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Cutting Ties with Darkness: 2 Corinthians (Transformative Word)

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Rebuilding Broken Relationships

The story behind 2 Corinthians is one of pain and heartache. The Apostle Paul is wrestling to maintain his relationship with the young church in Corinth that he established. Paul writes this deeply personal letter to pick up the pieces of a broken relationship. We all have painful stories and relationships that are on the rocks. In Cutting Ties with Darkness, John D. Barry explores how we deal with these scars in light of Jesus’ example. How do we discern when to reconcile and when to walk away? In these relationships, our own judgment can become clouded. Paul tells us that we must cut ties with the darkness—both within ourselves and in others—before we’re able to rebuild our lives on the redemption of Jesus.

Resource Experts

Praise for Cutting Ties with Darkness

In beautiful prose, John Barry offers a plethora of practical insights for our lives, relationships and ministries from 2 Corinthians. He shows how the letter as a whole fits together, and his heart for the world shines through as he provides illustrations from a range of cultures as well as what he has witnessed personally.

—Craig S. Keener, professor at Asbury Theological Seminary and author of commentaries on Acts, Matthew, John, Romans, 1–2 Corinthians, and Revelation

In his work, Cutting Ties with Darkness, John Barry walks us through Second Corinthians, opens our eyes to the heart of Paul, and connects his message to our world in language and illustrations anyone can understand. This is not like most commentaries. It is both stimulating and enjoyable to read. The clarity with which he communicates Paul's message demonstrates that he has delved deeply into each passage and thought through each one's implications. John Barry is masterful in bridging the cultural gap and making Paul’s message contemporary and practical.

—Gary W. Derickson, PhD, Professor of Biblical Exposition and Greek Department Chair, Bible and Theology Corban University School of Ministry

The Transformative Word Series

God’s Word is transformative. It is this conviction which gives the Transformative Word series its name and its unique character. Series Editor Craig G. Bartholomew has worked alongside authors from around the world to identify a key theme in each book of the Bible, and each volume provides careful Biblical exegesis centered on that gripping theme. The result is an engaging, accessible thematic exploration of a biblical book, poised to offer you new and refreshing insights.

Learn more about the other titles in this series.

Top Highlights

“He shows us that we cannot truly know another person without first knowing ourselves. And we cannot overcome our demons without first separating ourselves from the work of Satan. In order to be set free, we have to cut ties with the darkness—and Paul tells us how.” (source)

“Instead, Paul is talking about living in God’s ways or choosing another path; he is talking about what is healthy and peaceful versus what only causes destruction. God’s ways are good; everything else will lead you astray and ultimately just hurt you. In addition, the other path—the one that goes against God’s ways—can be chosen by default. Not choosing is choosing, so we must be aware of our choices and their consequences.” (source)

“The only achievement worth having is becoming more like God, via our relationship with Jesus and the working of the Holy Spirit (Phil 3:7–9). The only strength that matters is the strength rooted in God’s glory—in his ability to move us from darkness to light. The only defense worth having is the reality of Christ’s redemption of our lives. The only identity worth possessing is our identity as children of God, transformed into his image and reflecting his glory to the world.” (source)

“In this deeply personal letter, Paul offers profound insights into relationships. He writes out of both love and pain. He writes about severing relationships and mending them. He writes in a way that is decidedly centered on God, as seen in the person of Christ.” (source)

“Paul is telling us to make a concerted effort to ensure that we are set apart for Christ’s work and that we don’t allow anything or anyone to impede that. Since Paul knows that the easiest way for Christ’s work to be impeded is by partnering too closely with unbelievers—thus allowing for their influence to be more powerful than Jesus’ in our lives—he commands us to separate from ‘the middle of them’—their territory, where they have too much control over us. Practically, this means that we cannot allow for unbelievers to influence the direction of our families, churches, businesses, and lives. We cannot live in their midst; instead, we must bring them into the midst of Christ. We don’t cater to them; we show them Jesus.” (source)


  • Introduction
  • The Tough Decisions Christians Must Make
  • A God Who Comforts Us in All Affliction
  • Defending Ourselves like Paul Would
  • Zebras, Lions, and Theology
  • Who Do You Work for—Really?
  • Joy, Grief, and Making Peace
  • How to Love the Impoverished
  • Fighting the Spiritual War against Darkness
  • Super-Apostles and Boasting in Jesus
  • Conclusion
  • Appendix: Flesh and Law in Paul's Theology

Product Details

  • Title: Cutting Ties with Darkness: 2 Corinthians
  • Author: John D. Barry
  • Series: Transformative Word
  • Series Editor: Craig G. Bartholomew
  • Publisher: Lexham Press
  • Publication Date: 2014
  • Pages: 160
  • Format: Logos Digital, Paperback
  • Trim Size: 5x8
  • ISBN: 9781577996064

John D. Barry is the CEO and Founder of Jesus' Economy, a non-profit dedicated to creating jobs and churches in the developing world. He also serves as a missionary with Resurrect Church Movement, the domestic division of Jesus' Economy dedicated to equipping U.S. churches to alleviate poverty and plant churches. John is the editor of Lexham Bible Dictionary and has authored or edited over 30 books, including The Resurrected Servant in Isaiah, Cutting Ties with Darkness, and the daily devotional Connect the Testaments. John formerly served as founding publisher of Lexham Press and is the former editor-in-chief of Bible Study Magazine. John speaks internationally on engaging the Bible, poverty, and spreading the gospel.

Sample Pages from Cutting Ties with Darkness


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