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Opportunity for Generosity

Just as you are rich in everything—in faith and speech, in knowledge and all sincerity, and in the love we have shown among you—now I ask you to invest richly in this gracious work too. I am not going to command you, but I am going to offer you the chance to prove your love genuine in the same way others have done. You know the grace that has come to us through our Lord Jesus the Anointed. He set aside His infinite riches and was born into the lowest circumstance so that you may gain great riches through His humble poverty. Listen, it’s been a year since we called your attention to this opportunity to demonstrate God’s grace, so here’s my advice: pull together your resources and finish what you started.

Remember how excited you were at first; it’s time to complete this task in the same spirit. Now if there is a willingness to help, give within your means. That’s perfectly acceptable. No one expects you to go without or borrow to give. The objective is not to go under so others will have some relief; the objective is to use this opportunity today to supply their needs out of your abundance. One day it may be the other way around,and they will need to supply your needs from what they have. That’s equality. As it is written, “The one who gathered plenty didn’t have more than he needed; the one who gathered little didn’t have less.” (vv. 7-15)

The Time Is Right!

These simple verses capture the heart of the good news. Lowering Himself, the sinless Jesus took our sin upon Himself and canceled its power through His death and resurrection. As believers are united with Him, they are raised up with Him and embody God’s righteousness, experiencing forgiveness, reconciliation, and new life. This righteousness is a new creation gift that can never be separated from the Giver, and so believers only experience it because they are “in Him.”

As for those of us working as His emissaries, we beg you not to take the grace of God lightly. For God says through Isaiah,

When the time was right, I listened to you;
    and that day you were delivered, I was your help.

Look, now the time is right! See, your day of deliverance is here! (vv. 1-2)

Categories: 2 Corinthians, grace

Grace Revealed

In 2 Timothy 1:8-10, Paul writes that although grace was available through Jesus before the beginning of time, it wasn’t revealed until after Christmas day.

Categories: 2 timothy, grace, paul Tags:

Recap of Galatians 4

An analogy, quadrupled.

Law:Slave:Hagar:Mt. Sinai::Grace:Free:Sarah:Jerusalam

Emasculate Yourselves!

That’s what Paul says to the people who messed with the Galatians in verses 1-12.

Jesus’ death on the cross, followed by God’s grace, means that we don’t have to follow certain rules to be right with God.

Rather, “[t]he only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love” (Galatians 5:6b, NIV).

1 Revelation, 1 Lie

In verses 2-5, Paul explains that he first visited Jerusalem after receiving “a revelation.”

I wonder why God chose this time to connect Paul to the Christian leaders in Jerusalem?

He also explains that his Greek companion, Titus, was under pressure to follow the whole Law.

But because it is grace, not law-keeping, that makes a person right with God, Paul and Titus resisted this false teaching.

What false teachings exist today that are more like law-keeping, less like grace?

Incredulous

In verses 1-6, Paul expresses incredulity at the Galatian church’s willingness to reject the message of Jesus’ grace.

It’s a message of forgiveness for no price higher than a willingness to be honest about our shortcomings.

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