2 Corinthians, Chapter 1
© Copyright 2003 Darroll Evans, all rights reserved
It has always seemed odd to me that Paul begins many of his letters declaring himself to be an apostle. It is only in Philippians, 1st and 2nd Thessalonians, and Philemon that Paul does not establish his apostolic authority.
It also seems odd to me that he would include Timothy, and others, in his greeting when we all know that Paul wrote or dictated the letters.
This letter was sent to Christians in the
You will notice that even at wild bunch of Corinthians are called "saints."
There are weak saints and string saints, rich saints and poor saints.
Godís grace is available to all who acknowledge Christ Jesus as Lord.
Jesus was sent to this earth to make saints out of sinners.
Let's discuss Grace. What is it?
According to the standard definition grace is God's unmerited favor. However, grace is far more than favor.
The Bible says that it is by grace that we are saved through faith.
Ephesians 2:8---For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.
Grace is an invaluable gift from God.
The English word "grace" appears only 4 times in the gospels.
Within the four Gospels it is never used in a sentence spoken by Jesus Himself.
The English word "Grace" is used once in Luke and 3 times in John all used to describe Jesus.
The Greek word that is often translated "grace" is used 8 times in Luke and 4 times is the Gospel of John.
The word grace is not found in Matthew or Mark.
By contrast, Paul used "grace" approximately 100 times.
The only time the KJV translators use the English word "grace," as spoken by Jesus, is found in 2 Corinthians 12:9.
Speaking to Paul, Christ said, "My 'grace' is sufficient for thee."
Next, we come to peace. God's peace is not just an absence of open conflict.
God's peace is true serenity.
Serenity is not the exclusive domain of some
guru sitting cross-legged on a mountaintop in
Peace is also far more than serenity.
God's peace is calm in the midst of conflict, and calm in the eye of the life's hurricanes.
Grace and peace walk hand in hand throughout Paul's writings.
They are alive in our day to day experiences.
Grace and Peace appear in tandem throughout Paul's writings.
Without God's grace, peace is impossible.
True peace is not peace with your next door neighbor.
True peace is peace with God.
Peace is available only through the Lord Jesus Christ.
That does not mean that God is the universal spiritual father as in all people.
God is the Creator of all, but presently He is the Father of those who have been inducted into His personal family through faith in Christ Jesus.
Lord (Gr. kurios-kurioV) denotes an owner or proprietor.
According to the Bible, we are His "purchased possession" (Eph. 1:14).
Jesus is referred to as "Lord."
Because of His resurrection He is Lord of all.
If you acknowledge Christ it changes your position, not His.
Regardless of what you think, He is Lord!
Each and every day, God is the Father of mercies, and God of all comfort.
It is God who comforts us when we fall into adversity.
He comforts us so that we may comfort others.
Christ came to earth to learn about afflictions so that he could be empathetic toward us.
Let me tell you a fact.
The sufferings of Christ abound in all His siblings.
When we suffer for Christ, our relief from that suffering is found in Christ.
The comfort found in Christ is infinitely more abundant than our suffering for Him.
Most people do not like to hear the message of "suffering."
Without suffering, we cannot endure.
Enduring is found in Christ.
If we run to Christ, we shall endure.
If we turn from Him we wonít.
All godly suffering is followed by comfort and salvation/deliverance from that which caused us to suffer.
However, all suffering is not for the cause of Christ.
Paulís hope for the Corinthians is that they would be "stedfast" (Gr. bebaia-bebaia), or stable.
We share the sufferings and calamities, and we shall share the comfort and salvation.
Over and over, Paul told the first century Christians that he did not want them to "be ignorant."
The suffering that Paul and the others had
endured in Asia, the area East of the
But, it was not beyond the comfort of Christ.
Prayers were answered when God delivered them from the conflicts.
Is prayer your first or last line of defense?
Rejoicing (Gr. kaucheesis-kauchsiV) speaks of the act of boasting.
How can Christians boast when they are in the midst of turmoil?
Adversity is the best time to boast about what God has done for us.
One of the great Christian lessons may be learned from reading Dr. Seussí How the Grinch stole Christmas.
All the Whos in Whoville were faced with a terrible dilemma.
The only nice thing the Grinch did on Christmas Eve night was to get little Cindy-Lou Who a drink of water while stealing all those presents and trees, and stuffed them up the chimneys.
What was their response?
That sounds as if Paul had visited Whoville before he facing imprisonment (Acts 16:25).
We should sing the praises of God and of His Christ.
Even in the face of suffering, Paul conducted himself in "simplicity" (Gr. aploteeti-aplothti).
When we consistently depend on Christ, Christian living is easy.
While teaching is supposed to challenge, we should never teach above our studentís ability to understand.
Some use difficult language because they trying to impress their students.
Others use difficult language because they think and speak in those terms.
Probably the greatest public speaker of the twentieth century was Winston Churchill.
If you analyze his speeches, you will find a simple, direct speech pattern.
Churchill was great because he used language that people could understand coupled with a magnificent delivery.
Paul wanted more than simple understanding.
His goal was to impart understanding that endured.
5 Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth:
6 And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. (KJV)
Understanding is good only when it lasts and leads the hearer to do the will of God.
Trusting in his mission to impart godly understanding to the Corinthians, Paul intended to go to Corinth.
"Second benefit" (Gr. deuteran charin-deuteran charin), indicates two blessings or graces.
The alternate translation would be, "so that you would be twice blessed."
Paul planned to visit them coming and going. In doing that he could twice bless them (v 16).
Paul did not vary from the plan. We are to stick to the plans God has given us.
When Paul went to
It is my belief that it should read, "purposed in the Spirit."
Romans 8:14 tells us, "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God."
Paul was led by the Spirit to go to
As an ordinary Jewish evangelist, the Roman leaders could ignore him.
As a Roman citizen held in protective custody by Roman soldiers they would be forced to listen to his defense, which was the gospel of Jesus Christ.
God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) is trustworthy, and the words delivered by His servants are also trustworthy.
The phrase "for all" (Gr. osai gar-osai gar) is not the normal "panta" all.
Verse 20 implies that what we say is true "because many" of the promises of God have come to fruition in (Gr. en-en), because of Christ Jesus.
The Greek text indicates a relationship.
Godís promises are ours due to our relationship with Christ.
These verses are a type of benediction.
"Now He that establishes us with you in Christ, and has anointed us, is God.
God has given us His seal of approval, and
has given us the security pledge of the Spirit in our
In the Greek text, the use of the definite article (the) in reference to the Spirit indicates that Paul is referring to the Holy Spirit.
He dwells within all believers.
Verse 23 is a continuation of verse 22, but for this, I have separated them.
The Greek may correctly be translated "moreover" or "but", however I prefer "that being considered."
That is not close to a literal, but the feeling is accurate.
"That being considered, I call God to be
the witness of my soulís intent. I will not come to
"Feel-Good theology" was not Paulís strong point.
If what you want is a 45-minute psychological ego lift, pay a Psychiatrist!
Paul wanted to proclaim Christ.
He did not want to play domination games.
There is a joy that only comes from standing firm in Christ.
In the knowledge of Christ, we can stand firm.