INTRODUCTION 2 CORINTHIANS
AUTHOR: St. Paul the Apostle is identified as the author in 1:1, and there is no reason to doubt his authorship...
DATE: Second Corinthians was written the same year as 1 Corinthians (AD 55) from Macedonia, where Titus rejoined Paul with a report about the Corinthian Church...
MAJOR THEME: Reconciliation and communion: This theme is clearly seen in Paul's attempt to be reconciled to the Corinthians church...Other aspects of this theme include:
(1): THE COMMUNION OF SAINTS: The Church is the Body of Christ: a corporate unity of all members in all things-(see especially Chapters 4-6)
(2): APOSTLESHIP AND THE CHURCH: The faith and authority of properly ordained and recognized apostles is essential to the life of the Church: The relationship between the apostles and the laity is a communion of love...
(3): THE UNITY OF THE CHURCH: The collection for Jerusalem-(Chapters 8-9) demonstrates the love and unity between the Gentile and the Judaie elements in the Church-manifested in sacrificial giving...
(4): THE CHURCH AND THE WORLD: Christianity does not renounce and forsake the world, but renews it...
2 CORINTHIANS 1 STUDY GUIDE
GREETING-SHARING SUFFERING, SHARING COMFORT-SHARING IN ADVERSITY BY PRAYER
2 CORINTHIANS 1:1-11
1:3-11: THE SOURCE OF AFFLICTIONS is the sin of humanity: The purpose of afflictions, if we use them properly, may be our comfort and salvation, as the Father Himself preserves us through them-(v. 3): The means of facing our afflictions is a hope in God that allows us to enter into the affliction of others in actual, experiential knowledge: In this case, this means people empathizing with their apostle's trials: The communion of saints, spiritual solidarity, is to begin now in the pains of this life...
1:6: THE GODLY SUFFER, in part, so that having experienced God's comfort they in turn can comfort others...Thus, Paul shows the fallacy in his opponents' idea that Christians should never and should be concerned only with their own salvation...
1:8: WHAT THIS TROUBLE is for Paul is not clear-perhaps a physical malady or persecution: But whatever its nature, it makes him more aware of death and of his dependence on God-(v. 9)-and more appreciative of the fellowship of other Christians and of the power of the Church's corporate prayer-(v. 11):
PAUL'S PURE CONSCIENCE TOWARD CORINTH-PAUL DOES NOT VACILLATE-PAUL IS MERCIFUL
2 CORINTHIANS 1:12-24
1:13: PAUL was accursed by the dissidents/schismatics in Corinth of speaking murkily, indirectly, by allusion and not by clear, direct statement:
1:15: PAUL HAS CHANGED HIS TRAVEL PLANS: (1): IN HIS EARLIER LETTER, he planned to travel to Corinth, passing through Macedonia in northern Greece-(1 Corinthians 16:5-7): (2): WHEN HE FELT COMPELLED to go to Corinth immediately, the sorrowful visit, he planned to visit Corinth twice-(vv. 15, 16); but he actually came only once: (3): IN THE SORROWFUL LETTER (NOW LOST), written after that visit, he stated his plan to travel directly from Ephesus to Corinth: Instead, he traveled up through Macedonia-(2 Corinthians 2:12-13): This was perceived as vacillation by some in Corinth:
1:19: SILVANUS is Silas, Paul's longtime coworker- (Acts 15:40):
1:20: CHRIST IS YES: He affirms and fulfills God-given PROMISES, though His ways may at times seem strange to men: Therefore, the Church may always affirm AMEN TO HIM- which explains the repeated use of that response in liturgical practice:
1:21-22: NOTE AGAIN THE NT ROOTS of Orthodox sacramental life: We are established IN CHRIST -(v. 21) through baptism and are ANOINTED AND SEALED-(v. 22) IN THE SPIRIT through chrismation:
1:23-24: THE REAL REASON for Paul's change in itinerary is graciousness: TO SPARE them a confrontation: The purpose of church discipline is never for the leader to exercise DOMINION or harsh authority; rather it is to call for repentance, reconciliation with the Church, and renewal in the JOY -(v. 24) of the Spirit:
2 CORINTHIANS 2 STUDY GUIDE
RESTORE THE PENITENT OFFENDER-GOD TRIUMPHS IN HIS APOSTLES
2 CORINTHIANS 2:1-17
2:4: TRUE PASTORAL CORRECTION brings both agony for the overseer-AFFLICTION, ANGUISH OF HEART, MANY TEARS- and abundant LOVE to the one being disciplined- (see- Hebrews 12:5, 6, 11):
2:5-11: CHURCH DISCIPLINE must not BE TO SEVERE; that is, it must not go farther than the sin: And not to FORGIVE AND COMFORT-(v. 7) the one who repents is itself a sin: undue separation from the Church through excessive and prolonged discipline increases tension- (too much sorrow-v. 7) and even division: This pleases SATAN-(v. 11), the author of strife and discord; it does not please God...
2:14-17: OUR TRIUMPH IN CHRIST-(v. 14), taken in an ancient Roman context, suggests a magnificent picture of unwilling captive soldiers paraded before the victorious commander's chariot while fragrant flowers are strewn along the way in celebration: The victor is Christ; the captives are the powers of darkness; His FRAGRANCE-(v. 15) is the apostolic ministry, especially its preaching-(v. 17) : Christians are the winning force who triumph through the hearing of THE WORD OF GOD-(v. 17) and lead the great procession of thanksgiving LEADING TO LIFE-(v. 16):
PSALM 25 (26) STUDY GUIDE & BREAKDOWN
PSALM 25 (26)
PSALM 25 (26): IS A PRIESTLY INTERCESSION of Jesus Christ to the Father at the heavenly ALTAR-(v. 6; see also Hebrews 7:25) on behalf of His CHURCHES-(v. 12): And since this Priest is innocent-(Hebrews 7:26), He intercedes on behalf of His Churches, so they, too, will be innocent through God's merciful redemption-(v. 11), as they worship around His altar-(vv. 1-11):
The name of the Lord is of great strength, And when the righteous run to it, they are exalted...
-The righteous are trained by the Wisdom of the Lord, and to run to THE NAME OF THE LORD, for example, by praying, "Lord, have mercy..." The righteous focus on His name and find GREAT STRENGTH there...