(2 Corinthians 4:13-18)
We talk a lot about sickness and healing in church as Christians. And the bible shows HEAPS of examples where the Lord and the apostles walked amongst the people healing the sick. So it raises the question today, why do Christians get sick?
Why do Christians get sick?
I see churches who run healing meetings at and I must say I sometimes have a bit of a laugh about it. A sign out the front of the church that says, “Come and Be Healed…7:00 – 9:00 AM Tuesday’s” or something like that. It always sounds to me like, if you don’t turn up then, you won’t get your healing.
But it does raise a good question when we look at all those healings in the bible and yet we don’t seem to see them today. Well, this scripture today should give us some comfort and help explain why this is the way it is, and we will look at what the Lord has provided for those who do get ill.
(2 Corinthians 4:7-12)
Anyone who has faith will never doubt the power of God to protect and save. The examples in the bible are numerous where God has exercised His power to prevent calamity and death among His people. Paul recognized this power and shows us how the people of God are unbreakable in God's power.
Jars of clay - Unbreakable in God's Power
These few verses are testimony to the depth of the power of God and how it works within us to protect and save. We are shown that even in the fragility of the human condition, and the weakness of our flesh, we become unbreakable.
This is testimony also to how we are being watched by God. It does not mean we will not go through troubles, trials and tribulations. Rather, He oversees all aspects of our lives so that we are not taken beyond our abilities to handle any crisis that may arise.
(2 Corinthians 4:6)
Among Christians there has been an argument running for many years concerning how God created the world and everything in it. One of the interesting parts of the argument is centered around what God meant when He said on the first day of the creation, “Let there be light.”
Let there be light
There are those who believe creation occurred in a literal period of seven 24 hour days, while others believe it happened over thousands of years. Still others believe the creation period has not yet ended and of course science talks about the earth existing for several billion years.
Now, I don't intend to weigh into this argument here, but I will lay my cards on the table and say I believe that the creation is still underway. It has not yet been finished because man is not yet in the image of God, which is the final state of man to be achieved on the sixth day of creation according to Genesis chapter 1. If man were truly in the image of God, we would be perfect like Him. But you only need to read any newspaper or watch the evening news to see the depth of sin that exists in man to know that this is not so.
Which brings me back to what God was speaking about when He said, “Let there be light.” This scripture in 2 Corinthians 4:6 gives us some insight into what He was talking about.
(2 Corinthians 4:5)
This scripture is a great lesson and reminder for those of us who teach and preach the gospel of Jesus Christ. It needs to be remembered, especially as there are many today who do not follow the teaching Paul is giving us here, which is to proclaim Christ first.
Proclaim Christ First
There are ministries today where the major focus of the ministry is not Jesus Christ but the “personalities” who run or work within the ministry. Some seem to be more focused on money, music, social activities, or other things and completely miss the point of Jesus Christ. This is not what Paul was teaching us here, and the big issue for us is that by NOT following Paul’s advice, a ministry can and will go astray from the truth.
It is simple advice too. Paul tells us that we need to proclaim not ourselves, but Jesus Christ with ourselves as His humble servants. Unfortunately, it does not always work that way.
(2 Corinthians 4:1-4)
As a Christian I have heard this question posed many times by non-believers who believe it is a plausible argument for the non-existence of God. It is a question that smacks of hypocrisy because those who pose it do not believe in God in the first place. They say, “If God is good why do people suffer,” or some variation of this such as good people suffering, innocent children suffering or just the fact that the world is full of suffering.
If God is good, why do people suffer
But the argument itself suffers from one fatal flaw. The question is wrong because It is based on a false premise.
The underlying premise of this question is that God, who is all-seeing and all-knowing, is the God of this world where people live and suffer. And that is where the argument falls apart, as we see in this section of scripture.
(2 Corinthians 3:12-18)
Lifting the veil of the law
There is a process in corporations law that is known as lifting the veil of the law. It applies to the ability of the courts to get behind the protections in corporations law to hold the directors of a company accountable for their actions when they act unconscionably or defraud shareholders, investors or the community.
This process is one that brings people who have done the wrong thing to account so they can be judged and if necessary condemned for their actions.
Now what we see in this section of scripture is another process of lifting the veil of the law, not for corporate entities but for individuals. But the process in Christianity is very different. In corporations, it leads to condemnation, but in Christ, it leads to freedom. And it is this freeing process we will look at here Continue reading
(2 Corinthians 3:7-11)
Sometimes it is easy to become complacent about the wondrous opportunity we have been given by God in the gospel of Jesus Christ. Sometimes we take it all for granted, not realising how truly blessed we are to live in this age where we can receive the gospel of Jesus Christ.
The Old Covenant is only a shadow of the New Covenant
This piece of scripture looks at the gospel of the new covenant and does a comparison with the offer under the old covenant and we recognise just how blessed we are.
While there were many blessings under the old covenant of law, what we have today in Christ Jesus is far, far better. We have an opportunity that was not even remotely possible under the law. So we must take time and effort to understand the gospel and the teachings of the new covenant to take full advantage of ALL that God is offering and make full use of the blessings we have been given freely in Jesus Christ.
(2 Corinthians 3:1-6)
This is a fascinating piece of scripture in these first few verses of 2 Corinthians 3. It forces us to think about the direction that the church has taken over the millenia since Christ appeared and makes you wonder what has gone wrong.
You don't need a degree to teach the gospel
If you want to preach the gospel in many churches today, and especially if you want to work full time as a pastor, priest or minister, many of the churches require you to go to a university or their bible college to get a degree, diploma or similar qualification to preach the word. And many people in the churches also will not listen to someone unless they have received such a qualification.
But this is not how it was from the beginning. And we see that Paul emphasises this point in these verses. And when we look at other bible examples we see also that this requirement for a degree, diploma or qualification is not from God. In fact it can obscure the truth if we are not careful.
(2 Corinthians 2:12-17)
One of the things that bothers me is when churches, pastors and Christians in general use Jesus for the purpose of marketing to make a profit, that is, where their sole or primary purpose is to make money from the name of Jesus.
Marketing Christ for profit
Don't get me wrong here though, because it is quite acceptable for a person doing the work of the Lord to receive their wages from that work. This is an accepted and acceptable practice in the bible. But it is unacceptable where the primary or sole purpose is to profit from the word of God.
We see Paul talk about this point at the end of this section scripture where he says,
For we are not, like so many, peddlers of God's word, but as men of sincerity, as commissioned by God, in the sight of God we speak in Christ. – (2 Corinthians 2:17)
(2 Corinthians 1:12-14)
One of the things that always concerns me is how some people make the word of God difficult to understand. Those who go through doctrinal training at bible schools and universities are often most to blame as they make the word hard to understand by using big words and difficult concepts that are hard to understand.
Think...and understand the word of God
The apostle Paul was a scholar as he was deeply trained in the teachings of the Old Testament in his early years as a Pharisee. And the bible tells us that he was well advanced, beyond many of those of his age.
But when Paul came to the Lord he saw that there was a better way. The truth of the freedom in the gospel is a better way than the confinement under the old covenant law. And Paul also saw that to convey this better way needed a simple message, not complicated words that only the scholars could understand. The word was not to be masked, but laid open for all to understand.