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Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Here at the beginning of November we are entering the holiday season where many people travel to visit family and friends. Lots of time and effort is put into getting ready to receive visitors. In the final segment of the BIBLICAL INSIGHTS commentary on Second Corinthians, volume 11, the impending third visit of Paul to the church at Corinth is discussed in 12:14 - 13:10. Τρίτον τοῦτο ἔρχομαι πρὸς ὑμᾶς. This third time I am coming to you. (13:1) With this indication, the basic objective of the entire letter is achieved, and especially his defense of his ministry in chapters 10-13. For the Corinthians, Paul was in a love / hate relationship. Most in the community respected him as a divinely called messenger of God, but several hated him passionately. Why? Because Paul insisted on genuine faith surrender to Christ that rejected the tendency to culturally corrupt the Gospel. In his appearance, Paul didn't look or act like a leader. That is, a standard Greco-Roman take charge kind of leader who could be idolized as a heroic figure. Besides, individuals from the Christian community in Judea had arrived in Corinth and questioned Paul's claims as an apostle. Chapters 10-13 contain the apostle's eloquent defense of the kind of ministry he had given to the church at Corinth. It wasn't impressive when viewed from the standards of leadership in the world of non-Christian Corinth. But it was a Christ centered ministry of humble surrender to the will of God.  Paul's ingenious way of defending the God centered ministry challenges all of us today to examine how much our culture shapes our religious thinking rather than the revelation of God in the Bible. This 32 page study will unpack Paul's thinking about ministry.

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