Paul s second letter to the Corinthians is the fourth letter from Phillipi. Paul gives more of his personal history and his own feelings in his letter. Problems with worldliness,,internal wranglings and doctrinal defections continue to fester in spite of Paul s efforts in the first epistle. Opposition to Paul s ministry continue to mount,especially coming from the party associated with “Christ” the leader of this group was especially hostile towards Paul. He was accused of fickleness,authoritarianism,ministering without proper credentials, cowardice, failure to maintain proper clerical dignity,presumption and flashiness. Likewise Paul says a few things to say about his accusers that they corrupted the word,they were deceptive,, they were Jews masquerading as ministers of Christ.,they were domineering, they were bold, they lacked the spiritual courage to step out and start their own ministry. Thus it was no wonder that Apostle Paul was seriously concerned about the spiritual well being of the church at Corinth. In light of their problems, Paul wrote II Corinthians in order 1. To explain his sufferings in Asia. 2. to justify himself in his change of plan to return to Corinth 3. To instruct them in the treatment of the offender 4. To express his joy at the good news of their progress. 5. To bring about their full reconciliation with himself 6. To urge the Corinthians to participate in the collection for the church of Jerusalem. 7. To establish his authority as an apostle. The central message is “Comfort of God Through Christ” 1:3.3:11;
Chapter 1-7 : The comfort of God. Paul s suffering in Ephesus were serious and thier life were in danger.”we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves but in God” 1:9; The words comfort and consolation is used 10 times in first five verses.. It is the same word that is used for the Holy Spirit – “The comforter.” Paul used his own suffering as a testimony that God sustains and comforts so that he may comfort others v 8-14. His desire and plan was to go to Corinth but God changed his plan. the Holy Spirit Establishes the believer,anoints,seals and the Holy Spirit is the earnest = pledge of more to come V:21,22.. In Chapter 2: reference to sinning In I Cor : he said to put them out until repent, now once they repent forgive and restore them to the congregation, and refusal to forgive would give Satan an advantage. Chapter 3,4 we see the new covenant verses the old.. the old of the law or letter. The new of the Spirit in “freshly tables of the heart”; The old killeth and the new giveth; the old was of condemnation and the new of righteousness. The old done away .was Glorious, the new is Glorious and remaineth. The old was the face of Moses, the new shines from the face of Jesus Christ 3:13. The symbol of old covenant was a veil, The new is a mirror. We are made to reflect the mirrors to reflect the Glory of our Lord 4:3-6. The comfort we should find in 4:7-10; we are but clay vessels and the vessels must be broken for the light to shine out. “the power may be of God,and not of us” We are troubled – but not in despair;we are persecuted- but not forsaken; we are cast down – but not destroyed. Our outward man perish- the inward man is renewed. What comfort! Suffering in this life for Christ ‘worketh an eternal weight of glory. V 16-18.
In Chapter 5 : Physical death means the departure from the body(tabernacle). the bodies we have are temporary and they suffer. death means that we leave these bodies and are immediately in the presence of the Lord. The believers appear before the judgement seat of Christ to receive rewards- or no reward. Salvation was settled at the time of our accepting Christ. This is not the judgement of sin but of works done of Christ. The five crowns of reward elsewhere.. The aim of Paul s ministry is to reconcile men to God. In Chapter 6; you will find Paul s 18 trying experience of suffering. then he lists 9 contrasts covering all of life.and the personal appeal to the Christians to be separated from the world. In Chapter 7-8 The comfort of God in the heart of Paul is found.V:4,6,7,13..
Chapter 8-9 : Christian Giving. These to chapters give the the detail for Christian giving.. Giving is a grace,God wants us before gifts, Principles of Christian giving- not rules; We should give proportionately,bountifully,and cheerfully. Also in Luke 6:38 and Romans 12:8.
Chapter 10- 13: Paul s defense of his Apostleship : In this section Paul is forced to answer in reference to his apostleship. Paul s boasting was in the Lord and not for his own edification 10:8; Paul s defense in chapter 11 is very personal. He paid his own way. His life is given in graffic detail in 11:16-33; and later for our self examination,. In Chapter 12: 1-10 We see the inner life of the Great Champion of Faith. Paul says in V 2-7; -” about 14 years ago– caught up to the third heaven,- heard unspeakable words- less I should be exalted. through revelations there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me,” Just think that Paul has not mentioned this for 14 years. 3 times he had pleaded with the Lord that the “thorn” be removed but god had a better plan V 12:9. Paul gladly “glorified in the infirmities that the power of Christ may rest upon me”
Finally in chapter 13: ” Examine yourselves, whether ye be in faith,prove your own selves,. Paul concludes this letter where he began -:The comfort of God” then the beautiful benediction which is so familiar doctrine of Trinity.. V 14. ” The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost,be with you all. Amen”