2 Corinthians Chapter 1

May 3, 2012

This Preaching in Shorts Bible study is on 2 Corinthians. Each chapter is read verse by verse with the major points highlighted and discussed.

You can listen to the study by clicking here

2 Corinthians 1:1-24 (NIV)
1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, To the church of God in Corinth, together with all the saints throughout Achaia: 2 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. 5 For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows. 6 If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. 7 And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort. 8 We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about the hardships we suffered in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life. 9 Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. 10 He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, 11 as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many. 12 Now this is our boast: Our conscience testifies that we have conducted ourselves in the world, and especially in our relations with you, in the holiness and sincerity that are from God. We have done so not according to worldly wisdom but according to God’s grace. 13 For we do not write you anything you cannot read or understand. And I hope that, 14 as you have understood us in part, you will come to understand fully that you can boast of us just as we will boast of you in the day of the Lord Jesus. 15 Because I was confident of this, I planned to visit you first so that you might benefit twice. 16 I planned to visit you on my way to Macedonia and to come back to you from Macedonia, and then to have you send me on my way to Judea. 17 When I planned this, did I do it lightly? Or do I make my plans in a worldly manner so that in the same breath I say, “Yes, yes” and “No, no”? 18 But as surely as God is faithful, our message to you is not “Yes” and “No.” 19 For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by me and Silas and Timothy, was not “Yes” and “No,” but in him it has always been “Yes.” 20 For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God. 21 Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, 22 set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come. 23 I call God as my witness that it was in order to spare you that I did not return to Corinth. 24 Not that we lord it over your faith, but we work with you for your joy, because it is by faith you stand firm.

2 Corinthians 1:1-2

Paul is in Macedonia as he writes 2 Corinthians. He sends this letter ahead in preparation of his third visit to Corinth.

2 Corinthians 1:3-11

In these verses Paul writes about the troubles that we all face just in living in a fallen world on a broken planet. He then reminds us that God is with us and comforts us as we go through the hard things in life.

Troubles, pressures, distresses, hardships, are mentioned nine times by Paul in 2 Corinthians. It is in these troubles, that our perspective changes from the temporary to the eternal. This is not as good as it gets. Something better is waiting for us as believers. It is, however, the best life available until then.

Paul reminds us that God is the source of our comfort. Paul uses three titles to help us remember who God is. He is the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion, and the God of all comfort.

Paul also tells us that this comfort is not just for us, it is to be used for others as well. Just as we discussed with the spiritual gifts, the comfort of God that comes to us, is supposed to flow from us to others.

2 Corinthians 1:12-24

Paul feels that he needs to explain why he had changed his itinerary with regards to visiting Corinth. Apparently his opponents in Corinth were implying that Paul’s changing plans were a sign that he was unreliable. If he can’t stick to his plans, then you also can’t trust what he says.

Paul then makes it clear that the reason he didn’t come was out of consideration for the Corinthians, to spare them from the disciplinary action that he would have had to bring. He was giving them time to deal with the problems they had before he got there. Even though Paul had tremendous authority as an apostle, he did not want to lord it over them. Paul was reluctant to yield his authority as a way to get the Corinthians to come into compliance with the truth. That type of dictatorial wielding of power is what is used by the false apostles and the kingdom they serve. This was not the way of Christ and His kingdom.

Luke 22:25-27 (NIV)
25 Jesus said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who exercise authority over them call themselves Benefactors. 26 But you are not to be like that. Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves. 27 For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who is at the table? But I am among you as one who serves.

Paul reminds the Corinthians that they were fellow workers with Him, he did not work against them or over them.

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