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Come, Follow Me: 2 Corinthians 1-7

This is one of a series of reviews from a Christian perspective on the weekly lessons found in the Come, Follow Me (New Testament, 2023) for Individuals and Families published by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. To find the index of these reviews, visit here.

Bold face type in this article comes from the Church’s curriculum. (Note: Not every sentence is being reviewed.

September 11-17

2 Corinthians 1-7

Ideas for Personal Scripture Study

2 Corinthians 5:14–21

Through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, I can be reconciled to God.

As much as anyone, Paul knew what it was like to become “a new creature” (2 Corinthians 5:17). He went from being a persecutor of the Christians to a fearless defender of Christ. As you read 2 Corinthians 5:14–21, think about questions like these: What does it mean to reconcile? What does it mean to be reconciled to God? Ponder what might be separating you from God. What do you need to do to be more completely reconciled with Him? How does the Savior make that possible?

Before I write about these verses, I want to address the fact that complete sections of this week’s chapters are ignored–this happens regularly in this series because they are trying to cover too much of a book in one sitting. In this case, half of 2 Corinthians is being covered.! (I have talked about this before and don’t want to beat the proverbial dead horse. But it’s true!)

Second Corinthians 4 is completely ignored in the lesson. In verse 2, Paul says that he does not lose heart but rather he “renounced secret and shameful ways,” not using “deception, nor do we distort the word of God.”

When I think about distorting the Word of God, I think about how Mormonism has done this to millions of people. The religion’s missionaries advertise their most important scripture as “another testament of Jesus Christ,” claiming that it has “the nourishing power to heal starving spirits of the world.” Yet this “another testament” is nothing less than “another gospel”–certainly not the one described throughout the pages of the Bible.

The passage in 2 Corinthians 4 continues by saying that the gospel is “veiled to those who are perishing.” In the previous book, the apostle Paul wrote how “the man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishnes to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Cor. 2:14). And this is the frustrating thing for me as an Evangelical Christian, because when I try to share biblical truth with many Latter-day Saints, it often seems like the message I try to deliver blows on by the other person who is not capable of understanding the words of truth.

So why is this? Paul explains in verse 4: “The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel. . .” So, as Paul writes later in verse 16, “we do not lose heart.” Instead, we “fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen” (v. 8). He then ends the chapter this way: “For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”

I point out this passage because not only is it completely skipped over by the writers of this lesson but also what is written here seem to really apply. If God allows Satan to blind the mind of unbelievers, then we must realize that this is not a battle against flesh and blood (humans), but against spirits and principalities that are not seen (Eph. 6:12). We must be onguard and wary, for our opponent is not a pushover and will hide while making our lives miesrable.

As far as the questions asked in the section concerning 2 Corinthians 5, a section that my Bible titles “the ministry of reconciliation,” it talks about how we become reconciled to God. Jesus died on the behalf of His people so, as verse 15 puts it, “those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.” As Romans 3:28 puts it, while we (believers in the context) were still sinners, Christ died for us. By receiving Jesus, verse 17 says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”

How is this possible? Verse 18 says that God “reconciled to us to himself through Christ” and did not “count men’s sins against them.” Thus, as Paul concludes in the chapter, people need to “be reconciled to God.” Verse 21 sums it up so beautifully: “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”

We therefore do not become the righteousness of God through abstaining from sin. Instead, God made Jesus (who had no sin) to die on the cross and make us the righteousness of God. In other words, Jesus imputed His righteousness into me as a believer even though I did nothing to deserve that righteousness. Mormonism gets it backwards–the proveribal cartis before the hore–and thus nobody can accomplish all that is required through one’s righeteous effort. It is why Mormonism should be considered “another gospel” contrary to what the New Testament is talking about.

Ideas for Family Scripture Study and Home Evening

2 Corinthians 5:6–7.

What does it mean to “walk by faith, not by sight”? What are we doing to show that we believe in the Savior even though we can’t see Him?

In context, verse 6 says that “as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord.” It is necessary to depend on God while being satisfied in not having all the answers (i.e., why do bad things happen in my life? why did God allow for that? etc.).

While it is true that we walk by faith and not by sight, we must realize that our faith is based on the evidence we have, from the resurrection of Jesus (1 Cor. 15:1-5) to the reasons why the existence of God makes logical sense (Ps. 19:1-6). Christianity is not a leap into the dark but a leap into the light. We must have faith while understanding that we cannot empirically prove that Christianity is true. At the same time, however, we can say, as Hebrews 11:1 points out, “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”

2 Corinthians 5:17.

Can your family think of or find examples in nature of things that go through remarkable transformations and become new creatures? (see the picture at the end of this outline). How can the gospel of Jesus Christ change us?

For biblical Christians, the moment of becoming a new creation happens at rebirth (belief). All sins are forgiven and there is assurance of salvation (1 John 5:13). For the Mormon, there is no “new creation” until all of the commandments are perfectly kept. How often? Why, all of the time, of course. And still there is no assurance for full forgiveness of sins.

2 Corinthians 6:14–18.

How can we follow Paul’s counsel to “come out from among [the unrighteous], and be ye separate,” while also loving those around us?

This passage is not talking about cutting off relationships with nonbelievers. Rather, it’s about not being “yoked together.” This is why Christians cannot (or should not):

  • Join ecumenical groups with those who belong to other faiths while pretending that there are no differences–this is dishonest and confusing to everyone
  • Get married to someone outside the Christian faith
  • Join in a business relationship with a nonbeliever

This doesn’t mean we can’t be friends with unbelievers. After all, Christians are commanded to be salt and light to the world around them.


The Gospel of Jesus Christ is something that cannot be understood by an individual unless God has called that particular individual. Salvation can only become efficacous if God reconciles the believer to Himself. It’s not something that we figure out on our own. We are not to take this lightly. It’s important business and is not something to be trifled with.

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