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2 Corinthians

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The Pain of Gospel Ministry

2 Corinthians 11:27-29

Paul experienced physical, mental, emotional and spiritual exhaustion.  In this rare personal insight into his heart we get some flavour of his passion for serving Jesus Christ despite the huge personal cost.  The apostle was fully convinced that the gospel must be proclaimed: he knew that announcing God’s grace in Christ and calling people to repentance is God’s powerful way to bring sinners to salvation.  Therefore, Paul was willing to give everything and endure much for the sake of the gospel (1 Corinthians 9:23).  He encountered spiritual opposition from religionists and pagans who did

Human Weakness Is No Obstacle to Christ's Power

2 Corinthians 11:30-33

False teachers in Corinth boasted of their skills and power.  Paul, who rarely showed his personal reactions to hostility, admitted that the only thing he could boast about was his weakness.  His body struggled when savagely beaten, exposed to the elements, often tired and hungry and cold.  Imprisoned, shipwrecked, lashed, and often near to death (2 Corinthians 11:23-29), the apostle understood a little of how the Lord Jesus felt, describing his experiences as "the fellowship of His sufferings" and was even willing to die for Jesus and the gospel (Philippians 3:10).

Weakness In Spiritual Experiences

2 Corinthians 12:1-6

There is no doubt that unusual experiences attract attention. God's mighty acts of power are a continuous narrative through the Bible from creation, the exodus and battles won - to Jesus' miracles, the resurrection and promised return in glory.

Spiritual Dangers And God's Grace

2 Corinthians 12:7-10

The dangers of spiritual pride are close to all of us. One compliment, one achievement, one dramatically answered prayer or personal revelation … and we become full of either praise or pride. Paul understood that. After some extraordinary revelation from God fourteen years previously, the apostle was attacked. We do not know if this was an illness or a very troublesome person, but his thorn in the flesh was profoundly tormenting. He recognised that God had allowed Satan to disturb his peace and sense of well-being, so that he would not become conceited.

The Importance Of The Apostles And Their Teaching

2 Corinthians 12:11-13

Paul's ministry was characterised by being Christ-centred, not Paul-centred (Galatians 2:20).

Love Versus Exploitation

2 Corinthians 12:14-18

Paul founded the church in Corinth, staying there over a year and a half.

The Painful Tragedy Of A Stubborn Church

2 Corinthians 12:19-20a

It was not in Paul's nature to have to defend his motives, but because of the false accusations from so-called 'super-apostles', he had to do so (2 Corinthians 12:11).

The Tragedy Of An Unrepentant Church

2 Corinthians 12:20b-21

Paul loved the church in Corinth.

God Is Not Weak

2 Corinthians 13:1-4

Paul was about to visit the church in Corinth for a third time. He did not want to confront the believers in Corinth over their sin, but if they were not repentant, he had no option. He had sent warnings in at least two previous letters as well as in person. Yet at least some had ignored them, rendering the church an embarrassment to the body of Christ (

Examine Yourselves

2 Corinthians 13:5-6

As Paul comes to the end of this letter, emotionally difficult to write and difficult to read, he asks the church in Corinth to check their spiritual health. Until this point he had focussed on their behaviour as an expression of what they believe, now he is direct.