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Strength in Weakness: 2 Corinthians Simply Explained


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The future of the Christian cause depends to a large degree on the quality of the next generation of spiritual leaders. Where will these men find role models? To whom will they turn for inspiration? There is the ever-present danger that they will do as Paul's rivals did in Corinth and turn to the world outside the church and try to emulate the qualities that make for success in secular life. Indeed, it is not exaggerating to observe that the churches of the modern West, like the church at Corinth, face a crisis of authority and leadership. In 2 Corinthians we have both a stern warning that we should avoid styles of leadership that are worldly, perhaps even cultic while cultivating the kind of leadership that Paul himself showed—leadership that was self-sacrificing and self-giving, a model of loving service based on the character of Christ himself.

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“For the great apostle, the world that we cannot see was vastly more real than the passing world we inhabit at present” (Page 103)

“Christianity is an exclusive religion. Jesus demands absolute and uncompromising loyalty” (Page 140)

“His response was to insist that he had not thrown in the towel” (Page 105)

“For many of us, this present world is the scene of our temptations and humiliation, our spiritual defeats and reverses. For Paul it was, for the time being, the best of all possible worlds. It was the place where God made use of him, for all his frailty, the scene where a gracious heavenly Father tailored even his troubles to hone maturity of character and, in any case, it was merely a prelude to a lasting future bursting with glory. If that is the worst that can be said about this present world, it cannot be as bad as we fear.” (Page 103)

“Paul’s second concern was perhaps more serious. In one particular area, the situation had become much worse and had reached alarming proportions. A number of unscrupulous men had insinuated themselves into the church and had begun to undermine Paul’s position. It was chiefly to meet this threat that this epistle was written. The main theme of the letter is leadership. Paul responded to the challenge mounted by his opponents by contrasting his approach to ministry with theirs.” (Pages 13–14)

  • Title: Strength in Weakness: 2 Corinthians Simply Explained
  • Author: J. Philip Arthur
  • Publisher: Evangelical Press
  • Series: Welwyn Commentary Series
  • Publication Date: 2004
  • Pages: 256

J. Philip Arthur grew up in the northeast of England. Converted to Christ in his teens, he read history at Cambridge and then earned his living first as a teacher and then as a lecturer in his native county Durham. In 1988 he became pastor of Free Grace Baptist Church in Lancaster.


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    Digital list price: $15.99
    Save $3.00 (18%)