Everyone eventually dies. But the gospel says that everyone will be resurrected — brought back to life. When will this happen? The resurrection will occur when Christ returns (John 6:40; 1 Corinthians 15:21-23, 52; 1 Thessalonians 4:14-17). We will be given new and dramatically different bodies—imperishable, glorious, powerful, spiritual, and immortal (1 Corinthians 15:35-51).
References to: 2 Corinthians
As Paul worked to spread the gospel in the gentile world, he also worked to have the gentiles give an offering to poor believers in Jerusalem. We see evidence of this offering in several of his letters; it was a consistent theme of his work.
Paul saw a vital connection between God’s grace and our giving. Just as God has been gracious toward us, we should be gracious toward others, sharing the spiritual and physical blessings God has given us. Although good works can never pay for God’s grace, they are an expected result of God’s grace working in our lives.
When Paul met with the original apostles, they agreed to divide the mission field — Paul would focus on the gentiles, and they would focus on the Jews (Gal. 2:9). But they did make one request of Paul: that he remember that many believers in Jerusalem needed financial help (2:10).
Paul begins this chapter by pointing out that he, the apostle Christ used to begin the Corinthian church, did not need a “letter of recommendation” from anybody: “Are we beginning to commend ourselves again? Or do we need, like some people, letters of recommendation to you or from you? You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everyone” (verses 1-2).
Second Corinthians is a highly personal piece of writing in which the apostle Paul strips himself bare. Throughout this letter, Paul is on the defensive. As New Testament scholar Ralph Martin explains, Paul is here dealing with severe criticisms of himself and his ministry:
Michael Morrison has a PhD from Fuller Theological Seminary. He is Dean of Faculty and Instructor in New Testament for Grace Communion Seminary. He is the author of Sabbath, Circumcision and Tithing and Who Needs a New Covenant? The Rhetorical Function of the Covenant Motif in the Argument of Hebrews.
Articles by Michael Morrison:
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We live in financially uncertain times. The stock market is bouncing up and down, several banks have been consolidated, it’s getting harder to get a loan, and people are losing their jobs. Here at the church’s administrative center in Glendora we are cutting our budgets, because our donation income might go down.
Economic problems have complex causes, but one of the biggest causes is greed. Today, I’d like to talk about the opposite of greed: generosity. Our lives need to be characterized by generosity, not greed.