2 Corinthians paraphrasedchs 9-13, chs 1-4 Ch 5. One day the clay pot will no longer be repairable and we will leave it. For God has prepared an unbreakable pot, not made of clay in which we will abide for ever. We will get a new resurrection body. Our bodies are but temporary dwellings like a tent. For we will all one day have to appear before the judgment seat and face the possibility of the wrath of God being poured upon us. It is a frightening and sobering thought. Thankfully we have heard the gospel and received it and are now reconciled to God. And we know that our righteousness is not our own but it is the righteousness of God. He has clothed us in the righteousness of His Son Jesus Christ. Otherwise we would stand before God naked, or like the man in the parable of Jesus, who had no wedding garment. This is why we preach the gospel to try to persuade men and women to accept Christ while it is the day of salvation. Because we are already in the Kingdom of heaven, having been born there, we live on earth as children of heaven. We are like ambassadors here in a foreign land. So while most will hope they are accepted by God at the judgement we are already reconciled in our hearts and in our behaviour, making ourselves acceptable to God. For we live for Christ. His love for us holds us in a vice for we reckon that if he died for us we should live for Him. So the life we now live on earth is His life. Hence the reason we say, we are already representing heaven like an ambassador in a foreign country, we are trying to bring peace between God and man. So we say again to you all, get right with God, be prepared for the day of judgement which will surely come Heaven is a place we can look forward to with great anticipation when we are living God’s life on earth. Personally as servants of God, we think sometimes that we would rather die than live because of the joy we shall have to be with the Lord. But as long as we are here on earth we will live to please God and not ourselves.
Ch 6. So we live for Christ and preach Christ. I trust we have not preached to you in vain for as I said “ Today is the day of salvation”. There is no salvation promised tomorrow. Tomorrow never comes and one could say the only true tomorrow is eternity, and we could enter that at any time. So our only desire is for you to be true children of God. Even though it costs us a great deal physically in constant trials and tribulations. We would not want to do or say anything that would hinder you from receiving the gospel, and fully embracing it as true children of God. But I fear you hinder yourselves in not accepting our ministry as we accept you and also by the lives you live. True children of heaven would not be wrapped up or affiliated with this present evil world. For example, a child of God should not get married to someone who isn’t. How can two be agreed if one is walking in darkness and the other in light? It is impossible. Like a big ox being yoked with a small weak ox- it doesn’t work. God is an Almighty God, El- Shaddai, which means a “bountiful”l God and he calls us to leave worldly things and receive all the bountiful spiritual heavenly riches that are to be found when He is truly living in us and we are living for him and his life is living out of us. So be reconciled to God while it is today. We don’t minister to you the gospel for our own glory. It is for Christ’s glory and for your personal salvation. Then you will truly be able to say you are children of God and the Almighty bountiful God who possesses all things is your father. How Rich is that?
Ch. 7 So if the Almighty God is your father and you are genuinely his child what will you lack in this world, for he has promised to be unto us all we would ever need. We are now both spiritual and physical, we are children of two worlds, the flesh and the spirit. So we need to make sure that as God is a Holy God we are Holy children and keep ourselves free from the dirty thing of the flesh and also of the Spirit, like, pride, envy, self-promotion, respecter of persons, etc these are things quite acceptable in the world but not in the kingdom or the family of God. That being so I hope you will do away with all ill-feeling towards us and put aside any personality preferences, for our feelings towards you are full on. We have done nothing to offend you. We make sure we give offence to no one. There are no ill feelings on our parts. On the contrary you fill our hearts. We are thrilled with you as our work in the Lord. We have endured great tribulation for you and would and indeed could have died in reaching you with the Gospel. Certainly when I write to you I don’t mince my words, but that is because I care for you and don’t want you to be led astray by false teaching. We boast of you in other churches. When we were in Macedonia we were having a hard time to say the least but when Titus came and told us how you were getting on we were thrilled and rejoiced. And when he told me that you were burdened for us we were even more happy. This is what we want a real unity and fellowship between us so that the ministry is not hindered by the enemy who seeks to put wedges between us. I know you were quite upset with my letter, but that is really not a bad thing. It is certainly not good to feel sorrowful but if we are sorrowful because we have had our wrongs pointed out, then surely that is a good thing. That kind of sorrow is a stepping stone to life and true fellowship with God and his people. Removing what the devil puts between us can be hard work but we recognise the necessity to get things right. You have truly excelled yourselves in these things and God is really glorified by the positive responses you have shown in repenting and restoring spiritual things to how they should be. It can only be expected that as a young church you will falter. You have not been this way before, that is why God has put people in the church like ourselves to minister to you an d show you God’s way in all thing. We should not do things in the flesh as we used to and as the world does and judges but according to the leading of the Holy Spirit. We write to you under the guidance of the same Spirit and both write and preach the word of God to you. So Titus really encouraged us with your response. He was more than delighted at the way you received him. I am glad about that for I had said that you would. We are confident that you will continue in the path of truth,
Ch. 8. We have been boasting about you in Macedonia. The churches there are also going well. Recently their generosity has matched your own. My news about you encouraged them to follow your example. Even though they themselves were in great need for they are not particularly well off, they insisted that we take their gift towards the poor saints in Jerusalem. For it is obvious that when they gave their lives to the Lord, they recognised that it included their money also, even though they didn’t have much for themselves. It is for the same reason we are sending Titus to you now, so that you might be able to give the gift you were ready to give over a year ago. We are not commanded to give but our giving is in response to the Lord Jesus Christ, who was rich in Heaven but came to earth and became poor, so that we could become rich in heavenly things. So as you have abundantly received the heavenly gifts such as faith, and tongues and knowledge etc, this is an opportunity to show your love for Christ Jesus. How much you give is not important. It is important that you give willingly. Some are able to give more than others. We would not want you to be without, and the saints in Jerusalem have abundance. We just desire an equal sharing of our earthly goods. Those in Jerusalem were caught up in great enthusiasm in the early years of the church and many sold everything they had and gave the money to the church, but they left themselves poor and are now in need of help. So we have to be wise in our giving. We can be guided by the scripture that says “He that had gathered much had nothing over; and he that had gathered little had no lack”. Now let me introduce the brethren who are coming to you. One brother is the one chosen by the churches to take part in the collection of these gifts. He is with us to ensure that all things are done honestly and give no offence to those who would seek to find fault. The other brother is one who has been a very zealous worker for the Lord and has helped us in our ministry Then Titus who most of you know but for those who don’t, he is my partner in the gospel and my fellow worker. So these men are all well approved by the church as men of God able to be trusted and should be received as such. We have told them of your love and fellowship so we trust you will not come short of the things we have boasted about.