in our life in order to keep our place in Christ? Yes.

Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit (John 15:2).

Is current Christian doctrine filled with poisonous error? Are God’s people facing a holocaust whose purpose is to purify them from sin?

What is your answer?

But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world (I Corinthians 11:32).

We have come now to the point in history when Christ is ready to prepare His army for the Battle of Armageddon. The purpose of the "Christ did it all" doctrine is to prevent the formation of the Lord’s army.

Satan has no fear of the saints being caught up to Heaven. Satan’s fear is that the saints will be filled with Christ and do God’s will in the earth.

It is only as the saints experience the death of the cross that the Presence of God can come forth and destroy Satan.

Another satanic purpose of the "Christ did it all," and the accompanying overemphasis on the goodness of God, is to keep the believers ignorant of the fiery wrath of God, the burning fire that purifies us as we pass through severe judgments.

Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf. For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely be saved [is saved with difficulty], where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear? (I Peter 4:16-18).

When the Gentile holocaust arrives (and it is coming!), the believers who have remained ignorant of the fiery wrath of Christ, having been taught only the goodness of God, will lose their faith in God. This is what Satan desires. This is what happened to many of the Jews of the holocaust. Perhaps in some cases the rabbis did not stress sufficiently the terrible judgments on sin written in the Torah—the sin of God’s elect.

No teacher of sound mental health enjoys announcing to people the negative aspects of the Scriptures. But the negative outweigh the positive. Divine promises are surrounded by Divine warnings. The true teacher of God faithfully presents the negative and positive in scriptural balance. The hireling stresses the positive, hoping to gain followers. His god is his belly.

3. Read Isaiah 49:8.

Thus saith the Lord, In an acceptable time have I heard thee, and in a day of salvation have I helped thee: and I will preserve thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, to establish the earth, to cause to inherit the desolate heritages; (Isaiah 49:8).

It is interesting to read the forty-ninth chapter of Isaiah and to understand Paul’s thinking at this point. It is in this chapter that the Spirit of Christ declares that salvation at the hand of Christ will not stop with Israel but will include the Gentiles also.

And he said, It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth (Isaiah 49:6).

Being a learned Hebrew, Paul knew this passage well. He understood that the time spoken of by Isaiah had arrived. It was time for the Gentiles, the Corinthians, to come from Satan’s prison and learn of the Lord. Paul, as a servant of Christ, was carrying forward the work of the Servant of the Lord by bringing the light of God to the Gentiles.

Since this glorious redemption, so long awaited by the devout of Israel, had finally arrived, the saints in Corinth were to take heed that they continue to walk in the righteous ways of Christ—the ways that had been taught to them by the Apostle Paul. The acceptable time, the day of salvation, is now.

4. What was Paul careful to do?

To give no offense in any matter. He did not want the flow of Christ’s blessings to the saints to be hindered by any action of his.

5. In what ways did Paul and his assistants who accompanied him show themselves to be God’s servants?

In much endurance.

In tribulations.

In necessities and hardships.

In distresses and calamities.

In beatings.

In imprisonments.

In riots and commotions.

In hard work.

In watchings and sleeplessness.

In fasting and hunger.

In pureness and innocence.

In knowledge.

In patience and longsuffering.

In kindness.

In the Holy Spirit.

In genuine love.

In the Word of truth.

In the power of God.

By the weapons of righteousness on the right hand and the left.

By glory and dishonor.

By evil report and good report.

As deceivers, and yet true.

As unknown and yet well-known.

As dying, and behold, they live.

As beaten, and yet not killed.

As sorrowful, yet always rejoicing.

As poor, yet making many rich.

As holding nothing, and yet possessing all things.

6. How did Paul speak to the saints in Corinth?

With an open mouth and open heart, that is, Paul meant exactly what he said. He did not walk in craftiness or handle the Word of God deceitfully. What Paul heard from Christ he told to them. He did not declare some parts of the Word and hold back other parts in order to use the Corinthians for his own purposes.

All of us who serve Christ must learn to tell people the truth in love. If we hold back part of the Word in order to please people we will have to answer for our deceitfulness before the Judgment Seat of Christ.

7. What was Paul’s attitude toward the Corinthians?

His heart was open toward them with affection.

He informed them that there was no lack of openness in his love toward them. If there was any restraint of affection, any holding back of love and trust, it was on their part, not on his. He proclaimed Christ openly to them with affection, and any limitations on how much of Christ they received were placed by themselves.

8. What did Paul urge them to do, as his children?

To open their hearts to him just as he had opened his heart to them.

9. What are the saints not to do?

They are not to join themselves to unbelievers. They are not to enter partnerships, into alliances, into covenants with people in whom the Spirit of Christ is not dwelling.

While we are in the world a certain amount of relationship with unsaved people is unavoidable. However, marriage, business partnerships, and other prolonged, intimate involvements with people of the world are not suitable for the saint. Sooner or later there will be trouble, because the Christian is serving the Lord Jesus Christ while the unbeliever is not ruled by the Spirit of God but by Satan.

10. What is true of righteousness and wickedness?

They cannot form a partnership.

11. What is true of light and darkness?

They cannot have fellowship.

12. What is true of Christ and Belial (the devil)?

They cannot dwell together in harmony.

13. What is true of a believer and an unbeliever?

They have little in common.

14. What is true of the Temple of God and idols?

The Temple of God cannot be in agreement with or accept an idol.

15. What is a saint?

The Temple of the God.

16. Read Exodus 29:45, Leviticus 26:12.

And I will dwell among the children of Israel, and will be their God (Exodus 29:45).

And I will walk among you, and will be your God, and ye shall be my people (Leviticus 26:12).

17. What has God stated concerning His saints?

"I will dwell in them and walk in them."

18. How are the saints unique among mankind?

The Lord is our God and we are His people, in a special way.

19. Since we are a special people to the Lord, what are we to do therefore?

We are to come out of the midst of the unbelievers, regarding our behavior, close alliances, and fellowshiping. We are to be separated as holy to the Lord. We are not to touch what is unclean.

The unclean works of the flesh that we are not to touch are adultery, fornication, all other forms of lust, filthy talk, the love of money and material possessions, all expressions of occult force or wisdom, all forms of rage, murder, hatred, sectarian pride, envy, jealousy, spite, excesses of food and drink, malice. In short, we are to flee from most of the practices of unbelievers.

20. What will become true when we turn away from the unclean works of the flesh?

The Lord Almighty will receive us, bidding us welcome. He will become our Father and we will become His sons and daughters.

Second Corinthians 6:17,18 is of very great importance to our understanding of the Divine redemption. The common Christian doctrine states that it is sufficient for the inquirer to make a profession of Christ, according to Romans 10:9,10; or to take the "four steps of salvation." The assumption is that "grace" covers every other aspect of our reconciliation to God.

Now we find that the profession of theological truth is only the beginning of our participation in the work of redemption. We must come out of the world if we hope to be received by the Father.

Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you. And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty (II Corinthians 6:17,18).

God will not receive us solely on the basis of a profession of belief in Christ. In order to be received of God, to claim God as our Father, we must come out from the world and refuse to participate in the works of the flesh. If we do not take these steps, God will not receive us no matter how much we call Jesus Lord.

Our salvation depends on our making this effort.

We can understand from this point alone how far from the truth current teaching and preaching is. It is time for a reformation of Christian thinking.

We cannot depart from God’s Word and then truly prosper. No matter how much we preach Christ, if the listeners do not cooperate with the Holy Spirit in the work of sanctification they will not grow. If they do not grow in Christ, in holiness, taking up their cross and following Jesus, they will remain spiritual babies. They will continue to be of no use in setting up the Kingdom of God.

Chapter Seven

1. What "promises" do we have?

That God will dwell in us and walk in us and be our Father.

2. What should we do because we have these promises?

We should cleanse ourselves from every defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

The Greek word translated fear, in II Corinthians 7:1, is FOB-owe. It is the same word used in Luke 12:5, where it appears as a verb: "But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him."

Again, we find the concept of the fear of the Lord, in Isaiah 8:13:

Sanctify the Lord of hosts himself; and let him be your fear, and let him be your dread.

The context of Isaiah 8:13 reveals that the words "fear" and "dread" do not refer to reverence and awe but to the dreadful fear of destruction.

The early apostles preached the message of salvation against the backdrop of the coming Day of Wrath. The primary concept of salvation is that of being spared in the Day of Judgment. The Book of Revelation gives us some small idea of the end of sinners. The maximum penalty is eternal separation from our Creator in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur. This indeed is a fearful fate!

The insistence of modern translators on rendering the Greek word for fear as reverence is difficult to understand. We think it reflects the influence of humanism on the Gospel of the Kingdom. The love of God has been preached until people have a distorted understanding of God and His Christ.

This distortion is not based on spiritual reality. In the Day of the Lord the present generation will be in jeopardy because of our dangerous overfamiliarity with the things of Christ. We are not working out our own salvation with fear and trembling!

The fear of God has been taken away from us. What will we do in the Day of Wrath?

How will we stand before Him whose eyes are a flame of fire?

Will we bring Him down to our level?

Do we expect Him to change His Person or His Word because we are mistaken?

Paul knew the "terror," the FOB-on, of the Lord.

"It is a fearful [fob-er-ON] thing to fall into the hands of God" (Hebrews 10:31). The context of this verse concerns God’s chosen people and their obedience to His holy laws. The term "fearful" hardly means full of reverence and awe.

There may be many people and institutions that we reverence but we do not necessarily fear them!

When we are brought into the Presence of God and Christ we fear and tremble. This will continue to be true until we, having put away all uncleanness, all rebellion from our life, have been made perfect in love. Then all fear FOB-os will have been cast out. Then we will have boldness in the day of judgment.

There is no fear [FOB-os] in love; but perfect love casteth out fear [FOB-os]: because fear [FOB-os] hath torment. He that feareth (fob-OU-men-os) is not made perfect in love (I John 4:18).

Would we say there is no reverence in love?

Would we say love casts out reverence because reverence has torment?

He that has reverence toward God has not been made perfect in love?

The same translators who adhere to the word reverence, in II Corinthians 7:1, use the terms dread, fear, and terror when translating I John 4:18.

We can see no sound lexical or spiritual reason for varying the rendering of the same term in this manner. We can see harm proceeding from the current unwillingness to face the spiritual reality that God is to be feared.

Perhaps there is some sort of lexical defense for the substitution of reverence for fear. But Paul’s usage of FOB-owe, as indicated by the context, and also the experience and knowledge of the saints, do not support the substitution. The substitution has had a destructive effect in that today’s believers are able to maintain their pride and arrogance, trusting that God would not expect such fine, worthy people to fear Him. They prefer to reverence Him at their convenience.

We understand from First and Second Corinthians that the church in Corinth was defiled by the works of the flesh. The believers had not been made perfect in love. They were practicing unclean works. They had reason to fear God!

They were to purify themselves "in the fear of God." They were to perfect themselves in holy living.

The consequences they were to fear if they did not cleanse themselves were that of not being welcomed by the Lord Almighty, of not being accepted as His sons and His daughters, of the Lord God not being willing to dwell in them and walk in them.

It is because of these wonderful promises of love, and also because of our realistic and wholesome fear of the Father of spirits, that we are to act diligently in putting to death though the Holy Spirit the uncleanness of our flesh and spirit.

There are believers today who have every determination to serve God and who live a commendable Christian life, and yet refuse the idea that if they do not continue in their serving of the Lord they will be punished.

We have pondered this phenomenon. Either such people are leaving a loophole for themselves in case they desire to sin (which we doubt); or they are deathly afraid that they will not please God and are clinging to the hope that if they fail they will be received anyway; or else they do not fear God.

We should not leave loopholes for ourselves. We should not attempt to change the Scriptures in order to provide security for ourselves. We should fear God—not just reverence God but fear God! If we do not fear God we are ignorant of spiritual reality.

The current emphasis on the goodness of God and the doing away with the severity of God are the same old voice: "Thou shalt not surely die."

If we will do the simple, practical things God requires of us each day, if we will seek to live righteously and delight ourselves in the Lord and His will, then there is no need to fear that the Lord Jesus will not take care of us or not bring us through successfully to the promised salvation.

3. What does Paul ask the saints in Corinth to do?

To receive Paul and his party.

Paul was quite concerned about the mixed feelings that the believers in Corinth had toward him, and his concern is expressed repeatedly.

4. What does Paul maintain?

He has wronged no one, he has corrupted no one, he has defrauded (taken advantage of) no one.

5. Was Paul’s attitude toward the Corinthians one of condemnation?

No, for they were in his heart to the extent that he lived when they lived and died when they died.

In his first letter to them, Paul had rebuked the saints in Corinth in many areas of their behavior. He rebuked them especially concerning the man who was committing incest with his father’s wife.

It appears that in the present letter he is assuring them that he loves them and has confidence in them. He is ready to boast of their progress in Christ. They are a comfort to him. Therefore he is filled with joy, even during the tribulation he is suffering.

6. What did Paul experience when he came into Macedonia on his way toward Corinth?

His flesh had no rest. He was in tribulation in every way. His surroundings were hostile and threatening.

7. Whom does God encourage?

Those who have been brought low.

8. How did God encourage Paul?

By the coming of Titus.

9. What encouragement did Titus bring to Paul?

Titus was able to inform Paul of improving conditions in the church in Corinth. The Corinthians saints were longing for Paul. They were mourning because he had had to rebuke them. They were zealous to please the Lord Jesus according to the word that was coming to them through Paul.

10. Why was Paul rejoicing now?

Because they had repented.

11. How had Paul’s letter of rebuke affected the Corinthian saints?

It had grieved them.

12. How did Paul respond to the fact that his letter had grieved them?

At first he regretted causing them this grief, even though it was just for a short period of time that they grieved.

13. How did Paul feel now?

He was rejoicing, not because they had been made sorrowful but that they had been made sorrowful to the point of repentance.

14. What kind of grief had they experienced?

A godly grief, a grief that caused them to repent so they would not lose any of the Divine blessings that were coming to them through Paul and his fellow workers.

15. What does God-given sorrow result in?

A turning about in our behavior that leads to our salvation, and this is something we never regret.

16. What does the grief of the world result in?

Death.

17. What did their God-given sorrow, produced by the Apostle’s letter to them, result in?

Diligence and earnestness; a resolution of the problems that Paul had mentioned; indignation and displeasure directed against the man who was committing incest and also against those who were eating and drinking disgracefully at the Lord’s Table; fear of the Lord’s anger because of what Paul had said; a longing to please the Lord and the Apostle Paul; a zeal to conform to the righteous ways of the Lord; vengeance directed against all sin and sinners.

18. Did they purify themselves?

Yes.

19. What was Paul’s main purpose in writing to them?

That they would realize before God how much they actually cared for Paul.

When they could look back and see how great an effect his words had had on their conscience and behavior, the believers in Corinth would understand that they truly cared a great deal for Paul and his ministry to them.

20. How had their attitude of repentance affected Paul?

It had encouraged him.

21. What additional encouragement and joy had come to Paul?

The fact that Titus was rejoicing and that his spirit had been refreshed by the believers in Corinth

22. What had Titus found to be true?

The good report Paul had given to him concerning the believers in Corinth.

23. Why had Titus grown in affection towards the Corinthians?

Because he remembered their obedience to Paul’s commands, and that they had received him—Titus—with fear and trembling, bidding him welcome.

24. In what was Paul rejoicing?

In his confidence and encouragement respecting the believers in Corinth.

Chapter Eight

1. What did Paul wish to make known to the saints in Corinth?

How the grace of God had been shown in the assemblies of Macedonia to the north of them, of which Philippi was the leading church.

2. What was true of the churches in Macedonia?

They were experiencing tribulation and they were poor.

3. How did the saints in Macedonia demonstrate the grace of God?

In spite of their afflictions and their poverty they possessed joy in Christ, and from their poverty they gave liberally of their material goods.

We see, therefore, that the current definition of grace as "God’s riches at Christ’s expense" is so woefully incomplete as to be grossly misleading.

In the following passages we find some of the principles of giving in the Kingdom of God. They still apply today.

Let us keep in mind, however, that Paul was speaking of their sharing their material goods with the poor saints in Jerusalem. It appears that the Jewish saints were having economic problems. He was not speaking of giving for the support of physical structures or "Gospel programs."

No doubt the same principles of giving apply today to the building of physical structures, the support of the ministry, and the publication of literature. We Christians are not to grasp the riches of the world but are to share our material blessings as God directs. God is generous with the generous.

It is our point of view, however, that the pleas for money that abound on every hand in the Lord’s churches, have nothing to do with Christ or with the Kingdom of God. The pleas are little more than the devices of people who are building their own kingdoms.

Such pleaders for money promise the believers that if they will give to the program under consideration, God will send back to them more than they gave. They appeal to the love of gain rather than the love of God.

God is not in it. The endless money raising is bringing reproach on the Gospel of Christ.

What God orders he pays for. When God ceases supporting a program we need to go to God for the reason. Perhaps our efforts should be abandoned.

We think these passages concerning giving would lose much of their power if Paul were referring to the constructing of a building or to the needs of himself and his traveling companions.

But the feeding of the hungry, the clothing of the naked, and Christian love demonstrated in sharing are blessed of God.

4. To what extent did the believers in Macedonia give of their material blessings for the poor saints in Jerusalem?

They gave according to their ability and, in fact, beyond their ability without anyone requiring such liberality of them.

5. For what opportunity did the Macedonians beg Paul?

The opportunity to participate in the support of the poorer believers.

6. In what way had the believers in Macedonia gone beyond Paul’s expectations?

In addition to giving of their means they first received all that the Lord Jesus had to say and to give to them spiritually through the Apostle Paul, in accordance with God’s will.

No doubt their healthy spiritual condition gave rise to their liberality and unselfishness in helping their fellow believers in Jerusalem.

When God is moving among His saints they will give liberally.

And they spake unto Moses, saying, The people bring much more than enough for the service of the work, which the Lord commanded to make (Exodus 36:5).

7. What did Paul exhort Titus to do?

To complete the arrangements he had begun with the believers in Corinth concerning the offering for the destitute saints in Jerusalem.

8. In what things were the Corinthians abounding?

In faith, in the ability to speak the Word of God, in the knowledge of Christ, in earnest diligence in the Kingdom of God, and in their love for Paul.

9. In what additional way did Paul desire they abound?

In sharing their material goods with the poorer saints, according to the example set by the churches in Macedonia.

10. In what manner did Paul speak to them concerning sharing with their brothers and sisters in the Lord?

He was not commanding them to give; rather, he was using the example of the liberality of Macedonian saints, who themselves were poor, as a standard by which the Corinthians could test the genuineness of their own love.

11. In what way was the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ revealed?

Though He was rich He became poor for our sakes so that through His poverty we may become rich.

The most extravagant dream of the most imaginative individual could not in a million years comprehend the smallest part of the fantastic wealth and resources possessed by our Lord Jesus. Yet he walked on the earth as a poor man, having been born in a stable.

Most of us would not have been able to know Him or participate with Him if He had appeared in the fullness of His heavenly glory. By becoming poor he was able to reach every human being. Every human being who will receive this poor Man becomes the heir of all things in Heaven and on the earth.

12. What is Paul’s opinion?

That it is to the advantage of the Corinthians to finish what they had started. They had begun a year previously to gather support for the poorer saints and they had desired to make such a collection at that time. Since they had been so willing to help, they now should bring their efforts to completion according to their means.

13. How does God view the believer who is willing to share his material means?

The giving of the believer is accepted according to his possessions, not according to what he does not have.

14. What does the Apostle not intend?

That other saints should have an abundance and the Corinthians should suffer.

15. What is the desired condition?

That the abundance of the Corinthians be shared with other churches, and that the other churches share when they have abundance, so that there will be an equality of material blessings among the saints.

16. What does the manna given in the wilderness teach us?

That the saint must not heap to himself provisions, because God will make certain we have enough but not too much.

Those who gathered a little manna found they had enough. Those who gathered more than they needed found that the surplus would not keep until the next day.

And when they did mete it with an omer, he that gathered much had nothing over, and he that gathered little had no lack; they gathered every man according to his eating (Exodus 16:18).

17. What had God put in the heart of Titus?

The same concern Paul had for the believers in Corinth.

18. What did Titus do?

He went to the church in Corinth of his own accord in order to assist the believers in the Gospel, and also to organize and bring to completion the gathering of their support for the poor saints in Jerusalem.

19. Whom did Paul send with Titus?

A Christian brother (perhaps Luke) whose work in the Gospel had become known among all the churches.

20. What special responsibility rested on the Christian brother whom Paul sent with Titus?

The Christian churches had appointed him to travel with Paul in order to help with the organizing of the collections for the poor saints of Jerusalem.

The gathering of material goods for the poor saints was for the glory of the Lord. It was one of Paul’s concerns.

21. What was the purpose of having the unnamed brother in charge of the collection?

So everyone would know how the money was being handled and no suspicion would arise that it was going to Paul.

It appears that the collections for the poor amounted to a considerable sum of material wealth. Paul was making sure there was an accounting of all funds. There was no secrecy. The churches could be certain that what they had given went to the poor.

The Christian ministry must be without reproach regarding money and material wealth. This has not always been the case. Much money changes hands during the work of the Kingdom of God. It is a part of godly living, of the Christian testimony, to insure that there is a visible accounting of every penny such that any person who is involved can be certain the money he is giving is not going into the personal account of a "minister of the Gospel."

The love of money, which is sin, was never associated with Christ or His Apostles—except Judas Iscariot. Christ lived as a poor man, owning neither house nor ox. We who are His servants must flee from any behavior that would raise questions in the minds of people concerning our attitude toward money or our handling of money.

"The love of money is the root of all evil."

22. What was Paul careful to do?

He was careful to behave in an honorable manner, not only in the sight of the Lord but also in the sight of people

23. Whom else did Paul send in addition to Titus and the unnamed brother who was appointed to supervise the collection for the poor saints?

A Christian man whom Paul had found to be diligent in the work of the Kingdom and who had confidence in the church in Corinth.

24. How did Paul desire that the church in Corinth regard Titus?

As Paul’s partner and fellow worker.

25. How did Paul desire that the church in Corinth regard the two Christian men who accompanied Titus to Corinth?

As apostles of the churches and the glory of Christ.

We can see no reason why the Greek word here (ah-PAW-staw-loy—verse 23) should be translated "messengers," or "representatives," and not be translated apostles, as it is in Mark 6:30, for example. They were the apostles of the churches—men sent forth to perform the work of Christ.

We understand there were twelve Apostles of the Lamb, whose names are in the foundation of the wall of the new Jerusalem (Revelation 21:14).

But that there are other persons who were apostles is established by the reference to Barnabas as an apostle (Acts 14:14).

26. What did Paul ask the Corinthians saints to do?

To demonstrate to the three visiting brothers their Christian love and the reason for Paul’s boasting about the church in Corinth so that all the Christian churches could witness the love of the saints in Corinth.

Chapter Nine

1. What did Paul say concerning his writing to them about giving to the destitute saints?

It was not actually necessary because he already knew their readiness of mind and was boasting about them to the believers in Macedonia.

2. What had Paul told the saints in Macedonia?

Achaia (the region in which the city of Corinth was located) was prepared to give since last year.

3. What effect did the Corinthians’ zeal for giving have on the Macedonian churches?

It stirred up most of the saints in Macedonia.

4. Why then did Paul send Titus and the other two brothers?

So his statements about the readiness of the Corinthians to give would not be found to be empty boasting. Titus and the two brothers would assist the Corinthians with the gathering and organizing of their contribution for the poor saints in Jerusalem.

5. What did Paul wish to avoid?

If some of the Macedonian believers accompanied him to Corinth, Paul did not want his party to catch the Corinthians unprepared to give to the poor saints. Both Paul and the saints of Corinth would be ashamed after all the boasting Paul had done about them while he was in Macedonia.

It appears that Paul was developing competition between the Gentile believers of Corinth and those of Macedonia so that help might be given to his destitute countrymen (Christian Jews) in Jerusalem.

6. Why had Paul urged the three men to go before him to Corinth?

So they could make ready the promised material blessing that was to be carried to Jerusalem.

7. How did Paul want the collected goods and money to be regarded?

As a blessing and not as an extracting of their possessions against their will.

8. What principle of giving does Paul present?

The person who sows sparingly will reap sparingly; the person who sows generously as giving a blessing will reap generously as being given a blessing.

9. How should each saint give of his means?

As he purposes in his heart, not grieving about it or feeling obligated or compelled to give.

10. What kind of giver does God love?

A cheerful giver.

God enjoys people who come into His Presence with gladness, with joy, with singing, with praise. God is blessed when we take pleasure in righteousness and rejoice to perform His will.

For most of us, most of the time, it is possible to look on the hopeful side of our circumstances and to be cheerful and content. We make the decision to be cheerful and hopeful. Given the same set of circumstances we can choose to find reasons to praise God, or we can choose to find reasons to blame people and God for our irritations.

It is a wise, victorious Christian who continually is blessing God and praising Him for His goodness. This is not to say that we should accept everything that happens to us as being from the Lord. Rather, when we are afflicted we should pray earnestly and continuously for the solution to our problems. In everything we are to give thanks to the Lord, at the same time letting our requests be made known to Him.

It is easy for Christian people to drift into bitterness and complaining as did Israel in the wilderness. It is easy because this is the nature of Satan and his demons. They always are bitter and complaining and people who are influenced by them always are bitter and complaining.

Every believer in the Lord Jesus should continually make an effort to cease complaining. If we strive to avoid complaining and grumbling the Spirit of God will assist us. Gaining the victory over complaining is an important aspect of the Christian discipleship.

The Lord Jesus Christ, for all His tribulations, was a Man of tremendous joy and peace. Jesus loves to serve God. He delights to do the will of the Father.

God loves a cheerful giver.

11. What is God able to do?

He is able to cause every grace and gift to be given us abundantly so that we, always in every way having enough of everything, may be able to share in every good work.

12. Read Psalms 112:9.

He hath dispersed, he hath given to the poor; his righteousness endureth for ever; his horn shall be exalted with honour (Psalms 112:9).

13. What does the above passage teach us?

That the person who gives to the poor has an abiding righteousness and honor in the Presence of the Lord.

Paul is not concerned here about the support of the ministry. The eighth and ninth chapters of Second Corinthians have to do with giving to the poor, particularly the poor believers.

If Paul were referring to the support of the ministry he would have been using passages from Malachi, Exodus, Leviticus, or Nehemiah.

Perhaps today we need to pay more attention to aiding our fellow members of the Body of Christ and less attention to supporting various "Gospel" programs of dubious worth.

In any case, the application of the eighth and ninth chapters of Second Corinthians to the support of Gospel programs is at best a secondary application, and we must keep this in mind in order to correctly grasp Paul’s meaning.

14. What does the Lord God supply to mankind?

Seed for the sower and bread for eating.

15. What will the Lord God supply to the liberal saints of Corinth?

He will supply and multiply their seed for sowing and will increase the fruits of their righteousness.

16. Why will God enrich the Corinthians?

So they may be able to give liberally.

17. What will their liberality cause to happen?

It will cause many people to give thanksgiving to God as Paul brings the money to them—particularly the poor saints of Jerusalem who will be fed and clothed.

18. What two things are being accomplished?

The needs of the saints are being supplied fully and many believers are offering the sacrifices of thanksgiving to the Lord.

19. What will many believers do when they witness the offering given by the Corinthians?

They will glorify God because of the subjection to the Gospel demonstrated by the Corinthians—a subjection that corresponds with their confession of faith in Christ. Also, God will be glorified because the Corinthians have shared generously with all God’s people.

20. What will the Lord’s people do, therefore?

They will make intercession to God on behalf of the believers in Corinth. They will long to have fellowship with them because of the surpassing Divine grace God has given to the Corinthians.

21. For what does Paul thank God?

A gift so wondrous, so blessed, so wise, that it cannot be described. The gift to which Paul is referring is God’s love, which produces within the members of the Body of Christ the willingness to help one another in love. Such help results in widespread thanksgiving to the Lord and a binding together in love of the members of the Body.

Chapter Ten

1. On what basis and in what attitude of mind does Paul exhort the believers in Corinth?

In view of the meekness and gentleness of Christ.

2. How does Paul appear when he is face to face with the Corinthians?

Lowly, humble, meek, timid.

3. How does Paul act toward them when he is not in their midst?

Boldly.

4. What does Paul request urgently of them?

That when he comes to them he will not be required to exercise his confident boldness toward some of the people in Corinth who were attempting to discredit and belittle him. Paul was asking them to not make it necessary for him to use his power against those who were disputing his spiritual authority, his apostleship from the Lord Jesus Christ.

5. Of what does Paul notify them, concerning his ability to execute judgment?

That although he is a flesh and blood human being he is able to fight with spiritual weapons.

6. What does Paul state concerning his "weapons"?

They are not physical. They are powerful through God to the overthrow of strongholds.

7. What does Paul overthrow by the power of God?

He overthrows reasonings and every other proud thing that is exalting itself against the knowledge of God.

8. What does Paul lead captive by the power of God?

He leads every thought into obedience to Christ.

9. What is Paul ready to do?

He is ready to punish all disobedience as soon as the obedience of the Corinthian saints has been fulfilled.

There is an important spiritual principle here that is kingdom-wide in scope. Although Paul may be referring specifically to the Corinthians, it is true also that when the Body of Christ has learned obedience the Lord Jesus will return and execute Divine judgment on those who are sinful and rebellious.

Judgment must begin in the household of God. Divine judgment does not begin in the world but among those who are closest to the Lord. God will not bring judgment on the wicked until the obedience of His own people has been established to God’s satisfaction.

10. What does Paul explain to them that they are doing?

They are looking at things on the surface. They are judging according to appearances.

11. What does Paul request of those who trust that they belong to Christ?

To consider that as they belong to Christ so also does Paul, who brought the knowledge of Christ to them in the first place.

12. What is Paul boasting about now?

The authority that the Lord gave to him to build up the Corinthians, not to overthrow them.

It is apparent that some people were attempting to discredit and belittle Paul in the eyes of the saints in Corinth.

13. In what will Paul not be put to shame?

In his boasting about the power and the authority given him by the Lord Jesus Christ.

14. What did Paul wish to refute?

The idea that he was attempting to frighten the Corinthians by his letters; that when he came to them his presence would not be as forceful as his letters.

15. What were some people in Corinth saying about Paul?

"His letters are weighty and strong, but his physical presence is weak and he is not a good speaker."

16. How does Paul reply to the individual who is attempting to belittle him?

What he is in his letters while he is absent he will bring to pass in deed when he comes to Corinth.

Paul was warning them and preparing them because he intended to come and demonstrate to them that he indeed was full of the authority and power of the Lord Jesus.

The Apostles of the Lamb were not without power (Matthew 10:13,15).

17. With whom did Paul not dare to rank or compare himself?

With individuals who were approving themselves, writing their own letters of recommendation.

18. What does Paul say about people who measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves?

They are not wise.

A person who judges himself by his own standards either will be filled with pride and self-centeredness while he is congratulating himself over his own attainments, or else he will be depressed continually because he can never attain the standards he has set for himself.

19. On what basis did Paul judge his own works?

On the basis of the area of activity that God had marked out for him, an area that reached to the believers in Corinth. He did not boast concerning areas that had not been assigned to him by the Lord.

20. Was Paul reaching beyond his commission by issuing apostolic directions to the saints in Corinth?

No, because he had been the first to bring the Gospel of Christ to Corinth.

21. Of what was Paul not boasting when he was boasting about the saints in Corinth?

He was not boasting of an area beyond his commission or of work performed by other men.

22. What was Paul’s hope?

As the faith of the Corinthians grew, Paul’s influence and opportunities would be enlarged in their geographical area.

23. What was Paul’s desire?

As the church in Corinth grew stronger he would be able to preach the Gospel in the cities and villages beyond Corinth.

It was Paul’s rule that when one church was established and began to grow it would assist in the establishment of new churches. Since denominationalism was nonexistent there was no competition. All the churches of Christ constituted the one family of God.

24. In what did Paul not boast?

In another man’s area of activity, in things prepared beforehand by another worker.

25. In what should the Christian boast?

In the Lord.

26. Read Jeremiah 9:23,24.

Thus saith the Lord, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: but let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the Lord which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the Lord (Jeremiah 9:23,24).

27. What saint is shown to be approved?

Not the one who approves himself or herself but the one whom God approves.

Chapter Eleven

1. What did Paul request of the Corinthians?

That they would bear with him in a little foolishness.

It appears that Paul regarded his previous comments about boasting, and about those who were measuring themselves with their own standards of measurement, as being foolish talk. The whole business was nonsensical. Paul knew he was an Apostle of the Lamb and that the individuals who were advising the believers in Corinth had not been sent by the Lord.

2. What reason does Paul give for his remarks to the Corinthians?

He was jealous over them with God’s jealousy.

3. What was Paul attempting to do?

He was attempting to present the Corinthians as a pure virgin to Christ.

4. What did Paul fear?

As the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness so the thoughts of the Corinthians would be led astray from single-minded devotion to Christ.

5. What is Paul telling them, perhaps sarcastically, in verse four?

They really are bearing up well when someone proclaims to them another Jesus whom Paul did not proclaim, when they receive a spirit different from the Spirit of Christ whom they had received from Paul, when they accept a gospel different from the Gospel Paul had brought to them.

6. How does Paul regard himself?

In no way is he inferior to these apostles who were exceedingly great in their own opinion, who had come to Corinth after Paul had established the church there.

7. What does Paul state concerning his own speaking ability?

It is uncultured, unpolished.

The Corinthians, being Greeks, admired a public speaker who was skilled in oratory. Apparently Paul was being criticized for his plain manner of speaking. No doubt Paul was an able speaker but he chose to speak directly and without flowery phrases so the hearers would be convinced by the power of the Spirit of God rather than by clever oratory.

8. What does Paul state about his knowledge as an Apostle of Christ?

He had in every way demonstrated to the believers in Corinth his knowledge in all aspects of the Kingdom of God.

9. What question does Paul ask?

"Did I commit sin by humbling myself so you might be exalted, in that I announced the Gospel of God to you without charge?"

10. How was Paul supported?

He drew from other churches, taking of their material goods so he could preach to the Corinthians.

11. What happened when Paul ran out of funds while he was preaching in Corinth?

Some of the brothers coming from Macedonia supplied Paul’s needs. He had kept himself from being a burden to any person of Corinth.

12. What was Paul’s attitude and determination?

He never had been and never would be a burden to the believers in Corinth.

As the truth of Christ was in him, no person in the region of Achaia would be able to silence his boasting that he had received help from no one, he had been a burden to no one.

13. Is Paul boasting because he does not love the saints in Corinth?

No. God knows that he does love them.

14. Why, then, is Paul boasting about bringing the Gospel to them without charge?

He is destroying the ground from under the feet of the false teachers and apostles who had come to Corinth and who were attempting to belittle Paul in the eyes of the believers. They were boasting of their own greatness and seeking to find fault with Paul. In spite of all their boasting, it is evident they were not superior to Paul.

Paul is pointing out to the believers in Corinth that these self-proclaimed apostles not only are by no means greater than Paul, in spite of their clever speeches, but also are being supported by the Corinthians. Paul, on the other hand, whose knowledge of Christ had been revealed to the saints in Corinth, never took any money from them. He is showing the folly of the boasting of the false apostles, destroying their prestige in the eyes of the Corinthians.

15. What does Paul term these "great ones"?

False apostles; deceitful workers.

16. What were the deceivers doing?

Disguising themselves as apostles of Christ.

17. Why is it not surprising that they should so disguise themselves?

Because Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.

18. What is not a great or surprising matter?

That the ministers of Satan should disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. The end of such ministers will be according to their works.

19. How did Paul not wish to be regarded?

As being a foolish person. If they consider him to be foolish they should at least receive him and allow him to boast a little to them.

20. Is Paul speaking from the Lord when he says this?

No, he is speaking foolishly in his own boastful confidence.

21. Why is Paul boasting?

Since many individuals are boasting about their fleshly accomplishments, he also will boast about his own accomplishments.

22. Why are the Corinthians ready to bear with the foolish?

Because they consider themselves to be so wise.

Perhaps Paul is being sarcastic here. He is saying, "You are so wise you are happy to be ministered to by fools who are boasting confidently about how marvelous they are."

23. Who are the "wise" Corinthians willing to bear?

Anyone who brings them into bondage; anyone who devours them; anyone who takes their goods from them; anyone who exalts himself; anyone who strikes them in the face.

24. How is Paul speaking to them?

As though he had been weak in not bringing them into bondage, in not devouring them, in not taking their goods from them, in not exalting himself, in not striking them in the face.

25. What will Paul do concerning the areas in which the false apostles dare to behave boldly?

He also—continuing to speak foolishly—will dare to behave just as boldly.

26. In what ways was Paul equal to their false apostles?

Paul was a Hebrew, Paul was an Israelite, Paul was of the Seed of Abraham.

It sounds as though these false apostles were Jews.

"Are the false apostles the servants of Christ?" Paul asks as though he had lost his sanity.

"I am much more a servant of Christ," Paul declares.

27. In what ways had Paul been proven to be a servant of Christ—ways of which the Jewish false apostles knew nothing because they were seeking their own gain?

In strenuous work more often than the false apostles.

In innumerable whippings.

In prison more frequently.

He had often faced death.

Five times at the hands of the Jews he had received thirty-nine lashes.

Three times he had been beaten with rods.

Once he had been stoned.

Three times he had been shipwrecked.

He had spent a night and a day adrift in the sea.

He had been on frequent journeys.

In danger from rivers and floods.

In danger of robbers.

In danger from his own race.

In danger from the Gentiles.

In danger in the city.

In danger in the desert.

In danger in the sea.

In danger among false brothers.

In labor and hardship.

In long prayer-vigils often.

In hunger and thirst.

In fasting often.

In cold and nakedness.

28. What additional burden did Paul bear?

The pressure on him each day of the care of all the churches.

29. What was true when one of the saints was weak?

Paul was weak.

30. What was true when one of the saints was offended and stumbled?

Paul felt the fire of that temptation.

31. If he is required to boast, in what will Paul boast?

In the things that have to do with his infirmities and weakness.

32. What does God the Father know?

That Paul is speaking the truth.

33. What took place in Damascus (Acts 9:25)?

The governor, at the direction of the king, guarded the city in order to capture Paul.

34. How did Paul escape?

The disciples at night let Paul down through an opening in the wall, lowering him in a basket.

Chapter Twelve

1. What did Paul say about his boasting?

It appeared he was caught up in it, although it was not profitable.

2. What did Paul proceed to describe?

His visions and revelations of the Lord.

3. How long ago did Paul have this particular revelation?

Fourteen years previously.

4. Was Paul caught up to Heaven in his body?

He was not certain.

5. Where was Paul brought by the Lord?

To the third heaven.

Some teachers believe that the first heaven is earth’s atmosphere and begins just above the surface of the earth. This may be the sphere of Satan’s activity in that he is referred to as the "prince of the power of the air" (Ephesians 2:2).

Satan is the ruler of the spirits that have their thrones in the air. From this vantage point the lords of darkness control the actions of people on the earth (Ephesians 2:2).

The second heaven, then, would be all outer space, commencing at the termination of earth’s atmosphere. The second heaven appears to be a battleground in which the saints and the holy angels battle against the forces of darkness.

The third heaven would be the spiritual Heaven, the land of angels, of departed saints, and of the Throne of God. Paul refers to the third heaven as "Paradise."

Some who have had spiritual visions have stated that in the third heaven there is a city, the heavenly Jerusalem, which itself is constructed on three levels, each higher level being an area of greater holiness and glory.

At the top level of the city is located the Throne of God and of Christ. The lowest level of the city seems to be more in line with our ordinary conception of Heaven, that is, a beautiful countryside filled with flowers, parks, and saints and angels dwelling together in love, joy, and peace.

6. What did Paul hear while he was in Paradise?

Words and sayings that men are not permitted to speak.

7. About whom would Paul boast?

About a man who was caught up to Paradise.

There is general agreement that Paul was speaking of himself since he had just stated that he had had visions and revelations of the Lord.

8. Now, openly speaking of himself, concerning what would Paul boast on his own behalf?

His weaknesses.

9. What would be true if Paul decided to boast of his revelations and works?

He would not be speaking foolishly but would be speaking the truth; for he did possess an extraordinary commission from the Lord Jesus.

10. Why did Paul refrain from boasting?

So the believers in Corinth would not esteem Paul to be more than they saw in him or heard from him.

11. What danger was Paul in because of the exceeding greatness of his revelations?

The danger of exalting himself.

12. How did the Lord Jesus protect Paul from the danger of exalting himself?

He sent to Paul a thorn in his flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment him so he would not exalt himself.

There has been speculation as to what Paul’s "thorn" was. Some have felt that it was a physical infirmity. Others have protested that the promises of God would shield Paul from sickness.

Whatever the "thorn" was it served to keep Paul dependent on the Lord. God’s "thorns" always accomplish God’s purposes if the saint will cooperate with the Lord and not resist Him.

On the other hand, we should never become passive and assume that our troubles are a thorn from the Lord. We have not had Paul’s revelations. If we pray when we are afflicted we find to our joy that while the afflictions of the righteous are many, the Lord delivers him out of them all.

13. Did Paul accept the "thorn" passively?

He did not. He asked the Lord three times that it be removed from him.

We are to call on the Lord in the day of trouble and He shall deliver us. Praising God for everything that comes to us, without letting our requests be made known to God, can easily lead us into passivity. Passivity is a form of deception.

We are to pray fervently and continuously that God’s will, as we understand it, will be performed in the earth. This includes salvation for our unsaved love ones, healing for our bodies, a breakthrough when we are surrounded by the enemy, and deliverance from every other affliction and problem that confronts us during our pilgrimage.

We never are to accept our circumstances passively, assuming that what is taking place is God’s will. All surrender to inevitability, to passivity, to hopelessness and helplessness, must be cast out of the saints completely and at once.

Passivity, and praising God in the sense of accepting blindly all that happens to us, is not a scriptural form of positive thinking. It is a trick of the enemy to lead us away from the fiery, fervent, continuing supplication and intercession that result in the will of the Father being done in the earth.

Arise! Cast off all your acceptance of things in your life that are not as they should be, about which you are not at peace. Immediately begin to believe God for the fulfillment of all the desires of your heart.

We have not because we ask not.

Are we to praise God in all matters?

Indeed we are. In addition, we are to proceed directly to Spirit-filled prayer concerning every issue with which we are troubled.

Then, when our prayers are answered, our joy is full and praise to our wonderful Lord Jesus ascends to Him because of the answer to our prayers.

Most Christians who are ill do not have a thorn from the Lord to keep them humble. Rather, they are in a spiritual battle. They will come through victoriously and be healed if they will believe that Jesus is their Healer, ask the Lord to heal them, obey the Lord in all matters, and forgive every person without exception against whom they are holding a grudge.

It is the Lord’s will that we be whole in spirit, in soul, and in body.

14. How did Christ respond to Paul’s prayer to remove the thorn?

The Lord Jesus assured Paul that the torment (even though a messenger of Satan) was from Him so His power would be perfected in Paul’s weakness. Also, the Lord promised Paul that grace had been given along with the thorn—grace that was perfectly adequate to carry Paul along in victory.

Doesn’t this contradict what we have just taught?

No, it does not. If we as a Christian will pray and believe God for the answer to our prayers, God will hear us and give us our desire.

If we, praying diligently several times as Paul did, break through in prayer to the point where we hear the Lord’s special assurance in our spirit that though circumstances are not to our liking they nevertheless are His will for this season, we then are to praise the Lord and cooperate with His leading in the problem.

Such prayerful diligence and obedience is far different from passively accepting our situation, or praising God for all that is happening to us, or endlessly attempting to "rebuke the devil," or running about here and there to get various "healers" or "deliverers" to pray for us.

We may be suffering because of our lack of knowledge or prayer, because of our faithlessness, disobedience, and spiritual uncleanness. Accepting our plight and praising God for our pain are not appropriate behaviors unless we add to these our fervent prayers to God for His help, correction, and deliverance.

Judgment falls on a saint because of his sin. Is he then to praise God that such is God’s will for him and continue in his sin? Not at all! He is to change his behavior, take up his cross, and patiently follow the Master. This is the way of Christ.

When we are afflicted we are to pray that God will deliver us from all our fears and troubles, meanwhile looking to see if there are areas of our behavior that are not pleasing to the Holy Spirit. Also, we always are to praise God for His ever-present help in our hour of need.

Now we come to one of the main concepts of Second Corinthians. We mentioned this concept earlier in our study guide when discussing verse four of Chapter One. It is the concept of life from death.

The Lord’s power is perfected in our weakness. His grace enables us to march on in triumph when such victory would be impossible because of the pressures closing in on us from every side.

Let us quote from previous pages:

"Life from death," "ministry from the cross," "strength from weakness," "the overflow of resurrection life," "I am crucified, nevertheless I live," "here is one of the key aspects of the Christian discipleship of victory and service." Union with the crucifixion and resurrection of the Lord Jesus is the heart of the new covenant.

Again, when examining what we stated previously concerning verse eleven of Chapter Four:

" . . . such suffering provides the opportunity for the eternal, indestructible, resurrection life of Jesus to raise them up (Christ’s servants). The servants of the Lord thus are driven to live by the power of Christ’s resurrection rather than by their own energy and wisdom."

Paul was a man of exceptional personal ability and he had been trained from a boy to be expert in the Law of God. Therefore the Lord Jesus kept Paul off balance, just as he keeps you and me off balance, so that the Glory of Christ would be revealed to the world rather than the intellectual brilliance of Saul of Tarsus.

Jesus could have appeared to Paul before he assisted in the stoning of Stephen, sparing Paul that mental anguish throughout his ministry. Jesus has His ways of keeping us off balance. But all His dealings with His saints are loving and necessary for our welfare.

God never will share His glory with another. If the Kingdom of God is to be built, God will build it. Every one of His servants must be hindered in such a manner that the power and wisdom proceed from the Spirit of God rather than from the energy and talents of the Christian worker.

Christ, not we, builds His Church on the Rock that He Himself Is.

If we desire that the Glory of the Lord be revealed in the earth, we must allow the Lord to break us and use us as He will. It is necessary that He bring to nothing all our abilities. Such weakness on our part makes possible the bringing of the Glory of God to mankind.

15. What was Paul’s response to being made weak?

He decided to boast in his weaknesses so that the power of Christ would rest on him.

16. In what, therefore, did Paul take pleasure?

Weaknesses, insults, distresses, persecutions, difficulties.

17. Why was Paul well content with such unpleasant circumstances?

Because when he was weak, then he was powerful in Christ.

18. Why was Paul writing foolishness in his boasting to the believers in Corinth?

They had brought about his foolish remarks by their lack of confidence in him.

19. Why should the Corinthians have commended Paul instead of belittling him?

Although he had presented himself as a "nobody" he was in no respect inferior to the Jewish "apostles" that the Corinthians considered to be so outstanding.

During the past several hundred years of Christian church history this "nobody" has turned out to be a very fruitful saint.

He who humbles himself shall be exalted.

20. What marks of an apostle were patiently wrought through Paul among the saints in Corinth?

Signs, wonders, works of power.

21. For what did Paul, with a tinge of sarcasm, ask forgiveness?

Not burdening the church in Corinth with his material needs while he was preaching the Gospel to them.

22. What trip was Paul planning at this time?

His third trip to Corinth.

Paul had established the church in Corinth in A.D. 52-53. Then he worked for three years in Ephesus, from A.D. 54-57.

While he was still in Ephesus, in the spring of A.D. 57, Paul wrote First Corinthians.

It is believed that just after he wrote the first epistle, and before he journeyed to Macedonia, he had visited Corinth (200 miles distant) because of the problems that had arisen there. Then he had returned to Ephesus. This was the second time Paul was in Corinth first in A.D. 52-53, and then in the spring of A.D. 57.

Paul had left Ephesus in the summer of A.D. 57 intending to spend the winter in Corinth, which he did. He passed through Macedonia on the way, visiting Philippi and Thessalonica.

Paul wrote Second Corinthians while in Macedonia. Thus he refers to his proceeding south to Corinth for the winter of A.D.57 as "the third time I am ready to come to you."

23. What did Paul promise the believers in Corinth?

That he would not burden them with his material needs.

The collection Paul was going to take from them was not for his own needs, it was for the poor Christians in Jerusalem.

24. What reason does Paul give for desiring not to be a burden to them?

He wanted them for Christ, not their material wealth. Children are not expected to provide for their parents but parents for their children.

25. For what purpose would Paul gladly devote all that he had and be fully spent?

So that the saints in Corinth would be established in the will of Christ.

26. What question does Paul put to the Corinthians?

"If I love you more abundantly, do you love me less as a result?"

In the sixteenth verse, Paul seems to be putting words in their mouth. According to Paul, the Corinthians were saying, "No, you didn’t become a burden to us. You are too crafty for that. Instead you will get our money by trickery."

27. What does Paul ask those who may be accusing him of attempting to get their goods by guile?

"Did I take advantage of you by any of the men whom I sent to you?"

28. What does Paul ask the Corinthians concerning Titus and the Christian man that he had sent with Titus?

"Titus did not take advantage of you, did he? Didn’t we walk by the same Spirit as Titus? Didn’t we walk in the same steps?"

29. What else does Paul ask them?

"Do you think by what we are saying that we are defending ourselves to you?"

30. How was Paul speaking to them?

Before God in Christ.

31. Why did Paul speak to them as he did?

In order to strengthen them in Christ.

32. What did Paul fear?

That when he came to them they would not be found as he wished, and he would not be found as they wished.

If Paul did not find them behaving as Christians they were going to be faced with a concerned, distressed apostle!

33. What did Paul not want to find?

Quarreling, jealousy, rivalry, evil speaking, gossip, arrogance, disturbances.

34. What would take place if Paul should find such behavior among the saints in Corinth?

God would humble Paul among them, and he would mourn over many of the believers who had sinned and still had not repented of the uncleanness, fornication, and debauchery they had practiced.

Chapter Thirteen

1. What trip was Paul preparing for now?

His third one to them.

2. How are facts confirmed, according to Scripture?

By the testimony of two or three witnesses.

3. Read Deuteronomy 19:15.

One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin, in any sin that he sinneth: at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established (Deuteronomy 19:15).

Perhaps Paul was referring to his three trips as three "witnesses."

4. What had Paul told them previously during his short visit from Ephesus, and now while absent was stating again, just before he came to them for the third time?

"Concerning all who have sinned in the past, and everyone else as well: if I come again I will not spare anyone."

5. Of what were the Corinthians seeking proof?

That Christ was speaking in Paul.

The subsequent centuries have proved that Christ indeed was speaking in Paul. How often it is true that the worth of an individual is not recognized until he or she dies.

It is sad that the Apostle Paul could not have received during his lifetime the honor due him. But he has received honor in abundance in a better world; and incomprehensibly greater honor will be assigned to him in the day of resurrection. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord and their righteousness is of Him.

6. How would one describe the expression of Christ toward the Corinthians?

Christ was not weak toward them but powerful among them and in them.

7. What was Christ’s condition when He was crucified?

Christ was brought down to weakness and death under the ever-watchful eye of the Father.

8. By what power is Christ living now?

By the power of almighty God.

9. What was Paul’s condition?

He was weak, being dependent on Christ for all things; but he will live with Christ by the power of the almighty God being directed toward the Corinthians.

Here is the final statement of one of the principal themes of Second Corinthians. It is theme of life from death, strength from weakness.

Christ was crucified in weakness. He was brought lower than any man. Yet, through that weakness, that crucifixion, comes God’s power to save mankind. Now Christ possesses all authority and power in Heaven and on the earth.

The same is true of every Christian worker. God brings us low so that His glory may be revealed. God never shall allow the flesh of man to glory in His Presence.

God’s power shines through our weakness and frailty, our confusion and mistakes, being directed toward the people whom God is intending to bless and build up in Christ. Only as we are willing to be rendered helpless by the Lord can the work of the Kingdom proceed.

The wonderful aspect of strength from weakness is that although we are helpless, the power that is working through us and with us is omnipotent. God’s wisdom and power are more than sufficient to meet every challenge, to overcome every adversary.

Who can resist God Almighty?

If we will remain faithful we too will be raised at the appearing of Christ in glory. Then we will rule in authority and power, being coheirs with Him.

10. What does Paul advise the Corinthian believers to do?

"Examine yourselves whether you are in the faith. Put yourselves to the test."

It is important that we understand whether or not we are in Christ. Our hope of the resurrection is based on our being in Christ.

. . . even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him (I Thessalonians 4:14).

. . . and the dead in Christ shall rise first (I Thessalonians 4:16).

Our hope of protection in the day of trouble is based on our abiding in the Lord.

He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty (Psalms 91:1).

Doctrinal correctness is desirable but it is not an indication we are in Christ.

Church membership often is helpful but it is not an indication we are in Christ.

What does it mean to be in the faith?—to be in Christ?

To be in Christ means we are dwelling in His Person and will. Our personality and will are dwelling in His Personality and will.

Our behavior is found in Him and He is found in our behavior.

Our actions are in Him and He is in our actions. Our speech is in Him and He is in our speech. Our thinking is in Him and He is in our thinking. In every area and aspect of our person and behavior Christ is found; and every area and aspect of our person and behavior are found in Him.

A true saint thinks in Christ, speaks in Christ, acts in Christ.

When we behave wickedly we are not behaving in Christ. When we speak profanity or uncleanness we are not speaking in Christ. When our mind is dwelling on lust or covetousness we are not thinking in Christ. This is true whether or not we make a profession of Christ as our Lord and Savior.

He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked (I John 2:4-6).

How does the Christian evaluate himself or herself?

How can we be certain we are abiding "in Christ" and He in us?

We are to judge our own behavior, looking to see if it is true that each day we are showing forth to a greater extent the Life of the Lord Jesus, gaining victory over worldliness, sin, and self-will.

We are to judge our own speech, making certain we are speaking faith and glorifying God, through Christ driving malice, gossiping, lying, filthiness, foolishness, from our personality.

We are to judge our own thoughts, insuring that we are meditating in the Word of God, gaining victory over unclean imaginations and covetousness.

We are to judge our own hearts, asking ourselves if Christ’s Presence and love are filling our emotions and attitudes. Are we truly gaining the upper hand over lust, and self-centeredness?

This is how we examine ourselves, determining whether we are in the faith.

The great error of our day is the belief that maintaining correct doctrine is proof that we are in Christ and candidates for the first resurrection from the dead. Salvation is not in word alone. Salvation is in the possession of Christ in our personality.

11. What should the Corinthian believers recognize concerning themselves?

That Christ is in them, unless they are shown to be not behaving as Christians.

Chapters Twelve and Thirteen of Second Corinthians reveal conclusively that it is not enough to profess belief in Christ in order to achieve salvation. If we are living in the sins of the flesh we are not Christians at all. We are not meeting the standard.

It is clear that the "grace" teaching of today is not what Paul meant by the grace of God under the new covenant. The current Christian theology is in error. The proof of salvation is not a profession of Christ, it is the expression of the Character of Christ in the human personality.

12. What was Paul’s hope and trust?

That the Corinthians would realize that Paul would not fail the test of Christian behavior.

13. What was Paul’s prayer for them?

That they would do no evil.

14. Why did Paul desire that they would do no evil?

Not so Paul would appear to pass the test but so they would be doing what is right and honorable, even through they were of the opinion that Paul was not measuring up to the standard of behavior.

15. In what way could Paul use his power?

Not against the truth but only for the truth.

16. When did Paul rejoice?

When he was weak and they were powerful.

17. What was Paul’s prayer for the believers in Corinth?

That they would be perfect in Christ.

18. Why was Paul reproving and instructing them in this letter, while he was absent from them?

So when he arrived in Corinth he would not have to deal sharply and severely with them with the authority the Lord gave him for building them up, not for the purpose of overthrowing them.

19. What was Paul’s admonition to them?

Rejoice; be made perfect and complete; be encouraged and comforted; be of one mind in the Lord; live in peace.

20. What is the promise to those who will live in such a manner?

The God of love and peace will be with them.

21. How were the believers to greet one another?

With a holy kiss.

22. Who were sending greetings to the believers in Corinth?

All the saints.

Perhaps Paul especially had in mind the saints in Ephesus and Macedonia where he had been located for the past months.

23. What Divine blessing did the Apostle Paul pronounce on all the Christian people in Corinth?

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit.