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Buyse1 Emily Buyse 2 Corinthians Dr. Lynn Cohick December 5, 2013 Bible Study The theme of i!

in u" #ne$s life in Christ$s name in or%er to ain true life is seen both in &atthe' 1()2*+2, an% 2 Corinthians *),+1,. -aul$s messa e in 2 Corinthians *),+1, is meant to be encoura ement ins"ire% from &atthe' 1()2*+2, for the Corinthians church to not lose heart an% to continue focusin on eternity because the thin s of this life are 'astin a'ay. -aul talks about eternal lory an% the fact that our bo%ies are %yin %ay by %ay but our souls are more ali!e in .esus. The more 'e %ie to oursel!es, .esus says in &atthe', the more our re'ar% 'ill be in hea!en. /n or%er to recei!e this re'ar% in hea!en the scri"tures im"ly that the "rice is learnin to "erse!ere, like -aul, 'ith 0o%$s stren th, throu h many trials an% "ersecution. #ne of the main "ur"oses of this letter from -aul to the church he establishe% at Corinth 'as for -aul to establish his authority as an a"ostle of Christ. This authority comes throu h his "ainful e1"eriences an% the ability to yet be o!ercome by 0o%$s race 23hillin ton " . 134. The Corinthian church at the time of recei!in this letter 'as stru lin 'ith 5uestions about -aul$s

le itimacy. They 5uestione% -aul$s i%entity as a true a"ostle of .esus Christ because of his lifestyle, one fille% 'ith sufferin an% 'eakness 23cott, " . 24. /n -aul$s 'or%s he is har% "resse%, "er"le1e%, "ersecute%, an% struck %o'n. To name har%shi"s in or%er to ain cre%ibility for ones ministry 'as not uncommon in -aul$s %ay. &any 0reek "hiloso"hers of -aul$s time an% more s"ecifically the 3a es 'oul% use this "ractice to 6teach an% commen% the au%ience7

Buyse2 23hillin ton " . 884. /n 3cott$s commentary he also reco ni9es that 0o% a!e -aul the en%urance to o!ercome the sufferin in or%er to benefit or e%ucate the Corinthian church on true ministry an% sacrifice 23cott " . 10*4. Des"ite any strain in the relationshi" bet'een the church at Corinth an% -aul his heart behin% the letter is to 6"ersua%e the Corinthians of a !ie' of ministry consistent 'ith the %eath of .esus Christ, the 3on of 0o%7 23hillin ton " . 2(4. -aul is "rinci"ally concerne% that his con!erts kno' e1actly 'ho is reconcilin the 'orl%7 23hillin ton " . 2(4. The i%ea of sufferin from trials an% "ersecution 'hile still bein rene'e% an% more ali!e than e!er is a %ifficult conce"t to un%erstan%. /n our culture 'e see 6bein ali!e7 as ha!in free%om, money, occu"ational success, status an% ha!in many frien%s. -aul ha% none of these thin s 'hen he claime% in 2 Corinthians *)12 that 6life is at 'ork insi%e of him.7 3o 'hat life is -aul referrin to: /n the ;e' /nternational Biblical Commentary 3cott belie!es that this 6rene'e% life7 that -aul is talkin about referre% to the resurrecte% life of Christ in his bo%y. -aul sa' his har%shi"s as tem"orary. <e sa' them as an o""ortunity to share 'ith Christ in <is sufferin s an% to e1"erience the resurrection of Christ. -aul belie!e% that these stru les 'oul%

only a%% to his "latform in s"rea%in the os"el. 3cott a%%s a ain ho' 6sharin in Christ$s sufferin s here an% no' is a "rere5uisite for sharin in his resurrection lory in the future7 23cott " . 1054. =ithout -aul$s sufferin s or 6%eath7 then there 'oul% be no ro'th or 6life7 throu h the resurrection for the Corinthians 2Barnett " . ,84. -aul$s role in the Corinthian church is sacrificial> it is to ser!e as a li!in e1am"le of Christ$s %eath an% resurrection for belie!ers. -aul li!e% out .esus$ messa e to the %isci"les on Caesarea -hili""i in &atthe' 1(. <ere .esus "rom"te% <is %isci"les 'ith a 5uestion unlike one he ha% e!er aske% before, 6'ho %o "eo"le say the son of man is:7 This is the moment 'here -eter confesse% an% .esus re!eale% that

Buyse3 <e 'as in fact Christ, the 3on of Triune 0o%. This 'as the clima1 of .esus$ ministry on earth. ?fter this %efinin moment .esus be an to "re"are his %isci"les for <is sacrificial %eath. .esus sai%, 6/f anyone 'oul% come after me, he must %eny himself an% take u" his cross an% follo' me. @or 'hoe!er 'ants to sa!e his life 'ill lose it, but 'hoe!er sa!es his life for me 'ill fin% it. =hat oo% 'ill it be for a man if he ains the 'hole 'orl%, yet forfeits his soul:7 2&atthe' 1()2*+2(4 -aul$s entire ministry "reache% the messa e of 6%enyin oneself7 in or%er to follo' Christ an% ho' that re5uires releasin the !alue 'e "lace on "leasures of this 'orl% such as 'ealth, security an% health. /n &atthe' 1()25, it em"hasi9es that the attem"t to sa!e ones life 'ill only lea% to sufferin an% ultimately %eath but 'hen you i!e u" your life, your comfort or your "leasure, that is 'hen you ain true life in .esus. /n 2 Corinthians *), -aul talks about the har%shi"s he 'ent throu h, 6'e are har% "resse% on e!ery si%e, but not crushe%> "er"le1e%, but not in %es"air, "ersecute%, but not aban%one%> struck %o'n, but not %estroye%.7 -aul talks about a fe' !erses later ho' this torment is sim"ly the "ro%uct of bein 6 i!en o!er7 to .esus$ %eath for his sake so that his life can be re!eale% in them. The 'or% for %eath that -aul uses here 2nekrosis4 im"lies the "rocess of %yin rather than the actually e!ent of %eath 23hillin ton " . 1004. This "rocess of %yin to oneself is "arallel to the %enial the .esus refers to in &atthe' 1()2*. /t is the act of sacrificin comfort e!en to the "oint of i!in u" our !ery li!es for the sake of the os"el. <o'ar% Aos in his commentary of &atthe' e1"lains that this %enial is the conce"t that if one %esires to follo' Christ they must 6acce"t the trials 'hich come to the belie!er because of his Christian "rofession7 2Aos " . 1234. /f you "rofess to be a belie!er in a fallen 'orl% you 'ill run into "eo"le 'ho aren$t ha""y 'ith you an% they 'ill %o anythin to let you kno' that. -aul %oes not lea!e the church ho"eless facin the fate of "ersecution for 0o%. ? fe'

Buyse4 !erses later in 2 Corinthians -aul talks about the ho"e 'e ha!e by %enyin oursel!es to ain this ne' life in .esus. -aul talks further about our bo%ies bein i!en as sacrifices, 6out'ar%ly

'astin a'ay7 but 6in'ar%ly bein rene'e% %ay by %ay7 22 Corinthians *)1(4. /n the "ain an% the sufferin there is ho"e of rene'al. -aul means the more 'e i!e of oursel!es to .esus, the more of oursel!es 'e %eny, the more life in Christ 'e 'ill ha!e. This coul% mean that a Christ follo'er coul% lose their Bob because they stan% firm to their beliefs an% 'on$t com"romise their morals. 3acrificin ha!in the comfort of an income 'hen you ha!e a family to fee% %enies 'hat you 'ant for yourself by obeyin 0o%s call for your life. This 6%eath7 throu h sufferin for the unem"loye% Christian 'ill lea% to the life an% resurrection of Christ bein re!eale% throu h him 2Barnett " s ,8+804. The life that 'e ain as a "ro%uct of sacrificin for Christ is true life an% 'ill "ro%uce eternal lory 22 Corinthians *)1C4. This eternal lory that -aul talks about in 2 Corinthians *)1C is referrin .esus$ return an% the 6 ain7 that &atthe' mentions 'ill be recei!e% on that %ay. That ain is only achie!e% 'hen one i!es u" their life for 6eternal lory.7 Christians e1"erience a taste of this eternal lory throu h the 'astin a'ay of their bo%ies or throu h "ersecution for Christ$s sake. Throu h the sacrifices of thin s that 'e !alue in our tem"orary, fleetin li!es 0o%$s resurrection is re!eale% insi%e of us. /n &atthe' 1() 2*+2(, .esus 'as encoura in his %isci"les to 6 i!e u"7 their li!es an% callin them to take u" their cross for his sake because 6takin u" our cross is contra%ictory to all human inclinations, but it is utterly consistent 'ith the 'ay 0o% !an5uishes the "o'er of %eath7 23aun%ers " . 1(*4. <e 'as callin them to s"rea% the os"el aroun% the nations an% 'arnin them that this 'oul% re5uire lar e amounts of sacrifice but the re'ar% is reat. /n &atthe' 1()1(, -eter confesses that Christ is the 3on of 0o% an% it is key to un%erstan% that -eter 'as referre% to in &atthe' 1()1, as 6the rock / 'ill buil% my church.7 Later on in his

Buyse5 ministry -eter truly a!e u" his life for Christ. <e o!ercome reat "ersecution for the church an% 'as later kille% as a martyr 2Diley " s 28+314. The 6rock7 of the church is the foun%ation on 'hat e!erythin lies u"on an% -eter is a "rime e1am"le of the sacrificial act of 6takin u" ones cross7 for Christ. Later on in &atthe' 1() 2C .esus says, 6'hen the 3on of &an is oin to come in his @athers lory 'ith his an els, an% then he 'ill re'ar% each "erson accor%in to 'hat he has %one.7 That is 'hy -aul em"hasi9es in !erses 1(+1, 6'e fi1 our eyes not on 'hat is seen, but on 'hat is unseen. @or 'hat is seen is tem"orary, but 'hat is unseen is eternal.7 ?lthou h by the 'orl% stan%ar%s %enyin yourself, an% takin u" your cross to follo' Christ seems like 6momentary troubles7 there is an eternal re'ar% that 6far out'ei hs them all.7 #ur moti!ation for un%er oin sufferin s or momentary troubles shoul% not be for the "ur"ose of ainin the re'ar%. -aul is not im"lyin that sufferin s shoul% at all be !ie'e% at 6 oo% 'orks7 an% that they %o not automatically intensify eternal lory. -aul means to say that the key to eternal lory is by 6fi1in our eyes on 'hat is unseen7 not allo'in momentary troubles to %istract us from our "ur"ose as belie!ers 2Barnett " . 8*4. The i%ea of obeyin the call of 0o% communicate% throu h -aul to 6fi1 our eyes on 'hat is unseen7 is har% to ras". <o' %o you fi1 your eyes on somethin that you cannot see: / think -aul is usin this meta"hor to %escribe the i%ea of uns'er!in focus that cannot be broken by anythin . The si ns of %ecay 'e see all aroun% us in our 'orl% to%ay ser!e as remin%ers of the rene'al that is "re"are% for us throu h .esus. This life$s trials shoul% only make us roan for the true e1istence 'e ha!e to look for'ar% to in <ea!en. That is 'hy -aul calls us to not 6fi1 our eyes on 'hat is seen7 or to %'ell on the "resent "ersecution but let that sufferin ser!e as a remin%er to 6fi1 your eyes on the unseen7 23hillin ton " . 105+10(4. -aul 'as callin the church

Buyse6 at Corinth, similar to ho' .esus calle% his %isci"les, to i!e u" e!erythin of !alue on this earth for the furtherin of the kin %om. That 'oul% re5uire an eternal focus an% an un%erstan%in that this life on earth is tem"orary an% fleetin but eternity in 0o%$s lory is 'hat truly matters. Both .esus an% -aul$s messa es are a""licable to our li!es to%ay because it is so easy to lose eternal focus. =e become so consume% an% %istracte% by our li!es in such a busy %ay in a e. The thin s 'e become consume% by %on$t ha!e to be ne ati!e, they can be the "ursuit of 0o%s callin for our li!es, or e!en hel"in others throu h a ministry. C.3. Le'is i!es an ama9in e1am"le of becomin consume% 'ith a oo% ift from 0o% an% throu h it losin si ht of 0o% all to ether in his book, The 0reat Di!orce.7 Le'is tells the story of a "ainter 'ho sa' a taste of 'hat <ea!en 'oul% look like an% this artist 'as ins"ire% to "aint it so others coul% see. This "ainter ha% a s"ecial ift of seein 0o%s beauty on earth clearer than anyone else but he took this tem"orary ift an% lifte% it abo!e the #ne 'ho a!e it to him. <e 'as alarme% 'hen he %isco!ere% his talent 'oul% not be nee%e% in <ea!en because e!eryone there 'oul% e1"erience the beauty firsthan%. The "ainter, blin%e% by inability to focus on 6'hat is unseen7 %eci%e% he %i% not 'ant to o to <ea!en. <e only 'as able to focus on 6'hat is seen7 so he settle% for a mere sli!er of the beauty that he coul% ha!e e1"erience% in <ea!en. That it 'hy it is so im"ortant to not focus on earthy reco nition or status e!en if they are ifts from 0o%. ?nother a""licable as"ect seen both in -aul an% .esus$ messa es is that as belie!ers 'e shoul% e1"ect to suffer. This life shoul% not be comfortable an% it shoul% not be easy if our soul "ur"ose is to 6lose7 our life for Christ. 6Da%ical obe%ience to Christ is not easy... /tEs not comfort, not health, not 'ealth, an% not "ros"erity in this 'orl%. Da%ical obe%ience to Christ risks losin all these thin s. But in the en%, such

Buyse7 risk fin%s its re'ar% in Christ. ?n% he is more than enou h for us.7 FDa!i% -latt .esus$ challen e to his %isci"les to 6%eny themsel!es, take u" their cross an% follo' me7 in &atthe' 1( can be inten%e% for all belie!ers 'ho 'ant to be consi%ere% %isci"les. <e remin%s them in !erse 2(, 6'hat oo% 'ill it be for someone to ain the 'hole 'orl%, yet forfeit their soul: #r 'hat can anyone i!e in e1chan e for their soul: @or 'hoe!er 'ants to sa!e their life 'ill lose it, but 'hoe!er loses their life for me 'ill fin% it.7 /f 'e s"en% our li!es as belie!ers 'orryin about %oin somethin to 6 et7 to 0o% or to "lease <im 'e 'ill lose our life. There is nothin 'e can %o to bri% e the a" bet'een 0o% an% us. That is 'hy <e sent his son to "ay our sins, so that 'e coul% in fact be reunite% 'ith him a ain. This is 'hy %enyin oursel!es of thin s 'e consi%er im"ortant on this earth is so small in com"arison the ift 'e 'ill et to s"en% eternity 'ith Christ.

Commentary Sources

Buyse8 1.4 Barnett, -aul. The Message of 2 Corinthians. Leicester, En lan%) /nter+Aarsity, 18,,. -rint. 2.4 Diley, <arol%. The First Gospel. &acon) &ercer G-, 1882. -rint. 3.4 3aun%ers, 3tanley -. Preaching the Gospel of Matthew: Proclaiming God s Presence. Louis!ille, HI) =estminster .ohn Hno1, 2010. -rint. *.4 3cott, .ames &. !ew "nternational Biblical Commentary##2 Corinthians$ -eabo%y, &?.) <en%rickson, 188,. -rint. ;e' Testament 3er. 5.4 3hillin ton, A. 0. 2 Corinthians. 3cott%ale, -?) <eral%, 188,. -rint. (.4 Aos, <o'ar% @re%eric. Matthew: Bible Study Commentary. 0ran% Da"i%s) Jon%er!an -ub. <ouse, 18,3. -rint.