Continuing 2 Corinthians.
We are continuing to look at Paul’s letter to the church in Corinth. I pray that you are encouraged by these chapters.
Read: 2 Corinthians 2-4
1. Longing to encourage (2:1-4). As we just covered chapter one, you and I both know the strong language that Paul used in that letter. There were many issues that Paul had to deal with. Paul had to be forceful in his language, to explain to them the authority by which he spoke. It was painful for him to have to write that letter. At this point, I imagine Paul felt the way I do when I have to discipline my children. Yet Paul did it out of love for them, just the way we discipline our children.
2. Forgive others (2:5-17). In this previous letter, Paul wrote about a man that had taken his father’s wife. Not only was this wrong, but this was also public. The church had allowed this man to continue to live in his sin without confronting him. Paul told them to practice church discipline on him, now it seems that he is repentant. He is longing to be back with his church family, and they do not want to receive him back. We may think, why would they not bring him back? Have we not done the same thing? We may not have kicked someone out, but we sure don’t give people a new chance. We often neglect that aspect and keep them out or at an arms distance.
3. The New Covenant Hope (3). Paul writes in this section, something tremendously deep. We’ve covered it before. Paul tells them of his credentials to proclaim the Gospel, that the Lord had called him, that it was not of his own. That he was to proclaim the New Covenant in Christ. This New Covenant is vastly different than the first. The first was a condemnation. The Law is meant to expose our sin, that it does well. In this Law, there is a glory to great to behold. Now, in the New Covenant, that glory is all the greater! That glory is found in Christ alone.
4. The Great Gospel (4:1-6). This great truth and hope are not veiled. Instead, the god of this world has blinded man to see the truth of the Gospel. They walk in utter darkness, blinded from the light. As believers, we are called to be proclaimers of this great light. Let your light shine in the darkness.
5. Treasure in Jars of Clay (4:7-18). This passage is famous for many Christians. In the ministry of Paul, we see that his ministry is based on the power of God. He has been stoned, afflicted, and many other calamities. In all of this, he continues to point to the Lord Jesus, that it is He that gets Paul to where he is going. It is the Lord that extends his days, it is the Lord that draws him to where he wants him to go. As believers, we must take great hope during these times to know and understand that the Lord is in control. We are here for a reason. You are in the community you are in for a reason. Shine the light of Christ!