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Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by Jacob Dahlen, May 1, 2006.

  1. Jacob Dahlen

    Jacob Dahlen New Member

    Feb 28, 2006
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    Paul compares the reality of the New Covenant to the Garden of Eden, where Christ is Adam and the Church is Eve, and where Satan is up to his same craftiness (v. 3). Paul's desire is to present a pure Church, a chaste virgin (v.2) to Christ at the Second Coming.
    The first element of a "chast virgin"(v.2) is the purity of Orthodox doctrine. Not human persuasiveness (v. 6) but apostolic contant is important. Paul is a part of the apostalic college (v. 5) which continues in line with the original Twelve Apostles.
    Pure doctrine is tought out of pure motives. A mark of apostolic authenticity is the refusel of excessive money. The clergy draw their living from the Church, but not to the point of getting rich(see 1 Cor. 9:4-18; 1 Tim 6:3-10; Titus 1:11). Paul's opponemts dared not make this claim.
    Although Satan(v.14) imitates the Kingdom of God, telltale signs reveal his sham, such as nonapostolic doctrine(vv.5-6) and a lucrative ministry(vv.7-12)
    The Corinthians though they were wise(v. 19) enought to evaluate Church leaders. They had become enamred with false apostles who championed themselves, using the methods and values of the world, full of outword show and crafty talk. They disparaged Paul, seeing him as a weekling without credentials. As a result they were in bondage(v. 20), defrauded and even burtalized. Paul, playing the devil's advocate, takes up the methods of those false apostles to show them as fools(v. 19). Ge saturuzes them in the hope the Corinthians will thereby see throught their charade.
    Using his opponents' level of argument, Paul list his Jewish and Christian credentials. If genealogy means anything, which it does to the Jews; Paul has it(v.22). If "Christian experiance" means anything, no one can compare with him; his sufferings(vv. 23-27); his compassionate, involved concern for his people(vv. 30-33).
    Pauls opponents probably boasted of vision and revelations(v. 1), for Paul mentions one of his. Fourteen years ago would date the event before his missionary journeys. Paul employs two terms used by Jews to describe heavenly realms: the third heaven(v.2) is the highest heaven; Paradise(v.4), where God is surrounded by the assembly of the just, the city of God.
    This is the experience through history of the godly shephed.
    Paul is more impressed with the miracle of unity and harmony then with physical miracles. He fears he my have to exercise the supreme apostolic power, that of excluding people who have not repented(v. 12) from the Church.
    In this context, the test of being in Christ is a humble, virtuous life lived in communion with the Church.
    The holy kiss, the kiss of peace, is an established liturgical tradition. Perhaps the final test of whether one is Christian is whether one can give this kiss with uncondemning conscience.
    This trinitarian blessing is also an ancient and contemporary liturgical practice.