The Apostle Paul also wrote the Book of II Corinthians. It was probably written from Philippi in about a.d. 60. Paul had many purposes in mind when he wrote this letter. He wanted to commend the church for disciplining those who had been guilty of sin within the church, and encourage them to forgive and receive that one back into the church. He also answered those in the church who were questioning his apostolic authority, and those who accused him of wrong motives. He was also encouraging the church to share in the offerings for the Jerusalem saints, and preparing them for his planned visit. This letter differs from Paul's first letter to the Corinthian church in that it is filled with the emotions of Paul. It also shows us the love and concern Paul had for the work of the Lord. In his first letter Paul is shown as the instructor, answering questions and setting matters right; while in the second letter he is the pastor pouring out his heart so that his spiritual children might be perfected in the faith.
Chapter 1 reveals the heart of Paul as does none other of his writings. The great apostle admits his fears and feelings, as he gives an account of his personal sufferings and experiences. He then gives three reasons why God permits His own to suffer: (1) That we might comfort others (verses 1-7); (2) that we might have confidence in God alone and not depend upon ourselves (verses 8-11); and, (3) that we might claim the promises of God (verses 12-24).
In chapters 2 and 3 Paul is shedding tears over the church, with the theme of his message being abundant love. How often do pastors today weep over wayward Christians? Perhaps not as many as should be are that concerned, but Paul's tears were honored by God and the sin of the church was put away.
Chapter 3 is the key chapter, because it shows the relationship between the Old Testament ministry of the Law and the New Testament ministry of the Gospel. There are many religious groups today who mix law and grace. Christ was the fulfillment of the law. A person is saved today by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and no other way. God's Word tells us that all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and that "by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: It is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.".
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