2 Corinthians 7
- Paul builds off his idea in the last chapter that our bodies are temples of the living God. Therefore, our aim is to make "holiness perfect." Christian perfection? It's possible!
- Paul has an ongoing relationship with the Corinthian church. He has written them several times; they have written him. He takes pride in what he hears about them now. Apparently, they were grieved by a letter he wrote before. Undoubtedly, he took the opportunity to correct something he had heard about them.
- Godly grief is Paul's idea that our grief about sin leads to salvation.
2 Corinthians 8
- Almost sounds like the year-end giving letter, doesn't it? There is a collection for the church in Jerusalem that Paul intends to bring. He encourages the Corinthian church to give toward that effort.
- "we want you to excel also in this generous undertaking."
- Paul's observation is that the Corinthian church has a "present abundance." They are in a position, then, to help Jerusalem's "need."
- Who would "blame" Paul for the collection? Would there be churches who would not want to contribute that would question Paul's motives?
I read this article yesterday: Be the Church or Make Way for Something Else. It's a strong headline. Take a quick read of it and let me know your responses.
The article was on my mind and then I read 2 Corinthians 8:23:
As for Titus, he is my partner and coworker in your service; as for our brothers, they are messengers of the churches, the glory of Christ.
Paul had already commended Titus and the other 2 workers. They were doing God's work with Paul and they were to be trusted and cared for. Here's the part that got my attention, "...messengers of the churches, the glory of Christ."
See that? Paul gives us another understanding of what the church is supposed to be: the glory of Christ.
Moses asked to see God's glory. A few of the disciples glimpsed some of Christ's glory at his Transfiguration. Now, Paul says the church is Christ's glory.
That means we are to show God's greatness to the world. We, as a church, are to be a true light. There should be no question as to what we're really about, if we're Christ's glory. Let's let that sink in: We're not just Christ's church, we're Christ's glory.
May that impact everything we do as a church.