2 Corinthians

SECOND CORINTHIANS. The majority of the church had repented, but a minority still opposed Paul (10:1-18) and false teachers had infiltrated the church (11:1-15). So he writes to vindicate his apostleship against the charges of false teachers; to restore unity; to set forth the superiority of grace over law; to complete the collection for the saints of Judea; and to announce his upcoming third visit to Corinth so they “mend their ways” before his arrival.

This letter exposes Paul’s heart opened wide (for one example, read 2 Corinthians 7:2-16). Broken constructions, mixed metaphors, rapid shift in content, and a wise variety of emotions show that it was written at a time of mental agitation and excitement. Since emotions are not concerned with logical order, it is not surprising that this is the least systematic of all Paul’s writings. It is the most autobiographical and personal letter of the NT.

Second Corinthians: A Wide Open Heart

Writer: Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus, 2 Corinthians 1:1; 10:8; 12:11-13; 13:10

Secretary: Timothy, our brother, 1:1

Purpose: To vindicate Paul’s apostleship against the charges of false teachers; to restore unity; to set forth the superiority of grace over law; to complete the collection for the saints of Judea; and to announce Paul’s upcoming third visit to Corinth so they “mend their ways” before his arrival. In this letter, Paul opens his heart to the Corinthians.

Addressee: To the church of God in Corinth, together with all the saints throughout Achaia, 1:1

Date and Place Written: September or October of A.D. 56 from Macedonia, possibly from the city of Philippi, 1:23; 7:5-7.

Occasion: Titus gives to Paul a generally favorable report. A majority of the church had repented when they received First Corinthians (2:6-7; 7:5-7). A minority opposes Paul (10:1-18) and false teachers have infiltrated the Church (11:1-15).

Key Verses: 2 Corinthians 6:13; 13:3; 4:5; 5:17, 20-21; 9:15; 12:9

Key Chapters: 2 Corinthians 5; 8-9; 11-12

Key Phrases: Lord Jesus (7 times)

Key Words: Christ (48 times ); Heart/s (17); Comfort/s or Encourage/ment (16); Glory (14); Gospel (9); Ministry/ers/ies (9); Thank/s/giving (7); Sorrow (7); Gift (6); Suffering/s (5)

Themes:

A. Thematic Theme:
Defense and Vindication of Paul’s Ministry (2 Corinthians 13:3) —> The nature of a genuine ministry for the Lord Jesus Christ —> Theology in Action

B. Primary Themes:
1. Sufferings of Christ in the Christian’s Life, 2 Corinthians 1:3-11; 6:3-13; 11:16-12:21
2. Comfort in the Midst of Suffering, 1:3-7; 2:7; 7:4-7; 7:13
3. Strength in the Midst of Suffering, 12:9 sums up chapters 10-13
4. Principles of Grace Giving, 8:1-9:15 —> “open your hearts wide”

C. Subordinate Themes:
1. The Nature of Christian Ministry (2 Corinthians 2:12-6:13 —> Reconciliation
2. The Contrast between the Two Covenants, 3:6-18
3. The Blindness of the World to the Glory of the Gospel, 4:3-6
4. The Hope of the Beyond and Judgment Seat of Christ, 5:1-11
5. The Nature of the World and the Believer’s Duty to separate from it, 6:14-7:1
6. The Person and Work of Satan, 2:10-11; 4:3-4; 11:3, 14-15; 12:7-9
7. The Work of God:
a. Comforts, 2 Corinthians 1:3-4; 7:6
b. Delivers, 1:10
c. Establishes, 1:21-22
d. Gives Victory, 2:14
e. Enables, 3:6)
f. Enlightens, 4:6
g. Empowers, 4:7
h. Resurrects, 4:14
i. Prepares, 5:5
j. Reconciles, 5:18
k. Appeals, 5:20
l. Receives as a Father, 6:17-18

Style: Broken constructions, mixed metaphors, rapid shift in content, and a wide variety of emotions show that it was written at a time of mental agitation and excitement. Since emotions are not concerned with logical order, it is not surprising that this is the least systematic of all Paul’s writings. It is the most autobiographical and personal letter of the NT.

The Outline:

A. Paul’s Actions: Conduct and Ministry, 1-7
B. Paul’s Appeal: Collection for the Poor Saints of Judea, 8-9
C. Paul’s Authority: Condemnation of His Enemies and their Followers, 10-13

The structure of Second Corinthians:

2corstructure

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