2 Corinthians 1
Our Father God is the God of all comfort
1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, to the church of God which is at Corinth, with all the saints who are in all Achaia: 2 Grace be to you and peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. 3 Blessed is God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; 4 Who comforts us in all our trouble, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, by the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 5 Because the sufferings of Christ abound in us, therefore our consolation also abounded by Christ. 6 And whether we are afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effective in enduring the same sufferings that we also suffer: or whether we are comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation. 7 And our confidence regarding you is steadfast, knowing, that as you are partakers of the sufferings, so you will also be partakers of the consolation. 8 For we would not have you ignorant, brothers, of our trouble that came to us in Asia, that we were pressed down so much beyond our strength that we even despaired of living: 9 But we had the sentence of death in ourselves so that we would not trust in ourselves, but in God who raises the dead.
- This verse explains one reason why God gave man the death sentence at the fall— so that man would learn not to trust himself.
- Man didn’t make himself. Man cannot sustain himself. Man should not trust himself but rather God who made him, God who raises the dead.
He has delivered us from all death
Our good behavior in this world is by the grace of God
10 Who delivered us from so great a death, and does deliver: in whom we trust that he will still deliver us; 11 You also helping together by prayer for us, for the gift bestowed on us by many persons so that thanks may be given by many on our behalf. 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 behavior in the world, and more abundantly toward you.
- The offerings given to Paul from many people so that he could preach and teach God’s word, starting churches throughout the world, resulted in the thanks from those people to God. God has freed us from the fear of death.
- Psalm 23:4 Yes, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for you are with me
- John 10:28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they will never perish, neither will any man pluck them out of my hand.
13 For we write no other things to you than what you read or acknowledge; and I trust you will acknowledge even to the end; 14 As also you have acknowledged us in part, that we are your rejoicing, even as you also are ours in the day of the Lord Jesus. 15 And in this confidence I intended to come to you first so that you might have a second benefit; 16 And to pass by you into Macedonia, and to come again out of Macedonia to you, and by you to be brought on my way toward Judea. 17 When planning this did I use lightness? Or did I plan this according to the flesh, that with me there would be yes yes, and no, no? 18 But as God is true, our word toward you was not yes and no.
The Son of God is always yes to us by the glory of God
19 For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us, by me and Silvanus and Timothy, was not yes and no, but in him was yes. 20 For all the promises of God in him are yes, and in him Amen, to the glory of God by us.
- Romans 8:37 in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
Our heavenly Father establishes us in Christ and anoints us
He seals us and gives us His Holy Spirit
21 Now he that establishes us with you in Christ, and has anointed us, is God;
22 Who has also sealed us, and given the pledge/down payment of the Spirit in our hearts. 23 But I call God to witness on my soul, that to spare you, I did not come again to Corinth. 24 Not that we lord it over your faith, but are helpers of your joy: for by faith you stand.
- He makes us helpers of other peoples joy.
- 1John 5:4 and this is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith.
- Romans 10:17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
- Psalm 16:11 In your presence is fullness of joy…
2 Corinthians 2
The Lord opens doors for us
He causes us to always triumph in Christ
1 But I determined this for my own sake, that I would not come to you again in heaviness. 2 For if I make you sorry, who will make me glad, the same ones I make sorry? 3 And I wrote this same thing to you, so that when I came I would not have sorrow from those who ought to make me rejoice; having confidence in you all, that my joy is your joy. 4 For out of much affliction and anguish of heart I wrote to you with many tears; not to grieve you, but so that you might know the abundant love that I have toward you. 5 But if anyone has caused grief, he has not grieved me, but in part: that I not say too much to all of you. 6 Sufficient to such a man is this punishment that was inflicted by the majority.
- In 1 Corinthians Paul told them to shun the person who was having sex with his father’s wife. They did what Paul instructed and the man repented.
7 So that on the contrary you ought rather to forgive him, and comfort him, so that he not be swallowed up with much sorrow. 8 So I urge you to confirm your love toward him. 9 For to this end also I wrote, that I might test you, whether you are obedient in all things. 10 To whom you forgive anything, I also forgive: for if I forgave anything, to whom I forgave it, for your sakes I forgave it in the person of Christ; 11 so that Satan not get an advantage over us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.
- Paul reminded them of Satan’s trap of unforgiveness.
The fragrance of the knowledge of the Lord is sweet
12 Now when I came to Troas to preach Christ’s gospel, and a door was opened to me by the Lord, 13 I had no rest in my spirit, because I did not find Titus my brother: but saying farewell to them, I went from there to Macedonia. 14 Now thanks be to God, who always causes us to triumph in Christ, and reveals through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of him in every place. 15 For we are a sweet fragrance of Christ to God, in those that are saved, and in those that perish: 16 to the one we are the aroma of death unto death; and to the other the aroma of life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things? 17 For we are not as many, who corrupt/hawk/peddle the word of God: but sincerely, by God, in the sight of God we speak in Christ.
- Dead things stink bad, new living things smell wonderful!
- Song of Solomon 5:16 His mouth is most sweet: yes, he is altogether lovely. This is my beloved, and this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem.
- Revelation 3:8 I know your works: behold, I have set before you an open door, and no man can shut it: for you have a little strength, and have kept my word, and have not denied my name.
2 Corinthians 3
God is our sufficiency
1 Do we begin to commend ourselves? Or as some others, do we need letters of commendation to you, or letters of commendation from you? 2 You are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read by all men: 3 For you are shown to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshly tables of the heart. 4 And through Christ we have such trust toward God: 5 not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything is of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God.
- 2Corinthians 12:9 And he said to me, My grace is sufficient for you: for my strength is made perfect in weakness…
The Spirit gives life
6 Who also has made us able ministers of the new covenant; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. 7 But if the ministry of death, written and carved in stones was glorious so that the children of Israel could not steadfastly look at the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was fading: 8 How much rather will the ministration of the Spirit be glorious?
- When Moses went up Mt. Sinai to speak with God his face began glow like this glory of God glows (Ezekiel 1:26-28).
- Christ removed the separation between God and man.
- ‘Ministration’ means aid or assistance. Think of it!
We have the very Holy Spirit who brooded over the waters at creation who never leaves us.
- Hebrews 13:6 So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man will do to me.
As we behold His glory we are changed into His image
He is liberty
9 For if the ministration of condemnation is glory, much more the ministration of righteousness exceeds in glory. 10 For indeed what had glory has no glory in this case, because of the glory that excels. 11 For if that which fades away was glorious, much more that which remains is glorious. 12 Since we have such hope, we use great boldness in our speech: 13 And not as Moses, who put a veil over his face, so that the children of Israel could not steadfastly look to the end of what was fading: 14 but their minds were blinded: for until this day the same veil remains unlifted in the reading of the old testament; which veil is removed in Christ. 15 But even to this day, when Moses is read, the veil is on their heart. 16 But when a person turns to the Lord, the veil is lifted. 17 Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 18 But we all, with open face beholding the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.
2 Corinthians 4
His mercy keeps our hearts strong
He is glorious good news
1 Since we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we do not faint/lose heart; 2 But have renounced the hidden things of shame, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by showing the truth we commend ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. 3 But if our gospel is hid, it is hid to those that are lost: 4 In whom the god of this world has blinded the minds of those that do not believe, lest the light of the glorious good news of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. 5 For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake.
The Lord is in us and gives us the excellency of His power
6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, is he who has shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. 7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.
- Excellency: Infinite and eternal knowledge, power, righteousness, goodness, and love visually described in Ezekiel 1:26-28.
- God’s power is so vast that He spoke creation into being.
- Psalm 33:6 By the word of the LORD the heavens were made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth. 9 For he spoke, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast.
The life of Jesus shines in our bodies
He will raise us up
8 We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; 10 always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, so that the life of Jesus might also shine in our body. 11 For we who live are always delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus might also shine in our mortal flesh. 12 So then death works in us, and life in you. 13 But having the same spirit of faith, as it is written, I believed and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak; 14 knowing that he who raised up the Lord Jesus will raise us up also by Jesus, and will present us with you. 15 For all things are for your sakes, that the super abounding grace may be made to abound through the thanksgiving of the greater number to the glory of God. 16 For this reason we do not faint; but though our outward man perishes, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. 17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, works for us an exceedingly excellent eternal weight of glory; 18 while we do not look at the things that are seen, but at the things that are not seen: for the things that are seen are temporal; but the things that are not seen are eternal.
- The troubles we have cause us to be filled us up with more of His glory which will last forever.
- Romans 8:18 For I conclude that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that will be revealed in us.
SUMMARY: 2 Corinthians 1-4
- Our Father God is the God of all comfort
- He has delivered us from all death
- Our good behavior in this world is by the grace of God
- The Son of God is always yes to us by the glory of God
- Our heavenly Father establishes us in Christ and anoints us
- He seals us and gives us His Holy Spirit
- The Lord opens doors for us
- He causes us to always triumph in Christ
- The fragrance of the knowledge of the Lord is sweet
- God is our sufficiency
- The Spirit gives life
- As we behold His glory we are changed into His image
- He is liberty
- His mercy keeps our hearts strong
- He is glorious good news
- The Lord is in us and gives us the excellency of His power
- The life of Jesus shines in our bodies
- He will raise us up