2 CORINTHIANS - PAUL'S MINISTRY IN THE LIGHT OF THE INDESCRIBABLE GIFT
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Charts from Jensen's Survey of the NT - used by permission
Another Overview Chart on right side
for the Saints
|Testimonial & Didactic||Practical||Apologetic|
Misunderstanding & Explanation
|Apostle's Conciliation, Ministry & Exhortations||Apostle's Solicitation for Judean Saints||Apostle's Vindication
Ephesus to Macedonia:
Macedonia: Preparation for Visit to Corinth
Adapted & modified from Jensen's Survey of the New Testament (Highly Recommended Resource) & Wilkinson's Talk Thru the Bible
Amplified: Yet we have the same spirit of faith as he had who wrote, I have believed, and therefore have I spoken. We too believe, and therefore we speak, [Ps. 116:10.]. (Lockman)
Barclay: Because we have the same spirit of faith as appears in that passage of scripture where it stands written, “I have believed and therefore have I spoken,” we, too, believe and therefore speak, (Westminster Press)
God's Word: The following is written, "I believed; therefore, I spoke." We have that same spirit of faith. We also believe; therefore, we also speak. (GWT)
Easy English: The Bible says, ‘I spoke because I believed.’ We have that same kind of belief. Therefore, we believe and we speak out.
ESV: Since we have the same spirit of faith according to what has been written, "I believed, and so I spoke," we also believe, and so we also speak, (ESV)
KJV: We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak;
NET: But since we have the same spirit of faith as that shown in what has been written, "I believed; therefore I spoke," we also believe, therefore we also speak. (NET Bible)
NIV: It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.” With that same spirit of faith we also believe and therefore speak, (NIV - IBS)
NLT: But we continue to preach because we have the same kind of faith the Psalmist had when he said, “I believed in God, so I spoke.” (NLT - Tyndale House)
Phillips: Our faith is like that mentioned in the scripture: 'I believed and therefore I spoke'. (Phillips: Touchstone)
Weymouth: But possessing the same Spirit of faith as he who wrote, “I believed, and therefore I have spoken,” we also believe, and therefore we speak.
Wuest: But we have the same Spirit of faith [as the Psalmist] according as it has been written and is at present on record, I believed, wherefore I spoke. And as for us, we are believing, wherefore also we are speaking,
Young's Literal: And having the same spirit of the faith, according to that which hath been written, 'I believed, therefore I did speak;' we also do believe, therefore also do we speak;
BUT HAVING THE SAME SPIRIT OF FAITH, ACCORDING TO WHAT IS WRITTEN, "I BELIEVED, THEREFORE I SPOKE," WE ALSO BELIEVE, THEREFORE WE ALSO SPEAK: echontes (PAPMPN) de to auto pneuma tes pisteos, kata to gegrammenon, (RPPNSA) episteusa, (1SAAI) dio elalesa, (1SAAI) kai emeis pisteuomen, (1PPAI) dio kai laloumen, (1PPAI):
- The same: Ac 15:11 Ro 1:12 1Co 12:9 Heb 11:1-40 2Pe 1:1
- Believed: Ps 116:10
- We also: 2Co 3:12 Pr 21:28
- 2 Corinthians 5 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries
But (de) introduces the contrast - in spite of the frality and weakness of the clay pot in which the Gospel has been entrusted (2Co 4:7-note) and the fact that they were continually being tried (2Co 4:8, 9-note) "death (continually) works in us" (2Co 4:12-note), we have faith, a firm belief, a confident, complete trust which allows us to keep on speaking about and preaching Jesus.
The New Living Translation (NLT) as I have said before is helpful in providing interpretative clues, but one must use discretion for it is a paraphrase (see Chart comparing Literalism of Bible Versions) and I do not always agree with their interpretative paraphrase but in this verse I do…
But we continue to preach because we have the same kind of faith the Psalmist had when he said, “I believed in God, so I spoke.” (NLT - Tyndale House)
Joseph Beet sees this verse as a breakpoint writing…
Having explained the purpose and result of the perils around, Paul now gives the motives which enable him to continue his work in spite of them. He can do this because, led by the Spirit, he believes the promises of God. By faith he knows (2Co 4:14) that God will raise him from the dead in company with his converts; that (2Co 5:1–4) if his present body die a better one awaits him; that (2Co 5:6–8) death will but remove him to the presence of Christ; and that (2Co 5:10) from Him he will receive due reward for his work. (2 Corinthians 4:13 Commentary)
Though he is oppressed, Paul's outlook is one of hope (2Co 4:14). Therefore, he does not lose heart (2Co 4:16), though his outer man is decaying, for this affliction is light and temporary when viewed from the perspective of eternity. (The Ryrie Study Bible: New American Standard Translation: 1995. Moody Publishers)
Having the same spirit of faith - "having" = "possessing". Paul says this "enables us to go on preaching to you… not distinctly the Holy Spirit,—but still not merely a human disposition: the indwelling Holy Spirit penetrates and characterizes the whole renewed man" (Alford) Bengel feels "same spirit of faith" refers to that of the Psalmist who wrote the words in Ps 116:10.
Alfred Plummer has an interesting observation regarding Paul's repeatedly uses echo (to have, to possess)…
The Apostle again and again dwells upon the goodly possessions of the Christian, and especially of the Christian minister; confidence we have (2Co 3:4-note), having such hope (2Co 3:12-note), we have this ministry (2Co 4:1-note), we have this treasure (2Co 4:7-note), having the same spirit of faith (2Co 4:13), we have a building from God (2Co 5:1), possessing (having) all things (2Co 6:10), having these promises (2Co 7:1); and he often builds an argument upon these goodly possessions. (Ed: Every use of echo is in the present tense picturing the continuance, persistence and permanence of these possessions). (2 Corinthians 4:7 Commentary)
Same spirit of faith - You will notice that some translations capitalize Spirit (Wuest, Weymouth, most do not capitalize) indicating that they interpret this as a reference to the Holy Spirit.
Joseph Beet favoring "same spirit" as reference to the Holy Spirit writing that…
the Holy Spirit moving men to believe the promises of God, especially the promise of resurrection and of life with Christ. Cp. 1Co 4:21; Eph 1:17-note. Although faith is the condition (Ga 3:14) on which we receive the Spirit, yet, when received, by revealing to us (Ro 5:5-note) the love of God, He works in us a firmer and broader confidence in God. The assurance which enabled Paul to pursue his apostolic path, he felt to be a work of the Spirit. The same Holy Spirit: who moved the Psalmist to write. (2 Corinthians 4 Commentary)
KJV Bible Commentary agrees…
That is, the same Spirit of 2Co 3:17-note, who is the Holy Spirit, often designated by the effects which He produces (e.g., He is called the Spirit of adoption, Ro 8:15; the Spirit of wisdom, Ep 1:17-note; the Spirit of grace, He 10:29-note; the Spirit of glory, 1Pe 4:14). Here He is so called because He is the Spirit who produces faith. Thus, in much the same way that David expressed himself in Psalm 116:10, Paul extols the goodness of God. (Dobson, E G, Charles Feinberg, E Hindson, Woodrow Kroll, H L. Wilmington: KJV Bible Commentary: Nelson or Logos)
ESV Study Bible says
Some hold… that this is a reference to the Holy Spirit, since the Holy Spirit is the one who creates faith, who conforms one to Christ, and who secures the promises of God (see 2Co 1:22; 3:6 7 8, 18; 5:5). (ESV Study Bible. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles)
Vincent offers a "hybrid" thought…
Spirit of faith: not distinctly the Holy Spirit, nor, on the other hand, a human faculty or disposition, but blending both: faith as a gift of the Spirit of God.
Faith (4102)(pistis) is synonymous with trust or belief and is the conviction of the truth of anything, but in Scripture usually speaks of belief respecting man's relationship to God and divine things, generally with the included idea of trust and holy fervor born of faith and joined with it
As pistis relates to God, it is the conviction that God exists and is the Creator and Ruler of all things well as the Provider and Bestower of eternal salvation through Christ. As faith relates to Christ it represents a strong and welcome conviction or belief that Jesus is the Messiah, through Whom we obtain eternal salvation and entrance into the Kingdom of Heaven. Stated another way, eternal salvation comes only through belief in Jesus Christ and no other way.
Wayne Grudem defines faith that saves one's soul…
Saving faith is trust in Jesus Christ as a living person for forgiveness of sins and for eternal life with God. This definition emphasizes that saving faith is not just a belief in facts but personal trust in Jesus to save me… The definition emphasizes personal trust in Christ, not just belief in facts about Christ. Because saving faith in Scripture involves this personal trust, the word "trust" is a better word to use in contemporary culture than the word "faith" or "belief." The reason is that we can "believe" something to be true with no personal commitment or dependence involved in it. (Grudem, W. A. Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine Zondervan) (Bolding added)
According to what is written - Refers to a quotation from Ps 116:10, but don't miss the axiomatic truth that while Paul held firmly to Scriptures such as these (and knew the OT well), it was ultimately the truth of the Scriptures which held him firmly when the winds of affliction and adversity began to blow (as they often did in his tumultuous life!). It behooves us all to imitate Paul (1Co 11:1) and to make it the passionate practice of our life to know His Word better and better (and especially to know Him more intimately), specifically allocating the time and effort (it is work but it's reward is eternal) to memorize Scripture so that in our hour of testing the Spirit of God might use that internalized ("eaten" - cp how a "tested" man was enabled to hold fast and not turn aside - Job 23:12-note in context of Job 23:10, 11-note) Word of Truth to hold us firm in the harbor named "God's Trustworthy Word" (See Memorizing His Word and consider beginning a discipline [under grace not law] of Memorizing Verses by Topic). You are memorizing God's Word of Life aren't you? You can't NOT be memorizing because the growth and strength of your faith depends on ingestion and assimilation His living and active Word (Ps 119:9, 10, 11-note; Ro 10:17-note).
Written (1125)(grapho from root graph- = primarily means to scratch on or engrave as on an ornament, reports, letters, etc; English = graph, graphic, etc) means to engrave or inscribe with a pen or stylus characters or letters on a surface which can be wood, wax, metal, leather, stone, parchment, dirt (John ), paper, etc. (Click to review all 191 uses of grapho in the NAS)
It is written occurs 76 times in the NAS (Click for these uses). When we were children and our parents told us to do something and we questioned "Why?", the answer was usually "Because I said so!". Why are we commanded to be holy? Because God said so!
Robertson says the phrase Paul used "according to what is written" was a "formula in legal documents in the papyri."
I believed and therefore I spoke - Paul is quoting from the Septuagint (LXX) of Psalm 116, not the Hebrew which is very difficult. "That faith must find expression, that it cannot be silent, is the Apostle’s adaptation of the words (of Ps 116:10)" (James Denney)
I believed when I said, “I am greatly afflicted.” (Ps 116:10). (English of original Hebrew)
I believed, therefore I have spoken: but I was greatly afflicted. (English of Lxx which is what Paul quotes)
Joseph Beet comments on Paul's use of this Psalm noting that: the words quoted (are from the Septuagint), though not an exact rendering (of the original Hebrew), sum up accurately the sense of the whole Psalm. Like Paul (who has been delivered by God again and again from sundry afflictions), the writer of the Psalm has been in deadly peril and has been delivered by God, in answer to his prayer. His deliverance has given him strong confidence in God, a confidence which finds expression in this Psalm. (In the same way Paul believed God and this caused him to speak) Paul, rescued from peril, preaches (the Gospel). The Psalmist’s faith, strengthened by peril and deliverance, moved him to song: Paul’s faith moves him to proclaim the Gospel, undeterred by the prospect of future perils. But it was the same faith, wrought by the same Spirit. And in each case faith found suitable utterance. As usual, the real reference is not so much to the words quoted as to their entire context. (2 Corinthians 4 Commentary)
Kent Hughes adds that: Psalm 116 describes a time when the writer (King David) almost died (cf. Ps 116:3, 8, 15-see note), but God delivered him from death (cf. Ps 116:8 9 10). David “believed” that God had delivered him and therefore “spoke”of it (Ps 116:10). As this statement in verse 10 is the center and pivot of the Psalm, it places faith at its very heart. (Hughes, R. K. 2 Corinthians: Power in Weakness. Preaching the Word. Crossway)
Spurgeon comments: I could not have spoken thus if it had not been for my faith: I should never have spoken unto God in prayer, nor have been able now to speak to my fellow men in testimony if it had not been that faith kept me alive, and brought me a deliverance, whereof I have good reason to boast. Concerning the things of God no man should speak unless he believes; the speech of the waverer is mischievous, but the tongue of the believer is profitable; the most powerful speech which has ever been uttered by the lip of man has emanated from a heart fully persuaded of the truth of God. Not only the Psalmist, but such men as Luther, and Calvin, and other great witnesses for the faith could each one most heartily say, "I believed, therefore have I spoken."
Paulus Palanterius: It is not sufficient to believe, unless you also openly confess before unbelievers, tyrants, and all others. Next to believing follows confession; and therefore, those who do not make a confession ought to fear; as, on the contrary, those should hope who speak out what they have believed.
John Trapp: Though I have had my offs and my ons, though I have passed through several frames of heart and tempers of soul in my trials, yet I believed still, I never let go my hold, my grip of God, in my perturbation.
Joseph Caryl: The tongue should always be the heart's interpreter, and the heart should always be the tongue's suggester; what is spoken with the tongue should be first stamped upon the heart and wrought off from it. Thus it should be in all our communications and exhortations, especially when we speak or exhort about the things of God, and dispense the mysteries of heaven. David spoke from his heart when he spoke from his faith. I believed, therefore have I spoken.
Believing is an act of the heart, "with the heart man believe" (Ro 10:10-note); so that to say, "I believed, therefore have I spoken," is as if he had said, I would never have spoken these things, if my heart had not been clear and upright in them. The apostle Paul takes up that very protestation from David (2Corinthians 4:13): "According as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak"; that is, we move others to believe nothing but what we believe, and are fully assured of ourselves. ( Psalm 116:10 - Treasury of David)
John MacArthur comments that…
Those who lack conviction in their preaching do so because they lack conviction in their hearts. Because they have weak confidence in the truth of God, they seek the comfort, prestige, and popularity that come from muting the message.
True belief impels strong, consistent, unwavering testimony to the truth. On trial for his faith before the Diet of Worms, Martin Luther defiantly declared,
Unless I can be instructed and convinced with evidence from the Holy Scriptures or with open, clear, and distinct grounds and reasoning—and my conscience is captive to the Word of God—then I cannot and will not recant, because it is neither safe nor wise to act against conscience. Here I stand. I can do no other. God help me! Amen. (James M. Kittelson, Luther the Reformer [Minneapolis: Augsburg, 1986] 161)
Those who genuinely believe the truth cannot help but speak that truth. (MacArthur, J: 2Corinthians. Chicago: Moody Press)
Therefore we also speak - Why speak? Because of the faith just mentioned. Like the Psalmist who believed and spoke, Paul's faith drove him on to proclaim the Gospel.
"Continue our preaching of the Gospel, notwithstanding such vast hindrances within and without." (Henry Alford)
Warren Wiersbe cuts to chase writing that…
True witness for God is based on faith in God, and this faith comes from God’s Word (Ro 10:17). Nothing closes a believer’s mouth like unbelief (see Lk 1:20) (Ed: I would add "or unconfessed sin"). (Wiersbe, W: Bible Exposition Commentary - New Testament. 1989. Victor)
Guzik comments that…
This is a great principle - that faith creates the testimony. Paul really believed God had a purpose in his death-like sufferings, and really believed he lived and experienced the resurrection life of Jesus. Therefore, he wasn’t hesitant to speak about it! If you can’t say we also believe, then you should not speak! “That is one great secret of power and success in the Christian ministry. If you do not believe, shut your mouth. That is a word for young ministers. If you do not believe, do not talk.” (Morgan) (2 Corinthians 4 Commentary)
Paul is saying in essence "Our lips are not sealed. We must speak of the precious treasure! (2Co 4:7-note)" Paul's "burning passion" reminds me of Jeremiah's words…
But if I say, "I will not remember Him Or speak anymore in His name," Then in my heart it becomes like a burning fire shut up in my bones and I am weary of holding it in, and I cannot endure it." Jer 20:9 (May his tribe increase!)
Amplified: Assured that He Who raised up the Lord Jesus will raise us up also with Jesus and bring us [along] with you into His presence. (Lockman)
Barclay: for we know that he who raised up the Lord Jesus will raise us up also with Jesus, and will present us with you. (Westminster Press)
God's Word: We know that the one who brought the Lord Jesus back to life will also bring us back to life through Jesus. He will present us to God together with you. (GWT)
Easy English: We know this: He who made Jesus alive after his death will also give us life with him. He will take us with you to where he is.
ESV: knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence. (ESV)
KJV: Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you.
NET: We do so because we know that the one who raised up Jesus will also raise us up with Jesus and will bring us with you into his presence. (NET Bible)
NIV: because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you in his presence. (NIV - IBS)
NLT: We know that God, who raised the Lord Jesus, will also raise us with Jesus and present us to himself together with you. (NLT - Tyndale House)
Phillips: For we too speak because we believe, and we know for certain that he who raised the Lord Jesus from death shall also by him raise us. We shall all stand together before him. (Phillips: Touchstone)
Weymouth: For we know that He who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will raise us also to be with Jesus, and will cause both us and you to stand in His own presence. .
Wuest: knowing that He who raised up the Lord Jesus shall also raise us with Jesus and shall present us with you,
Young's Literal: knowing that He who did raise up the Lord Jesus, us also through Jesus shall raise up, and shall present with you,
KNOWING THAT HE WHO RAISED THE LORD JESUS WILL RAISE US ALSO WITH JESUS AND WILL PRESENT US WITH YOU: eidotes (RAPMPN) hoti o egeiras (AAPMSN) ton kurion Iesoun kai hemas sun Iesou egerei (3SFAI) kai parastesei (3SFAI) sun humin:
- That: 2Co 5:1-4 Isa 26:19 Jn 11:25,26 Ro 8:11 1Co 6:14 15:20-22 1Th 4:14
- Will present: 2Co 11:2 Eph 5:27 Col 1:22,28 Jude 1:24
- 2 Corinthians 5 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries
The idea continued from the 2Co 4:13 is that "we also speak" (ultimately the Gospel of Jesus Christ) "because we know, because we are assured" of the truth of His resurrection. If you don't fear death, then you have nothing to fear in life. Paul had "nothing to fear from either life or death!" (Wiersbe) Paul knew that the resurrection of Christ from the dead was the ultimate proof of His triumph over death, the great "equalizer" and great fear of every individual ever born, unless or until they meet and receive (Jn 1:12) Jesus Christ, the One Who conquered death forever. Paul recorded our Lord's triumph over death in his first epistle to the Corinthians…
But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, "DEATH IS SWALLOWED UP in victory. "O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR VICTORY? O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR STING?" The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1Co 15:54 55 56 57)
Until you are prepared to die
You are not really prepared to live!
Beloved, what you believe about the future will indubitably impact how you live in the present. The apostle John beautifully expounded this principle in his first epistle…
Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we shall be. We know that, when He appears, we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him just as He is. And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure. (1Jn 3:2-note 1Jn 3:3-note)
WHAT YOU ARE LOOKING FOR
WHAT YOU ARE LIVING FOR
WHAT YOU ARE WILLING TO DIE FOR
Knowing truth (the sure hope of the resurrection) kept Paul proclaiming the Gospel (this is the main effect of knowing as discussed above) but undoubtedly also kept him from losing heart over his sufferings for Christ (Observe that Paul uses the phrase lose heart like "bookends" in this chapter - see 2Co 4:1-note and 2Co 4:16-note).
if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless (mataios); you are still in your sins (in Adam, spiritually dead, Ro 5:12-note). Then those also who have fallen asleep (died) in Christ have perished. If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied. (1Co 15:17 18 19)
Writing to the Philippians Paul declared his desire was…
that I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. (Php 3:10, 11-note)
Guzik adds that for Paul
Every death-like trial was just the prelude to resurrection power!
Literally eido/oida refers to perception by sight (perceive, see) as in Mt 2:2
Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw (eido) His star in the east, and have come to worship Him."
Eido/oida is distinguished from ginosko (epiginosko, epignosis - the other major NT word group for knowing) because ginosko generally refers to knowledge obtained by experience or "experiential knowledge". On the other hand, eido/oida often refers more to an intuitive knowledge, although this distinction is not always clear cut. Eido/oida is not so much that which is known by experience as an intuitive insight that is drilled into one's heart. Eido/oida is a perception, a being aware of, an understanding, an intuitive knowledge which in the case of believers can only be given by the Holy Spirit.
And so eido/oida suggests fullness of knowledge, absolute knowledge (that which is without a doubt), rather than a progress in knowledge (cp ginosko) a distinction illustrated in the following passages.
Jesus is speaking to unbelieving Jews about His Father in Jn 8:54, and declares to these Jews that) you have not come to know (ginosko) Him, but I know (eido/oida) Him; and if I say that I do not know (eido/oida) Him, I shall be a liar like you, but I do know (eido/oida) Him, and keep His word. (John 8:55)
He who raised up the Lord Jesus - He is referring to the Father. God the Father literally, bodily resurrected Jesus Christ. See Acts 2:24, 32; 3:15; 4:10; 5:30; 10:40; 13:30, 33, 37; Ro 8:11-note; Ro 10:9-note; 1Co 6:14; 15:15; 2Co 1:9 Gal. 1:1; Col. 2:12-note; 1Pe 1:21-note
With Jesus - Jesus has been resurrected almost 2000 years ago. So what does Paul mean that we will be raised up with Jesus? In his first letter Paul presents truth that helps us answer this question…
But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits (at moment of His resurrection = the "prototype" and provision for subsequent "harvest" = resurrection of all believers ~ in this sense God "will raise us also with Jesus") of those who are asleep (~dead). For since by a man (Adam) came death, by a man (Christ) also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die (Ro 5:12-note, Ep 2:1-note), so also in Christ all shall be made alive (Context is speaking primarily about receipt of our resurrection bodies). But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits (speaking of His resurrection), after that those who are Christ's at His coming (1Co 15:20 21 22 23)
Comment: In simple terms, Christ's resurrection guarantees the resurrection of all believers. Christ is the firstfruits, giving promise that those who belong to Christ will also be raised when He returns. Without going into great detail here Scripture teaches "two general resurrections", with only believers participating in the first resurrection (See The Two Resurrections - "First" and "Second" - on a timeline). The important point is that the first resurrection is predicated on Christ's resurrection, i.e., the first fruits of all those who believe in Him.
MacDonald makes another point to help understand 1Co 15:20-23 explaining that "Adam and Christ are presented as federal heads. This means that they acted for other people. And all who are related to them are affected by their actions." So when Christ was resurrected, all who are in union with Him by grace through faith also will participate in the resurrection of their dead body just like Christ was resurrected from the dead. In this sense God will raise us also with Jesus.
Beet explains will raise us also with Jesus in a slightly different way
Since our resurrection… is a result of Christ’s resurrection, wrought by the same power, as a consequence of our spiritual union with Christ (cp in Christ), and is a part of that heritage which we share with Christ, Paul overlooks the separation in time and thinks of his own resurrection and Christ’s as one divine act (A commentary on St. Paul's Epistles to the Corinthians)
Will raise us also with Jesus - This assurance certainty made the afflictions to Paul's mortal body (including possible death) to be of little concern. The hope of the resurrection seems to never be very far from the great apostle's mind, which is as it should be for every saint.
THOUGHT - Would we think more on the truth of the absolute certainty of our future bodily resurrection when we will obtain strong, imperishable, incorruptible, spiritual bodies, we would surely worry less about the momentary, light afflictions (comparatively speaking) affecting our weak, perishing, corrupting, natural bodies!
And thus Paul repeatedly reminds us of the glorious future assured to every believer…
Now God has not only raised the Lord, but will also raise us up through His power. (1Co 6:14)
But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who indwells you. (Ro 8:11-note)
For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory (a lengthy description of the transformation that occurs at our resurrection), by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself. (Php 3:20, 21-note)
But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve, as do the rest who have no hope (Don't miss this - In Christ is an endless hope but outside of Christ is a hopeless end!). 14 For if (since - if in this case does not express doubt) we believe that Jesus died and rose again (which we do), even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep (died) in Jesus (in union with Christ). 15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord (it comes on good authority!), that we who are alive, and remain until the coming of the Lord, shall not precede those who have fallen asleep (Note Paul's use of "we" here implies he was living with the expectation that he would see Jesus in the sky! Such belief can radically impact one's behavior! If you're looking for Him, you will be living for Him!). 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up (harpazo - this is what is referred to as the "Rapture") together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and thus we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore (Why? On the basis of this glorious truth, death is not the end for believers but really the beginning - indeed for us the best really is yet to come - so we can… ) comfort (present imperative = Command to make this your habitual practice to come alongside and encourage others with the hope of the resurrection) one another with these words. (1Th 4:13 14-note 1Th 4:15 16-note 1Th 4:17 18-note)
DEATH IS THE GREAT DIVIDER
RESURRECTION THE GREAT REUNITER!
Matthew Henry rightly reminds us that
The grace of faith is an effective remedy against fainting in times of trouble. They knew that Christ was raised, and that His resurrection was an earnest ("down payment" - cp "pledge" of the Holy Spirit) and assurance of theirs. The hope of this resurrection will encourage in a suffering day, and set us above the fear of death.
And will present us with you - To whom will Paul and the Corinthian believers (and all believers in the church age) be presented? The Church as the Bride of Christ will be presented to her Bridegroom, Christ (see 2Co 11:2 below, cp Ep 5:27-note.) at which time the marriage supper of the Lamb will be celebrated. What a glorious day that will be beloved! (see Re 19:7-note, Re 19:8-note, Re 19:9-note)
With you - Earlier Paul had stated "death works in us, but life in you" (2Co 4:12), so in using the phrase "with you" here, he keeps in front of his mind and theirs (the saints at Corinth) the fact that one day in the future they will all stand before God's Throne of glory robed in the righteous raiment of His Son (1Co 1:30, 2Co 5:21 Php 3:9-note). And thus not only is he encouraged by this truth but desires that this sure hope might encourage the saints at Corinth to run with endurance the race set before them (He 12:1-note). Indeed, the fact that you and I will stand before Him with Paul and the Corinthian saints should stimulate in us a deep desire to lay aside every weight and the sin which so easily entangles us, fixing our eyes on our glorious Lord Jesus (He 12:2-note, cp 2Co 3:18-note), so that we too might run like the wind (and to win! - 1Co 9:24-note, 1Co 9:25-note, 1Co 9:26-note, 1Co 9:27-note), our proverbial sails continually filled with His Spirit (Ep 5:18-note, Zech 4:6) all for the glory of God.
Beloved, take a moment today
to ponder that moment in the future.
THOUGHT - Think about those dear ones who have gone into His presence before and with whom you long to be reunited. Imagine standing side by side with them as you gaze upon His glory. Does this truth not make your heart race! So let the sure hope that we will one day (soon) all be reunited and be presented with them (our friends, co-laborers and loved ones in Christ) to Him, serve to motivate us to be diligent to intentionally pursue holiness (He 12:14-note), to cleanse ourselves from all defilement of the flesh and spirit and to perfect holiness in the reverential fear of God (2Co 7:1-note)
Later in this same letter Paul use paristemi again writing…
For I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy; for I betrothed you to one husband, so that to Christ I might present (paristemi) you as a pure virgin. (2Corinthians 11:2)
Paul used paristemi in Colossians
Yet (see our old attitude toward God - Col 1:21-note) He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before (katenopion = look down in ~ a searching, penetrating gaze) Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach (Col 1:22-note).
Comment: When is this presentation? Commentators vary somewhat, but it seems Paul does not exclude that in a sense the presentation is at least in part in this present life (for we are indeed positionally holy and blameless before God because of the efficacious work of Christ). Marvin Vincent rightly states that "whether the reference is to God's future judgment or to His present approval" cannot be determined dogmatically, but he favors this as a reference to the future judgment seems the more natural as marking the consummation of the redemptive work described in Col 1:20-note Col 1:21 22-note. Compare 1Th 3:13-note, and Ep 5:27, which corresponds with the figure of the bride, the Lamb’s wife, in Rev 21:9-note sqq. This view is further warranted by the following words, if ye continue, etc., the final presentation being dependent on steadfastness."
A T Robertson comments on the meaning of present as used by Paul in this context: Paul has the same idea of his responsibility in rendering an account for those under his influence seen in He 13:17-note.
Paul desired to present every man mature writing…
We proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, so that we may present (paristemi) every man complete (mature, conformed to the image of Christ) in Christ. (Colossians 1:28-note)
Jude echoes Paul's assurance of future hope in spite of present pressing circumstances…
Now to Him Who is able to keep you from stumbling and
to make you stand in the presence of His glory
blameless with great joy
to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen. (Jude 1:24, 25)
Amplified: For all [these] things are [taking place] for your sake, so that the more grace (divine favor and spiritual blessing) extends to more and more people and multiplies through the many, the more thanksgiving may increase [and redound] to the glory of God. (Lockman)
Barclay: Everything that happens to us is for your sake, so that grace may abound more and more, and so swell the thanksgiving which rises from many to the glory of God. (Westminster Press)
God's Word: All this is for your sake so that, as God's kindness overflows in the lives of many people, it will produce even more thanksgiving to the glory of God.(GWT)
Easy English: All this is for your advantage. God’s kindness will help more and more people. As a result, they will offer more prayers of *thanksgiving to the *glory of God.
ESV: For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God. (ESV)
KJV: For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God.
NET: For all these things are for your sake, so that the grace that is including more and more people may cause thanksgiving to increase to the glory of God. (NET Bible)
NIV: All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God. (NIV - IBS)
NLT: All of this is for your benefit. And as God’s grace reaches more and more people, there will be great thanksgiving, and God will receive more and more glory. (NLT - Tyndale House)
Phillips: We wish you could see how all this is working out for your benefit, and how the more grace God gives, the more thanksgiving will redound to his glory. (Phillips: Touchstone)
Weymouth: For everything is for your sakes, in order that grace, being more richly bestowed because of the thanksgivings of the increased number, may more and more promote the glory of God. .
Wuest: for all things are for your sake in order that the grace having been multiplied through the intermediate agency of the many [in their prayers for me] may cause the thanksgiving to superabound, resulting in the glory of God.
Young's Literal: for the all things are because of you, that the grace having been multiplied, because of the thanksgiving of the more, may abound to the glory of God;
FOR ALL THINGS ARE FOR YOUR SAKES, SO THAT THE GRACE WHICH IS SPREADING TO MORE AND MORE PEOPLE MAY CAUSE THE GIVING OF THANKS TO ABOUND TO THE GLORY OF GOD: ta gar panta di' humas, hina e charis pleonasasa (AAPFSN) dia ton pleionon ten eucharistian perisseuse (3SAAS) eis ten doxan tou theou:
- All: 2Co 1:4-6 Ro 8:28 1Co 3:21-23 Col 1:24 2Ti 2:10
- That the grace: 2Co 1:11 8:19 9:11,12 Ps 50:14,23 Ga 1:24 Eph 3:20,21 Col 3:16,17 Heb 13:15,16 1Pe 2:9 4:11 Rev 4:8-11 5:8-14 19:4-6
- 2 Corinthians 5 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries
FOR THE SAINTS
For all things are for your sakes - Another way of describing his daily death to self (Mk 8:34), doing nothing from selfishness or empty conceit but humbly regarding others as more important than himself, not merely looking out for his own person interests but the interests of the saints at Corinth (cp Php 2:3, 4-note). All that Paul had experienced was for the spiritual benefit of the saints. This was the "warp and woof" (idiom = the basic element) of Paul's ministry - to see grace spread and ultimately to see God glorified.
Wiersbe draws a parallel with Romans 8:28-note explaining that the phrase all things are for your sakes…
gives us the assurance that our sufferings are not wasted: God uses them to minister to others and also to bring glory to His name. How is God glorified in our trials? By giving us the “abundant grace” we need to maintain joy and strength when the going gets difficult. Whatever begins with grace, leads to glory (see Ps 84:11-note; 1Peter 5:10-note).
All things - In context this refers especially to all his "variegated" (multi-colored, cp Greek poikilos) pressing circumstances (cp 2Co 4:8, 9-note 2Co 4:10, 11, 12-note) and labors to the point of exhaustion (2Co 6:5, 11:23 27 cp kopiao in Col 1:29-note)
Matthew Henry comments that
their sufferings (all things) were for the advantage of the church, and to God's glory. The sufferings of Christ's ministers, as well as their preaching and conversation (= their general course of manners or behavior especially their moral conduct), are for the good of the church and the glory of God. The prospect of eternal life and happiness (2Co 4:14) was their support and comfort.
Guzik quips that…
Some forget the immediate goal and have a “pie-in-the-sky” super-spirituality. Others forget the ultimate goal and are man-focused, becoming either proud or discouraged. We need to keep both in mind!
So that (hina) expresses the purpose of all Paul had endured for their sakes.
The grace which is spreading - Refers to the grace of God that the Spirit makes known through the Gospel of God.
Beet comments on the grace which is spreading writing that…
All these perils Paul endures in order that the pardoning favor of God may multiply, i.e. may shine on a larger number of persons; that thereby the favor of God may increase abundantly the thanksgiving which from this larger number will go up to God, and may thus manifest the grandeur of God. Cp.2Co 1:11; Ro 3:7.
GRACE: HOLY LOVE
ON THE MOVE!
Grace (5485)(charis from from chairo = to rejoice. English = charity. Beggars need "charity" even as sinners need grace, for we are all spiritual paupers outside of Christ, but "God gives where he finds empty hands"-Augustine [cp Mt 5:3-note]) in simple terms is God's unmerited favor and supernatural enablement and empowerment for salvation and for daily sanctification. Grace is everything for nothing to those who don't deserve anything. Grace is what every man needs, what none can earn and what God Alone can and does freely give (see Ro 8:32-note where "freely give" is charizomai [word study] from charis = a grace gift!). Grace addresses man's sin, while mercy addresses man's misery. The gift of grace makes men fit for salvation, miraculously making separated strangers into God's beloved sons (1Th 1:4-note, 1Jn 3:1-note, 1Jn 3:2-note, 1Jn 3:3-note).
J H Jowett summarizes grace as God's "holy love on the move" (Others credit H G C Moule).
The grace of… spreading reminds me of the phrase that God is like the "hound of heaven" chasing after sinners, sinners who before Christ saved them by grace through faith, chased after sin but now because of the transforming power of sanctifying grace, no longer chase after sin but now sin "chases" after them! And so we see the continual need for God's the grace of God to keep spreading!
It is hardly too much to say that God has in no word uttered Himself and all that was in His heart more distinctly than in this word grace (charis)! (Cp Zech 4:7 "Grace, grace to it!")
Chrysostom wrote of the spreading grace…
That grace (the grace which preserves us in trials and works life in you), being made the greater (multiplied), by means of the greater number (of its recipients), may cause the thanksgiving to abound to the glory of God.
In the letter to Titus Paul wrote that "the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men" (Titus 2:11-note) and here he says that same grace is spreading. Mark it down - God's grace is not static but dynamic! That means beloved it is an active, dynamic force in your spiritual life, the very "water" and "oxygen" of your soul!
Are you resisting the Spirit and His grace? Are you in known unconfessed sin? Do you have secret sins, sins that no one knows about but God? Do you secretly hold on to the most abominable sin of all, pride?
Then you are choking off God's spreading of grace. Confess. Repent. Humble yourself under the mighty hand of God that He might exalt you at the proper time (1Pe 5:6-note). Enabled by His Spirit's gift of desire and power (Php 2:13NLT-note), cast out vile pride and begin to even boast about your weaknesses (2Co 12:9-note, 2Co 12:10-note). When that begins to happen beloved, you will begin to experience the full measure and force of God's spreading grace, of His holy love on the move to strengthen you to fight the good fight of faith. Let it never leave your mind that God is opposed to the proud but gives grace to the humble (Jas 4:6-note). May God's grace be spreading more and more in your soul so that the giving of thanks is more and more your attitude and practice as you begin to see more clearly that in all of this the very purpose of your existence is to proclaim the supremacy of the glory of God. I pray for you (and myself)…
May "the grace which is spreading" in our heart and soul
"cause the giving of thanks to abound to the glory of God."
Spreading (4121) (pleonazo from pleion = more) means to cause to increase or superabound and so to be present in abundance or to have plenty (2Pe 1:8-note, Php 4:17-note). To have more than is necessary or more than enough to meet one's needs (2Co 8:15). To become more and more in Ro 6:1-note
Here in 2Co 4:15 Paul uses pleonazo to refer to grace increasing or spreading which results in more giving of thanks to God. The NET Bible translates it "the grace that is including more and more people". NIV "the grace that is reaching more and more people". NLT "as God's grace brings more and more people to Christ." "that grace, as it extends to more and more people." (NRSV) "as God's grace reaches more and more people" (The English Version) "And the more of you who are won to Christ" (TLB). "that the grace having been multiplied." (YLT, Wuest) "that the grace abounding through the many" (Darby) "as grace extends to more and more people" (ESV) "that grace which is multiplying" (MLB - Berkeley)
A T Robertson phrases spreading as…
“making more through the more”… (Robertson adds) One can think of Bunyan’s Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners (Ed: This is the convicting account of the spiritual autobiography of John Bunyan which was written during his first 11 years in prison, imprisoned for preaching the Gospel! I dare say his testimony to God's abounding grace is very much a practical treatise on what Paul said in 2Co 4:12 for while death was working in Bunyan in prison, life would be working in those who read his account of the spreading of God's grace.) (John Bunyan's - Grace Abounding To The Chief Of Sinners - Table of Contents) (As an aside Those who have read both Grace Abounding and The Pilgrim’s Progress will realize that the latter in substantial measure is the same life as that described in Grace Abounding, but in allegory form rather than straightforward narrative.)
Giving of thanks (2169) (eucharista from eú = well, + charizomai = to grant, give freely; English = Eucharist as related to Lord's Supper) is the expression of thanks or gratitude for favor and mercy shown. Thankfulness from one (every believer) conscious of benefit received.
Thanksgiving expresses that attitude (and those words) which ought never to be absent from the life of any of God's redeemed (Ps 107:2). We should always be ready to express our grateful acknowledgement of past mercies to such great debtors as we are. Is it any wonder that the beautiful songs (Psalms) in the world are filled with thanksgiving?
Read through the following Psalms -- not mechanically but actively, taking care to observe the "associations" with thanksgiving (the 5W'S & H - eg, why give thanks? How? When? etc) allowing the Spirit to work in your innermost being to cause thanksgiving to well up in your heart and to proceed from your mouth
Ps 6:5, Ps 7:17, Ps 9:1, Ps 18:49, Ps 26:7 Ps 28:7 Ps 30:4 Ps 30:12 Ps 33:2 Ps 35:1 Ps 42:4, 5 Ps 44:8 Ps 45:17 Ps 50:14 Ps 50:23 Ps 52:9 Ps 54:6 Ps 56:12 Ps 57:9 Ps 69:30 Ps 75:1 Ps 79:13 Ps 86:12 Ps 92:1 Ps 95:2 Ps 97:12 Ps 100:4 Ps 105:1 Ps 106:1 Ps 106:47 Ps 107:1 Ps 107:8 Ps 107:15 Ps 107:21 Ps 107:22 (cp Heb 13:15) Ps 107:31 Ps 108:3 Ps 109:30 Ps 111:1 Ps 116:17 Ps 118:1 Ps 118:19 Ps 118:21 Ps 118:28 Ps 118:29 Ps 119:7 Ps 119:62 Ps 122:4 Ps 136:1 Ps 136:2 Ps 136:3 Ps 136:26 Ps 138:1 Ps 138:2 (cp Ps 138:2KJV) Ps 138:4 Ps 139:14 Ps 140:13 Ps 142:7 Ps 145:10 Ps 147:7.
It is notable that one the chief traits of unregenerate men is the absence of gratitude to God, which makes the all to often paucity of thanksgiving in God's children (me) all the more sad. Paul uses the related verb eucharisteo in Romans 1, explaining that..
for (he is amplifying why they are without excuse Ro 1:20-note) even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God, or give thanks (eucharisteo); but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. (Ro 1:21-note)
Jamieson adds a cogent reminder that…
Thanksgiving invites more abundant grace (2Chr 20:19 20 21 22; Ps 18:3; Ps 50:23).
As John Piper asks
How can we not be thankful when we owe everything to God? (A Godward Life [Sample] Savoring the Supremacy of God in All of Life - Desiring)
ONE SURE MARK OF GRACE:
GIVING OF THANKS ABOUNDING
TO THE GLORY OF GOD
Cause… to abound (4052)(perisseuo from perissos = abundant, exceeding some number, measure, rank or need, over and above) means to cause to superabound, to be superfluous, to overflow, to be in affluence (an abundant flow or supply), to excel. Perisseuo carries the idea of exceeding the requirements, exceeding a fixed measure, to be extremely rich or abundant. The idea is to overflow like a river out of its banks!
It is not surprising that the Psalms link thanksgiving with giving glory to God…
I will give thanks to Thee,
O Lord my God, with all my heart,
And will glorify Thy Name forever.
Psalm 86:12 (cp Ps 106:47)
Is the giving of thanks abounding in your life and from your lips beloved? If so, you can be sure that the grace of God is spreading throughout your inner man, permeating every crevice of your soul, exposing every hidden fault (cp Ps 19:12, 13-note). Oh, for the grace empowered giving of thanks to abound from the lips of all God's children so that all who are lost in darkness would see "the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ" (the living, life giving Gospel) as His children let their grateful, grace filled lights shine before men! (Mt 5:16-note)
John MacArthur reminds us that…
Clearly, Paul’s goal was never his own comfort, reputation, or popularity. Nor was it ultimately the salvation of others. The final goal of Paul’s selfless, sacrificial service was that more voices would be added to the hallelujah chorus of praise and worship to God. The Lord’s servants bathe their hearts and souls in the light of God’s glory reflected in the face of Jesus Christ. They then selflessly reflect that majestic glory to others so that they can be saved and worship God. In the words of Daniel 12:3-note,
Those who have insight will shine brightly like the brightness of the expanse of heaven, and those who lead the many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.
God’s astounding plan is to use common clay pots (2Co 4:7) to carry the priceless treasure of the glorious gospel to needy sinners. As they humbly, faithfully serve Him, His power flows through them to others. The final result is that more and more people will worship and glorify God, crying out,
To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb,
Be blessing and honor and glory
and dominion forever and ever
Kruse sums up the purpose of Paul's apostolic labors and sufferings…
We see here then both the penultimate (for your sake) and the ultimate (to the glory of God) purposes of Paul’s apostolic ministry (which) are (first) that people should experience the grace of God (penultimate purpose) and that as a result thanksgiving should be increased to the glory of God (ultimate purpose). (Kruse, C. G. 2Corinthians: An Introduction and Commentary Tyndale New Testament Commentaries. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press)
Phillips paraphrase conveys the heart of Paul (Phillips first phrase from 2Co 4:16-note is included to help "round out" the picture Paul intends to portray in this very personalized section)…
The more grace God gives,
The more thanksgiving will redound to His glory.
This is the reason why we never collapse.