2 Corinthians 1-4

Summary

2 Corinthians chapter 1, Paul salutes the Corinthians; he encourages them against troubles, by the comforts and deliverances which God had given him, as in all his afflictions, so particularly in his late danger in Asia. And calling both his own conscience and theirs to witness of his sincere manner of preaching the immutable truth of the gospel, he excuses his not coming to them, as proceeding not of lightness, but of his lenity towards them.

2 Corinthians chapter 2, Having shown the reason why he came not to them, he requires them to forgive and to comfort that excommunicated person, even as himself also upon his true repentance had forgiven him; declaring withal why he departed from Troas to Macedonia, and the happy success which God gave to his preaching in all places.

2 Corinthians chapter 3, Lest their false teachers should charge him with vain glory, he shows the faith and graces of the Corinthians to be a sufficient commendation of his ministry.Whereupon entering a comparison between the ministers of the law and of the gospel, he proves that his ministry is so far the more excellent, as the gospel of life and liberty is more glorious than the law of condemnation.

2 Corinthians chapter 4, He declares how he has used all sincerity and faithful diligence in preaching the gospel, and how the troubles and persecutions which he daily endured for the same did redound to the praise of God’s power, to the benefit of the church, and to the apostle’s own eternal glory.

Insights and Prayers

  • God allows trouble in our lives to keep us dependent on Him. Those who disobey God’s principles of life and reject Him personally, usually have difficult lives, because rejection of God has its own consequences. So trouble is the centripetal force that draws us to God.
  • Lord, when trouble comes I need You to get me out of trouble, or at least I need You to help me endure trouble and get through it. Give me wisdom to solve my problems, and help me when I don’t realize You’re helping me. Then, Lord, keep me from future trouble and evil. Amen.
  • We should forgive those who sin, and those who sin against us, because
    • (1) we are commanded to do so;
    • (2) our prayers will be answered;
    • (3) they will heal and grow in Christ (Matt. 6:12);
    • (4) this will be a testimony to the world; and
    • (5) it is for our own good (Mark 11:25-26).
  • Lord, teach me to forgive others as You forgave me. Keep that bitter spirit of revenge and anger from me. Teach me to love those whom I don’t love. Amen.
  • Lord, thank You for every victory I enjoy. Every triumph I have comes from You who were victorious over the ultimate enemy of death. Amen.
  • Lord, my life is an open book for all to read. Forgive me my sins and mistakes, and may I and others learn from them. Use the victories You’ve accomplished through me as a testimony to others. Amen.
  • Lord, I rest in the comfort of Your forgiveness. Your grace is glorious. But teach me more about Yourself, and help me grow to enjoy more glorious grace. Amen.
  • Lord, I want to live in liberty given by the Spirit of God. Forgive my legalism, which is bondage to the law. Forgive my rebellion, which is bondage to sin and self. Give me freedom to follow Your Spirit. Amen.
  • Lord, there are difficulties in the church and in the world, but I will not give up. There are trials and temptations, but they only make me try harder. I get frustrated with the things I can’t do, and I get tired; but I will not give up. Amen.

Sources

  • Bible Summary – Adapted from The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge by R. A. Torrey
  • Insights and Prayers – Adapted from The Prayer Bible
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