Studies In The Book Of II Corinthians
(II Corinthians 1:1-12)
1. What can we learn from the first verse of this epistle?
“Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, unto the church of God which is at Corinth, with all the saints which are in all Achaia” (II Corinthians 1:1).
Š Paul is an apostle (I Corinthians 9:1-2, II Corinthians 11:5, I Timothy 2:7, and Titus 1:1).
Š His apostleship is by the will of God (Romans 1:1, I Corinthians 1:1, Galatians 1:1, Ephesians 1:1, I Timothy 1:1, and II Timothy 1:1).
Š Timothy is with him at the writing of this epistle (Colossians 1:1 and I Thessalonians 1:1).
Š Timothy is a brother in Christ (Acts 16:1-5, Philemon 1:1, and Hebrews 13:23).
Š He is writing to the church of our Lord in Corinth (Matthew 16:18, Romans 16:16, and Ephesians 5:23). The “church of God” is the same as the “church of Christ” in that the member of the godhead who purchased the church with His blood was Christ (Acts 20:28; cf. Ephesians 5:25).
Š He is also addressing other saints in the area of Achaia (Acts 19:21, Romans 15:26, and Romans 16:5). Corinth is a city, while Achaia appears to be a region (Acts 18:8-12 and II Corinthians 11:10).
2. From whom did Paul extend grace and peace to the church in Corinth?
God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ: “Grace be to you and peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ” (II Corinthians 1:2).
Š Common for Paul to write this (Romans 1:7, Romans 16:20, I Corinthians 1:3, Galatians 1:3, Ephesians 1:2, etc.).
Š Paul was not the only one to write like that (I Peter 1:2, II Peter 1:2, and II John 3).
Š Grace is from God (Psalms 84:11 and Romans 5:15).
Š Peace does not come from the world (John 16:33), but from God (Philippians 4:7 and Colossians 3:15).
3. To whom did Paul give credit for being his comforter in times of trouble?
God the Father: “(3) Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; (4) Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God” (II Corinthians 1:3-4).
Š Mercy is from God (Psalms 86:5; 15 and Ephesians 2:4).
Š God provides comfort (Isaiah 51:11-12).
Š One way in which God provided comfort was by sending the Holy Ghost in the first century, during the temporary time of spiritual gifts (John 14:16-17).
Š God’s providing of comfort does not need to be a direct action (II Corinthians 7:6-7; cf. Colossians 4:11 and I Thessalonians 5:11).
4. Were the lives of Timothy and Paul easy, without any suffering?
No: “For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ” (II Corinthians 1:5).
Š Matthew 5:10-12, Acts 9:10-16, II Corinthians 11:23-30, Philippians 3:8-10, II Timothy 3:12, and I Peter 4:1-2.
5. For what reasons was Paul willing to be afflicted and face sufferings?
For their consolation [comfort] and salvation: “And whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer: or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation” (II Corinthians 1:6).
Š Paul was not only willing to suffer for Christ, but for brethren too (II Corinthians 4:15, Colossians 1:24, and II Timothy 2:9-10).
6. Did the Christians in Corinth face any sufferings?
Yes: “And our hope of you is stedfast, knowing, that as ye are partakers of the sufferings, so shall ye be also of the consolation” (II Corinthians 1:7).
Š As already discussed [question #4], all faithful Christians will suffer to some degree for the faith.
Š Yet, the comfort and reward are shared too (Romans 8:17-18).
7. What caused Paul and Timothy to be reminded not to trust in themselves?
God’s deliverance from what they faced in Asia: “(8) For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life: (9) But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead: (10) Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us” (II Corinthians 1:8-10).
Š Psalms 44:5-7, Proverbs 28:26, Jeremiah 9:23-24, and II Corinthians 12:7-10.
8. How did the church in Corinth help Paul?
They prayed for him: “Ye also helping together by prayer for us, that for the gift bestowed upon us by the means of many persons thanks may be given by many on our behalf” (II Corinthians 1:11).
Š In times of miracles, prayers were effective in deliverance from physical persecution (Romans 15:30-32).
9. Did Paul trust in fleshly wisdom?
No: “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” (II Corinthians 1:12).
Š I Corinthians 2:1-5, I Corinthians 2:13, II Corinthians 10:2-4, and Philippians 3:3-7.
Š Simplicity (II Corinthians 11:3).
Š Godly sincerity (II Corinthians 2:17, Ephesians 6:24, and Titus 2:7).
Š Conscience that can be rejoiced in (Acts 24:16, I Timothy 1:5, I Timothy 1:19, and I Peter 3:14-16).
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