Monday, November 5, 2012

2 Corinthians -- Introduction

This is the introduction to 2 Corinthians that I wrote for my Uganda friends.

2 Corinthians In the year or so between 1st and 2nd Corinthians, Paul experiences two crises. First, his visit to Corinth to deal with a disciplinary problem has failed (2 Corinthians 2:1). Apparently Paul wrote another letter from Ephesus that is now lost but is referred to in 2 Corinthians 2:3-4 and 7:8. Second, Paul had an unidentified crisis that caused him to fear for his life. When he was finally able to travel, he went to Macedonia and met up with Titus who brought encouraging news from Corinth. Paul eventually makes a third visit (he probably wrote Romans from Corinth during this third visit). 2 Corinthians is one of the more intensely personal of Paul’s letters. He describes his burden for his churches, his struggles, and his love for them, and his deep abiding concern for their spiritual progress. We see, in very personal terms, the cost of his missionary life style and work. Key Learning: In chapter 12, Paul reveals a “thorn in his flesh.” In his seeking help from God, an important principle of prayer is revealed. When in need, we are to pray until one of two things happens: 1) God answers our prayer; or 2) God changes our prayer.

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