Saturday, April 30, 2011

Inspiration & Issues

2 Corinthians 12:2-4 (NLT)
I was caught up to the third heaven fourteen years ago.

- Apparently in the worldview of the time, the lower sky of wind and weather was the first heaven, the stars and planets, moon and sun occupied the second heaven, and the third heaven was the invisible world of God and the heavenly beings which exists above all and is hidden from our normal perception.

2 Corinthians 12:2-4 (NLT)
Whether I was in my body or out of my body, I don't know-only God knows. [3] Yes, only God knows whether I was in my body or outside my body. But I do know [4] that I was caught up to paradise and heard things so astounding that they cannot be expressed in words, things no human is allowed to tell.

- Paul's vision might explain the fantastic life of ministry he went on to live. I wonder if this was the same encounter he had with Christ on the road to Damascus, or a second vision?

2 Corinthians 12:21 (NLT)
Yes, I am afraid that when I come again, ... I will be grieved because many of you have not given up your old sins. You have not repented of your impurity, sexual immorality, and eagerness for lustful pleasure.

- Apparently Corinth was known in the ancient world for this kind of debauched living, and the church is continuing to struggle with these issues. Paul's admonitions throughout the Corinthian letters probably need to be placed in that context to be properly understood.

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