1 Corinthians written from Ephesus (16:8) in 56 A.D.
2 Corinthians written from Macedonia  winter 57 A.D. - spring 58 A.D.

INTRODUCTION - Written winter of 57 A.D. or spring of 58 A.D. from Macedonia shortly after leaving Asia (1:8). Timothy had been sent to Corinth (1 Co 4:17) and Titus had also visited and reported back to Paul (7:6,7). The result is an epistle marked by anxiety in Paul's spirit. A significant aspect is that of a loving, but disappointed parent/pastor towards his children/church. He wants to build up without tearing down, but fears it may be necessary.

       - The first letter had impact with some of the members of the church and Paul takes care to comfort and encourage (chapters 2 & 7). He warns the non-compliant members (13:2,10) that he may be compelled to exercise his authority. Paul uses a major portion of the epistle (chapters 10-13) in response to some who continued to deny his authority. He not only re-certifies his apostleship from the Lord, but strongly cautions the church regarding false teachers. 

       - Since this church had so many internal issues, Paul was concerned about losing sight of the trials from outside of the Church and trials common to all the churches. He writes eloquently of Love in Christ and, in reflection of his own anxiety, presents the Bible's most comprehensive doctrine concerning comfort.

Ch.1:1-7 - The word "comfort"=Gr."paraklesis" occurs eleven times in 2 Corinthians, six times in Chapter 1. It is rendered "consolation" in vv. 5,6,7. The word "comforteth"=Gr."parakaleo" (v.4) occurs 18 times in this epistle.

COMFORT (n.) - Relief from distress of mind; the ease and quiet which is experienced when pain, trouble, agitation or affliction ceases. it also implies some degree of positive spiritual orientation or good feelings associated with pleasurable prospects. Consolation.   Job 10:20   Mt 9:22

       - Support; consolation under calamity, distress or danger.   Ps 119:76

       - That which gives strength or support in distress, difficulty, danger or infirmity.   Col 4:11
       - That which gives security from want.  Eze 16:54
COMFORT(v.) - To strengthen, invigorate, cheer or enliven.
       - To strengthen the mind when depressed or enfeebled; to console; to renew spirits; to relieve from depression or trouble.
Comfort, Comforting - Normally within a given circumstance, not a change of circumstance. Applies to handling situations by maximizing endurance, faith and hope.
1 - "by"=Gr."dia"="through"
       - "will"=Gr."thelema"="desire" (not "resolve")
       - "our" should be "the" ( a sign of respect/authority for Timothy)
2 - Same as 1 Co 1:3
3 - An acknowledgement of the Source (Jas 1:17,18) - The apostle, the brother, the church, the saints, grace, peace, mercies and comfort.
       - "comfort"=Gr."paraklesis" - A function of the paraclete, the Holy Spirit, God's presence.
       - "all comfort" - No peace, rest or comfort apart from God as the Supplier
                               Isa 48:22   Heb 4:3
4 - "in all...be" = "upon all our affliction, unto our being"
        "any" = "every"    "by" = "through" as in v.1     "of" = "by"
NOTE "all" and "every". God comforts us so that we may be able to pass that comfort through to others. The verse is circular to emphasize the completeness through God as the source of all comfort for all trials. Col 2:10, 4:12. EVERY BLESSING WE RECEIVE IS TO BE EXTENDED TO OTHERS AND THEREBY BLESS GOD, THUS COMPLETING THE CIRCLE.
5 - The consolation/comfort is necessary for those in Christ, who are:
hated by the world (Jn 17:14)
conformed (Phil 3:10)
subject to suffering (2 Ti 3:12) (1 Pe 2:19-21)
       - "in"=Gr."eis"="towards"   "Christ" = "the Christ"    Ro 8:36,37
This natural earthly existence is not for us. It is for others. The eternal life is for us. Read Phil 1:21-30 carefully. Especially note 24,29,30. God's design is for His children to be interdependent as members of a body.
            He is glorified through our infirmities (Isa 61:3; 2 Co 12:9).
        Those who provide comfort receive comfort (Lk 6:38; Gal 6:7; Ps 126:5,6).
                                      Continue from Phil 1:21 through to 2:5)
6 - "enduring"=Gr."hupomone"="patience" - Whatever Paul experienced, affliction or comfort, was to the benefit of the church.  See Jas 1:2-4  2 Ti 2:9-12
                      Effective ministry includes suffering and comfort.
7 - The fellowship of suffering (Phil 3:10). The blessed hope is stedfast because of our understanding ("knowing").
8,9 - "pressed out of measure" = "burdened beyond our capacity" 
     - "sentence"=Gr."apokrima" Only occ. = A result obtained through deliberation, as a judge's decision. Paul could see no possible outcome other than death.
     - "that" = "so that" - There was a purpose for their despair and helplessness.
10 - Delivered and "doth" deliver - Delivered and "will" deliver
            Compare Phil 1:6  1 Co 10:13  1 Th 5:24  2 Th 3:3
     - "yet" = "still also" - GRACE IS NOT LIMITED!
11 - Many praying...many giving...many thankful
            A formula for the body of Christ
12
- "rejoicing" = "boasting"   "with" and "by" should be "in"
     - "conscience"=Gr."suneidesis"="co-perception" - The operation of the Holy Spirit with our spirit to provide a moral base. It is internal or self-knowledge in judgment of right and wrong. Conscience speaks to motivation, not outcome.
13 - Paul points out that his love and care are stedfast and will remain so.
14 - The reciprocity of fellowship as in v.4.
15,16 - Paul mentions that his care for the Corinthian church motivated him to stop by on his way to Macedonia as well as returning from Macedonia (see 13:1). Paul's plans were altered (Ac 16:8-12) and he finally met Titus in Macedonia (2:12,13).
17 - "Did I mince words on the second trip?" - Paul compares the tone of this epistle to his demeanor at that time. See 13:2.
     - "lightness"=Gr."elaphria" Only occ.="fickleness"
     - "yea...nay" - One thing now and a different thing later.
            Mt 5:37  Gal 1:6-9  Jas 1:8  Eph 4:14,15
18 - "true"=Gr."pistos"="faithful"  See 1 Co 1:9,10:13  1 Th 5:24  2 Th 3:3  1 Pe 4:19  1 Jn 1:9
19,20 - Note the uppercase "Amen" = A title of the Lord meaning "truth" as in Jn 14:6.
            See Rev 3:14 ("the Amen"), 19:11. In Isa 65:16 "truth"=Heb."amen"
         - All of God's promises are in and through Christ (the Word, the Truth, the Amen)
               Col 1:12-20  Jn 3:14-21  Gen 3:24
21,22 - stablish, anoint, seal, give - Anither process of God
            - "stablisheth"=Gr."bebaioo"="confirms" as in Ro 15:8
     - "seal" - Jn 3:33 (Read vv.31-36)
     - "earnest"=Gr."arrabon" as in 5:5 and Eph 1:14 - "an in-kind pledge", i.e., "a foretaste" ("given" not earned)
23 - "call God for a record" = "invoke God as a witness" - Paul had not yet returned to Corinth for the reasons in Chapter 2.
24 - See 1 Co 3:9  "have dominion"=Gr."kureiuo"="lord it"
Ch. 2:1 - "heaviness" = "sorrow" or "grief" - Paul took time to settle down.
2 - See 1:14 - "If I make you sorry, from whom shall I receive joy?"
3 - The mutual support mentioned in 1:4. - We are to edify one another, not drag one another down.
4 - "love"=Gr."agape"  See 1 Co 13:6 ("truth") - Truth may have grief as a result, not a purpose.  Chastening is an act of love (Heb 12:5-11). 
5 - "any"=Gr."tis"="a certain one" (1 Co 5:1-5) 
     - "in part"=Gr."apo merous"="the part led away" - Paul says the grief is not his own, but instead he regrets the few who were negatively influenced and its impact on the body. His concern was not vengeance on the individual.
6,7 - The censure of the majority is enough. It needs to be followed by forgiveness and comfort to be loving chastisement.
8,9 - "confirm"=Gr."kuroo"="ratify with authority" Paul put this in writing and wants them to do the same.
10,11 - Another statement of spirituality unity within the body as defense against the enemy. See Gal 6:1  Mt 16:19  Lk 17:3,4
     - "devices"=Gr."noema"="tjoughts" - 1 Pe 5:8,9   2 Co 11:14,15
12,13 - "door" - Read Ac 16:6-15. The church which was established at Philippi became Paul's most significant financial contributor - Again, obedience becomes blessing.
       Note "immediately" in Ac 16:10. Obedience delayed becomes disobedience at a point determined by God.
14 - "always" = "in every way" 
     - "causeth...triumph"=Gr."thriambeuo"="leads us to victory"
     - "by us" - See 1 Ti 1:15,16   The wisdom from above, "the savour of His knowledge", truth - See Jas 3:13-18
15,16 - "saved" = "being saved"   "perish" = "are perishing"
                  A sweet smell to some is stench to others.  1 Co 2:14   Jas 2:19
     - "sufficient" - What person can take responsibility for this?   see v. 14a.
17 - "corrupt"=Gr."kapeleuo" Only occ.="adulterate" - In the Septuagint (Greek translation of O.T.) the word "kapelos" appears once meaning either "huckster" or "tavern keeper" leading to the verb meaning "adulterate", i.e., "water down". Isa 1:22 reads, in the Septuagint, "thy wine-sellers mix the wine with water". The word of God, truth, wisdom from above is "first pure" (Jas 3:17).
     - "sincerity" - The word must be received from God and transmitted as received. Note that James 3 connects teaching, tongue and truth.
Ch. 3:1 - "Do we have to defend ourselves again?" - See 1 Co 9.
     - "Do we need letters of commendation for you or from you?" - see Ac 18:27 where Apollos was given such a letter.
2 - "Ye are..."  Lk 6:44  Jn 10:37,38  The measure of ministry is fruitfulness, not credentials, experience or acclaim. Paul presents this with rhyme almost as a slogan.
             "written" (engrapho), "known" (ginosko), "read" (anaginosko)
     - "all men" - See "manifestly declared" next verse.
3 - "stone...fleshy" = "Old Covenant"..."New Covenant"
       Jer 31:31-34   Eze 11:19; 36:26,27   Col 2:6-23
     - "ministered"=Gr."diakoneo"="served"
4,5 - "trust"=Gr."pepoithesis"="confidence" ("pistis"=faith, a principle; this refers to the feeling of persuasion from within.
     - "sufficiency"=Gr."hikanotes" Only occ.  See Jn 15:4
6 - The Old Testament could not "give life" (quicken) because lacking spirit, it was dead.  See Jas 2:26  Jn 6:63
     - "also" - place after "testament"
     - "letter" - The Mosaic (or Sinaitic) Covenant  Ex 20-31
7 - "written" = "in letters"  See "letter killeth" v.6
     - "was glorious" = "came to be in glory"  See Ex 34:27-35
8-11 - If the Old Covenant had glory, how much more the New?
          Righteousness over Condemnation.  Spotlight over Flashlight.
                 Mt 5:20  Ro 3:19-26;10:1-10  Gal 2:16,19-21  Heb 8:6-13
12 - "plainness of speech" - frankness, openness, boldness - "even this day" (as in v.15) many remained rooted in Moses and the Old Testament despite claiming Christ.
13 - An easily overlooked verse describing the purpose of the vail.
           See Ex 26:33  Mt 27:50,51  Heb 10:15-22   Compare "the mystery"  Eph 3:12
14 - "minds blinded' = "thoughts hardened", reflective of the "stony heart" of Eze 36:26. It is unrevealed (Gr."anakalupto") to them that the old testament is done away.
15,16 - Even today many read and study the law to live accordingly and are unable to see or enter the Holy of Holies until the heart is converted to Christ. Ro 5:1,2  Eph 2:18;3:10-12
17 - 1 Co 15:45  Gal 5:1   "that" =  "the"
18 - "we all" - Not just Moses, to behold and reflect the Lord's glory.
     - "open" = "unveiled"
     - "beholding...glass"=Gr."katoptrizo" Only occ.="reflecting"
     - "changed" = "transformed"      "by"=Gr."apa"="from"
     - "the Spirit of the Lord" should be "the Lord the Spirit"   See Jn 4:24
"have received" = "received"
     - "faint"=Gr."ekkakeo" as 2 Th 3:13 "be not weary"   Read Isa 40:28-31  Lam 3:22

Ch. 4:1 - "seeing we have" = "having"

2 - "renounced"=Gr."apeipon" Only occ.="said off", i.e., disowned
     - "hidden...dishonesty" = "shameful secret things"
     - "handling...deceitfully"=Gr."dotoo" Only occ.="using to ensnare"  2 Pe 1-3
     - "commending..." - See Lk 2:52  1 Ti 3:7  1 Pe 3:15,16
3 - "hid"=Gr."kalupto"="veiled"
     - "lost" = "perishing"
  Here through 5:11 Paul discusses the comfort, support and affliction of those who shepherd and evangelize. Those who preach and serve. Those who combat the enemy of v.4.
4 - "whom" = the perishing    "world" = "age"
     - "blinded" - attuned to darkness instead of light   Jn 3:19-21
     - "shine"=Gr."augazo" Only occ.="beam forth"     Omit "unto them"
                     Heart veiled, eyes blinded, ears stopped (Zec 7:11)
5
- "preach"=Gr."kerusso"="proclaim", "herald"  1 Co 2:1-5
     - "the Lord' = "as Lord"    We are all servants.
6 - "commanded" = "spoke"  Gen 1:3  Jn 1:4,5
     - "give the light"=Gr."photismos"="the illumination"  See 3:18, 4:4
7 - "treasure..." - An ancient practice of burying treasure in potter's vessels for preservation. See Jer 32:9-14. The corruptible flesh body is the "earthen vessel".  Gen 2:7  Job 33:6
     - "excellency"=Gr."huperbole"="pre-eminence"
NOTE: "of God" is the possessive case. The power ("dunamis") is not only from God, but belongs to God. It is not given to us. God will work through us but is never dependent on us.
8 - "troubled...side" = "afflicted in every thing" 
     - "distressed"=Gr."stenochoreomai" = A term used of a wrestler being pinned by an opponent.
     - "perplexed"=Gr."aporeomai" = Unsure which way to turn.
9 - "forsaken"=Gr."enkataleipo"="abandoned"  Ac 2:27 ("left")
     - "cast down"=Gr."kataballo"   See Rev 12:10
                        The 4 "nots" reflect the # for earthly things.
10-12 - "always"=Gr."pantote"="in every way" 
     - "alway"=Gr."aei"="continually" (v. 11)
     - "body"=Gr."soma" - Both literal and figurative as natural flesh and the church.
                      Read Ro 6:3-12  Jn 12:24,25  1 Co 15:22  Phil 3:7-11
     - "dying"=Gr."nekrosis" = the state of a corpse, i.e., dead flesh
     - "life"=Gr."zoe" = life as the gift of God - natural, resurrection, eternal
   (11) - "which live"=Gr."zao"="the living"  Compare Hab 2:4  Gal 3:11,12
            The Light (Jn 1:4,5) is manifested through us (Mt 5:14-16).
   (12) - Just as Christ died so that we might live, we must die so that others may live. All fundamental Christian concepts are contained in this (fellowship/communion, ministry, giftedness, comfort, love, etc.).  See Gal 5:13-15  Mt 22:35-40
13 - "spirit of faith" - Genitive case denoting faith as the gift of the Holy Spirit (1 Co 12:9).  See Eph 2:8
     - "I...spoken" - Quote from Ps 116:10 (read 1-15)   Mt 12:33-37
14 - "Knowing"=Gr."oida"="Understanding" - Faith is to know and understand, not to wish or think. Pr 4:4-7.
     - "by"=Gr."sun"="with" (as in the last clause) 1 Th 4:14
15 - Abounding grace overflows through thanksgiving to the glory of God.  1 Th 5:18  Rev 7:11,12  Ps 100:4 and most importantly, Heb 13:15 where "the sacrifice of praise" is defined.
16 - "For which cause" = "Therefore"
     - outward (dying) vs. inward (living); flesh vs. spirit; temporal vs. eternal. In the natural Paul was a tentmaker (temporary dwellings, Heb 11:8-10). Spiritually, through grace, a masterbuilder (1 Co 3:10).
     - "day by day" - Understand the concept behind manna.  Ex 16:14-30
     The concept of being "renewed"=Gr."anakainoo" Only here and Col 3:10="renovated" - We are not "repaired" daily, we are made better, spiritually, while the flesh ages and weakens. We "faint not" because of God's mercy (4:1). Read Lam 3:22,23 and then Lam 3:1-21. We are "made again", not patched or fixed (Jer 18:4).
17 - "our...affliction"="the momentary lightness of our affliction"
               light vs. exceeding     momentary vs. eternal
         Job 14:1-14  Mt 16:21-27  1 Pe 4:12-19  Jas 5:10,11
                     There is purpose to suffering and tribulation   Jas 1:2-4
18 - See 5:7   Col 3:1-4  Mt 6:19-24  Lk 12:15-21

Ch. 5:1 - "this tabernacle"=Gr."skenos" Only here and v.4="the tent" - The housing for a sojourner.
     - "dissolved"=Gr."kataluo"="destroyed", "demolished"

     - "house..." - 1 Co 15:53-55
     - "not...hands"=Gr."acheiropoietos"="unmanufactured", i.e., "prepared" not "built" - See Mt 25:41  Jn 14:1,2
2 - "groan" - See Ro 8:23
     - "house" - Not a tabernacle/tent. A "habitation" in Jude 6.
3 - "naked" - Unclothed by any house when the earthly house is "dissolved"  See 1 Co 15:19
4 - Our suffering is not unto death, but unto life. We are burdened naturally in order to grow spiritually. We are burdened to be edified.
     - "life" = "the life"
5 - Eph 2:10
     - "selfsame thing" - The eternal glory of 4:17
     - "earnest" - The in-kind commitment and foretaste of 1:14.
6 - "at home"=Gr."endemeo"  "absent"=Gr."ekdemeo"  "Demos" was an Athenian township of residence, i.e., "hometown". While in the body, we are away from our home with the Lord.
7 - "For" - The reason for the confidence of v.6.
     - "by"=Gr."dia"="through" - The Christian, spiritual walk is always "through" as Ps 23:4. We must go into, through, and out of to "attain" (Phil 3:11). Those who walk by sight (naturally) do not complete the journey.
THE ISRAELITES - Deu 1:19-40. IMPORTANT: Note that in Deu 1:22 that it was NOT God's intention to show the promised land to the Israelites. It was not for them to determine which way to go or when to go (Pr 3:5,6). It is walking by sight that allows the "spirit of fear" to enter. See Nu 13:30-33 and Gen 3:6-10. Walking by faith produces confidence. (( Contrast the men of Israel (1 Sa 17:23,24) with David (1 Sa 17:45-48)). Walking by sight keeps us short of God's promises.
JOSEPH - The dreams (Gen 37:5-11) were not retracted, altered or overridden by the natural occurrences (Gen 37:23-28 and Gen 39:11-23; 40:23). Walking by faith accepts the details of God's plan for the sake of the fulfillment (Gen 45:7,8).
                      Phil 1:6   Jas 1:12   Ps 118:8,9   1 Co 15:58
This is the fundamental relationship between spirit and flesh (Gal 5:16,17). They can commune only in the presence of the Holy Spirit. We cannot walk by both faith and sight simultaneously. Note "not seen" in Heb 11:1.
8 - "confident and willing" - Not only confident but also "well pleased" to put off mortality, i.e., unafraid of death (Phil 1:21-26).
9 - "labour"=Gr."philotimeomai"="earnestly endeavour"
     - "accepted' = "pleasing" - Whether present or absent points to Rev 4:11. Worship extends beyond natural life.
10 - This is NOT about salvation. It concerns heavenly rewards which are works-based. See 1 Co 3:12-15. This is separate from the white throne judgment of Rev 20:11-15 for the unsaved. We are individually clothed by our righteous works (Rev 7:13,14) to collectively (as the church/body/wife) make up the wedding garment (Rev 19:7,8). (Note fire and clothes in Zec 3:1-5).
       NOTE: In this verse "bad"=Gr."phaulos"="worthless" in the Greek text. The KJV uses "kakos" which is similar but refers to the effects of a deed rather than its nature, and therefore potentially misleading.
       - "judgment..." - See Ro 14:10-13. The Greek "bema" seat was where judges sat at the finish line in the ancient Olympics to determine the place of the runners at the end.
11 - "Knowing...terror" = In reverential fear" (Heb 10:26-31)
       - "manifest" - "We wish to be known by you as God knows us. Without guile, deceit or pretense." See 4:2.
12 - Paul refers back to 3:1 to remind the church that even his defense of his ministry is for their sakes so that they can adequately respond to detractors.
13 - "The things that seem so crazy are about God. The things that make sense to you are about you. It is never about me...
14 - because the love of Christ directs and compels me."
       - Omit "if" - He died for all, so all died.
15 - So that the living no longer live for themselves, but to serve Him Who is the firstfruits from the dead.
16 - "From now on we don't deal with outward appearances and worldly perspectives. Even if we once knew or knew of Jesus as a man, we know Him now as the Messiah, as the risen Savior, as Lord."
17 - "he is" = "there is"    "creature" = "creation"
       - "all things" = "they"    There is a new birth. The Potter of the O.T. remains. See 1 Sa 10:1-10 (esp. vv. 6,9) 
       - "passed away" - Compare Phil 3:13
The new creation is a process. Not only is there a new heart, but also...
     - A renewed (renovated) mind which leads to putting on, putting off and putting away.
Eph 4:22-25  Gal 3:27  Ro 13:12,14  Eph 6:11  Col 3:3-14  1 Pe 5:5  1 Co 13:11  1 Th 5:8
18 - "all things" = The details of creation. See Jn 1:3  Col 1:12-23  Ro 5:10
     - "ministry"=Gr."diakonia"= the work of a minister/servant
19 - "hath committed unto" = "placed in"
     - "word"=Gr."logos"= spoken word
                    Compare3:2,3.  See 1 Pe 3:15  Jn 17:14.  Note Eze 3:1-4  Rev 10:9-11
20 - "ambassadors" - Representatives of a sovereign's power, dignity and concerns in and towards another, i.e., the world is not and cannot be our home if we are to qualify as ambassadors.  Heb 11:13-16  Ps 39:12  We must first be strangers, then pilgrims.
     - "as though..." - Ambassadors are spokespersons.
     - "by"=Gr."dia"="through" 
     - "in Christ's stead" = "on behalf of Christ"  2 Pe 3:9
21 - "sin" = "sin offering"  See Gen 4:7, Eph 5:2, etc. (occurs frequently)
     - "the" - Omit
     - "righteousness"=Gr."dikaiosune"="what is justified"
 IMPORTANT: Omit "with Him" - As in 1 Co 3:9, we are, as ministers, fellow workers with one another belonging to God and thus, "God's fellow-labourers".
2 - A parenthetical aside from Isa 49:8 indicative of urgency.

     - "heard"=Gr."epakouo" Only occ.="heard with favor"
     - "accepted" (1st) same as "receive" in v.1. (Gr."dektos")
     - "accepted" (2nd)=Gr."euprosdektos"="favorable"  See Heb 3:13
3 - "offence"=Gr."proskope" Only occ.="cause of stumbling"
     - "blamed"=Gr."momaomai" Only here and 8:20="discredited"
             As ambassadors we are responsible to avoid damage to who and what we represent.
4,5 - "approving" = "commending" as in 3:1. - Showing ourselves as worthy, capable and faithful.
     - "patience"=Gr."hupomone"="cheerful endurance", "constancy"
           The servants of God are not broken by circumstances.
     - "necessities" = times of stress

     - "distresses" = calamity     "tumults" = instability, disorder
     - "watchings"=Gr."agrupnia"="sleeplessness"
6-10 - In 4 and 5, the circumstances. Here, the characteristics.
     - "By" = "In" as in vv. 4,5 (Gr."en") until v. 7 ("...armour") where "by" = "through" (Gr."dia") through v.8.
     - "armour...left" - Greek soldiers carried a sword or spear in the right hand, a shield in the left (See Eph 6:16,17).
  (8) - "honour...dishonour" = "glory...shame"
       - "evil report"=Gr."dusphemia" Only occ.="defamation", i.e., untrue
       - "good report"=Gr."euphemia" Only occ.="praise"
       - "deceivers" = "impostors"
  (10) - "sorrowful" = "grieving"     "nothing" = "not even one thing"
Vv. 8-10 present an extended oxymoron. The contradictions of daily life, its ups and downs should be handled by vv.6,7.
11 - "mouth...open" - A Hebrew expression = "speak freely"
     - "enlarged" = "wide open"
12 - "We preach liberty, but you are constrained by your own flesh."
13 - "Hold us in the same regard as we hold you. Follow our example."
14 - Paul continues to instruct as a father.
     - "Be ye not" = "Do not become"
     - "unequally yoked"=Gr."heterozugeo" Only occ. - An unequal (literally, "different") yoking makes it impossible to plow a straight furrow. Our yoke (Mt 11:28-30) is voluntarily accepted. We can be differently yoked only by our choice (Jn 10:27-29). Hence, the imperative from Paul.
    - "together with" = "to" See "separate" in v. 17. When yoked, the capacity of the greater is limited by the lesser. A sprinter yoked to a lame man cannot be unaffected. Paul follows with a series of keywords to define "YOKED" (note uppercase words which follow).
     - "FELLOWSHIP"=Gr."metoche" Only occ.="share", "partaking"
     - "COMMUNION"=Gr."koinonia"="partnership"
15 - "CONCORD"=Gr."sumphonesis"="harmony", "accordance"
     - "Belial" - Only N.T. occ.="worthlessness" (Hebrew word derived from "Baal")
     - "infidel" = Same word as "unbelievers" in v.14 (Gr."apistos")
16 - "AGREEMENT"=Gr."sunkatathesis" Only occ.="co-deposit of interest", i.e., shared sentiment.
     - "idols" = "temple of idols"
     - "dwell"=Gr."enoikeo"="inhabit", "indwell"  From Lev 26:12
17 - "separate" - not "yoked to" - Being "yoked" or "separate" is not physical, but spiritual. We can be yoked to those we have never met if we are like-minded. Quote from Isa 52:11 ("the" = "any").   See haggai 2:11-13.
18 - See 2 Sa 7:14
     - "Almighty"=Gr."Pantokrator" Only here and 9 times in Rev.="all-ruling"
Ch. 7:1- "promises" - 6:16b - 18
     - "filthiness"=Gr."molusmos" Only occ.="pollution"  See Nu 18:32 (holy things), Nu 35:33 (land), Jer 7:30 (Lord's house), Eze 13:19 (the Lord God), Eze 20:31 (ourselves), Eze 20:21 (sabbaths).

     - "holiness" - The separation of 6:17.  Tit 2:11-14  1 Pe 2:9-10  jas 1:27  Jn 17:14-19
2 - "Receive"=Gr."choreo"="Make room"  See "enlarged" 6:11.
3 - All Godly rebuke is for edification, not condemnation - Rev 3:19.
4-7 - Paul returns to the subject of comfort as in Chapter 1.
     (4) -"filled"=Gr."pleroo"="fulfilled"
          - "comfort" = "the comfort" - Needed for the things mentioned next: tribulation, no rest, trouble, fightings, fears. Comfort addresses "without" and "within".
     (5) - Macedonia - After missing Titus in Troas (2:12,13)
     (6,7) - Tribulation » Comfort » Rejoicing
             - "consolation" = "comfort also"
8 - "do not...did" - Paul was initially sorry about the severity of 1 Corinthians, but changed after seeing its impact.
9 - Sorrow unto repentance "in accordance with God"
     - "receive damage" = 'suffer loss" same as 1 Co 3:15.
10 - Paul contrasts "godly sorrow" with "the sorrow of the world". One edifies, the other debilitates. See David (Ps 51) vs. Judas (Mt 27:1-5) and Saul (1 Sa 15). David repented the transgression (Ps 51:3,4). Judas and Saul repented the consequences as the natural man always will (Mt 13:40-42, Lk 13:28). With God, we never "get away with it". Godly sorrow is not triggered by getting caught.
11 - Wrought by Godly sorrow:
     - "carefulness"=Gr."spoude"="diligence"

     - "clearing..."=Gr."apologia"="pleading" (for forgiveness)
     - "indignation"=Gr."aganaktesis" Only occ.="feeling much grief"
12 - Refer back to 1 Co 5. Paul indicates here that the critical issue was not the individuals involved so much as the impact on the body (1 Co 5:6-8). See 1 Co 6:18 and note that what one is "joined" to one is "yoked" to. See 1 Co 5:16-17.
13 - Comfort for comfort. Joy for joy. Ro 12:15
14 - "boasted" = "gloried"  Done "in truth". See 1 Co 1:31. We cannot glorify God if we are consumed by false modesty.
                            Is Jesus bragging? - Mt 12:41,42   Jn 4:25,26; 14:6
15 - "fear and trembling" - 1 Co 2:3,  Phil 2:12,  Eph 6:5,6
       The state of reverence, awareness and humility manifested by the things in 7:11.
16
- Omit "therefore". Paul reflects a shepherd's joy at the health of his flock.

Ch. 8:1 - Note that as Paul begins to tell of the generosity of the churches of Macedonia that he refers to their giving spirit as "the grace of God bestowed upon" them, not himself (1 Co 12:4-7). The opportunity and capacity to be a blessing to others is a blessing (Lk 6:38).
2 - Natural affliction overcome by joy in spirit.

     - Natural poverty abounding to richness in devotion to God
             "liberality"=Gr."haplotes"="sincere selflessness"
3,4 - "Of their own accord, they earnestly asked us to receive the grace which was above and beyond their means..."
     - "fellowship..." - for the ministry outreach and growth
5 - "not...hoped" - not because it was solicited
They first gave themselves (Ro 12:1), then gave of themselves through ("by" = Gr."dia") God's will. Read Ac 16:6-15 for the details behind this verse.
6 - "Insomuch...Titus" = "As a consequence we counselled Titus"
     - "the same grace" - The spirit of giving in 8:1,2
7 - Omit "thing", both ocurrences of "in"
  Those abounding in faith, word, knowledge and love should also abound in giving.
                                           Time, Talent, and Treasure
8
- "not by..." - Not a specific Scriptural edict, but as a genuine expression of Christian love. A subtle nudge to the Corinthian church described in 1 Co 1:4-7.

9 - "became poor=Gr."ptocheuo" Only occ.="made Himself destitute"
          Heb 2:9-18  Phil 2:5-8  Mt 17:24-27  Lk 9:58
10 - "advice" - Judgment or opinion resulting from knowledge (not by commandment) sometimes translated "persuaded".
     - "a year ago" = "from a year ago" - Those who had fallen off in their giving would find it expedient (profitable) not only to resume, but to catch up.
11,12 - Christians must will and do - IN THAT ORDER. Give yourself first, then of yourself (UNDERSTAND Ro 8:8). Note the conditional words ("if") of v.12. An offering is acceptable relative to willingness and sacrifice, not amount.  Lk 21:1-4 (amount)  Mt 5:23,24 (readiness).
               The concept of unacceptable offerings runs throughout Scripture.
                         Deu 23:18   Jer 6:20   Mal 1:6-10      (Research "blemish")
13 - Giving is not to relieve others of their responsibility, nor is it an affliction. We are vessels through which God distributes in the natural world. See Mal 3:6-12.
14 - "equality"=Gr."isotes"="sameness" re: condition or proportion 
         A foundational concept - See 9:6  Gal 6:7   Phil 2:4. One person's abundance (natural or spiritual) supplies another's want.
15 - From Ex 16:18 - God's supply plan.
16,17 - "exhortation"  See v.6.
18,19 - "the "brother" - Unnamed, but based on reputation and travelling with Paul, almost certainly refers to Luke.
     - These verses deal with the necessary stewardship and appearance to administer God's grace to His glory.
20,21 - Faithful stewardship prevents leaven rather than address it.
     - Note the order of "sight" in v.21.
22 - Paul indicates that he is exercising such care in anticipation of the abundance the Corinthians would give.

23,24 - Compare Ro 16:1,2 - Ambassadors are sanctioned and sanctified.

Ch. 9:1,2 - "I know I don't really need to write to you about giving. I was telling the Macedonians about your readiness a year ago (8:10).
     - "provoked"=Gr."erethizo"="stimulated"
3,4 - Paul warns them not to make themselves look bad, but is careful to include himself as part of the church. 
5 - "bounty" = "blessing". The objective is to multiply blessing, not amass money.
                                    Money is seed, not harvest.
6 - A simple agricultural principle applied to giving.
     - "sparingly"=Gr."pheidomenos" Only in this verse="stingily"
     - "bountifully" = "upon blessings" indicating that where the seed is sown is equally important. See Mt 13:5-9 and 18-23 to understand. For example, extending a large amount of money to a spendthrift is not blessing or generosity. It is foolishness and bad stewardship.
7 - There is a spirit for giving. The quote is from the Septuagint Pr 22:9.
     - "cheerful"=Gr."hilaros" Only occ.="merry" Compare English "hilarity".
     NOT A N.T. CONCEPT! - See Ex 25:2
8 -"all"=GR."pas" - 4 times (#of the earth) including "every"
     - "sufficiency"=Gr."aytarkeia"="contentedness" - God makes grace abound toward us so that we will abound unto good works.
           See 1:3,4  Ac 10:38  Eph 2:10  Col 1:10  1 Ti 6:17-19  Heb 10:24
9,10 - A parenthetical aside. Verse 8 connects directly to v.11. Quote from Ps 112:9.
     - "dispersed abroad" = "scattered" as seed. Note that God is the source, and we are sowers, not just consumers.
     - "minister"=Gr."choregeo" Only here and 1 Pe 4:11="to lead a chorus", but came to mean a financial sponsor fot public festivals.
           God ministers seed liberally, multiplies, and increases.
11 - "causeth" = "worketh"  Passing along to others generates praise. Our individual praise is not enough. We must stimulate others to praise God.
12 - "supplieth"=Gr."prosanapleroo"="fully supplies"
13 - "experiment" = "proof" - The receivers of blessing glorify God as a result of what they perceive in the giver as well as the supply.
14,15 - The cycle returns to God through prayer and thanksgiving for His grace.
     - "unspeakable"=Gr."anekdiegetos" Only occ.="cannot be fully stated"
Ch. 10: From here through Chapter 12 Paul vindicates himself for the sake of the ministry.
1 - "by" = "through"  "meekness" = "humility"
     - "gentleness" = "clemecy", i.e., "pardoning"  See 1 Ti 1:12-16
     - "in presence..." = "by outward appearance"      "bold" - See v.10.
2 - "beseech"=Gr."deomai"="pray"    OMIT "you" - Paul prays for restraint. He doesn't want to go off on his detractors.
3 - "war"=Gr."strateuomai"="serve as a soldier"
     - "after" = "according to"
4 - "pulling down"=Gr."kathairesis"="destruction"
     - "strong holds"=Gr."ochuroma" Only occ.="fortifications"
       See 6:7  Study Eph 6:10-18 where the weapons are defined. We have a sword (The Word of God) and a spear (Prayer).   Note Mk 16:9 and Lk 8:26-33
            Fortifications take time to build and are difficult to destroy.
5,6 - "Casting down"=Gr."kathaireo"="demolishing".  Coupled with "pulling down" ("destruction"), this is powerful Scripture. Not merely overcoming or conquering, this is total deliverance from the enemy's hold. Understand Ro 8:37.
     - "imaginations"=Gr."logismos" - Man's reasoning, worldly wisdom.  1 Co 1:18-31
     - "high thing"=Gr."hupsoma" Only here and Ro 8:39 - Referenced in Eph 6:12, embodied in "the man of sin" in 2 Th 2:3,4.
         In the ultimate life and death struggle, either the strongholds and imaginations are destroyed OR God's people are destroyed (Hos 4:6).
     - "against"=Gr."kata" = In direct and purposeful oppositon.
     - "knowledge"=Gr."gnosis" - Knowledge acquired by learning, effort or experience.
Knowledge is certainty. Uncertainty is doubt. Doubt is the devil's doorway. See Ac 17:23 (Read vv.22-34). It is what we KNOW that makes us stedfast and unmovable. Note that faith itself is "evidence" (Gr."elenchos"="proof") (Heb 11:1).  Carefully read Jn 8:32.
     - "and" - 2nd of 3 steps (casting..., bringing...,having...)
     - "captivity" - Control, not elimination. Our thoughts are not under our control. How we react to and handle our thoughts is subject to our Lord. The key word is "every". If we are selectively obedient or do not use the word as our guide, we will stray.
                        Ps 37:23  Eph 6:15  Ps 119:133  Pr 14:12
     - "readiness..." - After our own strongholds have been destroyed and cleared away, the desire to do the same for others should exist within us. When we are delivered from something, it frees us to be a blessing as soldiers.  See Ro 12:21.
7 - Ac 10:34  1 Co 1:10  Eph 4:1-3  Jude 14-25  1 Sa 16:7
     - Paul is aware that his detractors must be addressed for the sake of the body, but realizes the futility of responding to individuals (Note "any man").
8 - "though" = "if"   Authority (Gr.="exousia") is from God to build up, not tear down. Contrast Mt 20:25 ("upon") -28
9,10 - "terrify"=Gr."ekphobeo" Only occ.="bring fear from" - Just as Paul determined not to be more forceful physically (v.2), he is also not going to alter his writing style in response.
11 - "They need to understand that we are the same, absent or present, led by the same Spirit, ...
12 - ...not being drawn into their games." See Titus 3:8,9
       Ministry can be sidetracked by those described in 1 Ti 6:4,5. Understand Mt 5:39, 10:14. Spiritual warfare seeks to elicit carnal reaction and response. Paul had to reject his natural inclination (v.3).
13 - Col 3:23. We are judged by God's standard. Lk 12:43-48  1 Pe 4:10,11
     - "things...measure"=Gr."ametros"="unmeasured things" - The things not measured by God's "rule" (Gr."kanon"=Eng."canon"). We are measured according to our calling (Eph 4:1) which aligns with our giftedness (1 Co 12:4-11). Paul's measure was to "reach" (Gr."ephikneomai"="arrive") out to the saints.
14 - "beyond...not unto...as far as" - We are capable of falling short and capable of overreaching. Paul is doing his job and can't be goaded into excess.
15 - No glory in works ("labours") of those impacted by ministry. The glory to God is in increased faith which enlarges (magnifies) us according to God's rule. See Mt 25:21,23 based on faithfulness, not quantity.
16 - The work continues for Paul. He is not recruiting a workforce so that he can "kick back and relax."
17,18 - Quote from Jer 9:24   Mt 6:1-21
Ch. 11:1: - "folly"=Gr."aphrosune"="lack of prudence", "recklessness"
       - Paul refers to "foolishness" because despite what he wrote in Chapter 10, he is going to defend himself in Chapters 11 and 12. Why?
        - Read Pr 26:4,5. The verses initially seem contradictory, but perfectly illustrate Paul's situation. He cannot play their game, but he must protect the ministry. He considers it necessary folly. See Jeremiah vs. Hananiah Jer 28:1-11,12-17
        For himself, no response. For others, defense against leaven. Note vv. 16-19, 23
2 - "godly jealousy - Ex 20:3-5
     - "espoused"=Gr."harmozo" Only occ.="jointed to"   See Lev 21:10-15
3 - "lest...means" = "the possibility that"
     - "beguiled"=Gr."exapatao"="wholly seduced"
     - "subtilty" ("craftiness") vs. "simplicity" ("singleness", "sincerity")
              See 2 Ti 2:15 where "rightly dividing"=Gr."orthotomeo"="plainly", "directly", "in a straight line"   See Eph 4:14  2 Ti 4:3,4
4 - See Gal 1:6-9   Eph 4:4-6
     - "ye might..." - If your minds should be corrupted
5,6 - "I'm certainly as competent as any of these others you choose to listen to. I may not be oratorically elite, but I certainly know what I'm talking about, and my integrity is beyond reproach."
7 - "Have I made a mistake by focusing on you instead of becoming rich and famous? Would you value me more if you paid me?"
8 - "I accepted money from other churches in order to support this ministry."
9 - "I never requested anything from you even when I was personally experiencing hardship. The brothers took care of me when they came from Macedonia. I have never burdened you in any way till now, and that is not going to change."  Phil 4:10-12
10,11 - "I'm just being truthful about the generosity of the Macedonians. It's not to make you look bad or feel bad. The truth must be told. Cp Jer 20:9
12 - Paul repeats that he will never accept wages from them. (See 1 Th 2:9  2 Th 3:8,9). If they want to talk about something, let it be about ministry.
13 - "such" - The "them" of v.12
     - "false" = "pretend"   "deceitful" = functioning as decoys, bait
     - "transforming..."=Gr."metaschematizo"="disguising..."
14 - The enemy's approach - To look and sound like God in order to deceive.  Rev 2:9;3:9
15 - Those who serve Satan will have the same end. Eze 28:17-19  Rev 20:10
16-18 - "Let no man..."  See v.5
     - "if otherwise..." = "hear me out"  Paul follows Pr 26:5
19 - "fools" - those mentioned in v.20
20 - Things people "bear with" while not tolerating truth   2 Ti 3:9
21 - See 10:10  Paul begins to "speak foolishly"  (see "not wise" 10:12)
22 - See Phil 3:4-6
23 - "as a fool"=Gr."paraphroneo"="being beside myself"
     - "labours" same word as "weariness" in v.27
24 - See Deu 25:3. Thirty-nine in practice in case of a miscount.
25 - "stoned" - Ac 14:19 (Examined more thoroughly in Chapter 12)
     - "night...day"=Gr."nuchthemeron" Only occ.= Full 24 hour period
     - "deep" = "sea"  See Ac 13:4,13; 14:26; 16:11; 18:18,19,21   2 Co 2:12,13
26 - See 4:2; 7:5  Compare Ro 8:35-39
27 - "watchings" = "sleeplessness" as in 6:4,5
28 - "that which cometh upon me"=Gr."episustasis"="my crowd" - The numerous daily matters of ministry don't go away when trials arise.
29 - The "care" of v.28.  See 1 Co 12:25,26
30 - "I will glory in helplessness and humiliation which bring glory to God."
31 - "God Himself is my witness to what I am telling you."
32,33 - See Ac 9:19-30  "Aretas" - Father-in-law of Herod Antipas
     - "kept..." - Guards were assigned to arrest Paul.

 

Ch. 12:1 - "I will" = "But I will"   "come to" = "progress"
2-10 - Governed by the 2nd perfect tense (Eng. pluperfect) - A past action, present state ("knew" and still know) relating a completed event (the vision) before another past action AT A SPECIFIED TIME ("above"=Gr."pro"="before" fourteen years ago, i.e., between 13 and 14 years ago). These verses form an unbreakable unit as a single ongoing circumstance. At a minimum, understanding must account for the timing, the circumstance of v. 2, and the capacity of the "thorn" to humble and "buffet".
     (2) - TIME - Points back to Ac 14:19-20. (Note that Galatians 2, written immediately after 2 Corinthians, refers to the events of Ac 14 - 15:4). Ac 14:20 defines the miraculous CIRCUMSTANCE of the vision. An understanding of stoning highlights not only Paul's "survival", but his being able to travel ("rose" = "having risen up"). Hence, the "in or out of body", etc. Second witnessed by 11:25.

 

STONING

 

                Stoning, or lapidation, refers to a form of capital punishment whereby an organized group throws stones at the convicted individual until the person dies. Stoning has been used throughout history in a number of places, both in the form of community justice and also as a judicial form of capital punishment. The practice is referred to in Greek history, as well as Christian, Jewish, and Islamic texts. Stoning stands apart from other forms of capital punishment in that the entire community participates in the killing. Some manner of keeping the condemned individual from escaping was used (as documented by witnesses, and participants over the centuries), ranging from being thrown before the stoning from an elevation of some sort that caused incapacitating injury, to being tied to a post (or simply tied hand and foot), to being buried ((The prisoner is buried either up to his waist (if male) or up to her shoulders (if female) and then pelted with stones by a crowd of volunteers until obviously battered to death)), to just being surrounded by a large crowd of stone throwers in an enclosed area. Under the terms of most fundamentalist courts, the stones must be small enough that death cannot reasonably be expected to result from only one or two blows, but large enough to cause physical harm. The average execution by stoning is extremely painful, lasting at least 10 to 20 minutes.

               The Talmudic method of how stoning is to be carried out differs from mob stoning such as indicated in the story of Jesus and the woman taken in adultery in the Gospel of John. According to the Jewish Oral Law, after the Jewish criminal has been determined as guilty before the Great Sanhedrin, the two valid witnesses and the sentenced criminal go to the edge of a high place. From there, the two witnesses are to push the criminal off. After the criminal has fallen, the two witnesses are to drop a large boulder onto the criminal - requiring both of the witnesses to lift the boulder together. If the criminal did not die from the fall or from the crushing of the large boulder, then any people in the surrounding area are to quickly cause him to die by stoning with whatever rocks they can find.

               Stoning is a brutal and outdated practice that is kept alive only by Muslims under Sharia rule. Although it has been practiced at least since Biblical times, every other culture has systematically ceased the practice in favor of more "humane" forms of punishment. Among the countries that still practice stoning are Afghanistan, Iran, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and the United Arab Emirates. Other Islamic countries denounce the practice as inhumane and indicate that the Qur’an provides no grounds for it. Those who practice stoning claim that it is demanded by Islam and have gone so far as incorporating it into their countries penal codes.
  (3-6) - A reiteration of purpose for what he is about to say. Many false prophets claim first-hand encounters with God. Paul wants no connection with them.
     - "paradise" - See "third heaven" v.2
     - "unspeakable"=Gr."arretos" Only occ.="inexpressible"
     - "forbear" - Not the time for the details of the vision. The topic, for now, is infirmities in relation to glory.
   (7) - "lest...measure" = "so that I should not be over-exalted"
            Something guaranteed to be humbling.  Pr 16:18  2 Chr 26
     - "thorn"=Gr."skolops"="prickle"  See Gal 4:13,14
     - "the messenger" = "an angel"
     - "buffet"=Gr."kolaphizo"="to hit with the fist", "cuff"  Mk 14:65
     - "lest..." - Repeated for emphasis and 2nd witness - Affliction does not prove wrongdoing or disfavor.
   (8) - "thrice" - Compare Mt 26:36-44  NOTE: Neither Jesus nor Paul received the requested response. God answers according to His sovereign will, not our "standing".  Ac 10:34

 

   (9) - God's response. "sufficient for" = "that which sustains", in the sense of providing protection like a vaccination.
        - "My strength" should be "Strength"=Gr."Dunamis"
        - "made perfect" = "consummated"  See 1 Co 2:1-4  Heb 11:34  2 Ti 2:1
        - "Most gladly"=Gr."hedista"="With the greatest pleasure"
        - "rest"=Gr."episkeeno" Only occ.="tent upon", i.e., to cover as a tent (or "tabernacle"=Gr."skeeno" See Jn 1:14 "dwelt")  Ps 27:5  Ps 46:1  Ps 61:1-4
   (10) - "Therefore...pleasure" - Connects to 9b - There is no higher calling than serving God ("...for Christ's sake"). That service has certain attributes.  Mk 10:28-30 ("persecutions")
        - "in"=Gr."en"="while in the midst of" - Paul is not claiming to enjoy tough times, but to have joy while going through. If we had no shortcomings, God's glory would not be revealed through us.  See Ac 5:40-42.
11 - "I shouldn't have to defend myself. You should have been able to do it for me. God has wrought as much work through me as He has through the other apostles."

12 - "You are my evidence."  See 3:1-3
13 - "Is there something wrong because you don't pay me? Excuse me for not being a burden."
14 - "Behold"=Gr."idou" Imperative aorist="Pay attention", used in reference to something other than oneself.
     - "not yours, but you" - All ministry is about saving souls. Focus is easily lost. See 1 Ti 6:10.
     - "children..."  See 1 Co 4:14-17   1 Th 2:5-12
NOTE: "seek", "ought not" - Refers to heart, objective, priority, etc. Note "flee" in 1 Ti 6:11 vs. "follow after". As we proceed in the right direction, God can provide for us. Read Ps 23:6 where "follow" (Heb."radaph") means "pursue", "run after". Read 2 Chron 1:11,12.  Read Mt 6:24-34. Understand Lev 19:15. Poverty does not give one an inside track to heaven. Heart not wallet.
15 - "spend", "be spent" - Pour out and be poured out to exhaustion. To give what you have and to give yourself (Time,Treasure,Talent). Understand Ro 12:1.
     - "though" = "even if" - Applies to ministry, parents and to God. (1 Th 5:24, Mt 24:42-51)
16 - Paul uses irony again in response to allegations from his detractors.
     - "crafty"=Gr."panourgos" Only occ.="cunning", "manipulative", "shrewd" - always negative
17,18 - Paul points out that he made no gain directly or indirectly.
    - "spirit', "steps" = internal, external - Required for effective ministry  See 1 Co 12:4-6
19 - "I have nothing to apologize about to you. I'm explaining myself to build you up."
20 - Paul wants to clear things up before he arrives so that the atmosphere will not be adversarial.
21 - "again" - What would result from a discordant meeting.
     - "bewail"=Gr."pentheo"="mourn for" - Paul would be humbled before them because he would count it as loss. Compare Jn 17:12 and Mt 18:12-14.

Ch. 13:1 -
"third time" - The stop en route to Macedonia (1:15,16) being the second time.
     - "...witnesses..." - reference is to Deu 19:15. Paul is and has been consistent in word and walk.
2 - 3 witnesses - "I told you before, I'm forewarning you, as I told you on the 2nd trip..."
     - "spare"=Gr."pheidomai"="be lenient"

3-5 - The proof of Christ is in you. Examine yourself.
   (3) - "Which..." = "Who unto
you..."
   (4) - "through" and "by"=Gr."ek"="out of"
   (5) - See 1 Co 11:28  "prove" = test for approval against an expected standard.
     - "reprobates"=Gr."adokimos"="disapproved"
6 - A vote of confidence to soften the tone.
7 - "do...appear...do" - A frequent message. True believers do (Jas 2:14-26), hypocrites appear.   Mt 21:28-32  Lk 10:30-37 - Paul is not concerned with how their behavior reflects on him personally. He's concerned with their hearts, regardless of opinions about himself.

8 - Truth is sovereign.
See Ac 5:38,39 (Read 34-39) and Ro 8:31.
   NOTE:
"against"=Gr."kata" Genitive case= Indicates downward motion, something being "pulled down" against its will.
              "for"=Gr."hupo" Genitive case= Denotes the agent for motion from beneath for power and/or support (See 1 Pe 5:6). 
9 - Cp. 12:9  "also..."=Gr."euchomai"="we also pray for"
     - "perfection"=Gr."katartisis" Only occ.="thorough completion" (purged, cleaned, oiled, refurbished, inspected, upgraded, etc., etc.). This is completion to God's standard.
10 - "according to..." - Connect to "these things" 
     - "use sharpness" = "act harshly"
11-13 - "Finally" = "For the rest"
14 - "grace...love...communion" - Benediction - Son to Father through Spirit.