In This Confidence

2Corinthians 1:13-17 For we write none other things unto you, than what you read or acknowledge; and I trust you shall acknowledge even to the end; As also you have acknowledged us in part, that we are your rejoicing, even as you also are ours in the day of the Lord Jesus. And in this confidence I was minded to come unto you before, that you might have a second benefit; And to pass by you into Macedonia, and to come again out of Macedonia unto you, and of you to be brought on my way toward Judaea. When I therefore was thus minded, did I use lightness? or the things that I purpose, do I purpose according to the flesh, that with me there should be yea yea, and nay nay? 

‘Than what you read or acknowledge.’ Than what you read or acknowledge in the first epistle to you.

‘As also you have acknowledged us in part.’ We hope that you will always acknowledge the truths in the first epistle to you. Some of you acknowledge us, even as we acknowledge that you are ours (1:13-14).

‘We are your rejoicing, even as you also are ours in the day of the Lord Jesus.’ We are the cause of your rejoicing because we have won you to Christ and you believe we are His ministers. You also will be our rejoicing in the day of Christ when we present you as our converts before Him (1Thess. 2:18-20; 3:13).

‘Day of the Lord Jesus’ this is the first New Testament prophecy in 2Corinthians (1:14). Will be fulfilled at the Rapture of the body of Christ for the Christians from Corinth in Paul’s day as well as all Christians who are not ignorant of the six things noted in 2Corinthians 1:8: God’s faithfulness in trouble (1:8-10); Gospel responsibility (Rom. 1:11-18); Spiritual gifts (1Cor. 12:1-31); God’s purpose for Israel (Rom. 11:25-32); The resurrection and future life (1Thess. 4:13-18); God’s judgments on backsliders (1Cor. 10:1-13).

‘In this confidence I was minded to come unto you before.’ Under the conviction that you rejoice in us as ministers of Christ, and we rejoice in you as our converts.

‘Benefit’ [Greek: charis] grace or favour. It refers to the benefits of grace that Paul’s ministry would naturally bring to them on his second visit. It does not and could not refer to a second work of grace to sanctify them or take out the old man, as taught by some. They were already sanctified (1Cor. 1:2, 30; 6:11).

‘Come again out of Macedonia unto you’ – it appears that Paul fulfilled this second ministry before he finished writing this epistle, for in 2Corinthians 12:14 and 13:1 he speaks of coming to them a third time. ‘Do I purpose according to the flesh, that with me there should be yea yea, and nay nay.’ Do I act as carnal people, who change their minds from day to day and falsify their engagements to suit their own secular interests? They say yea, yea, and nay, nay, or say one thing one day and change it the next day if it is to their advantage. All our promises have been true and God has confirmed them to you (1:20-22).

Godly Sincerity

2Corinthians 1:12 For our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our conversation in the world, and more abundantly to you-ward. 

‘Rejoicing’ [Greek: kauchesis] boasting (7:14; 8:24; 9:4; 11:10, 17; Rom. 3:27); glorying (7:4; Rom. 15:17); and rejoicing (1Cor. 15:31; 1Thess. 2:19; Jas. 4:16).

‘Testimony of our conscience’ – Fourfold testimony of Paul’s conversion: It was simple. It was in godly sincerity. It was not with fleshly wisdom. It was seasoned by God’s grace.

‘Simplicity’ [Greek: haplotes] From 2Corinthians 8:2 we see that the Macedonians, though poor and persecuted, rejoiced at the opportunity of doing good to their more impoverished and persecuted brethren in Judea.

‘Godly sincerity’: Does not exempt from guilt (Gen. 20:1-18). Must accompany forgiveness (Matt. 18:35). Commanded (Josh. 24:14; 1Cor. 5:8). Must characterize service (Eph. 6:5-7; 1Cor. 10:31; Tit. 2:7); our love to God (8:8, 24); our love to Jesus (Eph. 6:24); our faith (1Tim. 1:5); our love to others (Rom. 12:9); our doctrine (2:17; 1Thess. 2:3-5); and our whole conduct (1:12). A characteristic of truth (1Pet. 2:2).

Three godly things in 2 Corinthians: Godly sincerity (1:12); godly sorrow (7:10); godly jealousy (11:2).

‘Fleshly wisdom’ [Greek: sarkikos] From James 3:14-16 we see the eight characteristics of false wisdom: Bitter envying (Jas. 3:14, 16); strife in the heart (Jas. 3:14, 16); glory in profession (Jas. 3:14); earthly, having this life only in view (Jas. 3:15); sensual, living only to satisfy the animal appetites (Jas. 3:15); devilish, inspired by demons (Jas. 3:15); confusion (Jas. 3:16); every evil work (Jas. 3:16).

‘Conversation’ [Greek: anastrepho] behavior or manner of life – all that one speaks, thinks and does – the whole conduct. Translated “conversation” (1:12; Eph. 2:3); “overthrow” (John 2:15); “return” (Acts 5:22; 15:16); “be used” (Heb. 10:33); “behave” (1Tim. 3:15); “live” (Heb. 13:18; 2Pet. 2:18); “abide” (Matt. 17:22); and “pass” (1Pet. 1:17).

‘World’ [Greek: kosmos] the worldly social system. ‘More abundantly’ [Greek: perissoteros] more abundantly (1:12; 2:4; 7:15; 11:23; 12:15; 1Thess. 2:17); more exceedingly (7:13; Mark 15:14; Gal. 1:14); much more (Php. 1:14); more frequent (11:23); more earnest heed to (Heb. 2:1) and rather (Heb. 13:19). The idea here is, “We have given the fullest proof of our conduct to you Christians in particular.”

Sufferings

2Corinthians 1:5-11 For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounded by Christ. And whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer: or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation. And our hope of you is stedfast, knowing, that as you are partakers of the sufferings, so shall you be also of the consolation. For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life: But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raised the dead: Who delivered us from so great a death, and does deliver: in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us; You also helping together by prayer for us, that for the gift bestowed upon us by the means of many persons thanks may be given by many on our behalf. 

‘Sufferings’ [Greek: pathema] It refers to sufferings for Christ, not to those of Christ on earth. Translated “suffering” (1:5-7; Rom. 8:18; Php. 3:10; Col. 1:24; Heb. 2:9-10; 1Pet. 1:11; 4:13; 5:1); “affliction” (2Tim. 3:11; Heb. 10:32; 1Pet. 5:9); “affections” (Gal. 5:24); and “motions” (Rom. 7:5).

‘So our consolation also abounded by Christ’ – the more we suffer for Christ, the more grace and comfort abound by Christ (1Cor. 10:13).

‘Afflicted’ [Greek: thlibo] narrow (Matt. 7:14); suffer tribulation (1Thess. 3:4); throng (Mark 3:9); afflict (1:6; 1Tim. 5:10; Heb. 11:37); and trouble (4:8; 7:5; 2Thess. 1:6-7).

‘It is for your consolation and salvation’ – the substance of 2Corinthians 1:6-7 is: whether we be afflicted or comforted, it is for your good and for an example to you.

‘Partakers’ [Greek: koinonos] partaker (1:7; Matt. 23:30; 1Cor. 10:18; 1Pet. 5:1; 2Pet. 1:4); partner (8:23; Luke 5:10; Phm. 1:17); companion (Heb. 10:33); and have fellowship with (1Cor. 10:20).

‘So shall you be also of the consolation.’ Since you share sufferings for Christ, you will share His grace and comfort.

‘For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia’ Six things not to be ignorant of: God’s faithfulness in trouble (1:8-10); Gospel responsibility (Rom. 1:11-18); Spiritual gifts (1Cor. 12:1-31); God’s purpose for Israel (Rom. 11:25-32); The resurrection and future life (1Thess. 4:13-18); God’s judgments on backsliders (1Cor. 10:1-13).

‘Our trouble which came to us in Asia’ Acts 13:44 – 20:3 cover his troubles in Asia.

‘Raised the dead’ an example from Paul’s own life is given in Acts 14:19.

‘You also helping together by prayer for us.’ Paul depended upon saints for prayer. ‘Gift bestowed upon us’ – this gift refers to the contributions of the saints to Paul’s work for God (1:10-11).

Grace and Peace

2Corinthians 1:1-4 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. Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforted us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. 

‘Apostle’ a delegate, one sent with the full power of attorney to act in the place of another, the sender remaining behind to back up the one sent. In the case of Christians, it means God sends them to do what He, Himself would do if He went. It is found 81 times and translated apostle 78 times; messenger twice (8:23; Php. 2:25); and once he that is sent (John 13:16).

‘Timothy’ associated with Paul in the address of the epistles to Philippians and Colossians, and with Paul and Silas in the two epistles to the Thessalonians.

‘Achaia’ Greece. This epistle was sent to all the congregations in that country.

‘Grace be to you and peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.’ Note that grace and peace come equally from God the Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

‘Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort’ God is called: The Father of our Lord Jesus Christ (1:3; 11:31; Eph. 1:3; 3:14; Col. 1:3); the Father of Mercies (1:3); the God of all Comfort (1:3); the Father of Glory (Eph. 1:17); the Father of All (Eph. 4:6); the Father of Spirits (Heb. 12:9); the Father of Lights (Jas. 1:17); the God of Peace (Php. 4:9).

‘Comfort’ [Greek: paraklesis] translated “intreaty” (8:4); “comfort” (1:3-4; 7:4, 13; Acts 9:31; Rom. 15:4;); “exhortation” (8:17; Acts 13:15; Rom. 12:8; 1Cor. 14:3; 1Thess. 2:3; 1Tim. 4:13; Heb. 12:5; 13:22); and “consolation” (1:5-7; 7:7; Luke 2:25; 6:24; Acts 4:36; 15:31; Rom. 15:5; Php. 2:1; 2Thess. 2:16; Phm. 1:7; Heb. 6:18)

‘Comforted’ [Greek: parakaleo] to call to the aid of one. Used 15 times in this epistle, but translated 4 ways: “beseech” (2:8; 5:20; 6:1; 10:1; 12:8); “desire” (8:6; 12:18); “exhort” (9:5); and “comfort” (1:4, 6; 2:7; 7:6, 7, 13).

‘Tribulation’ [Greek: thlipsis] burdened (8:13); anguish (John 16:21); affliction (2:4; 4:17; 6:4; 8:2; Mark 4:17; 13:19; Acts 7:10-11; 20:23; Php. 1:16; 4:14; Col. 1:24; 1Thess. 1:6; 3:3, 7; Heb. 10:33; Jas. 1:27); tribulation (1:4; 7:4; Matt. 13:21; 24:21, 29; Mark 13:24; John 16:33; Acts 14:22; Rom. 2:9; 5:3; 8:35; 12:12; Eph. 3:12; 2Thess. 1:4, 1:6; Rev. 1:9; 2:9, 10, 22; 7:14); persecution (Acts 11:19); and trouble (1Cor. 7:28).

In Christ Jesus

1Corinthians 16:19-24 The churches of Asia salute you. Aquila and Priscilla salute you much in the Lord, with the church that is in their house. All the brethren greet you. Greet you one another with an holy kiss. The salutation of me Paul with mine own hand. If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. My love be with you all in Christ Jesus. Amen.

‘The churches of Asia salute you’ – the congregations of Asia Minor. He was at Ephesus in this Asia, proving further that he was not at Philippi, as some teach (1Cor. 16:8).

‘Aquila and Priscilla’ – They had a congregational group in their house (Rom. 16:3-4). They are always mentioned together as man and wife (Acts 18:2, 18, 26; 2Tim. 4:19).

‘Church that is in their house’ – The company of believers who worshipped in their house at Corinth, as all other congregations did.

‘The salutation of me Paul with mine own hand.’ The salutation was by Paul’s own hand,

(2Thess. 3:17) some of his letters were written by scribes as Paul’s dictated God’s Words to them (Rom. 16:22; Col. 4:18).

‘Let be Anathema Maranatha’ – Let him be accursed; our Lord comes. This is directed against the Jews and heathen who delighted to call Jesus accursed (1Cor. 12:3). ‘In Christ Jesus’ – The word IN means “in union with” and when used of persons it does not mean “bodily entrance into,” except in the case of disembodied spirits, or demons. We read of God being in Christ (2Cor. 5:19) and Christ being in God (John 14:10-11, 20); of man being in Christ (2Cor. 5:17) and Christ being in man (Rom. 8:10); of man being in the Spirit and the Spirit being in man (Rom. 8:9); and of satan entering into man (John 13:27); but it never means in these cases “bodily entrance into,” for all these persons have bodies and cannot get inside each other bodily. When Paul said of believers, “I have you in my heart” and “you are in our hearts” (2Cor. 7:3; Php. 1:7), he could only mean “in union with,” not “bodily entrance into.” The Bible doctrine of interpenetration means “the union of two or more persons together for the same end.” Thus, persons can be one with each other to a common end without literally getting inside each other or without being one single person. Being one with and in each other does not depend on bodily contact, or the loss of either personality. Persons can be in each other and one with each other though they are apart bodily. Thus, when God dwelled in Christ and Christ dwelled in God, it did not mean they were one person or that they dwelt inside each other bodily. They were one in union – one to the same end, in the same sense that men and Christ, or men and men, dwell in each other. “He that is joined unto the Lord is one Spirit” (1Cor. 6:17).

Stand Fast In the Faith

1Corinthians 16:12-18 As touching our brother Apollos, I greatly desired him to come unto you with the brethren: but his will was not at all to come at this time; but he will come when he shall have convenient time. Watch you, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong. Let all your things be done with charity. I beseech you, brethren, (you know the house of Stephanas, that it is the firstfruits of Achaia, and that they have addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints,) That you submit yourselves unto such, and to every one that helped with us, and laboured. I am glad of the coming of Stephanas and Fortunatus and Achaicus: for that which was lacking on your part they have supplied. For they have refreshed my spirit and yours: therefore acknowledge you them that are such. 

‘I greatly desired him to come unto you with the brethren.’ This shows Paul was not jealous of the popularity of Apollos (1Cor. 1:12; 3:5). A shortened name of Apollonius. An eloquent Christian of Alexandria (1:12; 3:4-7; 16:12; Acts 18:24-28; 19:1; Tit. 3:13).

‘Watch you, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.’ Six final commands to Christians: [1] Watch – be continually on your guard: For Christ’s coming (Matt. 24:42); that you enter not into temptation (Matt. 26:41); that you may be worthy to escape all these things (tribulations, Luke 21:36); for grievous wolves (Acts 20:29); in prayer (Col. 4:3; 1Pet. 4:7); in soberness (1Thess. 5:6) and in all things (2Tim. 4:5). [2] Stand fast in the faith (Gal. 5:1; Php. 1:27; 4:1; 1Thess. 3:8; 2Thess. 2:15). Keep rank. Do not be disorderly or retreat. Keep unity. Let nothing divide you so that satan can defeat you. [3] Behave like men (1Cor. 14:20; Eph. 4:14). Do not flinch in the fight. Maintain your ground at all costs. Resist, press forward. Strike deadly blows. [4] Be strong (Luke 1:80; 2:40; Eph. 3:16). Keep yourself fit. Learn how to conquer. Die in the contest or win. [5] Do all things in love (1Cor. 13:4). [6] Submit to all true workers (1Cor. 16:15-16).

‘Firstfruits of Achaia’ – First converts in Greece.

‘Addicted’ [Greek: tasso] determined to minister to the saints (Acts 13:48). This is a great ministry in itself, for when one does anything for a saint he does it for Christ (Matt. 25:34-46).

‘I am glad of the coming of Stephanas …’ When anyone can make a true servant of God glad, he is doing good work. ‘Stephanas’ – It was by these that the Corinthians had sent a letter asking Paul the many questions starting from 1Corinthians 7 about: The unmarried (7:1-9); the married and unmarried (7:10-17); circumcision – servitude (7:18-24); virgins (7:25-40); things offered to idols (8:1-13); Paul’s apostleship or ministry (9:1-27); the Mosaic and Christian dispensations (10:1-11:1); customs for women (11:2-16); the Lord’s Supper (11:17-34); spiritual gifts (12:1-14:40); the resurrections (15:1-58); collections for the poor and his coming visit (16:1-9).

‘Lacking’ [Greek: husterema] Elsewhere (Luke 21:4; 2Cor. 8:14; 9:12; 11:9; Php. 2:30; Col. 1:24; 1Thess. 3:10). This either refers to information Paul got from these brethren from Corinth or to material help from the congregation. It could refer to both. Whatever it was it refreshed Paul’s spirit and gave him courage as well as the congregation (1Cor. 16:18).

Worked the Work of the Lord

1Corinthians 16:5-11 Now I will come unto you, when I shall pass through Macedonia: for I do pass through Macedonia. And it may be that I will abide, yea, and winter with you, that you may bring me on my journey whithersoever I go. For I will not see you now by the way; but I trust to tarry a while with you, if the Lord permit. But I will tarry at Ephesus until Pentecost. For a great door and effectual is opened unto me, and there are many adversaries. Now if Timotheus come, see that he may be with you without fear: for he worked the work of the Lord, as I also do. Let no man therefore despise him: but conduct him forth in peace, that he may come unto me: for I look for him with the brethren. 

‘For I do pass through Macedonia’ – Paul was at Ephesus when he wrote the epistle and planned to stay there until Pentecost, which would be in June. He would then spend time in Macedonia and perhaps winter with them (1Cor. 16:5-9).

‘For a great door and effectual is opened unto me’ – Christ is the door of the sheep (John 10:7-9) and through Him – who is also the Way, Truth and Life (John 14:6), salvation is granted to enable man to be reconciled with God.

‘For he worked the work of the Lord, as I also do.’ Timothy had apostolic power like Paul (1Tim. 4:14; 2Tim. 1:6). This refers to the gifts and graces of God given to Timothy, enabling him to do the same works that Paul did (16:10; 1Tim. 4:14; 2Tim. 1:6). Such power was given by prophecy and the laying on of hands. The prophecy was some prediction that Timothy would be used of God (1Tim. 1:18; 4:14). Paul warns in 1Timothy 4:14 that gifts can be neglected. If this happens, if they are not properly used or replenished with continued grace and power from the Holy Spirit anointing they will become powerless and useless and thus fail in their purpose. This is why people need a constant supply of the Spirit – many fillings, as we see in Acts. This is why Jesus Himself had to live in constant prayer (Luke 3:21; 5:16; 6:12; 9:18, 28; 11:1; 22:41-44). This is what Paul prayed for and expected in Philippians 1:19 and Ephesians 3:14-21.

‘I look for him with the brethren’ Timothy evidently was to meet Paul in Corinth later.

The First Day

1Corinthians 16:1-4 Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do you. Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God has prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come. And when I come, whomsoever you shall approve by your letters, them will I send to bring your liberality unto Jerusalem. And if it be meet that I go also, they shall go with me. 

‘Concerning the collection for the saints.’ This was the last of 12 subjects inquired about Paul. Christians in Judea were suffering want due to the spoiling of their goods.

‘Churches of Galatia, even so do you’ – He used the Galatians as an example of giving to the Corinthians, the Corinthians to the Macedonians (2Cor. 9:2), and these last two to the Romans (Rom. 15:26).

‘Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store.’ Collections were to be taken up on the first day of the week (Sunday), the day all early Christians observed as their day of rest and worship (John 20:1, 19, 26; Acts 20:7). Christians are not bound by keeping any special day; the sabbath’s rest was a preservation law of health for when one labour, to not do so continuously, but only for six days and then rest the seventh (Gen. 2:2-3). This law was given by God to all men 3513 years before the institution of the sabbath day that was given only to the nation of Israel as a reminder of being set free from slavery (Deut. 5:15). Paul from the first days of Gentile Christianity, laid it down definitely that the Jewish sabbath was not binding on Christians. Sunday was refered to as “The Lord’s Day” (Rev. 1:10) because the resurrection took place on the first day of the week (Matt. 28:1; Mark 16:2, 9; Luke 24:1; John 20:1). No observance of a special day of rest is contained among the necessary things of Acts 15:28, 29. A given day as a matter of divine obligation is denounced by Paul as forsaking Christ (Gal. 4:10), and sabbath-keeping is condemned explicitly in Colossians 2:16. As a matter of individual devotion to be sure, a man might do as he pleased (Rom. 14:5, 6), but no general rule as necessary for salvation could be compatible with liberty wherewith Christ has made us free (Gal. 2:1-21; 3:1-14; 5:1-4, 13).

‘Lay by him in store’ – They were to lay up week by week a certain amount for the poor and have the whole ready to send to Jerusalem when he came (1Cor. 16:2-3).

‘As God has prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.’ The basis of giving was as God prospered each week. No gatherings were necessary for the collections or tithings. ‘Approve by your letters’ – this proves that saints recommended by congregations were approved by letters to other congregations.

Victory

1Corinthians 15:55-58 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be you stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as you know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord. 

‘O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?’ Quoted from Hosea 13:14. Death is the power of being ruined that God will deliver from; satan had this power until Christ conquered him (Heb. 2:14-15). God will destroy death (15:24-28).

‘Sting’ [Greek: kentron] a goad or sting (15:55-56; Acts 9:5; 26:14; Rev. 9:10). Death is here personified as having sin as a sting or a goad (15:56), driving people like an ox-driver does until life ends by the final dagger thrust, and until sin causes one to pay the death penalty (Rom. 6:23).

‘Grave’ [Greek: Hades] hell or the unseen world of departed spirits of people where the wicked are kept in a conscious state of torment until the resurrection of the bodies at the end of the Millennium (Rev. 20:11-15). Hades was also the place of confinement of the righteous souls before the resurrection of Christ. At that time Christ reclaimed all these captive souls from the paradise or comfort compartment of hades and took them to heaven when He ascended on high (Eph. 4:8-10; Heb. 2:14-15). Hell was robbed of its victory then, as far as saints are concerned. Death still stings the Christian and will do so until the end of the first resurrection. It will sting sinners until it is destroyed at the end of the Millennium (15:24-28; Rev. 20:11-15; 21:1-7). Hell is personified here as being a victor holding his victims in defeat. He will lose his victims at the end of the Millennium when they will be judged and death and hell themselves will be cast into the lake of fire in utter defeat (Rev. 20:11-15).

‘Sin’ – is the sting that death uses to goad its victims to death (Gen. 2:17; Ezek. 18:4; Rom. 6:23; 8:12-13). In Romans 7:7-25 sin is pictured as a self-acting spirit which at one time controlled Paul and worked in him all manner of concupiscence or sinful lusts. It used the coming of the commandment as an occasion to assert its control over his life not letting him obey the law. Sin was not active before the law came for it had no reason to assert its power until then. But as soon as the commandment came forbidding certain things, sin came to life and by its lusts made him break the law so that he would have to pay the death penalty (Rom. 7:8-9).

‘Victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.’ What the law could not do in giving us power over sin and the eternal death penalty, Jesus Christ has done for the one who wants victory (Rom. 8:2-4; Mat. 1:21; Eph. 1:7; 2:8-9; 2Cor. 5:17-18; Heb. 7:25; 1Jn. 1:7-9; 3:5-10; 5:18). ‘Be you stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord.’ Three commands that will bring victory: [1] The Greek word hedraios means to be seated, settled, and firm in the truth of the resurrection and of victory in Christ (15:58; 7:37). [2] The Greek word ametakinetos means unmoveable. Let nothing shake your faith or move you away from the hope of the gospel (15:58). [3] Always abound in the work of the Lord, knowing that what you do will be rewarded (15:58; 3:11; Matt. 10:42).

Flesh and Blood

1Corinthians 15:50-52 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither does corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 

‘Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God.’ Natural men cannot inherit the kingdom of God, but they can and will enter it. They will inherit the earthly sphere of the universal kingdom of God which commence during the Millennium (Matt. 5:5; 25:34; Ps.37:11); but they will never inherit the whole realm of God over all the universe, as glorified saints will (Rom. 8:17).

‘Corruption inherit incorruption.’ Corruption must be laid aside and incorruption take its place in the bodies of the resurrected (15:51-54). Flesh and blood cannot inherit glory or the spiritual body (15:42-49), but flesh and bones can (Luke 24:39; Php. 3:21).

‘I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed.’ This is one of Paul’s revelations – all will not die physically, but some will be changed to the likeness of those who do die (1Thess. 4:13-17). The living will be changed from mortality to immortality as quickly as the dead will be raised to immortality. The time needed for this is but a moment, in the twinkling of an eye. The Greek says en atomo, in an atom of time (15:2). It will happen at the last of two trumpets which will sound at this time. At the first trumpet, the dead will be raised to immortality. At the second or last trumpet, the living will be changed to immortality and be caught up with those who were dead to meet the Lord in the air (15:52; 1Thess. 4:16-17).

‘Incorruptible’ [Greek: aphthartos] immortal, describing the eternal existence or a never-dying condition of the soul and body. The word immortal is found only once in Scripture and is used of God (1Tim. 1:17). This same Greek word is translated not corruptible in speaking of “the hidden man of the heart” and of the “spirit” of man in 1Peter 3:4, thus proving beyond doubt that the inner man is immortal (See also Ps. 22:26). It is translated incorruptible in referring to the eternal inheritance, and the crown that believers are to receive at the end of this life (9:25; 1Pet. 1:4). It is translated incorruptible, referring to the Word of God (1Pet. 1:23) and of the resurrected bodies of saints (15:52). Thus we can conclude that God, the Word of God, the soul and spirit of man, the future crown, the inheritance of saints, and the resurrected bodies of believers are all immortal and incorruptible.