II CORINTHIANS

The following comments are from Navigator's and Quiet Time Diary journals. One verse will be entered, then the comment, then the date.

1:3    Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort,

    This is part of Paul's introduction in his letter to the church in Corinth.
    God is always to be blessed or worshipped, as He is our Creator. He cares for us and is merciful in not giving us the judgment we deserve when we sin. He (through the Holy Spirit) comforts us and gives us the confidence to continue when we have trials.
    God and Jesus deserve all of our worship. No one and nothing else can be higher than God. He is both the Person who blesses us and we are to bless/worship only Him. (DRM 8/24/15)

    This passage demonstrates how our personal pain can help others who suffer. Paul uses the word comfort both vertically and horizontally. God extends comfort to us. We experience His comfort. Then we can offer comfort to others. In this way, our pain can become a conduit of care for those in distress and lead to gratitude in the midst of pain. (From Our Daily Bread INSIGHT 8/24/15)

1:4    who [God] comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.

    While this isn't the purpose for our suffering through various trials, it is an outcome that would be productive . . . as we (I) go through a trial. I will be better able to associate with and help others who have similar trials. Using the example of Paul, I should expect many trials in life and will need Jesus to help me through them all. (DRM 9/30/07)   

1:5    For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ.

    There are various sufferings that both Jesus and (I) we have shared. I can think today of numerous attacks on Christians for their faith in Jesus - not only in other parts of the world, but increasingly here in the USA; where it's disguised in other forms. Physical and mental sufferings can also occur in us due to our faith.
    PTL, since the Holy Spirit is within us as Christians, we can experience His comfort and know that this suffering will only be temporary - until His return, or we go to be with Him in "death." (DRM 9/15/12)

1:6    But if we [Paul and Timothy] are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; or if we [Paul and Timothy] are comforted, it is for your comfort, which is effective in the patient enduring of the same sufferings which we [Paul and Timothy] also suffer;

    While this "letter" is written by Paul; Paul states that it is from him and Timothy (v. 1). In this verse "we" refers to both of them.
    If Paul was afflicted, he felt that it was for his belief in Jesus and not personal. In a way it should be comforting that Paul and Timothy were going through trials so they wouldn't have to.
    They were to be examples of how to endure persecution/sufferings for the church, so the church members would know how to withstand the same trials if confronted by them. (DRM 8/2/13)

1:7    . . . and our hope for you is firmly grounded, knowing that as you are sharers of our sufferings, so also you are sharers of our comfort.

    In this section Paul was pointing out that he (and Timothy{v.1}) had sufferings for Christ (v. 6) at times.
    Since Paul had these things, it was his assertion that the readers in Corinth would also have the same, since they (and we) are part of the family of Christians.
    We are to expect trials in life and share encouragement with other believers - as this is part of living for Christ. (DRM 5/26/14)

    So often we ask why God allows a hurtful experience to come our way. Today's reading provides us with at least one very plausible reason for the pain. We are comforted in our afflictions so that we might comfort others in theirs (v. 4). Hearing of the faithfulness of God in trials uplifts others who suffer. INSIGHT Our Daily Bread 5/26/14)
   
    1:8    For we do not want you to be unaware, brethren, of our affliction which came to us in Asia, that we were burdened excessively, beyond our strength, so that we despaired even of life;

    Paul says that the letter is partly to inform the church in Corinth what he and his co-workers have experienced. This is a sharing of the sufferings (v. 5) so they would be praying for his circumstances and learn how to deal with similar situations if they should arise in Corinth. (DRM 10/3/11)

1:9    . . . indeed, we had the sentence of death within ourselves so that we could not trust in ourselves, but in God who raises the dead;

    This is part of a four verse sentence.
    This letter is written by Paul and Timothy (v. 1), so the 'we' in this verse refers to both of them. They both had many trials and tribulations (physical and spiritual) and realized that they couldn't get out of the trials on their own - they needed God=Jesus' help. Paul knew that if he died in the trial that we would be with Jesus, so that kept him going. (DRM 9/19/10)

1:10    [God] who delivered us from so great a peril of death, and will deliver us, He on whom we have set our hope. And He will yet deliver us,

    It seems that Paul had just gone through a trial that was nearly death to him. With Paul's great faith, he gave God all the credit for his deliverance. While Paul's trial was probably physical, this verse could also be applied spiritually as God opens our eyes spiritually, through the Holy Spirit, and I must have faith that He will continue. (DRM 9/19/04)

1:11    . . . you also joining in helping us through your prayers, so that thanks may be given by many persons on our behalf for the favor bestowed on us through the prayers of many.

    Paul had been afflicted with something (v. 4) and was thanking the Corinthian church for their prayers.
    While unbelievers may think that prayers are like talking to ourselves or the air, as believers we (I) believe that God the Father hears our prayers and acts on them. This is part of faith in believing that He hears and acts on our behalf. I have prayed at times for relief of a minor health problem and it was gone at the end of the prayer! God loves His children and only wants the best for us. (DRM 4/13/12)

1:13    For we write nothing else to you than what you read and understand, and I hope you will understand until the end;

    I didn't understand anything when I read the Bible as a teenager, so I gave up reading it. After I became a born-again Christian at the age of 35, I read the Bible again (and many times since) and it all seems clearer now. When the Holy Spirit enters believers, He gives us the ability to understand the Bible more clearly. (DRM 9/20/10)

1:14    . . . just as you also partially did understand us, that we are your reason to be proud as you also are ours, in the day of our Lord Jesus.

    This continues the sentence started in v. 13.
    Paul wanted to make sure that the readers understood the message he was writing. He was proud that they had become Christians based on what he wrote and that they would also be glad that they were Christians when the Lord Jesus comes back to earth. (This is still future as I'm writing this. ) (DRM 4/10/13)

1:18, 19    But as God is faithful, our word to you is not yes and no. 19For the Son of God, Christ Jesus, who was preached among you by us — by me and Silvanus and Timothy — was not yes and no, but is yes in Him.

    Paul didn't want any misunderstandings about his messages. He wanted people to understand the gospel and the blessings/promises that God gives through His Word (v. 20).
    As we read through all of the Bible, there seem to be contradictions between what one person said and another. Over time and study, with God's Holy Spirit, we can see that the perceived contradictions are resolved. God doesn't want us to receive mixed signals (yes and no).
    We need complete trust in Him, there is only one path, and He will lead the way. (DRM 6/24/17)

    [Re: 1:19]    Each of us has an interior debate also known as a spiritual battle on various subjects. Should I do this or that? Yes or No? Paul was writing about this in verses 17-20.
    The point of this verse is that when it comes to preaching about Jesus, the Son of God, there is no question on what is right. The decision should only be Yes for Jesus.
    Other questions will come up when we wonder "What would Jesus do?" but concerning salvation, Jesus is the answer. (DRM 5/3/16)

1:20    For as many as are the promises of God, in Him they are yes; therefore also through Him is our Amen to the glory of God through us.

    God knows our desires and prayers. He always answers them Yes, No or wait. According to Paul in this verse, the Father generally wants to say "yes" to our requests, but also knows the big picture more than we do. Even when we think He says "no," it's really "wait." I'd rather say I'm "waiting" than that it was "no." (DRM 10/1/07) 

1:21, 22    Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and anointed us is God, 22who also sealed us and gave us the Spirit in our hearts as a pledge.

    When presented with the gospel for the "first time," I felt I had to make a decision to accept or reject it. Now, I realize that God, who controls my life, set the whole plan in motion far in advance. God had chosen me! He has a plan for my life and a mission to accomplish. While diverted occasionally, my job is to stay on His track and to follow His leading. (DRM 9/20/04)

1:24    Not that we lord it over your faith, but are workers with you for your joy; for in your faith you are standing firm.

    Paul was writing to the church in Corinth. He understood they were being afflicted both physically and spiritually for their faith (vv. 3-7) and told them that as they passed through the affliction in faith they could also encourage others as they go through the same trials.
    In this verse Paul was concerned that the people not think he was the leader of their church, but rather a worker for Christ.
    As Christians we should all be workers for Christ in some way. We all have special gifts/talents to be used for His (Jesus') glory. (DRM 9/15/16)

2:1, 2    But I determined this for my own sake, that I would not come to you in sorrow again. 2For if I cause you sorrow, who then makes me glad but the one whom I made sorrowful?

    People don't want to hear bad news. Paul's theory was that if he told people sorrowful news that it would be hard for them to give him good news.
    While I understand Paul's feelings, I think people today understand that bad and good news come in cycles and we CAN encourage one another to keep the faith through trials. (DRM 9/21/10)

2:3    This is the very thing I wrote you, so that when I came, I would not have sorrow from those who ought to make me rejoice; having confidence in you all that my joy would be the joy of you all.

    Paul had a lot of trials and problems in his ministry. He seems more human to us because he wasn't afraid to write about them throughout his writings in the Bible.
    In this section of the second chapter, he realized that by telling about his sorrows, he was depending on others to make him rejoice. The preference is to be happy instead of sad. His goal was to bring joy, thus to write in a more joyful way.
    We have the same challenge with our problems. Perhaps our goal should be similar - to bring joy to others, be joyful - they don't want to hear about problems. (DRM 4/22/17)

2:10    But whom you forgive anything, I forgive also; for indeed what I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, I did it for your sakes in the presence of Christ,

    We are not to harbor wrath against each other. The Bible states here [again] that we must forgive each other for things done against us. If God can forgive us for our sins, we should forgive others of theirs. I know I need better communications at times, so we both can clarify our points. (DRM 9/21/04)

2:12, 13    Now when I came to Troas for the gospel of Christ and when a door was opened for me in the Lord, 13I had no rest for my spirit, not finding Titus my brother; but taking my leave of them, I went on to Macedonia.

    On this missionary journey Paul stopped at Troas. The people in church welcomed him - as the door was open for him to preach there. Still, he apparently didn't stay long, as he was looking for Titus and he wasn't there. The journey continued to Macedonia.
    God=Jesus can use us wherever we are. Paul was looking for Titus, but God still used him at the church there. This wasn't Paul's plan, but God's.
    Many times we don't know God's plan for us TODAY, but He wants us to meet unexpected people and show them His love. (DRM 1/21/17)

2:14    But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place.

    God=Jesus leads us through every day. Sometimes that's hard to believe when things don't go "as planned." It often seems to me that Satan is diverting me from doing things I want to do for the Lord - and that COULD be the case, but God also directs our steps and may be keeping us from an accident that could have happened.
    Other people are watching what we do, even if we don't talk to them, they can see what we are doing and if it is God honoring. We emit the "sweet aroma" of God in what our daily lives contain. He is working behind the scenes. (DRM 9/9/15)

2:15    For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing;

    As I live my life in a normal fashion, I rarely think of what others think of my actions or witness. I usually do what comes naturally. Here I am reminded that all of my actions are being watched - first by God, but also by the Christians and non-Christians that are near me. They are always observing my actions. (DRM 9/22/04)

2:16    to the one an aroma from death to death, to the other an aroma from life to life. And who is adequate for these things?

    Let's say we are talking to a group - it doesn't have to be strangers. Some of these people will want to hear the message of Christ, as they already know Him, but others don't know Him and don't want to hear about Him again. One person thus finds the words as a sweet aroma, but the other finds the same words as convicting and repulsive. It seems you either love Christ or you hate Him.
    Our job is to tell everyone who wants to hear (somehow), and even some who don't. (DRM 3/18/14)

2:17    For we are not like many, peddling the word of God, but as from sincerity, but as from God, we speak in Christ in the sight of God.

    When we (I) talk about God=Jesus to others, the attitude of my heart should be sincerity, not as a peddler selling a product.
    We (I) are being watched - by God and what we say and do in His name must be sincere and truthful. This is a long learning and growing experience that lasts a lifetime. (DRM 10/3/07)

3:1    Are we beginning to commend ourselves again? Or do we need, as some, letters of commendation to you or from you?

    Just like we are instructed not to be proud, Paul didn't want to commend himself or his ministry to the readers. He asked if he needed a 'letter of commendation' from them for his previous work - but the answer should have been "no."
    When we work for the Lord Jesus, the results should be changed hearts in the receivers. We can't cause the hearts to be changed, as only the Holy Spirit can do that. We can lead the sinner to the Savior, but only they can make the decision. (see v. 3) (DRM 8/20/13)

3:2, 3    You are our letter, written in our hearts, known and read by all men; 3being manifested that you are a letter of Christ, cared for by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.

    Paul and Timothy (1:1) had put effort into ministry at the Corinthian church. The people were known and written in their hearts. As born-again Christians, they had the Holy Spirit in their hearts and not just facts in their head, thus were also showing their true faith to others in the community.
    Others can see our faith by our daily actions, but it's better to tell them directly. {2:15, 16} (DRM 9/22/10)

3:4, 5    Such confidence we have through Christ toward God. 5Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God, . . .

    [Re: 3:5]    Each of us is to be a minister for God in  our relationships with others. Of course He wants us to share His love with as many people as He sets before us.
    We can't do this without the Holy Spirit's help that comes from within us. We can't do this on our own. As this verse says, we are not adequate in ourselves, but it comes from God. (DRM 1/26/13)

    [Re: 3:4, 5]    This verse refers to both the verses before and after. . .
    Each of us is a representative of Christ while on earth. People can see how we live our lives rather than just reading a book. We are to have compassion for ALL people, and speak to them as the Holy Spirit leads us - with confidence.
    We know that we are not adequate for the task, but need for the Spirit to work through us and let Him direct our daily paths and words. (DRM 8/9/16)

3:6    . . . who also made us adequate as servants of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

    The question here is, what did Paul mean by "the letter."
    A person can get a letter of reference when going for a job interview. Letters can also be negative and "kill" the chances of advancement.
    Jesus wants us to be living letters for Him. He wants us to show His nature by the way we act toward others - based on the Spirit that He put in us at our conversion.
    Am I showing Christ's Spirit when I speak to others daily? (DRM 11/23/13)

3:7, 8    But if the ministry of death, in letters engraved on stones, came with glory, so that the sons of Israel could not look intently as the face of Moses because of the glory of his face, fading as it was, 8how will the ministry of the Spirit fail to be even more with Glory?

    When Moses received the Ten Commandments from God, some might call this the ministry of death because it was giving them a Law to follow instead of just doing what they wanted to do. Clearly this is the event Paul refers to.
    Moses came from the mountain with the Law AND the glory in his face from being with God. Paul's question was if Moses received glory from God, then shouldn't we also receive a type of glory from the Holy Spirit which is a part of God?
    As believers, we should reflect God's glory, even a little, as given to us by the Holy Spirit. (DRM 9/16/16)

3:9    For if the ministry of condemnation has glory, much more does the ministry of righteousness abound in glory.

    Moses received glory when he talked to God and received the Ten Commandments. It was a physical glowing that the Israelites would see. Paul calls the commandments the "ministry of condemnation" here.
    When Jesus came, according to Paul, He brought the "ministry of righteousness" which he wrote here had more glory.
    While we put our trust in Jesus, the "ministry of righteousness," we don't physically glow like Moses did.
    We are to show our spiritual light to others and they will know we are Christians by our actions and love. (DRM 9/13/17)

    Through our words and actions, the Lord spreads His life-giving love. (from Our Daily Bread 9/10/17 AMY BOUCHER PYE)

3:11    . . . so that no advantage would be taken of us by Satan, for we are not ignorant of his schemes.

    This is a continuation of the thought in verse ten.
    If someone has caused sorrow (v. 5) or conflict in the church (v. 6), he/she should be forgiven rather than punished excessively (v. 6).
    If the person that caused the problem is thrown out of the fellowship then Satan wins, as his purpose is to create conflict and disagreements to break up the church. . . anything to lower our faith in Jesus by getting our mind on conflict.
    Promote spiritual peace among the Christian family - not conflict. (DRM 4/8/14)

3:12, 13    Therefore having such a hope, we use great boldness in our speech, 13and are not like Moses, who used to put a veil over his face so that the sons of Israel would not look intently at the end of what was fading away.

    Paul was the author. When he wrote as "we," he was also including Timothy (v. 1:1).
    In this sentence Paul was comparing their boldness in proclaiming the gospel to Moses who covered his face. All three had heard from the Lord, but they had different ways to tell people what God or Jesus or the Holy Spirit told them.
    Besides living in different eras, Paul and Moses were speaking to totally different people with different life experiences in their lives. We also live in a totally different society than they did. We need new ways to present the gospel message that will connect with those who aren't believers. (DRM 4/29/16)

3:14    But their minds were hardened; for until this very day at the reading of the old covenant the same veil remains unlifted, because it is removed in Christ.

    In the first century, when this was written, the believers in God (primarily Jews) had only the Old Testament (old covenant) to refer to. They were unaware or not believing what Jesus had just done for them, and the New Testament wasn't written or available. Their eyes were not opened, their minds were limited until the veil was removed, then they could see spiritually and trust and believe in all that Jesus did for them. (DRM 9/23/10)

3:15, 16    But to this day whenever Moses is read, a veil lies over their heart; 16but whenever a man turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.

    Unbelievers just don't seem to "get it." As this verse states, reading the Old Testament Law doesn't seem to open their eyes - that they need Jesus Christ in their hearts - they seem to need a brighter Light to illumine them. When the Holy Spirit opens our eyes, then the old veil is removed, and all the words in the Bible come alive — and we finally "get it!" (DRM 9/23/04)

3:17    Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.

    Moses had seen the light, both visibly and spiritually. He had the Light, but the Israelites didn't receive it. They had a veil over their heart (v. 15) until they trusted in the Lord (v. 16).
    One third of God is the Holy Spirit and He gives part of the Holy Spirit to each person as they believe in Him. After that point, the Spirit of the Lord is also in them=believers in God's Son, Jesus.
    Since the Spirit is in us, we have liberty or freedom to do anything that He leads us to do. We don't have to fear the world, as He has overcome the world.
    Generally, our liberty is in sharing the gospel with others, as we KNOW that is God's will. (DRM 10/30/14)

3:18    But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.

    In this section the glory of the Lord was reflected in Moses (v. 7) and how he veiled his face (v. 13) for the sons of Israel. But we, as believers in the Lord God=Jesus, are not to veil our face, but to show the glory that is in us. We are constantly growing to be more like Christ - which should show our differences to the world and cause them to desire to know Him also. (DRM 10/4/07)

4:1, 2    Therefore, since we have this ministry, as we received mercy, we do not lose heart, 2but we have renounced the things hidden because of shame, not walking in craftiness or adulterating the word of God, but by the manifestation of truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God.

    Paul felt the responsibility to serve the Lord Jesus. He knew he had received His mercy and knew his job (and others) is to share the gospel with unbelievers.
    It seems to me that the things we hide are generally sins - of which we are ashamed. We don't want to hide the gospel message, but also don't want to share our sins, thus pointing out our own failures. The gospel has to be proclaimed to glorify God=Jesus and not our personal successes or failures.
    God is watching - we need to point people to Him - not ourselves. (DRM 12/10/15)

4:3    And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing,

    Why don't people "get it?" After I first understood the gospel message - and immediately accepted it - the basic message that Jesus died for my sins and that I had to repent of my sins and give my life to Him - seemed simple and logical. In v. 4 it states the god of this world (Satan) has blinded the unbelievers minds. (DRM 10/5/07)

4:4    . . . in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

    Why do so many people turn to other religions or no religion? Some people learn about Jesus in church, but don't accept His gift in their heart. According to the Bible, none of these people are Christians.
    God is a loving God. He doesn't want people to go to Hell, but also knows who will.
    The god of this world, Satan, seems to have indwelt or blinded these unbelievers from the truth of the gospel.
    Since we (as Christians) don't know who will be arriving in Heaven, it is our job to offer them the option. (DRM 9/22/12)

    Paul identified the devil as "the god of this age" who prevents people from believing the gospel (vv. 3-4). In the parable of the sower, he is "the wicked one" who "snatches away [the word of the kingdom] sown in [the hearer's] heart" (Matt. 13:19). Thankfully, Jesus came to "destroy the works of the devil" (1 John 3:8; cf. John 12:31; Heb. 2:14). (From INSIGHT, Our Daily Bread 9/22/12)

4:5    For we do not preach ourselves but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your bond-servants for Jesus' sake. 

    Every person in the world is a "preacher," in that we exhibit what we believe by our attitude and demeanor. We don't have to say a word. You can tell when a person is happy or sad. When we speak, we should not call attention to ourselves, but rather Christ, who is working in us. I think my goal must be to always give God all the glory for what He has done! (DRM 9/24/04)

4:6    For God, who said, "Light shall shine out of darkness," is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the Knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.

    How did I (we) come to know Christ as our personal Savior? Before that event, we were living in spiritual darkness, which is controlled by Satan (v. 4). According to this verse, God shone the light on our hearts to be open to His leading. He knew in advance who would respond to His leading and who wouldn't respond. Since we don't know what God knows, our duty is to evangelize to people in our daily activities. (DRM 9/24/10)

4:7, 8    But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves; 8we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed , but not despairing;

    God has power over all things. I have power over almost nothing. When I became a Christian I gave my will over to the Person who can run my life better than I can.
    The body that we have right now is fragile and easily broken; not just physically, but also spiritually. Satan and his demons (and the non-believers he controls) can and will afflict us in both physical and spiritual ways, but we are not to give up on God=Jesus.
    There are things in life that we can't understand (perplexed), but that doesn't mean we should "give up" our faith. (DRM 7/3/13)

4:9    [we are] . . .persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed;

    We are persecuted as Christians by others in the world. Depending on what country you/I live in, the form of persecution is different. In USA it's behind the scenes so far - but becoming more visible. Where does the persecution ultimately come from? Satan.
    We are struck down spiritually in the same way. This is in the form of discouragement, "You can't do that," but, with God=Jesus, we CAN do that.
    Don't let the "world" (run by Satan) discourage you from serving Christ as He directs. (DRM 5/8/14)

4:10    . . . always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.

    This is the last of four verses in this sentence. Paul was emphasizing here that we are to internalize Christ's death - by accepting His love and mercy when He died for our sins. As we accept His gift in our hearts, we also will want others to do the same.
    We are to become vessels to the Holy Spirit and be used to bring Him glory.
    Understanding what we are to do is often easier than doing it. We (I) want to show Christ in our lives, but have to learn how not to be confrontational - thus causing more opposition to the message.
    Probably an answer is to "glow" and show how Jesus lives within us. (DRM 10/3/14)

4:11, 12    For we who live are constantly being delivered over to death for Jesus' sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh, 12So death works in us, but life in you.

    God has given us physical bodies and spiritual bodies/souls, that we can't see yet. Our physical bodies or earthen vessels (v. 7) can be afflicted in various ways (v. 8) which will be used for God's glory (vv 9-10), or should be.
    The death in this verse could refer to physical bodies - as in 'some believers have died', but also could refer to our spiritual death to things of/in this world. When we give up worldly things, we add things that are more pleasing to Jesus, whose Spirit is living within us.
    So we have death to worldly things and life in spiritual things as a result of our faith. (DRM 3/7/15)

4:13    But having the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, "I BELIEVED, THEREFORE I SPOKE," we also believe, therefore we also speak, . . .

    Paul's motivation for writing, speaking and sharing the word of God was to tell others of his faith in Jesus. Even though the Holy Spirit was within him after his conversion, he had various trials (vv. 7-9) and never gave in, as he knew they were not from God.
    God=Jesus wants us to do as Paul did. Paul was willing to suffer all the trials to spread the word of God and his faith in the resurrection of Jesus. We are to do the same by using whatever gifts/talents He has given us.
    At some time, this opportunity will be over and we would regret not doing more. (DRM 4/9/16)

4:14    knowing that He who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and will present us with you.

    This is a great assurance of (my) our faith. When my life on earth is over, it won't end, but I will be raised from the dead to be with Jesus and other believers FOREVER. The last two words seem a little confusing; but I think it means we will all be together, as Paul was writing to the Corinthian church. (DRM 10/6/07)

4:15    For all things are for your sakes, so that the grace which is spreading to more and more people may cause the giving of thanks to abound to the glory of God.

    God will raise us from the dead, just like He did for Jesus (v. 14). This is for our sake.
    As people become believers in Jesus, they are receiving God's grace. More and more believers equals more and more grace given by God.
    We don't deserve His grace. It's a free gift. I can't imagine receiving a gift without being thankful for it - especially the most important gift a person can ever receive. We (I) should thank God every day for the incredible gift of eternal life with Him and His Son, Jesus. To God be the glory! (DRM 1/17/14)

4:16    Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day.

    I really dislike the aging process, as more and more aspects of my body slowly "malfunction," or show their age. While this is going on in the physical body, my spiritual body doesn't age; but rather gathers wisdom from reading the Bible and the accumulation of life experiences. (DRM 9/25/10)

4:17    For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, 

    It seems that we all have afflictions of some sort. Mine is loneliness for just a moment [decade] in the time scale of eternity. Sometimes it seems that worldly pleasures are a great attraction, but serving the Lord in ways that He directs are more enjoyable to me. I pray that someday I will find someone else who enjoys the Lord the same way I do. (DRM 9/25/04)

4:18    . . . while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

    I would call this 'spiritual vision.' An example would be our vision/anticipation of my (our) heavenly home. If I dwell on thinking on that eternal reality, then the home that I'm living in now doesn't matter very much. All the material possessions in this world are temporary, so why dwell on acquiring more of them - it's better to dwell on eternal things - and to share the excitement of going there - so others (friends, family) on earth can also join us in Heaven. (DRM 12/27/11)

5:1    For we know that if the earthly tent which is our house is torn down, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.

    Our earthly tent is where we live today - it is our current physical body - where our soul is housed. If this tent, our body, is torn down, we have "died."
    After death, we will receive "a building" — a new body from God. The tent was a temporary shelter, but the building is permanent. Christians should look forward to our new permanent home more than the tent that we live in now. (DRM 9/26/10)

5:2    For indeed in this house we groan, longing to be clothed with our dwelling from heaven

    I think this verse means more and more to me as I grow older - and have more aches and pains. I am always looking forward to my new body - and wonder what it will look like. Thankfully, God has given me a body where I can still do most things, so I must use my body and soul to be a witness for His love to others. (DRM 9/26/04)

5:3    . . . inasmuch as we, having put it on, will not be found naked.

    This is the second half of a sentence that goes with verse two.
    As Christians, we long to be in Heaven with Jesus, our Savior. We no longer want to live on earth, but to have eternal life with Him.
    Our current earthly body is wearing out day by day. It is also called our "tent" or earthly "house." As we (I) age, the longing for my new heavenly body increases.
    This verse gives us the assurance that our new body won't be an empty shell, but rather filled with our soul (that never dies), and useful for the Lord's work. (DRM 7/4/13)

5:4    For indeed while we are in this tent, we groan, being burdened, because we do not want to be unclothed but to be clothed, so that what is mortal will be swallowed up by life.

    The tent is our current body, the one we have on earth. It's only a temporary structure until God gives us our eternal body in Heaven.
    Our tents/bodies wear out, and as we grow older the problems usually grow. We don't want to be "unclothed" but to start over in our new, eternal body.
    It's exciting to me to look forward to being young again and also serve the Lord Jesus in whatever way He desires. Heaven will be a busy, exciting place! (DRM 11/5/13)

5:5    Now He who prepared us for this very purpose is God, who gave to us the Spirit as a pledge.

    In the previous four verses of this chapter, Paul referred to our earthly tent=body and how we long for our eternal body. God prepared us for this transition and clearly He can do it from all the record of what He has done in the past.
    While we are waiting for this great day - when we will receive our new bodies - God has given us the Holy Spirit as a pledge. By His (Holy Spirit) working in our lives, we know we belong to God and thus assurance of salvation. Non-Christians don't have the Holy Spirit - which is why the world runs the way it does. (DRM 10/31/15)

5:6    Therefore, being always of good courage, and knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord —

    As I get older and older, I NEED good courage as my body slowly gets more aches, pains and malfunctions.
    The greatest hope, besides Jesus, is that I will soon have a new body. I don't know if this will be a new spiritual body for a short time, or if I will be raptured and given my new physical body about the same time. No matter what happens, I am excited for the new body and want to "start over" again to offset all the wrongs I have done while in this life.
    God knows when Jesus will return. I want to be ready no matter when that is. (DRM 10/14/14)

5:7    — for we walk by faith, not by sight —

    The context of this verse refers to our new heavenly bodies. We have been promised a new "dwelling from heaven" (v. 2) to replace our earthly tent (v. 1). As we get older, this promise gets more and more appealing.
    All of this hope comes from faith that He will fulfill His promise that's written in these verses. "We walk by faith, not by sight," (v. 7) as we can't see our new bodies or Heaven yet, but we have faith that these things will come when He (Jesus=God) is ready.
    Decades of wait will be worth it all - then it will last forever. (DRM 4/3/15)

5:8    we are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord.

    When I get sick or hurt physically or spiritually, I've told a friend that I'd rather be "dead," so I can be with Jesus. This verse says nearly the same thing. The Lord has given me more time on earth before my homegoing, so I am trying my best to serve Him in some way while I have time left here on earth. (DRM 10/7/07)

5:9    Therefore we also have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him.

    As Christians, we want to be pleasing to the Lord for all He did for us while He was on earth.
    As stated in verse six, while we are at home in the (earthly) body, we are absent from the Lord. The real goal is to hear, "Well done, good and faithful servant" when this life is over.
    How can I serve the Lord today? Over the years I've found out that "my" ideas aren't successful without His input. The best thing is to hear and follow His direction and not my own.
    Sometimes patience is required. (DRM 1/18/16)

5:10    For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.

    This is one of the "scariest" verses in the Bible. I have done some "good" things for the Lord Jesus while on earth, but also some "bad" things - which are really the times that I did nothing at all - and could have been more vocal.
    How will I be judged? There is one thing for sure: Jesus died for my sins and His blood covers my sins. Still the best thing would have been as outgoing and more bold in my witness for the Lord. (DRM 9/12/11)

5:11    Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade men, but we are made manifest to God; and I hope that we are made manifest also in your consciences.

    This was written by Paul "and Timothy our brother (1:1)" = we.
    Paul genuinely wanted people to know and follow the Lord Jesus. As a result of that, he was known by the Lord (made manifest) and God knew all of Paul's actions.
    Paul also wanted the readers - including you and me - to know of his love for the Lord and purpose of his actions - our salvation. What he said/wrote he wanted us to take seriously.
    Paul wanted to persuade people to follow Jesus. God wants us to try and do the same. There are many different ways to do this. Try one. (DRM 2/19/17)

5:12, 13    We are not again commending ourselves to you but are giving you an occasion to be proud of us, so that you will have an answer for those who take pride in appearance and not in heart. 13For if we are beside ourselves, it is for God; if we are of sound mind, it is for you.

    Paul is explaining two types of pride. The more common use is of those who did things "their way" - it could be in physical appearance or one of many other ways that don't include God.
    In these verses, Paul wanted them to know that what he said and did was for the Lord. If the Corinthians wanted to honor him (be proud of him) they would have to understand that what he said or did was from the Lord, and not of himself. He was sharing what God led him to say.
    As Christians, we don't want to be earthly proud, but giving all the glory to Christ. (DRM 5/27/17)

5:14    For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died;

    Jesus died for our sins. With very few exceptions in the Bible, all people that have lived on earth so far have died. It's been an unavoidable part of life for thousands of years.
    So long as we love Jesus and will serve whatever deed He leads us to, we know where we will go after death. Jesus led the way. After He died, He rose again, then went to Heaven. . . so we, as believers in Jesus, can look forward to being in Heaven with Him.
    Someday, we will go to Heaven and Jesus will be there. One way or another (rapture), Heaven is in our future as believers in Christ. (DRM 5/16/15)

    Christ's love is the greatest of all motivators. It causes those who follow Him to live for Him, not for themselves. (from Our Daily Bread, Bill Crowder, 5/16/15)

    When Paul writes "for the love of Christ compels us" (v. 14 above), he is referring to an intentional focus. Compel means "to compress forcibly the energies into one channel." Today we may have dozens of worthy tasks competing for our attention, but love should be our primary focus and our motivation. (Our Daily Bread Insight 1/12/12)

5:15    and He died for all, that they who live should no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf. 

    In some ways we all want to live for ourselves, we want to do "our own thing." Now that I feel that the Lord has directed me to so something for Him, I have had to ask others for help on His direction, and they are all busy with families, or "themselves." 
    This has been a real challenge - where can I find a Christian who wants to serve Jesus? I'll keep looking. (DRM 9/27/04)

5:16    Therefore from now on we recognize no one according to the flesh; even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him in this way no longer.

    Jesus was on earth and had a physical body - according to the flesh - then He died. Upon His resurrection, He received a new spiritual/physical body that other humans haven't received yet. Upon our death/resurrection, we receive new spiritual bodies, but have to wait for a short time for the new physical body - until the day of the Rapture when we will all be changed.
    As Christians, we are not to look at the outward appearance of someone, but to consider their spiritual (soul) heart and relate to that. (DRM 5/26/13)

5:17    Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold new things have come.

    This refers to the time right after our conversion - or could be a definition of sanctification. I have trusted in Christ as my Messiah and have a new heart - attitude - thus a new born-again "creature." For some people this process occurs quickly after their eyes are opened, and others take longer to grow in faith (sanctification) as the Holy Spirit takes over every part of their lives - form the inside out. (DRM 10/8/07)

5:18    Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, . . .

    When we became Christians, we received the Holy Spirit within us. No matter where we are in the world there are other Christians who also have His spirit in them. We can't tell a Christian by their appearance, but rather their spirit, which unites us (see v. 16).
    My understanding of reconciliation is similar to forgiveness. We all sinned in the past, but God=Jesus forgave us of the sins. We are to forgive/reconcile others for their sins like Jesus has done for us.
    Our ministry is to show this love and forgiveness = reconciliation. (DRM 8/16/14)

5:19    . . . namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation.

    Reconcile, reconciliation.
    I don't have a dictionary and am not near a computer, so think that to reconcile in this verse is for Jesus to be our substitute - as He came to die for our sins, so we can be with Him forever. He is the intermediary between sinful people (me) and His Father - God. He defends our actions - so long as we repent of our trespasses/faults to Him.
    No one else of any religion can do this - only Jesus is our deliverer/protector to His Father. (DRM 10/24/13)

rec·on·cile

VERB:
rec·on·ciled, rec·on·cil·ing, rec·on·ciles
 
  1. To reestablish a close relationship between.

5:20    Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.

    The "therefore" of this verse refers to the previous verse, v. 19, where we (Christians) are to show the love of Christ to non-Christians through reconciliation. Let's say that we have a disagreement - then we are to apologize - no matter who is at fault - to reconcile the relationship. To reconcile with God is to admit He is ALWAYS right. (DRM 9/27/10)

5:21    He made Him [Jesus] who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

    Jesus came to earth to be the sinless sacrifice that God required to cover peoples' sins. This sacrifice was previously covered by the sacrifice of lambs in the Jewish temple. He literally died for our sins.
    Upon acceptance of His gift, God has given us the Holy Spirit to dwell within us and we are to show His (God's) righteousness - e.g. loving nature - to others. (DRM 1/12/12)

6:1    And working together with Him, we also urge you not to receive the grace of God in vain —

    Since the day we trusted the Lord Jesus as our Savior, we received His grace - something we didn't deserve.
    Our love for Him should have increased since that day. The point of this verse is not to trust in Jesus, then do nothing about it. This was the most important day in our earthly life. The day we got our admittance ticket to Heaven. The day our name was put in the Book of Life (Rev. 20:15). He deserves our complete devotion. Our desire should be to learn more and more about Him and follow His directives as written throughout the Bible. (DRM 6/28/16)

6:2    . . . for He says,
            "AT THE ACCEPTABLE TIME I LISTENED TO YOU,
             AND ON THE DAY OF SALVATION I HELPED YOU."
        Behold, now is "THE ACCEPTABLE TIME," behold now is "THE DAY OF SALVATION" —

    God=Jesus clearly presented His case when He was on earth. He told us the only way of salvation. It makes sense - if there were many ways to salvation, there would be arguments in Heaven as to the way people got there and the "who was right" that occurs here would continue there.
    God provided a Way (Jesus) and a time for each person to make that decision for salvation.
    If you haven't done so yet, "Now is the acceptable time, before it's too late - or you will live forever regretting your failure to follow Him. (DRM 1/31/15)

6:3, 4    giving no cause for offense in anything, in order that the ministry be not discredited, 4but in everything commending ourselves as servants of God, in much endurance, in afflictions, in hardships, in distresses,

    The first ten verses of this chapter are primarily a list of trials that Christians can go through in our ministries that tell others of Christ. As I read them, I realized that I have experienced several of them - and must realize that this is "normal." (DRM 9/28/04)

6:5, 6    . . . in beatings, in imprisonments, in tumults, in hunger, 6in purity, in knowledge, in patience, in kindness, in the Holy Spirit, in genuine love, . . .

    Jesus helps Christians in good times and bad. This is the longest list that I can think of in the Bible (v. 3 - 10). We are not called on to do/go through all these things, but parts of the Christian body of believers have or will have to do all these things.
    I noticed that verse five were things against Christians and verse six are things that Christians should do. (DRM 9/28/10)

6:7, 8    . . . in the word of truth, in the power of God; by the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and the left, 8by glory and dishonor, by evil report and good report; regarded as deceivers and yet true; . . .

    Paul was trying to describe his ministry with a LONG list of experiences and thoughts that starts in verse three and going in one sentence through verse 10. This is a part of that list.
    The word of truth is the Bible, the power of God - it's the main way He speaks to us. Like a two-edged sword (Heb. 4:12), the Bible is a weapon of righteousness to those in ministry like Paul was. Some felt his ministry deceived people, yet he knew the Bible was true and was his source for proclaiming the gospel.
    We (not just ministers/pastors/priests) have to be careful to interpret the words in the Bible correctly and that can only be achieved by the indwelling Holy Spirit. (DRM 9/5/16)

6:9    as unknown yet well known, as dying yet behold, we live; as punished yet not put to death,

    Everything from 6:2b to 6:10 is one sentence - describing all of what Christians are or should be doing. This is Christianity as a whole - not just one person. In v.9, I think most Christians are unknown - but some well known. We will all die physically, but will live forever spiritually. We can be punished - corrected - but not put to death. This is just part of a very long list. (DRM 10/9/07)

6:10    . . . as sorrowful yet always rejoicing, as poor yet making many rich, as having nothing yet possessing all things.

    This is the end of  long list of what Paul said the Corinthian church had. Some of these things seem bad in an earthly way, but spiritually they bring us closer to Jesus.
    The three examples in this verse follow this pattern. We are sorrowful when someone dies, but rejoicing if they are known believers going to Heaven. We are poor in earthly wealth, but can share the gospel, and if taken by the other person will make them spiritually rich.
    Similarly, we can be poor in earthly riches, yet have all we NEED because of Jesus' provision as His spiritual children. (DRM 1/2/17)

6:14, 15    Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? 15Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever?

    [Re: 6:14]    I have friendships with unbelievers - how else would they come to know Christ? I think the point of this verse, is the word "bound," which I understand to be a business partnership or marriage. Then comes the problem of one "partner" coming to know Christ as their Savior AFTER the partnership has begun. I must depend on the Lord in ALL things. (DRM 9/30/04)

    [Re: 6:14, 15]    To be bound together is like a marriage or a business partnership. Paul is telling us here that we should not marry a non-Christian. Our views of the world and dependence on Christ would cause too many problems.
    Still, we are not to seclude ourselves and talk only to Christians the rest of our lives. We can show the Light of Jesus' love - not hiding it - and still be in the world and not of it.
    If you became a Christian after marrying or after starting a business partnership, don't quit, show them Jesus' love, shine the Light. Be patient, they can come to Christ also. (DRM 1/24/17)

6:16    Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said,
    ''I WILL DWELL IN THEM AND WALK AMONG THEM; AND I WILL BE THEIR GOD AND THEY WILL BE MY PEOPLE . . . "

    This verse is based on v. 14, which says not to be bound with unbelievers. God wants our full attention; he doesn't want us to be married or bound ( e.g. business) with unbelievers, as they would not understand that we are 'following a different Leader' than they are. That doesn't mean we can't have friendships, just not legal relationships. (DRM 9/29/10)

6:17    "THEREFORE, COME OUT FROM THEIR MIDST AND BE SEPARATE," says the Lord.
           "AND DO NOT TOUCH WHAT IS UNCLEAN;
            And I will welcome you."

    This refers back to v.14, "Do not be bound together with unbelievers;  . . . " God does not want us to be unevenly yoked with people who don't have the same faith as we Christians do. I think this refers to marriage and businesses where our faith is the priority of our lives, and working with people who don't have the same faith will lead to conflicts. That doesn't mean not to talk or associate with them. (DRM 10/10/07)

6:18    "And I will be a father to you,
           And you shall be sons and daughters to Me,"
           Says the Lord Almighty.

    As Christians, God doesn't want us to be bound together with unbelievers (v. 14) in any type of partnership. This passage doesn't explain how we are to deal with the partnerships that existed before we put our full trust in Jesus. We still have to associate with non-believers or they wouldn't see the difference in our lives and also want to put their trust in Jesus.
    While we want to worship God, He also wants us to think of Him in a fatherly manner - loving and kind to His children. His desire is always for the best tor each of us. (DRM 8/4/17)

7:2, 3    Make room for us in your hearts; we wronged no one, we corrupted no one, we took advantage of no one. 3I do not speak to condemn you, for I have said before that you are in our hearts to die together and to live together.

    Paul had confidence in the church in Corinth (v. 16). Clearly, he was trying to teach them more in his writing, and wanted to remind them here that he had not wronged, corrupted or taken advantage of anyone, which are more examples of things we, as Christians, should not be doing.
    Paul's use of the phrase, "you are in our hearts to die together and to live together." seems to refer to physical death, then eternal life.
    As Christians, we still have "rules" on earth, but can look forward to eternal life with Jesus and other believers. (DRM 9/15/17)

7:4    Great is my confidence in you, great is my boasting on your behalf; I am filled with comfort, I am overflowing with joy in all our affliction. 

    Remembering that Paul is writing to the Corinthian church, he is speaking to a group and not an individual. Paul is boasting or proud of the work the church is doing. But why is he joyful about their afflictions? In verse 9, Paul mentions they were sorrowful. Their sorrow caused repentance - which is always good. We all need to be corrected to be closer to Jesus Christ. (DRM 10/1/04)

7:9    I now rejoice, not that you were made sorrowful, but that you were made sorrowful to the point of repentance; for you were made sorrowful according to the will of God, so that you might not suffer loss in anything through us.

    Apparently Paul's previous letter caused sorrow within the church that they were not living up to expectations. Paul's letter was convicting and the Holy Spirit caused them to repent - and change their ways.
    Like the church at Corinth, when reading the Bible, I (we) am convicted in parts where I am inadequate. The Holy Spirit uses the words to change our hearts and become closer and closer to walking in the middle of His will. (DRM 9/30/10)

7:10    For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation, but the sorrow of the world produces death.

    I believe that the sorrow referred to here is for prior sins committed by the Corinthian church members. After they were informed of their error = sin, they repented in sorrow for what they had done. We (I) need to do the same when I am confronted with sin in my life. (DRM 10/11/07)

8:3, 4    For I testify that according to their ability, and beyond their ability, they gave of their own accord, 4begging us with much urging for the favor of participation in the support of the saints.

    Paul was writing to the Corinthian church. In this verse he is referring to the "churches of Macedonia" (v. 1).
    The Macedonians gave to the church, or rather the support of the "saints" - which seems to refer to the speakers and leaders of the church - of their own free will. They gave "beyond their ability" according to Paul.
    Am I supporting the church according to my ability? There are no hidden things from God - He knows our income and our abilities to give from our abundance. He also knows our heart and ability to serve Him. (DRM 7/1/12)

8:7    But just as you excel in everything - in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in your love for us - see that you also excel in this grace of giving. 

    God has given me many things! How little I realize that if I only ask Him for help that it will come. With all the kindness and mercy and grace that He has given me. I should also try to give more to help others in the body - the church. (DRM 6/6/87)

8:9    For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that you through His poverty might become rich.

    This section of 2 Corinthians seems to refer to giving and generosity. This verse refers to the greatest gift of all - Jesus. He was rich - in that He had everything when He was with His Father in heaven. Then He became poor - while in His earthly body starting in Bethlehem - so that He could save us from our sins by dying on the cross - so that we could become rich in faith and eternal security in heaven. (DRM 10/12/07)

8:10    I give my opinion in this matter, for this is to your advantage, who were the first to begin a year ago not only to do this, but also to desire to do it.

    Jesus set the example (v. 9) in that He gave of Himself to teach us who are spiritually poor. Here Paul suggests that we should do the same - either spiritually in discipleship or physically by giving aid to the poor - our desire to help others comes from the Holy Spirit - and it is not in our sinful nature. (DRM 10/1/10)

8:11    But now finish doing it also; that just as there was the readiness to desire it, so there may be also the completion of it by your ability. 

    Where do our desires come from? If we are totally devoted to Christ, and listening to His voice, they should be from Him. When God tells us to do something, He must provide a way to get it done. I can't just believe that it can be done unless I complete the task - for His glory. (DRM 10/2/04)

8:20    taking precaution so that no one will discredit us in our administration of this generous gift;

    All Christians have been given the gift of salvation through the grace of God. Here Paul was probably referring to the beginning of the church. He knew he had a big responsibility and didn't want anyone to discredit of say he wasn't doing it right. . . I know that what I do for the Lord I want to be done as perfectly as possible. (DRM 10/13/07)

    The commentary with this passage indicates that the "generous gift" could be referring to the financial gifts that were given to Paul.
    Ethical handling of donated money is very important. Rightly or wrongly, it is easy to be accused of mishandling funds. {Word of Life Diary}

8:23    As for Titus, he is my partner and fellow worker among you; as for our brethren, they are messengers of the churches, a glory to Christ.

    This reminded me of the work of missionaries. I can imagine Paul as being a lead missionary and that he would send associates like Titus and other "brethren" to the various churches to report on updates - both ways.
    I think of "a glory to Christ" as a reflection of His nature - which is obtained by the Holy Spirit's indwelling your body. (DRM 10/2/10)

8:24    Therefore openly before the churches show them the proof of your love and of our reason for boasting about you. 

    Sometimes silence is NOT golden. This verse reminds me that I must proclaim my love for Jesus - by showing - not by sitting in a pew silently week after week. What is the purpose of learning if nothing is done with all of that wisdom? (DRM 10/2/04)

9:6    Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 

    While this verse was probably intended to refer to money, it could also refer to other things.
    My thoughts included the sowing of His word to non-believers. If you do not witness, you will not be helping God's kingdom.
    Lord, help me to be a more generous sower in every way.  (DRM 5/14/87)

    Like most things in the Bible, this verse isn't just about money, but it's in there. I think God wants us to sow His word and His light among the non-Christians. He wants us ALL to proclaim our dependence on Him to whoever we meet. It surely isn't easy at first, but setting out consistently causes practice that helps in the future. Sowing His love should be a lifelong mission. (DRM 10/3/04)

9:7    Each one must do just as he has proposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

    Why do I give money at church? Is it because I feel I "have" to? Is it because I truly feel they need the money? Do I want to support the work and utilities of running the church building?
    God doesn't want us to give if we don't want to support the work that is being done in His name. God knows our motives and how much we can truly afford to give to His work. (DRM 10/3/10)

9:8    And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed;

    God wants us to give from our excess to those in need. Based on this statement He also has to give us the excess, as we can't give if we are also in need.
    I have experienced this first hand. When I had more than I needed, I gave many things away; then I went through years with nearly no income, so couldn't give anything away. God supplied my needs at the time, but nothing extra.  Thankfully, it's getting better now.
    Besides financially, we are to give of our spiritual blessings in the same way. (e.g. God gave us Jesus, we are to share our faith in Him.) (DRM 12/10/13)

9:10    Now He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness;

    God gives us both financial and spiritual blessings to share with others in need. As He blesses us with these gifts, I believe that we (I) should also share the gifts or talents with others. No matter how long a person has worked for an employer, God is still the Provider - as He keeps us able to do the work. (DRM 10/14/07)

9:11    . . . you will be enriched in everything for all liberality, which through us is producing thanksgiving to God.

    This goes with verse 10 above. God will supply everything we need to share His message with others. This is one way that He enriches us as our desire to serve Him increases after salvation.
    As we (I) receive these gifts (e.g. desire to share His Good News, ability to pay our financial needs, and health to do His work.) we will see His provision and be thankful to the Lord God for all that He has given us. (DRM 6/21/13)

9:12    For the ministry of this service is not only fully supplying the needs of the saints, but is also overflowing through many thanksgivings to God.

    "This service" is sharing our abundance with others - both believers (saints) and unbelievers.
    God is truly our Provider. He gives us talents and abilities that we can use for income producing employment. If this isn't the case, He will supply in some other way to His family.
    So often we don't thank Him for the abilities He gave us. We think we did that "on our own," but Who gave us the ability to do that? He created us with certain interests and abilities and He truly deserves our praise and worship. (DRM 12/23/14)

10:1    Now I, Paul, myself urge you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ - I who am meek when face to face with you, but bold toward you when absent!

    We (I) don't want to hurt other people's feelings, so generally aren't bold when it comes to proclaiming the gospel to others. Thankfully, there are other ways. The best is just by showing "them" how Christ has affected our lives. We are to be Jesus to them. . . I still think the subject of Christianity has to be mentioned sometime - as some people will still think we are "good," without knowing why. (DRM 10/15/07)

10:8, 9    For even if I boast somewhat further about our authority, which the Lord gave for building you up and not for destroying you, I will not be put to shame, 9for I do not wish to seem as if I would terrify you by my letters.

    (My comments on these two verses didn't seem to mesh with those of the WOL diary.)

    Paul continues by challenging his readers not to judge by outward appearance (verses 7-11), for that is superficial. Look at the facts, Paul says, and especially, at me. I've got nothing to hide. I belong to Christ, and I've been called by Him to preach the Gospel. {Word of Life Diary}

10:10    For his letters, say they, are weighty and powerful; but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech contemptible. KJV

    Here Paul is writing about what he thinks others are saying about him. Quite often I have similar feelings. I think I can write, but speaking the same words is much harder. I think the difference is that, when I speak most often it is with no advance planning. That's why it's important to have God's Word fully in my mind - to be prepared for ANY question. (DRM 10/4/04)

10:12b    When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise.

    I had to read this verse several times before it meant anything to me.
    When other people measure themselves by looking at other co-workers or worldly people, they are just setting lower standards for themselves. The best thing to do is to measure myself by God's standards and do what He wants me to do. (DRM 2/15/87)

11:2    For I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy; for I betrothed you to one husband, so that to Christ I might present you as a pure virgin.

    As a group of believers, we are/will be called the "bride of Christ." This is a verse that calls Jesus our "husband." So I thought that was interesting. Again, Paul is writing to the Corinthian church and teaching them in his writings, but also all of us who read his letter. (DRM 10/16/07)

11:3    But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.

    The gospel is simple to understand (John 3:16); even a child can choose to follow Jesus.
    The world tries to make the process of following Christ long and complex. Perhaps the 'serpent' is behind this thought as he was for Eve so long ago?
    In this verse, Paul was afraid they would be led astray - not in their prior salvation, but, more likely, in false doctrine that some preach.
    Choosing to follow Christ is simple.
    Worship and devotion is simple to do.
    Don't let Satan make it more complex than is needed. (DRM 11/4/15)

11:6    But even if I am unskilled in speech, yet I am not so in knowledge; in fact, in every way we have made this evident to you in all things.

    This is a statement that I can readily relate to! When it comes to speaking to non-believers about Christ, I fear their reaction. I have no problem handing out a written tract or bookmark, but have no confidence in speech. If someone were to ask me about my faith, I think I can explain all that I know, but it's hard to start the conversation - not knowing what the other person believes. (DRM 10/5/10)

11:10    As the truth of Christ is in me, no man shall stop me of this boasting in the regions of Achaia. 

    Paul knew the Truth, and he also knew there were/are many false teachers in the world. While warning the Corinthians that others would try to deceive them, He wanted them to be sure they were also on the same path he was. He was boasting of his association to Christ and wanted to be sure that they also had the same trust in Christ. I pray that I may also be able to boast in the Lord Jesus. (DRM 10/5/04)

11:21    To my shame I must say that we have been weak in comparison.
             But in whatever respect anyone else is bold - I speak in foolishness - I am just as bold myself. 22Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they descendants of Abraham? So am I.

    Non-Christians in the world that want to succeed in various occupations have to be bold to draw attention to themselves or their businesses. They feel to be successful they HAVE to be bold and outgoing.
    Paul showed us through his actions that he was also being bold - but for a different reason - to lead others to Christ.
    Like Paul, we are to be bold for Christ in various ways, through the spiritual gifts He has given us. Perhaps the world will not like us, but eternity with Jesus will make up for today's rejection of our stand. (DRM 9/19/15)

11:23    Are they servants of Christ? - I speak as if insane - I more so; in far more labors, in far more imprisonments, beaten times without number, often in danger of death.

    While Jesus suffered and died for my sins, and is my God, Paul also suffered a lot for sharing the Gospel message. Obviously Satan didn't like what Paul was doing, so instigated this suffering. Still, Paul kept at it - - how would I deal with the same circumstances? (DRM 10/6/10)

11:24, 25    Five times I received from the Jews thirty-nine lashes.
               25Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, a night and a day I have spent in the deep.

    Paul went through a lot of pain and suffering for His Savior and God. He was dedicated and loyal to his mission.
    If any one of these things happened to me, would I abandon my faith? Some people I've heard of TODAY have quit the faith for less.
    The more useful a person is for the advance of Christianity, the more likely Satan will target the person with any type of dissuasion - to make him/her quit.
    With God's help, we can overcome all the obstacles that are put in our way - and we can look forward to eternity in Heaven. (DRM 7/14/14)

11:26    I have been on frequent journeys, in dangers from rivers, dangers from robbers, dangers from my countrymen, dangers from the Gentiles, dangers in the city, dangers in the wilderness, dangers on the sea, dangers among false brethren;

    This is one list in the Bible that I don't want to follow. While I have felt a little bit of Christian persecution, it's nothing like what Paul went through. It seems that this list was more potential dangers than actual incidents. They seem more like "what if's." His actual pain is described in part earlier (vv. 23-25).
    Only God knows our future. We have to be mentally prepared for the possibility that we could also suffer as Paul did. Would we keep the faith, or bow down to our accusers and deny the Lord? With all the events in the world against Christians - it is a real possibility. Don't lose the faith - no matter what. (DRM 1/14/15)

11:27    I have been in labor and hardship, through many sleepless nights, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure.

    While Jesus is the leader in my life, I am struck by what others, like Paul, went through to proclaim the gospel to other people through the past 2,000 years. The little that I do seems so inadequate and I praise the Lord that I haven't had a life as tough as what Paul and others (martyrs) went through. Still, Jesus is worth it all. (DRM 10/17/07)

11:30    If I have to boast, I will boast of what pertains to my weakness.

    Paul had just listed all of the sufferings that he had gone through for preaching Christ. I don't think anyone should have to go through those things to share Christ, but he did, and still continued! He knew he was right and Satan was trying to stop him. I might have quit. Still, as this verse states, Paul gloried in his suffering. He knew the Savior lives, and continued to share. I must also be willing to suffer for the cause of Christ. (DRM 10/6/04)

12:3, 4    And I know how such a man - whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, God knows - 4was caught up into Paradise and heard inexpressible words, which a man is not permitted to speak.

    The "such a man" most likely is Paul himself. He wrote this to express what he saw, but also to be humble and indicate that God showed him things - it wasn't something that he (Paul) made up in his own mind.
    When I dream, my mind can go anywhere while my body is asleep. That could almost be called an "out of body experience," as the physical body hasn't been involved. Today the same term has some different aspects (e.g. rising and separating) that aren't necessarily in Paul's statement here. (DRM 7/16/13)

    Some claim that when Paul was caught up into paradise, he had a near-death experience (2 Cor. 12:1-4). However, it is notable that Paul was forbidden to describe the experience or build any doctrinal truth on it (v. 4). (Insight, Our Daily Bread 7/16/13)

12:5    On behalf of such a man I will boast; but on my own behalf I will not boast, except in regard to my weaknesses.

    Paul had seen a vision of Heaven and wanted to boast of what he had seen. He wanted to share the news, but also wanted to be a humble servant of Christ Jesus. He was illustrating the divide that we all have at times.
    Since the vision was from the Lord, he felt that he should share the news, and that would exalt the Lord and not himself.
    When similar things happen to us/me (and a very few have), I shouldn't be as hesitant about sharing them with others - as they show that Jesus is alive and Heaven is real. (DRM 3/26/12)

    He considered such boasting utterly distasteful (vv. 1, 5) but necessary to adequately refute his critics' arrogance about their own misguided spirituality. (from Our Daily Bread, Insight 3/26/12)

12:6    For if I do wish to boast I will not be foolish, for I will be speaking the truth; but I refrain from this, so that no one will credit me with more than he sees in me or hears from me.

    Paul knew that boasting - saying how good he was - was not productive. While he could honestly say what he had done in the past for the promotion of the gospel - what good would that be for a new convert? They wanted to see how he could help them today.
    Wisely, Paul just did his work and didn't reflect on past successes. We should do the same. This gets harder as we (I) age as there are more and more experiences accumulated and it is nice to tell them to people - but not beneficial according to this verse. (DRM 11/30/12)

12:7    And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. 

    Paul knew he was privileged to know things about Heaven that others didn't [verse 4]. He was tempted to glorify himself as a result of this knowledge, but received some type of constant pain that he prayed to the Lord to remove three times [verse 8]. For whatever reason, the Lord wanted Paul to keep the pain and depend on Him for strength. I should learn dependence on the Lord for ALL. (DRM 10/7/04)

12:8, 9    Concerning this I implored the Lord three times that it might leave me. 9And He has said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness." Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.

    Paul had "a thorn in the flesh" ( v. 7) that was probably some type of disability that he asked the Lord Jesus to remove. Since Jesus=God does not like pride, He left this disability with Paul to keep him humble.
    I (we) are not perfect, and always want something "more." Jesus wants us to be dependent on Him, and He will provide for our needs - not our wants all the time. (DRM 10/7/10)

12:10    Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ's sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.

    Jesus wants us to be bold in proclaiming His truth, but also meek. Here Paul refers to all of the weaknesses that he had and all of the "arrows" that were hurled at him from unbelievers. Jesus wants us to depend on Him, thus we are weak in our dependency, but strong in faith in the Lord to accomplish His will through me (us). (DRM 10/18/07)

12:11    I have become foolish; you yourselves compelled me. Actually I should have been commended by you, for in no respect was I inferior to the most eminent apostles, even though I am a nobody.

    Paul knew he was a servant for Christ. Like Jesus, he wanted people to go to Heaven and follow Christ's teachings.
    He had been elevated by the Corinthian church - and he didn't want their commendation, but rather to just serve the church while on earth.
    We are not to desire power and authority, but rather to be servants to the King - Jesus. (DRM 9/27/14)

12:12    The signs of a true apostle were performed among you with all perseverance, by signs and wonders and miracles.

    Paul knew he was an apostle. I have been told that the apostles were those who actually were with Jesus during His time on earth. Paul has a claim to this because of his encounter on the road to Damascus. The Lord Jesus proves that Paul was the 12th (replacement) apostle by the signs and wonders and miracles that Paul performed after being called. (DRM 6/12/12)

12:13    For in what respect were you treated as inferior to the rest of the churches, except that I myself did not become a burden to you? Forgive me this wrong!

    This verse seems to be Paul's humor to me - a rare thing in the Bible.
    As Paul traveled to various churches, he certainly asked for donations for either the church in Jerusalem (1 Corin. 16:3, 4) or elsewhere, or perhaps his personal needs (Phil. 4:10-18).
    In this verse he wrote that he didn't become a burden to them - didn't ask them for financial or personal assistance. It isn't wrong to ask for no help! God=Jesus had provided for his needs from other sources. No collection needed.
    God provides for our needs in various ways. We never know His ways in advance, but are thankful when it happens. (DRM 10/28/16)

12:17    Did I make a gain of you by any of them whom I sent unto you? 

    Paul wanted to remind the Corinthians that he wasn't out to make a profit on his sharing of the Lord to them. When he couldn't come, he sent others [verse 18] and they did not charge for sharing their knowledge either.
    Certainly that style is rare today. Most Christian speakers charge fees to share their knowledge as far as I know. I know the Lord will provide for all of our needs, but does He provide the funds to the speaker or the listener - and how? I prefer Paul's way. (DRM 10/7/04)

12:19    All this time you have been thinking that we are defending ourselves to you. Actually, it is in the sight of God that we have been speaking in Christ; and all for your upbuilding, beloved.

    This section appears to be Paul's personal thoughts to the Corinthian church. He's guessing at their thoughts of his ministry and is defending himself. Paul clarifies that his ministry is speaking for or sharing the love of Christ and for their growth (upbuilding).
    When we minister to or help others, we should also have them know that we are doing things through the love of Christ - verbally or non-verbally. (DRM 5/25/12)

12:20    For I am afraid that perhaps when I come I may find you to be not what I wish and may be found by you to be not what you wish; that perhaps there will be strife, jealousy, angry tempers, disputes, slanders, gossip, arrogance, disturbances;

    Paul had been to Corinth twice before (v. 14) and states here that he is afraid that some of them may have drifted away from the faith. The list here seems like it could be added to a "sins" list, however 'disturbances' could be against the church and not caused by it.
    Only Jesus is perfect=sinless, but it is our duty to try to avoid these sins. (DRM 10/8/10)

12:21    I am afraid that when I come again my God may humiliate me before you, and I may mourn over many of those who have sinned in the past and not repented of the impurity, immorality and sensuality which they have practiced.

    In this verse Paul seemed to "put himself down," or was a little fearful? He seemed to lose confidence in the work he was called to do, and didn't know what the people in the church might be doing without his knowledge. God knows all of our actions and motives, and He will do the judging, so it is best to leave this in His hands. (DRM 10/19/07)

13:4    For indeed He was crucified because of weakness, yet He lives because of the power of God. For we also are weak in Him, yet we will live with Him because of the power of God directed toward you.

    What weakness did Jesus have? He was human for the time He was here. God raised Him from the dead to show us how we will also be raised from the dead - through God's power. The only reason that we will live with Him is due to our faith that Jesus lived, died and resurrected for our sins, and we must confess these sins to Him. (DRM 10/9/10)

13:5    Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you - unless indeed you fail the test?

    What are the questions on the test? Paul isn't too clear on this. I would say, "Do you love the Lord your God = Jesus with all your heart, and all your soul, and all your strength? Perhaps 13:8 (below) is Paul's test, but the point is to search our souls and repent of all sin, and serve the Lord Jesus in whatever say He directs. (DRM 10/20/07)

13:8    For we cannot do anything against the truth, but only for the truth.

    When we are saved, we learn, by the Holy Spirit within us, to understand most everything in the Bible. In the same way, we become honest and truthful at the transformation point onwards. (DRM 5/12/87)

13:9    For we (Paul and friends?) are glad, when we are weak, and ye (Corinthian church) are strong: and this also we wish, even your perfection.

    Paul is writing about the spiritual health of the Corinthian church here. While Paul knew that he wasn't perfect, and, as a whole, the church was progressing on a road to true Christianity, he wished that they would continue to grow more perfect in spiritual things. We all need more spiritual growth, no matter what stage we are at. I know I do! (DRM 10/8/04)