Thursday, July 05, 2007

Bible study

We've been studying 2 Cor in Sunday school lately. Its been so long since I've done any organized Bible study that for the last few months I forgot to take anytime to do any decent background study; I simply read the lesson and the verses (plus local context) and felt prepared to engage the class about the topics. This week, however, I decided to put some more time so I sat down yesterday morning and read 2 Cor again (sometimes I forget how fast a read some of the books are). I'd already started a lexical study of this week's verses (2 Cor 5:18-6:2) but going all the way back to 2 Cor 2:1 and reading the whole book (sans introduction) gave me a much better feel for this letter from Paul. I took time out to read Jensen's overview of 2 Cor from Simply Understanding the Bible.

A gem from this week's lesson (something Ray Stedman brings out in his treatment of the passage) is how in the late Twentieth and early Twenty-First Centuries American's tend to view God, the Father, as being the disciplinarian of the trinity. God is the Holy One and Jesus is the Lover & BrideGroom while the Holy Spirit is the one that gets dragged around with us. In 2 Cor 5:18 & 19, however, Paul expressly targets God, the Father as the One who wants to bring people back to Himself:

Now all {these} things are from God, who reconciled
us to Himself through
. . . .

. . . God was in Christ reconciling the world to
. . . .

These two passages demonstrate God's desire and His action to bring humans back into a right relationship with Him. He made the way possible for sinful, flawed creatures to be engaged with a Holy entity through the blood sacrifice of His Son, Jesus.

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