Day 1: 2 Corinthians 1-4
2 Corinthians (the 2nd letter to the Corinthians in the Bible) was written between 55-57 A.D. So, it might have been written not too long (no more than within a couple of years) of 1 Corinthians. It is reported that 2 Corinthians was the fourth letter that Paul had written to the church at Corinth. Two of those letters have been lost. After 1 Corinthians, most of the believers were responding positively. However, there were some (false teachers) who were questioning Paul’s authority. This letter was written to address that issue.
Day 2: 2 Corinthians 5-9
2 Corinthians 7:8-10 (NLT – New Living Translation) says: “8 I am not sorry that I sent that severe letter to you, though I was sorry at first, for I know it was painful to you for a little while. 9 Now I am glad I sent it, not because it hurt you, but because the pain caused you to repent and change your ways. It was the kind of sorrow God wants his people to have, so you were not harmed by us in any way. 10 For the kind of sorrow God wants us to experience leads us away from sin and results in salvation. There’s no regret for that kind of sorrow. But worldly sorrow, which lacks repentance, results in spiritual death.” In other words, Paul was holding the Corinthians accountable for their behavior and he told them so (in his 3rd official letter that has been lost). As Christians, we are to hold our brothers and sisters accountable in a loving way (i.e., “speak the truth in love”) so that we all grow further in our discipleship of Jesus. Sometimes it is hard for both parties; but we are called to do it. This is one of the purposes of a Life Transformation Group – to hold us accountable so that we all keep “going on…”
Day 3: 2 Corinthians 10-13
In chapter 11, Paul stressed how important it is to follow the Jesus that Paul preached, not a false teacher’s view of Jesus. Paul accuses the Corinthians of accepting the false teaching very easily. (11:4 (chapter 11, verse 4) He also says that he is going to keep contradicting the false teaching. (11:12-13) We are called to do the same. We have to be on guard in these days as the early Christians were then for false teaching – teaching that does not accept Jesus for who He really is.
In Acts 20:1-3, Paul is in Macedonia and spent most of the time there in Corinth. While there, he wrote the letter to the Romans in 57 A.D. Paul had never been to Rome but other believers already had started a church there. The book of Romans is a letter to the church there indicating that he hopes to visit Rome. Romans is a letter addressing theological issues (relating to the study of God) and talks about the meaning of faith, salvation, the relation between Jews and Gentiles in Christ and provides some practical guidance for the church.
In Romans, Paul is presenting his case for the gospel as a lawyer would present a case in a court of law. In chapters 1 – 3, Paul makes the case that everyone in humanity is lost. The Gentiles are lost because they have an opportunity to see God in creation, but don’t. The Jews are lost because they complain about the sins of the Gentiles and they are doing the same things. “For all have sinned; all fall short of God’s glorious standard.” (Romans 3:23 NLT) In other words, no one can follow the Law. “But now God has shown us a different way of being right in his sight – not by obeying the law but by the way promised in the Scriptures long ago.” (Romans 3:21, NLT) That way is faith in Jesus!
Day 5: Romans 4-7
Chapter 4: Paul spends time documenting that Abraham was credited as righteous because of his faith. Because of our faith, we become part of Abraham’s descendants that will inherit the promises God made to Abraham.
“Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us.” (Romans 5:1 NLT) Jesus’ sacrifice on our behalf, taking our sins (past, present and future) to the cross brings peace in our relationship with God – the peace that surpasses God’s wrath that He has against sin. This happened before we believed: “But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.” (Romans 5:8 NLT)
Day 6: Romans 8-10
In chapters 9 and 10, Paul is heartbroken that the Israelites (at least not all of them) would be saved. The Israelites were God’s chosen people, they were given the covenants, and they were given the Law. The Jewish ancestors were theirs and Christ descended from those ancestors. But it is not about obeying the Law (which no one can). It is not about inheriting salvation from your ancestors. It is about having faith in what Christ did on the cross. He was our substitute and was punished on our behalf for not obeying the Law. If we have faith, we will be saved. “Because if you confess with your mouth “Jesus is Lord” and in your heart you have faith that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” (Romans 10:9 CEB) “There is no distinction between Jew and Greek, because the same Lord is Lord of all, who gives richly to all who call on him. All who call on the Lord’s name will be saved.” (Romans 10:12-13 CEB) But to call on the Lord’s name, you have to hear 1st. That is our job – we are sent to spread the good news so that “they” will hear and “they” can be saved!
Day 7: rest