We do all things by the grace of God when you think about it. Whether we do well, or sin, it doesn’t make any difference. If we’re able to do anything, it’s by God’s grace. That doesn’t mean we don’t wrongfully take advantage of it when we’re not paying attention.
We can use the grace that the Lord has shed upon us to further his cause in several different ways, thus achieving a greater reward for eternity. We can just as easily use that given grace, to lay up for ourselves earthly or fleshly pleasures, causing for us to receive the reward for our deeds here on earth, and be eternally impoverished.
Either way, the choice is ours in the end. It’s on us to either be obedient to the Father, or not. He is still the same, and he will not change. What he’s given, he gives without repent.
In 2 Corinthians 1:12, the Apostle Paul is talking about the things he and his traveling companions have been able to do by the grace of God. Things are going to get a bit weighty, so please consider jotting down these three different topics, and expanding them in your own studies with the Father.
- Testimony of our Conscious
- By the Grace of God
- Biblical Sense of Conversation
2 Corinthians 1: King James Bible
12 For our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our conversation in the world, and more abundantly to you-ward.
To rephrase this verse and place it in common vernacular, in a way to help us quickly see the initial point of this verse, I present to you the following:
“I’m ecstatic telling you the truth without any form of lie or doubt, nor from anything I’ve learned in the flesh, but instead by God’s grace and his grace alone, I’ve preached on him everywhere, and will toward you even more!”
That’s my quick and messy sum up, or rather, restating, what I believe Paul’s message is to the Corinthians in this verse. However, as all scriptures seem to be, when we break it down we can extract a wealth of information that the Holy Ghost is trying to convey to us who are seeking treasure!
Up to this Point…
In previous verses, the Apostle is filling in his readers of the various trials and persecutions that they endured across the region. He testified of their trust in the Father to deliver them from every single obstacle.
He also mentioned how he considered himself dead, in the face of everything that they were in the process of going through for the cause of Christ. Pointing out also, the comfort and peace that they were given through the God of all Comfort; the Father of Mercies; as they being delivered from death itself.
And counting all of that as a testimony worthy of gathering, in order to use it to bring the same comfort that the Father gave them, to those who face similar problems. In other words, to share the wealth of mercy, comfort, and consolation that they’ve received by the Father, to others who are in need.
this may explain in part the first section of the above verse (verse 12)
“For our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience”
What is the testimony of our conscience? It might help us to understand where Paul’s coming from if we take a look at how he used the word “conscious” in other verses of scripture. Sometimes, we can get into the heart of a matter by exploring where else we can find reference to whatever is causing us to pause.
Acts 23: King James Bible
1 And Paul, earnestly beholding the council, said, “Men and brethren, I have lived in all good conscience before God until this day.”
Acts 24: King James Bible
16 And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void to offence toward God, and toward men.
Romans 9: King James Bible
1 I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost,
Romans 13: King James Bible
5 Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.
1 Corinthians 10: King James Bible
25 Whatsoever is sold in the shambles, that eat, asking no question for conscience sake:
1 Timothy 1: King James Bible
5 Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned:
1 Timothy 1: King James Bible
19 Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck:
1 Timothy 3: King James Bible
9 Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience.
2 Timothy 1: King James Bible
3 I thank God, whom I serve from my forefathers with pure conscience, that without ceasing I have remembrance of thee in my prayers night and day;
Hebrews 13: King James Bible
18 Pray for us: for we trust we have a good conscience, in all things willing to live honestly.
From the usage above concerning the word “conscious,” we can see a picture of an inward truth; a purity that defies circumstance, enveloped by the washing of the Blood of the Lamb.
Paul says we can live in it, always have it, serve God through it, bear witness by it, it can be good, it can be put away, and most mysteriously, it contains the mystery of faith.
Every aspect of these are worthy of their own separate study, and will probably create one to supplement this page in the future. Because just with the research I did for this page, it’s clear that this word of itself, is a big deal in the Word of God.
Being used 30 times and only being found in the New Testament, I’d say that’s grounds for a special look. Keep your eyes open for a supplemental page concerning the various ways the word “Conscious” is used in our Bibles.
But in 2 Corinthians, Paul specifically says “testimony of our conscience.” One way I would interpret that is if to say; it doesn’t matter who believes me, I know the truth despite how it sounds. A testimony of a clear and honest conscience.
From a point of view, I can understand that. I’ve had dozens of supernatural experiences where people would more often than not think I’m crazy or suffer from an overactive imagination. It doesn’t make any difference whether or not someone believes me, I know with a clear conscience that my testimony is sure.
So a combination of the strange and unbelievable circumstances mixed with the disbelief of someone else, doesn’t make a lick of difference. Concerning those matters, the testimony of my conscious is sure. I guess there’s an example of, what at least is my interpretation.
Relationship between our Conscience and the Heart
John the Apostle gives us a great example by using the condition of our hearts. By the following verse we can ascertain how our conscience is impacted by the conditioning of the heart.
If our own heart condemns us in something, there’s a great chance that we’ve fallen from the truth somewhere, and our conscience isn’t clear. However, if our hearts don’t condemn us, we’ve got confidence in the Father, and a good, clear conscience.
1 John 3: King James Bible
19 And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him. 20 For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things. 21 Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God.
But by the Grace of God
“that in simplicity and godly sincerity,”
There’s often a simplicity available when it comes to a clear conscience and telling the truth. Doesn’t it get extremely complex when you find yourself lying about something, and need to remember all of the little lies that you’ve (in time) established to bolster and justify that initial lie?
That is the beauty of the grace of the Father, giving us ample opportunity to confess our sins, removing the mud from our consciences, clearing it up, so that the complexities that walk hand in hand with a stained conscious are washed away.
I recall something that stuck with me several years ago watching “Dog the Bounty Hunter.” He had just apprehended someone that had been on the run for quite some time, and from the back seat in handcuffs, the man thanked him for catching him.
It seemed strange till Dog explained that many people who he’d catch would actually thank him once the heat of the chase was over. Once caught, the stress from living on the run was lifted, and the fear of being caught was replaced with an odd thankfulness of the removal of that burden.
All that these individuals had to face afterward would be tough, but not as tough as what they were putting themselves through, trying to live under the radar for fear of being seen by the wrong person, and caught.
Simplicity and Godly sincerity (in my opinion) come from a combination of a clean conscience and experiencing the Lord Jesus Christ in our lives.
“not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God,”
There’s nothing that the Apostle Paul or any of the company he was keeping could do, to either cause or avoid any of the persecution they experienced. Also in the same manner, there was no “fleshly wisdom” or “head knowledge” that anyone had at their disposal to conjure up any of the solutions they’d experienced ministering and evangelizing on the road.
There was no “MacGyver” among them to figure out clever means of escape. Nor did any smooth talking calm or curb the intentions of those wanting to kill them. Their numbers weren’t intimidating and they were bereft of friendly territory.
BUT BY THE GRACE OF GOD!!! It was by the grace of God that the Apostle Paul was even alive enough to write this letter when he did. It was by God’s grace that they remained still on active duty, opposed to a Heavenly retirement.
“we have had our conversation in the world, and more abundantly to you-ward.”
Were it not by the grace of God, there wouldn’t be that conversation in the world. Nor would there be this conversation about this letter. The Father loves “good conversation.” It’s by him that we’re even able to conduct such a thing that he himself would call good.
The Apostle Peter says something similar to some of the things that we’ve gone over in 2 Corinthians 1:12…
1 Peter 3: King James Bible
As I said, the Father enjoys “Good” Conversation. Peter fills us in a bit of how that happens (in Christ). If you’re not in Christ Jesus, chances are, your conversation wouldn’t be labeled by the Father as “good.”
Psalm 50: King James Bible
23 Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me: and to him that ordereth his conversation aright will I shew the salvation of God.
Philippians 3: King James Bible
20 For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:
That’s it for this (Part 8) of this verse we’ve taken into 2 Corinthians 1. As I’ve said often here on the Supernatural Truth in Christ site, it never ceases to amaze me, just how much can be said about each and every individual verse. It’s no wonder that the Bible is our life long study manual between us and the Creator of all the Universe, and all that rests within.
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I’ll do my best to get to work on part 9 in the days ahead, as the Lord wills. But until then, thanks for checking out:
By the Grace of God – 2 Corinthians 1 Part 8!