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Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Day 335: The Christian as a steward

Paul tells the Corinthians what really matters.
Paul’s sufferings and reward
2 Corinthians 4:1-18
The apostle’s hope
2 Corinthians 5:1-10
The new creation
2 Corinthians 5:11-21
The proof of Paul’s ministry
2 Corinthians 6:1-10
Separation from unbelievers required
2 Corinthians 6:11-18, 7:1
Paul’s heart revealed  
2 Corinthians 7:2-16
An example of giving
2 Corinthians 8: 1-10
Encouragement to give
2 Corinthians 8:11-16

Paul wants to emphasise the unseen spiritual dimension of the Christian life, which he sees as outweighing the seen, physical dimension. In our physical lives, we may be weak, we may suffer, we may be unregarded. In spiritual terms, we possess priceless treasure, we have seen unsurpassed glory. However, this does not mean that we can please ourselves physically, thinking that the physical self is completely different from the spiritual self. No, Paul tells us quite firmly to “ purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.” (7:1)
Then Paul returns to the uncomfortable subject of correcting the Corinthians. He acknowledges that the harsh words in his first letter caused them upset, but says it was necessary to do them good.  He reassures them that he loves them, that he wants th best for them unlike (hint, hint) certain others he could mention...
Paul is glad. Another of his lieutenants, Titus, has reported that the Corinthians have listened to him and changed their ways. So he is bold to go and remind them about the collection he intends to take to Jerusalem, and asks that they get it ready to give to Titus when he comes. Go on, make me proud of you!

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