2 Corinthians 5

2 Corinthians 5: Walking by Faith…

                Paul speaks about how if the world as we know it was dissolved, we can be assured that; “…we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.” (2 Corinthians 5:1) Here Paul speaks about our Eternal home; it gives us insight into our divine nature, as sons and daughter of the highest God. Paul comforts the Corinthians in his letter to them, telling them to have confidence; “…we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: (For we walk by faith, not by sight:)” (2 Corinthians 5:6-7) As God’s offspring, we can have confidence knowing that one day we will return to live with Him. While we are on the earth, however, we are absent from Him. Because of this absence, we must prove our worth and walk in this world without the knowledge of our pre-earth life with God. If we labor diligently; “…we may be accepted of him.” (2 Corinthians 5:9)

Paul reminds the Corinthians that; “…we all must appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.” (2 Corinthians 5:10) Essentially, Paul is teaching the Corinthians that we are in fact responsible for our actions here on Earth, and we WILL be judged for them.  Jesus Christ died for us, and thus opened the door to our Salvation. However, it is our choice to accept the grace of Jesus Christ. This means that we need to do good works, so that we may be judged for those good works!

If we do good, and follow Jesus Christ, we will become; “…a new creature: old things are passed away; behold all things are become new.” (2 Corinthians 5:17)

2 Corinthians 4

2 Corinthians 4: Trials of the Earth are Nothing

                Paul explains that he, as an Apostle of the Lord does not act with craftiness or deceit. He explains that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is often blinded (veiled) from those who are perishing, from those who really need the Gospel.

Paul tells the Saints in Corinth that “…we preach not ourselves, but in Christ, Jesus the Lord…” (2 Corinthians 4:5) When we speak about the Gospel of Jesus Christ we need to remember that it is His Gospel, and we are only His servants. As Saints, we will be; “…troubled on every side, ye not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed…” (2 Corinthians 4:8-9) Paul explains that even with all the trials we have on this earth, it is never more than we can handle. We may see them as being the end, or may see them as being too hard for us to bear, but the Lord will guide us! The Lord God will raise us up, just as He was raised from the dead.

We need to; “…look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:18) While we are on this earth, we will not understand everything in its entirety. Science discovers new things daily, which should not be discredited. God created science and gives us the tools, thoughts and abilities to design, build, invent and discover the things that make our lives easier. Evolution is real, Creationism can coincide with science! After all, God created science! Paul just reminds us that the things we don’t see are the eternal things. Often times we are required to walk by faith and not by sight.

2 Corinthians 3

2 Corinthians 3: The Vail is taken away…

                Paul explains that he does not need praise for what he writes and explains is the Gospel of Jesus Christ; “…written not with ink, but with the Spirit…” (2 Corinthians 3:3) Essentially he is saying that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is not made of men, sure it can be written down… but the Gospel of Jesus Christ comes from the Spirit.

Paul explains a little about the veil that was taken from Moses when he saw God face-to-face in Exodus 33-34. For we too have a veil over our eyes that makes us see things plainly. However, to fully understand the workings of God we cannot understand them in our Physical state, the veil must be removed.

Paul goes on to explain that “…where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” (2 Corinthians 3:17). Essentially, any nation or person that turns away from God will lose its Liberty.

2 Corinthians 2

2 Corinthians 2: Saints should Love one Another

                Paul explains his reasoning for writing the Corinthians; “For out of much affliction and anguish of heart I wrote unto you with many tears; not that ye should be grieved, but that ye might know the love which I have is more abundantly unto you.” (2 Corinthians 2:4) Paul loved those who he served and wanted to bring to the attention of the Corinthians their wrong doings, and how they might correct them.

Paul explains that Christians need to forgive one another and that we as Christians need to be obedient in all things; “…be obedient in all things. To whom ye forgive anything, to whom I forgave it…” (2 Corinthians 2:9-10) If we forgive, God will also forgive. If we do not forgive, and we let the anger stir within us; “…Satan should get an advantage of us…” (2 Corinthians 2:11) Paul reminds the Corinthians that he speaks these words with sincerity to help the Corinthians.

2 Corinthians 1

2 Corinthians 1: God Comforts His Saints

                Paul writes to the Corinthians and explains that God will look over and comfort His saints; “Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort. Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort we ourselves are comforted of God” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4) Here Paul tells us that God does not comfort everyone directly; sometimes God will direct others to do the comforting. That does not mean that God does not love everyone equally, it just means that He wants us to learn how to help each other.

Paul goes on to explain that as we are afflicted and as we suffer, we will also be comforted and endure with knowledge; “…whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation…” (2 Corinthians 1:6) Essentially, part of Salvation is going through trials and afflictions so we can learn and grow from our time on earth.

Summary of 1 Corinthians

Summary of 1 Corinthians

                The Book of 1 Corinthians is a collection of letters written by Paul to the Corinthians around 56 A.D. The underlying theme of these letters was for Paul to address and correct issues of immorality and divisions among members of the church in that area.

In Chapters 1-4: Paul receives reports of “…contentions among you [the Corinthians].” (1 Corinthians 1:11) Paul asks believers to “…see your calling…how that not many…are called.” (1 Corinthians 1:26) Paul explains that God has chosen them, and because of that they need to behave like they have been chosen and become believers in God and in Jesus Christ and let God have a hand in our daily lives.

In chapters 5-11:  Paul exposes all of the unrighteous activities of immorality that was occurring among the Corinthians at Corinth. Their sins included: sexual immorality, issues of marriage, and lawsuits within the church. “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God?” (1 Corinthians 6:9)

In chapters 12-14: Paul helps clear up any confusion about the different practices of worship in the Church of Jesus Christ. He helps to correct difficult doctrines that had caused divisions and again more confusion! Paul explains to the Corinthians that “…God is not the author of confusion, but of peace…” (1 Corinthians 14:33) Essentially he is saying that there is no need for people to fight over doctrines, when God only authored one Doctrine, and never meant for it to be confusing.

In Chapters 15-16: Paul explains the topic of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ and explains that if He rose on the third day, then WE too can rise once again after death.

1 Corinthians 16

1 Corinthians 16: Stand Fast in Faith

Paul talks about having a weekly collection to help those in need. Paul also speaks to every one of the Corinthians and tells them that they need to “…stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong. Let all your things be done with charity.” (1 Corinthians 16:13-14)

Paul counsels everyone to hold strong to their faith and be strong in all the trials. He invites everyone to have Charity in all their dealings.

1 Corinthians 15

1 Corinthians 15: Baptisms for the Dead

                Paul preaches to the Corinthians and tells them that the Gospel he preached to them is the word of God and that Jesus Christ did in fact die for our sins; “…that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures; “(1 Corinthians 15:4) Paul explains that the evidence of Him is all around, for many saw His great works and miracles. Paul explains that all men will be resurrected, Paul explains that if there is no resurrection then Jesus Christ also did not rise on the third day; “…if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: And if Christ is be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.” (1 Corinthians 15:13-14) Paul goes on to make a very bold statement; “For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised.” (1 Corinthians 15:16)

Essentially we learn that if you believe that Christ rose on the third day, then you must also believe that all men will one day be resurrected. Paul goes on to explain the purpose of Jesus Christ and the Fall/Redemption of Mankind through Him;

“But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive… Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him…. Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? why are they then baptized for the dead?” (1 Corinthians 15:20-29)

So, Paul is telling us that through the Fall of Adam and Eve, death was brought into the world, but through Jesus Christ we can eventually overcome that death. The Corinthians participated in Baptisms for the Dead and because of this Paul was essentially asking them; ‘if you don’t believe in resurrection, why are you participating in the baptisms of the dead?’ – From this we learn that Baptisms for the Dead were performed in ancient times and that it was for the very purpose of those who did not get a baptism in this life. This practice of Vicarious Work is done today in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Paul goes on to explain what members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints already know as the Plan of Salvation. Paul describes the different bodies; “There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial; but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for one star differeth from another star in glory…” (1 Corinthians 15:40-41)

1 Corinthians 14

1 Corinthians 14: Speaking in Tongues

                Paul encourages the Saints (the members of the Church) to “Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts…” (1 Corinthians 14:1) If we are desirous for Spiritual Gifts, we also need to be willing to “…seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church.” (1 Corinthians 14:12) Paul teaches the saints about the Gift of Tongues, which is speaking in another known language. Some believe that speaking in tongues is a secret way of communicating in gibberish with God. However, Paul explains that it is not communication, but rather gibberish.

                “…if I come unto your speaking with tongues, what shall I profit you, except I shall speak to you either by revelation, or by knowledge, or by prophesying, or by doctrine? …how shall he that occupieth the room of the unlearned say Amen at thy giving of thanks, seeing he understandeth now what thou sayest? …I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, than then thousand words in an unknown tongue.” (1 Corinthians 6; 16; 19)

                 Essentially Paul is saying that unless someone in the room understands you, it profits no one for someone to speak in an unknown tongue. Speaking in Tongues is not falling on the floor and screaming gibberish… Speaking in Tongues is speaking in different languages, like English, Spanish, German, Japanese, etc.

Paul then explains that there should not be confusion in the Church of Jesus Christ or strife on which church is true, there can only be ONE true Church of Jesus Christ; “…God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.” (1 Corinthians 14:33) The Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints are called “Saints” and the LDS church is the Restored Church of Jesus Christ, the same one He established when He was on the Earth.

Paul leaves the Corinthians with lots of knowledge and reminds them that it is their own choice to believe him, however, he explains; “…if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant.” (1 Corinthians 14:38)

1 Corinthians 13

1 Corinthians 13: Charity

                Paul speaks about Charity, and explains that he could have all the power in the world, he could have faith and help the poor… but if he has “…not charity, I am nothing.” (1 Corinthians 13:2) He explains that when he was a child he did childish things, but now as a man “…I put away childish things.” (1 Corinthians 13:11) He explains that now “…we see through a glass, darkly…” (1 Corinthians 13:12) Paul is most likely speaking about a spiritual veil that has been placed over our eyes so that we see the world without our prior knowledge of our pre-existence. In this manner we are here on earth to learn and to prove ourselves to our Heavenly Father that we might return once more to live with Him.

Paul gives the best definition of Charity;

 “Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth…” (1 Corinthians 13:4-8)

We all need to follow the admonition of Paul, and never let Charity fail us.