2 Corinthians "Willing to be Absent From the Body"
Each book in the Bible gently guides God's people into a more intimate relationship with their Creator, as He knows must occur, for His people to receive Him in the depth of the relationship that He purchased for them. Each day we are covering, in sequential order, one of the twenty-seven books of the New Testament and expecting people’s lives to change through the revelation of His leading in this way.
Today is the eighth day of the series, and the book is, 2 Corinthians, the eighth book in the New Testament as it appears in our Bible. 2 Corinthians is a follow-up letter written to believers in a major financial center of their time, who were Spirit-filled, slowly maturing, Christians and were ready for deeper teachings than in the letters that Paul had written to them previously. The focus of this letter that Paul wrote to these people was to take the next step into the relationship of Christ which is available, and it is to desire to be with God more than being attached to things on Earth.
The first thing I’m going to point out today is the way Paul refers to himself, and those to whom His letters are written are becoming progressively relationally stated in their relationships with each other and in their relationships with God. This is not an isolated incident occurring in only these letters from Paul it exists throughout the Bible.
The following are examples from the letters to the Romans, and the two letters in the Bible to the Corinthians.
Romans, “Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God, (Which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures,) Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead: By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name: Among whom are ye also the called of Jesus Christ:” To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians, ”Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother, Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
2 Corinthians “Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, unto the church of God which is at Corinth, with all the saints which are in all Achaia: Grace be to you and peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Paul speaking about himself:
Romans: “Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God,” First, Paul is a servant, then an apostle by himself making a statement
1 Corinthians: “Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother,” Second Paul is just an apostle through the will of God with a brother in Christ
2 Corinthians: “Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother,”
Third, Paul is an apostle by the will of God, with a better-known brother in Christ.
Paul speaking about others in the church of God:
Romans: “To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints” First, Paul uses a generalized term “To all that be in Rome, beloved of God”
1 Corinthians: “Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours” Second, Paul uses a more specific term “unto the church of God” and “called to be saints”.
2 Corinthians: “unto the church of God which is at Corinth, with all the saints which are in all Achaia” Third, Paul uses a deeper intimacy with the term “all the saints.” In this letter, they are already saints; not just called to be saints.
The second statement that I’ll point out today is Paul’s statement, “We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.” Paul speaks in previous letters about his willingness to die for Christ, but now he is including others with him.
This is helping many others to come alongside Paul in the journey instead of just watching him, and a few others who are living a life of humility.
The third truth that will be shared today is, Paul tells us about “someone” getting to go to heaven before their body was in the grave: “I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven. And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.” Paul speaks of “a man he knew” who had an experience in heaven. This is the first time anyone was taken to heaven in the New Testament Age, and it makes it possible for others to have the same experience when God has it to be given. Before this statement, it was only Stephen, during New Testament times as he was becoming a martyr, that had seen heaven while he was still in his body.
The examples in this blog are only a limited sample of the deepening relational revelation described through the letter to the Corinthians which display God’s leading and guiding His people through their lives by His practical instructions in His Spirit filled people’s lives
The intent of the blog is to demonstrate the difference in the revelation that God gives to His people as they intently follow Him and focus on what He has told them through their individual lives and the revelation they’ve received through the Holy Spirit and His Holy Bible.