Searchfortreasure's Blog

…a Bible student's notes…

continuing in chapter 2…….

Ignoring the chapter division, the subject is still the same.  Paul had begun to give his reasons for writing.  I entitled Chapter 2:   “I wrote to you so that…”  From verse 21 in ch. 1, Paul had been anointed by God for his ministry and he is determined to communicate this to them.  I will paste the Amplified version of chapter 2 for you.  Do not hurry over it!  Read it forwards.  Read it backwards!  You will be surprised at what you learn reading backwards.  The last verse says that Paul does not peddle the Word of God.  Indeed he speaks boldly – lays it all on the line, speaking his mind as the mind of Christ!

2Co 2:1  BUT I definitely made up my mind not to grieve you with another painful and distressing visit.

2Co 2:2  For if I cause you pain [with merited rebuke], who is there to provide me enjoyment but the [very] one whom I have grieved and made sad?

2Co 2:3  And I wrote the same to you so that when I came, I might not be myself pained by those who are the [very] ones who ought to make me glad, for I trusted in you all and felt confident that my joy would be shared by all of you.

2Co 2:4  For I wrote you out of great sorrow and deep distress [with mental torture and anxiety] of heart, [yes, and] with many tears, not to cause you pain but in order to make you realize the overflowing love that I continue increasingly to have for you.

2Co 2:5  But if someone [the one among you who committed incest] has caused [all this] grief and pain, he has caused it not to me, but in some measure, not to put it too severely, [he has distressed] all of you.

2Co 2:6  For such a one this censure by the majority [which he has received is] sufficient [punishment].

2Co 2:7  So [instead of further rebuke, now] you should rather turn and [graciously] forgive and comfort and encourage [him], to keep him from being overwhelmed by excessive sorrow and despair.

2Co 2:8  I therefore beg you to reinstate him in your affections and assure him of your love for him;

2Co 2:9  For this was my purpose in writing you, to test your attitude and see if you would stand the test, whether you are obedient and altogether agreeable [to following my orders] in everything.

2Co 2:10  If you forgive anyone anything, I too forgive that one; and what I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, has been for your sakes in the presence [and with the approval] of Christ (the Messiah),

2Co 2:11  To keep Satan from getting the advantage over us; for we are not ignorant of his wiles and intentions.

2Co 2:12  Now when I arrived at Troas [to preach] the good news (the Gospel) of Christ, a door of opportunity was opened for me in the Lord,

2Co 2:13  Yet my spirit could not rest (relax, get relief) because I did not find my brother Titus there. So I took leave from them and departed for Macedonia.

2Co 2:14  But thanks be to God, Who in Christ always leads us in triumph [as trophies of Christ’s victory] and through us spreads and makes evident the fragrance of the knowledge of God everywhere,

2Co 2:15  For we are the sweet fragrance of Christ [which exhales] unto God, [discernible alike] among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing:

2Co 2:16  To the latter it is an aroma [wafted] from death to death [a fatal odor, the smell of doom]; to the former it is an aroma from life to life [a vital fragrance, living and fresh]. And who is qualified (fit and sufficient) for these things? [Who is able for such a ministry? We?]

2Co 2:17  For we are not, like so many, [like hucksters making a trade of] peddling God’s Word [shortchanging and adulterating the divine message]; but like [men] of sincerity and the purest motive, as [commissioned and sent] by God, we speak [His message] in Christ (the Messiah), in the [very] sight and presence of God. (AMP)

There are a couple of things that need noting.

 Please notice that verse 11 follows verse 10.  Both verses comprise one sentence.  Now, read it again with no break.  Satan has an advantage over us when we do not forgive!  “Advantage” means “to seek to get more.”  His scheme (“wiles” & “intentions”) is literally, “that which he thinks and purposes.”   Satan’s purpose is to prevent your participating in the “day of our Lord Jesus.”  This is his mind and single purpose.  Why?  Because this is the central theme of the whole Bible, remember?  Context.  Being ignorant of this fact has dire consequences.

After the instructions of forgiveness and of comfort, restoration, and love, Paul tells of his Troas experience of not finding Titus.  Read these verses again to see into Paul’s anguish of spirit because we can understand his triumphant “but” at verse 14.  “BUT, wherever I go, with or without Titus, I thank God – who is in Christ – for leading me in triumph as I spread the Gospel of Christ (the good news of the Messiah, the coming ruling and reigning One).  This good news is “fragrant” with sweetness.  This is an Old Testament expression concerning the sacrifices; but is used in the New Testament like this:

“Joh 12:3 Mary therefore took a pound of very costly perfume of pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair; and the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.

Eph 5:2 and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you, and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.

Php 4:18 But I have received everything in full, and have an abundance; I am amply supplied, having received from Epaphroditus what you have sent, a fragrant aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well-pleasing to God.”  (NAS)

This sweet fragrance of Christ (and all His Name means) unto God is discernible both to those who are being saved (the salvation ready to be revealed in the last time – 1Peter 1:5) AND to those who are literally “perishing.”  These verbs are in the present tense!  There is nothing to perish unless one has something, a possession, to perish in the first place.  “Lost” is a poor translation of this word, but still applicable.  When I am “lost,” I have had a destination (purpose) and cannot get to my preferred destination.  The destination – in context – is “the Day of the Lord!”

The first participle, “saved” is in present, passive tense.  “Perishing” is in the present, middle/passive.  “Middle” means that the subject is doing this to himself.  “Passive” means the subject is having this done to him by another.  I can either be submissive to God’s Word about His Son’s rule and I am being saved, passive voice, present tense – or I can fail to see and obey the truth and be causing myself to “perish” – for the salvation in the age to come.  Salvation in the life to come signifies life.  Perishing to the life to come signifies death (separation) from the preferred life in the age to come.  Read those verses again and you will see that “saved” is the opposite of “perishing.”  Same subject throughout!  Different outcomes.

Lastly, note:  verse 17.  Paul is mindful that he speaks in the hearing of God.  His language is that of the Messiah!  In no way is this message corrupt and he will not “peddle” it – make it appealing to the masses.  He is “laying it all on the line.”

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April 22, 2010 - Posted by | How I Read in Context, Learning to read - accurately

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