Tuesday, February 28, 2017

2 Corinthians 13

Finally, Paul ended up his letter to the Corinthians by challenging them about their faith saying, "Examine yourselves as to whether you are still in the faith?" (v5). Faith should be anchored on the finished works of Christ, that though He was crucified in weakness, yet He lives by the power of God. Paul wanted them to examine their conduct, attitude, and commitment to Christ. Is it still similar when they accepted Christ as Lord and Savior many years ago? Or it's been changed by purely knowledge but no more sincere obedience. Let the believer question his own soul, either he/she is still a follower, or no more and already disqualified (v5, 6, 7). The most desirable thing we can ask of God is to be kept from sin, remain faithful, continue to be obedient in doing our 'first love.' We pray to God that we might grow in the grace, increase in obedience and holiness, and learn to do well by using our spiritual gifts for God's glory and the edification of the church all the more. God bless.

Monday, February 27, 2017

2 Corinthians 12

God's grace is sufficient for all believers if they are willing to cooperate with God's plan in their lives. Like Paul, our ultimate goal in life is the presence of God, not only in this world but in the second life as well. If God loves us, He will keep us from being exalted, and this thorn in the flesh is His way to reach that goal. Trials and troubles are allowed by God to teach us to pray, to rely in His power, and maintain our relationship with Him. Grace signifies the goodness of God toward us, to enliven our spiritual life and make our weakness stronger and capable of facing every trial. When we are weak in ourselves, then we are strong in the grace of Jesus Christ; we go to Him and receive strength from Him, and enjoy the supply of Divine strength and grace. Don't allow our sickness, weakness, present condition whatever it is, or any negative thought a hindrance to serve our Living God. If fact, we should be more thankful to God in all of these, because if we are in abundance and perfection, we would have not think of Him anymore. God bless.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

2 Corinthians 11

False teachers and apostles during Paul's time were scattered in Romans world, preaching counterfeit  Christianity. They were enemies of the true church, and Paul desired to preserve the Corinthians from being corrupted. There is one Jesus, one gospel, one Spirit, and the other gospels different from the Bible are false and cannot save humanity. This gospel should be proclaimed in simplicity, with the demonstration of God's power. Even young people and new believers in Christ can share this gospel as long as their hearts and motives are sincere. Paul had warned the brethren to be beware of Satan and his apostles that preached another Jesus, a deceitful message, and many are being deceived. By giving account of his labor, hardship and sufferings in mission field (v24-29), his purpose is to encourage the brethren, that Jesus will give us strength even in such a time as this. Let us learn to think of ourselves, that Jesus will never leave nor forsake us even in the time we need Him most. God bless.

Friday, February 24, 2017

2 Corinthians 10

Many people are speaking meanly and cruelly against church and ministries, but Christians should  maintain humble spirit and obedience to Christ. The work with the Lord is a spiritual warfare with spiritual enemies, and for spiritual purpose. Physical strength is not the method of the gospel, but strong persuasion by the power of truth and the meekness of wisdom. The weapons of our warfare is not carnal but mighty in God, to stop the spread of sin and to destroy the works of Satan in the lives of men. The preaching of the cross can destroy idolatry, immorality, corruption, erroneous spirit, and all forms of wickedness. Our outward appearance is not what matters to God, but the inward person who will be with Him in eternity. That's why, comparing ourselves with others is not wise (v12), because God gave us distinct personality with unique skills and talents that we can be used for His glory. Instead of praising ourselves, we should strive to approve ourselves to God that His name may be glorified in our lives. God bless.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

2 Corinthians 9

Works of charity should be done freely and cheerfully, not grudgingly. As we share our material and spiritual gifts from God, it tends to prosperity; but as we hold back, it tends to poverty and scarcity. Can we lose something by doing good works which God is pleased? Nothing at all! In fact we are gaining more. The truth is that, God is able to make all grace abound toward us, and to give a large increase both materially and spiritually (v8). While some people scatter, and yet increase; others withhold more, and yet decrease. This is the universal law of God! He can make us to have enough in all things, and be content with what we have. Blessed be the name of our Lord for the indescribable gift of His grace, whereby He enables us to share upon others, and become partaker of His holiness. Let us endeavor to copy the example of Christ, being unwearied in doing good, beyond all expression  and measure. God bless.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

2 Corinthians 8

All charitable gifts and donations made by donors and philanthropists are acceptable only to God if they surrender themselves first to Jesus Christ and to the teachings of the Bible. The church in Macedonia was a poor church and in great trial of afflictions, yet they overflowed in good works and humanitarian activities. How different is this from the conduct of some Christians who will not join in any good work, unless urged into it! Faith is the root cause, because without faith it is not possible to please God. So those who abound in faith will abound in good works with love. Jesus was rich, as being equal with  God, yet He became poor man for us in order to demonstrate the heavenly way of serving God and mankind. Through Him, we became rich in God's eyes, because true riches cannot be measured by how much we own. As Paul commended the Corinthians to give their charity, it is the  duty of all Christians to help those that are in need, while acting wisely. Our deeds shall bring glory to Christ, and had obtained honor from Christ to be counted faithful and engaged in His service. God bless.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

2 Corinthians 7

Paul continued to remind the Corinthians not to be drawn away from the purpose of their calling, to be righteous and be cleansed from all filthiness of the flesh. God's promises are strong reasons why we should obey His command, that if we hope in God as our Father, we must seek His direction, not the other alternative way in this world. His grace alone can purify God's children, and it can be done through meditating, studying, fellowshipping, and obeying His words from the Bible. During that time, there were oppositions against Paul's teaching, and Paul had fears within himself that the Corinthians might reject his writing. But because God is our Comforter in time of distress, He sent Titus to comfort him and told him about the positive response in repentance and humility of the Corinthians. Indeed, God is always in the midst of His people! Repentance is always connected with saving faith in Christ, but worldly sorrow or false humility leads to death (v10). Paul was not disappointed concerning them, and we too will not be disappointed by God until the end of our lives. God bless.

Monday, February 20, 2017

2 Corinthians 6

When the day we first heard the gospel of Christ, that day is our day of salvation. God sent someone to us that we may know Him, receive Him, and believe in His words. Now is the day of salvation because everyday is a day of salvation in Christ. All Christians should look upon themselves as God's servants, by sharing the gospel of Christ to all, and act in everything carefully as we enjoy His grace and favor. With patience and afflictions, and by acting from godly principles, we should arm ourselves against temptations and evil forces around us. Indeed, it is dangerous for the believers  to join with the wicked and evil doers, however, when they enter into such connection, they should expect much distress. Though we cannot avoid seeing and hearing them, yet we should put limits in making friends with them. We must not  selfie ourselves by corrupt conversation with those who defile themselves with sin because we are children of our Holy Father in heaven. God bless.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

2 Corinthians 5

Our present body of flesh is being compared to earthly house or tent, temporary, but when we go to heaven, our Father has many eternal mansions, whose Builder and Maker is God. The happiness of the future state is what God has prepared for those that love Him. So Paul reminded the believers to be faithful always because we will appear in the judgment seat of Christ (v10). Let us consider this judgment to come, which Paul declared, "the terror of the Lord," considering what terrible judgment would be upon the workers of iniquity. The Christian's life should be devoted to Christ, putting Him first, and above all things in this world. The believers are dead from old self, and should no longer living for themselves, but for Christ who died and was raised for all of us. We are the new creation, a brand new person in Christ, reconciled with the God, so that we can also promote the ministry of reconciliation to all nonbelievers for the glory of His name. God bless.

Friday, February 17, 2017

2 Corinthians 4

The intent of the devil is to keep the people in ignorance of the gospel of Christ, by bombarding us so much information that shall lead us away from God, such as materialism, worldliness, etc. The rejection of the gospel can be traced to the willful blindness and wickedness of the human heart. As light was the beginning of the first creation, so, in the new creation, the light of the Spirit is His first work upon the soul (v6). The minister of the gospel is just like an earthen vessel, weak and fragile, subject to the same passions and weaknesses as other human being (v7). He chose them to bring the gospel, instead of angels, that His power might be more glorified in upholding them. Christians are the great sufferers, yet we met with great support from the Holy Spirit. We may be forsaken by our friends and false believers, but our God will never leave nor forsake us. That's why we never give up, because the prospect of eternity and happiness is our support and comfort. All things that can be seen in this world are temporary, but our status is heaven is eternal. God bless.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

2 Corinthians 3

The law of Moses was written in tables of stone, but the law of Christ was written in the hearts of the believers, so that they became the living epistle of Christ seen by all men wherever they go. That's why the hearts of the Christians are humbled and softened by the new-creating power of the Holy Spirit. Since then, their ways became genuine, their attitudes are sincere, their actions are not irritating but holy and righteous, ascribing all the glory and power unto the Lord. Paul declares that the Old Testament time was the ministration of death, making the people sinful with the wrath and curse of God. But the New Testament time is the ministration of life, wherein the righteousness of God by faith is revealed. Those who continued to live under the law of Moses had a veil upon their hearts. But this veil is taken away by the Spirit of God when converted to faith in Christ.  They have light with open face to behold the glory of Christ, and should improve their relationship both with God and with fellow believers. God bless.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

2 Corinthians 2

In the previous letter, Paul told the Corinthians (1 Cor. 5:1-5) to expel the immoral sinner from the church. Later, that person had asked God's forgiveness, repented from his sins, and stopped doing immoral thing. But the Corinthians were not willing to forgive him. So Paul sent them another letter (2 Corinthians), and told them to forgive and restore that man into their community (v7). Unforgiving spirit is deadly, it may cause us to eternal destruction. In this case, wisdom is to be used that the ministry may not be blamed for indulging us to sin. Satan has many plans to deceive the believers, and knows how to make a bad use of our mistakes. But our victory is in Christ alone, as ointment poured out, a sweet aroma diffused in every place. For some, the gospel is a savor of eternal life in God, but for others, the gospel is a savor of death unto judgment. They reject the good news to their own ruin. Therefore, let us watch ourselves in this matter, check our conscience, obey the still small voice of the Holy Spirit, so speak we in Christ and of Christ. God bless.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

2 Corinthians 1

In a world like we have, we need God as our Comforter. He is comforting us always in time of trials and suffering so that we can also comfort others in time of need. As followers of Jesus, one of our roles is to encourage our brethren, to help them in time of need. On the other hand, for those who were given help, do not forget the kindness of your brethren when you were in need. Paul claimed that his service to the Corinthians is only by God's grace, not worldly wisdom, and it is his goal to encourage them to do the same; to live through God's grace. One of the most painful experience in life is to be misunderstood by loved ones. And for this reason, the Bible is persuading us to look up to God who is faithful to all His promises, and not to trust in ourselves (v9). People may think differently toward our views and plans, but it is God who will establish us until the end. Our motives must rooted in unselfish love, never to be twisted in a most untrue way. God bless.

Monday, February 13, 2017

1 Corinthians 16

Works with grace and mercy toward others are real fruits of true love to God. All our purposes must be made with submission to the Divine providence, and towards the people among whom we have labored long. The result must be transformation of people, such as, changed-life, selflessness, and total surrender to the will of Christ. Outside oppositions do not break the spirit of faithful believers, in fact we are more discouraged if the members of the church display hardness of hearts and backslide in their faith and commitment. We Christians are always in danger, both physical and spiritual, and therefore should always be on the watch. We should fix our faith in Christ and in the gospel, and never desert or give it up. By doing this, we will be able to keep our faith strong even in an hour of temptation. Do not forget the labor of your pastors and ministers, for they are praying always for your souls, for your success, and in your relationship with Christ and brethren. God bless.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

1 Corinthians 15

The Greek philosophers rejected the idea of bodily resurrection, an exact opposite of the foundational teaching of Christianity. If we remove this belief, then all our hopes for eternity sink at once. Christ was crucified, then risen from the dead, and the early Christians agreed in this testimony. By this faith they lived, and in this faith they died, and they saw the risen Lord face to face. If Christ is not risen, it means no salvation, no justification, no sanctification, and no glorification. But the resurrection is true and Jesus is risen from the grave, and this is our hope! There are two types of people in this world, the Adamic race and the Messianic race; the sinners and the forgiven. The forgiven are united with Christ, and their sinful nature had been replaced by divine nature of Christ. So that on His second coming, we shall all be changed to receive our new and glorious body similar with that of our Lord. It is immortal, holy, divine and fit for the Master's heavenly mansion. Therefore, continue to do what is right before God, be honest, do not be affected with your condition, for our labor will be rewarded at the end. God bless.

Friday, February 10, 2017

1 Corinthians 14

Prophesying is a gift of God to the believers that explains the Scripture in a given situation, while speaking in tongues is a gift that speak in an unknown language and has to be interpreted. The goal of all gifts is to edify the members of the church and glorify the Lord, other than this is only for personal exaltation. It has to be done with decency, humility and order. The problem with the Corinthians is that, they were exercising their spiritual gifts in order to get the greatest applause to themselves. They were speaking only into the air, not into the hearts of fellow Christians, like a clanging cymbals without  sense and meaning. Paul said that the true followers of Christ is desiring to do good for others, than to get a name for learning or fine speaking. As we share the Word of God, let us not neglect our duties to act in a way that the all men, believers and unbelievers will not be confused, but understand God's message. The Spirit of Christ can never contradict Himself, and the intent of God is for all men to know Him and His ways. God bless.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

1 Corinthians 13

The excellent way to exercise our gifts are with love to God and humility towards men. Without these, even the most glorious gifts are of no esteem in the sight of God. Our hands may be open wide, but if the heart is close, there is no charitable acts in there. And it appears that the Corinthians had been lacking in this aspect of Christian virtue. Love is an utter enemy of selfishness, because love does not desire self praise, material gain or pleasure. Love prefers the welfare of others in its private Divine principles. Let us ask ourselves whether this Divine love dwells in our hearts. Love grows, it begins with childhood stage, and the future is of manhood; while the present is cultivation and action.   Right now, all things are dark and blurred, that's why we live by faith, but when we go to heaven, our knowledge will be free from darkness and error. It is only the light of heaven that will remove all the mysteries that hide the face of God from us. Let us not stop doing good works with hope and faith, without ignoring the power of love. God bless.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

1 Corinthians 12

Spiritual gifts are freely given by God to the believers only, while nonbelievers do not understand it. We need spiritual gifts in order to share the gospel to people with strength and confidence through the help of the Holy Spirit. There are various gifts, and all Christians have at least one, and all proceed from one God. God gave these gifts not for ourselves, but in order to use in the kingdom of God. The more gifts you have, the more you are responsible to use them. Gifts like teaching, preaching, healing, exhorting, evangelizing, leading, cooking and others are given by God not to one person only, but distributed to all members of the church. And these gifts must be used to help and edify the brethren so that God may be glorified. If we will not use them but hide, then we are responsible to our Lord. We can only discover our spiritual gifts if we will continue to study the Bible and grow in the knowledge of God. Our body has many parts like eyes, ears, legs, hand, etc, but only one body, similar to the church with many members but one in Christ. As in the natural body, the members should be closely united by the strongest bonds of love and God's Spirit. God bless.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

1 Corinthians 11

Paul stated some of the ancient beliefs and its spiritual meaning in present time. Man should not cover his heads because he is the image and glory of God, while woman who prays should do the opposite because she is the glory of man. Today, it was a common usage of many churches for women, regardless of denominations, to appear in public assemblies veiled. Unfortunately, many had abused this custom and became the symbol of religious status and distinction. Then, Paul rebuked the disorders in their partaking of the Lord's Supper. Many rich Corinthians acted very wrong at the Lord's communion, or Sunday celebration, because they despised the poor. They ate too much "body" and drank too much "blood" of the Lord, while the poor are being neglected. The bread and wine that should be the symbol of love and unity became the instruments for division. The communion is sacred,  and those who shall partake must examine himself, and to do in remembrance of Christ. Paul lays the danger of receiving it with an unsuitable attitude because it may bring them to eternal damnation. For this reason, self-examination is necessary in every moment of our lives. God bless.

Monday, February 6, 2017

1 Corinthians 10

The historical accounts in the Old Testament were written down as examples to be followed or warning to be avoided at the end of the age. The manna, the crossing at the Red Sea, the Rock smitten by Moses, and others were all symbolism of Christ's redemptive works. Jesus is the Rock on which the Christian church is built, and believers eat and drink the Word of God for spiritual nourishment. Many Israelites had fallen because of disobedience, that instead of believing God's word, they look up to their own ability and personal understanding. Instead of bringing their sacrifices to God, they offered their sacrifices to idols or to demons, and not to God (v20). God doesn't want us to participate with demonic worship, at the same time with the Lord's table. We cannot serve God and devil at the same time. It is true that we have been set freed by Jesus, but we still have limitations in life, that is, to maintain our holy living. Therefore, whatever we do, do all for the glory of God. God will be glorified in our lives only if the people around us are edified and blessed. Are you blessing to the brethren? God bless.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

1 Corinthians 9

Paul spoke three things in this chapter, first is the willingness to serve the Lord without expecting any return from men. Serving Christ is not an obligation but a privilege given by God to few people,  however, serving Him requires self-denial. Paul had a right to claim what was needful for him, yet he had not used those rights (v12, 15). Our rewards should not be sought in this world, because God encourages us to set up our hearts above not on things below. Second, the message of Paul is the gospel of Christ. "Woe to me if I do not preach the  gospel" (v16). To the Jews he was a Jew, but to the Gentile he was a Gentile, without transgressing and compromising the law of Christ. It shows that Christians should balance their spiritual lives, not to appear too much spiritual by showing their 'heavy weight' faith in front of all men. Lastly, run the race until the end, don't stop serving the Lord, and never say I'm done with the Lord. Ministry is a never ending service, because the kingdom of God is an everlasting kingdom. God bless.

Friday, February 3, 2017

1 Corinthians 8

The foods offered to idols is one big issue to the church in Corinth, because the Greeks were very superstitious and idolatrous people. In pagan culture, the gods had higher and lower degree, but Paul said that idols are nothing and they are not God. Christians know better that there is only one God the Father, and one Lord Jesus Christ who has the power over all, and through whom we live. So, eating one kind of food and abstaining from another has nothing to do with our salvation. However, Paul cautions against putting a stumbling-block in the way of the weak brethren and new believers in Christ. We may know everything about the Bible, but if we are the cause for others to fall and get stumbled in faith, our knowledge is nothing to God.We should be very tender of doing any thing that may stumbling to others, though it may be innocent in itself. Let us beware to approach our boundary in the freedom that we have, because if we sins against others, the Lord Jesus will be offended. God bless.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

1 Corinthians 7

Paul answers many questions about married life and singleness. It is not sin to marry but it is not also sin not to marry. However, it is better to marry if they cannot control their passion. Man and wife must not separate for any cause than what Christ allows. Marriage is a divine institution, an engagement for life until God's appointed time. Both partner should labor to make relationship as easy and happy as possible. It is the duty of all Christians to conduct according to his present state, 'to remain in the same calling in which he was called' (v20). It means that when we got born again, stay where you are and remain in your present situation which God has placed you. Fix your life and remove every evil thing, because what matters to God is our obedience to His commandments (v19). Married people cares for their spouse and family, but never ever forget your duties to God, and let a quiet time still be kept for the things of the Lord. Finally, children should seek the directions of their parents about marriage, while parents should listen and not to dictate without reason. Paul's main point is for all believers to be happy and holy before the eyes of the Lord. God bless.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

1 Corinthians 6

Misunderstanding cannot be avoided in the church, but Christians should be of a forgiving spirit. In this case, the troubled Corinthians referred the dispute to a non-believing judge instead of sitting down to settle the disagreement. It is a shame that little quarrels should grown, and they cannot be determined by the brethren. The members of this church are warned against many evils things, of which they had formerly been guilty, like idolatry, immorality, adultery, lying, drinking, etc (v9-10). Paul said that all unrighteousness are sins, every actual sin committed with intention, and not repented of, shuts out of the kingdom of heaven. Be not deceived, because people cannot hope to reap everlasting life while sowing disobedience and unfaithfulness. Glory be to God for the blood of Christ and the washing of regeneration has taken all our sins and guilt. Those who had been forgiven are made righteous in the sight of God, and became the dwelling place and temple of the Holy Spirit. It is an honor to be a part of both local and universal church of Jesus Christ. God bless.