Bro. Tom’s Weekly Bible Study
  Week #50
Posted: July 1, 2005

IN CHRIST
A Study of Positional Truths

We desire in this ‘IN CHRIST’ study to look at II Corinthians 12:19-21.  The ‘In Christ’ text is found in verse 19, which says, Again, think ye that we excuse ourselves unto you? We speak before God in Christ: but we do all things, dearly beloved, for your edifying.  For I fear lest when I come…” 

Paul is sending this message from God, which he has found ‘In Christ’, to get their church in order in anticipation of Paul’s soon coming.  I was arrested in my heart of another’s message of getting our house in order for the soon coming of Christ.  Jesus said, “Be ye also ready, for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of Man cometh”. 

Paul calls them ‘dearly beloved’ in verse 19.  The title is much loved loved ones.  This is an amazing title when we see the condition of this church.  Paul tells them his whole reason for writing and visiting was to ‘edify’ them. (build them up)  Our Lord has never done anything for His church but love us and desire that we be strengthened in the Lord. 

Paul’s great fear in verse 20 is that he would not find them in a good condition and the church would not like how he would respond.

Paul has heard of some things that are going on at the church. In verse 20 he speaks of ‘debates’.  The word means quarrelling contentions.  Paul mentions ‘envyings’ which means unfavorable jealousy over another’s position or possessions. Paul says that there is ‘wraths’ in the church.  The word means passionate outbursts of hot anger.  Another condition mentioned in the text is ‘strifes’.  The word means divisions that provoke.  The next condition mentioned is ‘backbitings’ which means evil talkings of slander behind someone’s back.  The next condition mentioned is ‘whisperings’ which means to whisper words of slander or half-truth in the ear of another.  This word was used of a snake charmer chanting into a snake basket.  The next condition is that of ‘swellings’, which means inflated with pride.  The last state mentioned by Paul in verse 20 was ‘tumults’ which means confusing disorder.  What a state of the church.  I see many of these things alive and well in the churches of today. 

Paul feared when he came for a visit that he would be ‘shamed with humiliation’. (Vs. 21)  Paul might say, ‘Is this the church that I founded?’  Oh, how will our Lord feel when He comes to redeem His church and finds a similar condition?  Paul feared that he would have to confront some who had not repented of hidden sins.  The outward display of sins is just the fruit of a much greater problem at the root of the tree.  Paul mentioned the hidden sin of ‘uncleanness’, which means moral impurity.  The word ‘fornication’ is mentioned which is the word ‘porneia’ from which we get our word pornography.  It also means all kinds of illicit sexual acts.  The word ‘lasciviousness’ is mentioned and means immodesty that erupts from an unregenerate heart and defiles others. 

Can we imagine that we go to church Sunday after Sunday with many that have the same unconfessed sins in their lives?  If this was the state of the church that the Apostle Paul, writer of one half of the New Testament started, what must be the state of the church today?  No wonder our Lord said in Luke 18:8, “…nevertheless when the Son of Man cometh shall He find faith on the earth.”

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