If God is Good, Why do People Suffer

(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

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.

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Lifting the Veil of the Law

(2 Corinthians 3:12-18)

Lifting the veil of the law

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

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The Glorious Gospel

(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

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.

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Do You Need A Degree to Teach the Gospel?

(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

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.

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Marketing Christ

(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

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)

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Understanding the Word Of God

(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

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.

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Forgiveness and Comfort

(2 Corinthians 2:1-11)

In the first letter Paul wrote to the church at Corinth, he was quite scathing about some of the practices they were accepting and allowing to occur. Those practices included many forms of adultery and immorality and had to be addressed in a direct and emphatic way.

Give and receive forgiveness and comfort

Give and receive forgiveness and comfort

Judgement was made and those who were carrying out these immoral practices were brought to account. Their practices were shown up to the light of the truth and shown to be wrong and those who were doing such things were warned to change their ways or leave the church.

But in this letter we see a call for reconciliation, where the people who had wronged the church and repented, changed their ways and were seeking God’s forgiveness. And where this happens, Paul now instructs the church to also forgive and welcome back those who have repented.

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In Christ It Is Always Yes

(2 Corinthians 1:12-24)

One of the major phone companies here in Australia has the word ‘Yes’ as a combination motto, logo and customer promise. Whether they actually achieve that I don’t know, but it is a good marketing approach.

In Christ it is always YES

In Christ it is always YES

Most people like to hear a ‘yes’ response because it means they are getting a positive response to their questions or inquiry.

In Jesus Christ, we see here that He too responds with ‘yes’. Paul makes the point to the church at Corinth that,

For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory. – (2 Corinthians 1:20)

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Deliverance

(2 Corinthians 1:8-11)

Deliverance is one of the many messages we hear Christians speak about. It is often used as a means to draw people into churches.

Unlocking the key to deliverance

Unlocking the key to deliverance

There is a church near where I lived some years ago where they had a sign out front announcing a weekly prayer meeting for people to come and get healing. And this is a great draw card because nobody likes to suffer.

Deliverance was at the root of many of the miracles Jesus performed while He walked on the earth. He healed the sick, lame, blind, deaf, paralysed and gave release from demonic possession to many people as part of His ministry. These people were delivered from all manner of afflictions and many followed Him purely because of the deliverance He gave.

But there is more to deliverance and a greater purpose, which is available to all still today through Christ Jesus.

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God of Comfort

(2 Corinthians 1:1-7)

In this second letter of Paul to the church at Corinth we see him answer a number of questions and issues raised in the first letter. While the first letter was quite stern in a number of places, this second letter is more conciliatory.

Comfort one another

Comfort one another

Paul emphasises the need to walk in love more in this letter. He shows that, while there are circumstances that require strict action in the first letter, there is also the time to turn and offer compassion, mercy and love. When the one who sinned or was in the wrong turns and repents, then they should be offered forgiveness and reconciliation.

And we see this attitude come through strongly right from the beginning of this letter where Paul writes about the need to comfort those who have turned from their erroneous ways and returned to the Lord.

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