Summary of 2 Corinthians

Summary of 2 Corinthians

The book of 2nd Corinthians is a series of Epistles written to the Corinthians by Paul (who was an Apostle of the Lord). These letters were reportedly written around 50 years after the death of Jesus Christ.

In chapters 1-7: Paul describes some of the attributes and responsibilities of an Apostle. Paul explains; “…we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord…” (2 Corinthians 4:5) Paul explains that while Christians are “Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed.” (2 Corinthians 4:9)

In chapters 10-13: Paul defends his authority and explains that many false Prophets will come and deceive them. Paul then decides to explain his own sufferings and persecutions to help them understand who and what he stood for. He explains that he is weak, just as they are! However, if he works to understand his short comings, his weaknesses will become strengths!

2 Corinthians 13

2 Corinthians 13: Saints Should Live in Peace

                Paul speaks to the Corinthians and explains that it is his THIRD time speaking to them, but; “…In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established.” (2 Corinthians 13:1) Some of the Corinthians wanted proof of Christ, and because of this Paul asks them to; “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith…” (2 Corinthians 13:5)

Paul invites the Saints in Corinth to understand the truth and know that they truth does not change. Nothing can go against the truth! Paul asks them to greet each other with a “…holy kiss. All the saints salute you.” (2 Corinthians 13:12-13) Essentially, we should love on another and help one another!

2 Corinthians 12

2 Corinthians 12: The Third Heaven – Paradise

                Paul opens by explaining that as an Apostle of the Lord, it is not; “…doubtless… I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord.” (2 Corinthians 12:1)  Apostles of the Lord can and will have visions and revelations! With that being said, Paul goes on to explain that he knew a man who had gone to the third heaven. Paul explains that he did not know if it was in body or spirit that he knew this man. Paul explains; “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.” (2 Corinthians 12:2) What is the Third Heaven? Paul continues; “…he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words…” (2 Corinthians 12:4) Earlier in the book of 1 Corinthians, Paul also spoke about the “Third Heaven”; “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 in glory.” (1 Corinthians 15:40-41)

3 Degrees of Glory

What Paul spoke of is something extremely important, yet many Christians either do not understand what he speaks of, or simply decide to ignore it. Through modern revelation, Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints know that Paul is speaking of the Three Degrees of Glory that are found in the Plan of Salvation. So, what is the Plan of Salvation? It is a plan that God has given to us, to understand the deepest questions of our soul; Where did we come from? Why are we here? and Where are we going after death?

photo

Placed into my scriptures at: 1 Corinthians 15:40-42

In my scriptures I have a small piece of paper inserted into my Bible that outlines this plan. It is there to help me remember the sacred love that God has for us all! Before the world was created, we all lived with God! We are His offspring, however we lacked one major thing that God possessed, and that was knowledge and experience. While we will never EVER become God, we can however strive to be LIKE Him! God (Our Heavenly Father) wants us to become like Him and because of this He created a world for us to live and dwell, that we might learn and grow from our trials and tribulations.

Where did we come from?

                The Book of Genesis recounts the story of the Creation; where God created not only the world, but also created man to dwell on the earth. He provided our first parents (Adam and Eve) to make their own choices in the Garden of Eden, disobeying Father meant that they were cast out of the Garden. Men “fell” from the presence of God, and as a consequence would have to work by the “…sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread…” (Genesis 3:19) Mankind would now have to work and learn by themselves, without the presence of God directly in their lives. Mankind would have to walk by faith and not by sight.

Many Christians argue that what Adam and Eve did was a sin, and because of that sin, we are all born with an “original sin”. However, what Adam and Eve did was actually part of the Plan that God had set in motion forever. In the Book of Mormon we learn about the purpose of the Fall of Adam and Eve;

“Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy…. The Messiah cometh in the fullness of time, that he may redeem the children of men from the fall. And because… they are redeemed from the fall they have become free forever, knowing good from evil; to act for themselves and not to be acted upon… and they are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil; for he seethe that all men might be miserable like unto himself.” (The Book of Mormon: 2 Nephi 2:25-27)

The Book of Mormon helps us to understand more of the Plan of Salvation. Yes, Adam and Eve did disobey a commandment of God. They partook of the Fruit of Knowledge of Good and Evil, in defiance of God’s word. However, God being all knowing, knew that they would disobey. He set in motion a savior for them [for all mankind] that we might be able to choose good from evil.

Are we born with sin? No. We read in Ezekiel that; “The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son…” (Ezekiel 18:20)

When Christ came to the earth, He died for our sins and with His grace we can all be saved. Salvation is a FREE gift! Accepting it however is our own choice! With acceptance of this FREE gift, we are asked to live by God’s commandments and become a Disciple of Christ! What does Disciple mean? Disciple comes from the same root word as “Discipline”, therefore disciples are disciplined in the commandments of God and walk in the footsteps of Jesus Christ! It is not enough to just say you accept Christ into your life. You must constantly prove those words to be true, through your actions!

Why are we here?

                While we are on this earth we have a choice to either follow Jesus Christ or Satan. Following Satan means that we will not be able to return to live with our Father in Heaven, but rather live an eternity of anguish where; “There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” (Luke 13:28)

                If we chose to follow Jesus Christ, we must through personal revelation come to a knowledge of Him and have Faith in him. We must repent of our sins and be baptized as he was baptized. After baptism we must also receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost by the Power and Authority of the Priesthood. Upon completing these steps, we must then live our lives in accordance to the covenant and promises we made at baptism. We must follow His commandments and live as He would live. Then and only then can we return to live with our Father in Heaven and be “…caught up into paradise…” (2 Corinthians 12:4) as Paul had spoken.

Where are we going?

                Finally, we ask “where are we going after death”? The Gospel of Jesus Christ through modern revelation has revealed the answers to these questions. We all know that we will die, and when we die we will go to a Spirit World where we will wait for the Day of Judgment. Those who were faithful to the Lord will wait in a state of Paradise and those who were not faithful or did not have the opportunity to learn about Christ during their earth life will have an opportunity to be taught and accept the Gospel on the other side.

When Jesus Christ finally comes for a Second time, all men and women will be judged according to their works, merits, and intents of their heart. Upon the completion of this Judgment, each person will receive their glory according to the guidelines mentioned. This is where Paul speaks of “Three Heavens”. This is the Glory of the Sun, Moon and Stars.

 The_Plan_of_Salvation

                Paul ends his address by explaining that his; “…grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:9-10)

                We too must remember that God has a plan for each one of us; the Plan of Salvation helps us to understand the most basic questions of life’s supposedly “unanswered” questions. The truth of the matter is this… God speak today, He has authorized servants speaking on His behalf! We are not alone, nor has God abandoned us! We need to remember that God is GOOD, and He knows what’s best for us… if we are faced with difficulties, we need to remember that with weakness, vulnerability, in infirmities and in trials… comes STRENGTH!

“…for when I am WEAK, then am I STRONG.” (2 Corinthians 12:10)

2 Corinthians 11

2 Corinthians 11: Satan sends forth False Prophets

                Paul speaks to the Corinthians with his concern that just as Eve was beguiled by the Devil in the Garden of Eden, so will the Members be fooled into believing a different Gospel than the one he preaches.

“For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have no preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.” (2 Corinthians 11:4) In other words, if someone preaches a different gospel than what is the truth, you should not listen to them! Paul goes on to explain that the Gospel has no price, and asks the Corinthians if he has done something wrong by offering them the Gospel free of charge; “Have I committed an offence in abasing myself that ye might be exalted, because I have preached to you the gospel of God freely?” (2 Corinthians 111:7) It seems that the Corinthians were confused as to how the gospel could be free, and were somehow offended that they were not being taken advantage of. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is FREE, and no one preaching the gospel should be paid for doing so! That means that ministers, reverends, fathers, pastors, etc. should not be paid!

Paul explains that many will come and deceive them, Paul describes such people as; “…false prophets, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ… for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.” (2 Corinthians 11:13-14)

Paul knows that the Corinthians are being fooled and because of this, Paul decides to “…glory after the flesh…for ye suffer fools gladly…” (2 Corinthians 11:18-19) Because the Corinthians are not so accepting of his speaking without having divulged into his credentials and boast of himself… Paul caters to them and boasts of himself;

“(I speak as a fool) … Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren.” (2 Corinthians 11:23; 25-26) Essentially Paul is saying that he has no need to boast of his credentials, as to why they should listen to him. He should have no need to explain all of his acts, but he does so anyways. Why? Because they wouldn’t listen to him if he didn’t.

2 Corinthians 10

2 Corinthians 10: All thought of Obedience

                Paul addresses the Corinthians who believe that “…his letters…are weighty and powerful; but his speech contemptible [lacking authority or unimpressive]” (2 Corinthians 10:10) Essentially the Corinthians were telling Paul that while his letters to them were mean, his personal interactions with them were weak and unimpressive in person.

Paul asks; “Do ye look on things after the outward appearance? …For though I should boast somewhat more of our authority, which the Lord hath given to us for edification, and not for your destruction, I should not be ashamed; That I may not seem as if I would terrify you by letters.” (2 Corinthians 10:7-9) Paul, speaking as an Apostle explains that his reason for a harsh letter was never to terrify them, but rather to edify and build them. He could also be powerful in his speech in person, but it is not his desire to be harsh.

2 Corinthians 8

2 Corinthians 8: The Saints help the Poor

                Paul writes to the Corinthians and encourages them to donate their riches (or a portion of them) to the poor. Even those who don’t have much can give something. Those who give will see that; “…their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality.” (2 Corinthians 8:2)

                Paul puts his name on the line for Titus (who would be handling their money). Paul explains that even Christ was poor, but through His giving He became rich in spirit.

2 Corinthians 7

2 Corinthians 7: Repentance

                Paul invited the Corinthians to; “…cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and the spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” (2 Corinthians 7:1)

                Paul goes on to explain that sorrow from sins leads to repentance; “Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing. For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.” (2 Corinthians 7:9-10)