BSF Study Questions Acts Lesson 20, Day 4: 2 Corinthians 5

Summary of passage:  Paul still speaking:  If our earthly tent (human body) is destroyed, we have a building from God in heaven.  We groan because we wish to be in Heaven but God made us for this purpose (human form) and given us the Spirit as a guarantee of what is to come (Heaven).

Thus, we can be confident while in the body that we have a home in Heaven because of faith.  While we would prefer to be at home with the Lord, we must make it our goal while on Earth to please Him for we must all appear before the judgment of Christ for the good or bad things we have done while in the body.

We try to persuade men that Christ died for our sins, for EVERYONE, and we should no longer live for ourselves but for Him.

Thus, we must look at everyone from a heavenly standpoint since that is the goal and what matters in this world.  If you are in Christ you are a new creation since God reconciled us to Him through Christ.  We are thus Christ’s ambassadors for others to be reconciled to God and thus be righteous before God.

Now is the time for salvation and God’s grace.  Before it’s too late!

Questions:

11a)  The earthly tent is our body and the building is our home in Heaven.  As most of us know, a tent is not study and can easy fail, be broken and blow away, and in the end disappear altogether.  A house is much more sturdier, built to last a lifetime and in this metaphor for all of eternity.  We groan and complain while in the tent (the body), yearning for Heaven (the dwelling or home) when we need to remember God made us for this/His purpose.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  No.  I can’t say this.  I don’t feel like I’ve fulfilled God’s purpose for my life yet and it drives me every day.  Plus, selfishly, I’m not ready to leave my kiddos.  They need me right now and I want to be there as long as possible.

I can say I do make it my goal to please Him.  Admittedly, I fail.  But every day is new and I get to start over and try again and little by little I think I’m getting closer and closer to a God-centered life.

12a)  Reconcile according to Webster’s Dictionary means, “to restore to friendship or harmony; to make consistent or congruous; to cause to submit to or accept something unpleasant.”

b)  He has sent Christ to die for our sins; to remove our sins, cleanse us, so that we may be with God.  He has made us a new creation through the giving of the Holy Spirit.  We are now righteous before God.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Yes.

Conclusions:  What I got out of this passage is the importance of living by faith (verse 7) since we are in the body and away from the Lord.  This is what prevents most people from not accepting Jesus Christ especially in today’s society.  Everyone is so negative and wary of scams that having faith to believe in the unseen is hard.  But it’s what sets religious people apart from others.  We can be confident of our home in Heaven and our righteousness before God because of our faith.

Paul calls us to give something to others because God has given us everything!  Live for Christ, serve others, remember our lives will be judged by Christ, and tell as many others as possible about Him!

BSF Study Questions Acts Lesson 20, Day 2: 2 Corinthians 1-2 and 7:5-11; Acts 19:21-20:6; 1 Corinthians 16:5-6

Summary of passages:  2 Corinthians 1-2:  In this letter from Paul to the Corinthians Paul explains how God comforts us in our sorrows and therefore we must as well.  Jesus suffered so we suffer and we receive comfort from Him, endurance, and hope.

Paul says him and his companions suffered much in Asia to the point of death.  But God was there, delivered them, and will continue to do so.  He is their hope.

Paul then explains why he did not visit them again when he promised:  to spare them (verse 23).  Paul abandoned his trip to see them after his trip through Macedonia because of tensions and unpleasantness.

God anoints Christians for service, identifies and protects us with a seal, and indwells within us as a deposit (promise) for greater things to come.

He tells them to forgive those who have sinned and repented and comfort them lest they are overwhelmed with sorrow.  Show love to such as these so that Satan does not have an opportunity to step in.

Paul had the door opened for him in Troas but had no peace of mind for he awaited word from Titus about his lost letter to the Corinthians.  Thanks be to God the fragrance of His knowledge was spread and it was the fragrance of life to those who accepted and the smell of death to those who did not.  Every word Paul spoke was with the sincerity of God.

2 Corinthians 7:5-11:  In Macedonia Paul was harassed at every turn but God comforted him with Titus and with the letter Titus bore from the Corinthians.  The Corinthians were sorry for their behavior so Paul was joyful.

Paul regretted the letter at first for it caused pain but now he is happy because they repented of their behavior as God intended and not because they felt bad.  Godly sorrow brings repentance and salvation with no regrets; whereas worldly sorrow brings death.  It has brought earnestness and a desire to see justice done.

Acts 19: Summary Here.

Acts 20:1-12: Summary Here.

1 Corinthians 16:5-6:  Paul says after he leaves Macedonia he will come to Corinth for a bit.

Questions:

3a)  The riot in Ephesus probably contributed as well as Paul’s desire to reach Jerusalem before Pentecost

b)  In Troas Paul spoke to the people until midnight and raised Eutychus from the dead when he fell out of the window.  Also, here Paul preached the Good News successfully as God had opened the door for him but Paul had no peace of mind for he was awaiting news from Titus from Corinth.  Unable to stand it any longer, Paul went searching for Titus and met him in Macedonia with good news.

Apparently, Paul had gotten into a tiff with the Corinthians in a second letter to them that we do not possess.

Disappointment:  Titus not arrive.  Triumph:  successfully spread the Good News to many.  Joy:  Doing God’s work.

4)  God comforts us so we can comfort others.  Paul suffered immense hardships in Asia, far beyone what they were able to endure and despaired for their lives to the point they felt death near.  But God delivered them and comforted them in their sufferings and planted the hope that He shall continue to do so.

5a)  Anointed: to apply oil to a person or thing, a practice common in the Old Testament.  To apply oil to as a sacred rite especially for consecration.

Sealed:  Something that confirms, ratifies or makes secure;  guarantee or assurance.

b)  Believers are marked with a seal (the Holy Spirit) that guarantees our inheritance and is proof we are God’s.  The Holy Spirit is in us, teaches us, and leads us to God’s work.  Again, we accept Jesus, God anoints us (marks us as His), sealed (guarantees this) through the indwelt Holy Spirit in our hearts, which gives us redemption and a place in heaven, and guides our life in His name forthwith and forever.

6a)  The fragrance is the knowledge of God.  If you accept it, you gain life (salvation).  If you reject it, you gain death (destruction).

b)  No.

Conclusions: Very confusing what is going on here since we are missing correspondences between Paul and his beloved Corinthians.  It is believed Paul wrote a second letter in between 1 Corinthians and 2 Corinthians to the church at Corinth that is now missing that discussed other things going on between them.  Evidently, Paul made a second visit to the Church at Corinth not recorded in Acts.  Using 2 Corinthians as a guide we know it was “painful”.  Paul is telling the Corinthians he wants to visit again but is postponing it so everyone can cool off and not raise tensions any higher.

2 Corinthians is a letter explaining his decision to delay as well as offering more advice for life.

Other commentaries say the first visit to Corinth was painful instead of saying there was another visit Acts does not record making the visits two in total (the ones recorded) instead of three (with one not recorded).  You can be the judge of that.

End Notes:  Anyone remember 1 Corinthians 1 from Isaiah?  I immediately recognized it because I liked that lesson a lot.  Great reminder of our role as comforters in the midst of our sufferings and how God comforts us as well.

I find it fascinating how Paul spends a lot of time defending himself to people.  It show his humanity, how some things never change (i.e. man’s nature), and in and of itself this offers comfort (and we gain comfort in the experience especially if Godly sorrow is involved) to us since these situations happen to us as well.  Who hasn’t defended their actions or been accused of something?