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Series Theme: FRAMEWORKS: Paul's SECOND letter to the Corinthians

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 FRAMEWORKS: 2 Corinthians 1

In this ‘Framework' we use our usual text PLUS comment style to enable you, as simply as possible, to catch the sense of his writing.

FRAMEWORKS: 2 Cor 1: Explanations and Apologies


v.1-2 Greetings

v.3-11 Life-threatening Trials & God's Comfort

v.12-24 Paul's Change of Plans


[Chapter Synopsis: The whole tone of chapter 1 is explanatory and apologetic. In explanation he speaks about the trials they have experienced which brought them to the end of themselves. The apology (for that is what it really is) is for not having come when he had said he would in the last letter. Part of the reason may be the trials they experienced but part of it was that he held back from coming with strong discipline to deal with the issues he had heard about there.]



v.1-2 Greetings


v.1(Paul & Timothy to the church at Corinth) Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, to the church of God in Corinth, together with all his holy people throughout Achaia:

v.2 (grace and peace be yours) Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.


[Passage Synopsis: Unlike the first letter there aren't clues here of what is on Paul's mind.]



v.3-11 Life-threatening Trials & God's Comfort


v.3,4 (we praise God, the Father of Compassion and Comforter) Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.

v.5 (having suffered for Christ, He has comforted us) For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.

v.6 (any distress we experienced was on your behalf and when He comforted us it was to encourage you in your sufferings) If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer.

v.7 (we are confident of you as you share these things) And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.

v.8 (we want you to know of the awful troubles we experienced) We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about the troubles we experienced in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself.

v.9 (we thought we would die but it was so we would utterly trust God who raises the dead) Indeed, we felt we had received the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead.

v.10,11 (He it was who delivered us and we trust in Him for our future, as you pray for us and are able to be among those who thank Him for saving us.) He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us again. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many.


[Passage Synopsis: It isn't clear quite what happened in the province of Asia (v.8) but whatever it was it brought Paul to the point of wondering if he would survive. It is in the context of such a trauma that he speaks of God being a comforter who had comforted them and would comfort the Corinthians.]



v.12-24 Paul's Change of Plans


v.12 (Paul has a clear conscience as to their behaviour) Now this is our boast: Our conscience testifies that we have conducted ourselves in the world, and especially in our relations with you, with integrity and godly sincerity. We have done so, relying not on worldly wisdom but on God's grace.

v.13,14 (… and he believes the Corinthians can rejoice in knowing him as he does of them) For we do not write you anything you cannot read or understand. And I hope that, as you have understood us in part, you will come to understand fully that you can boast of us just as we will boast of you in the day of the Lord Jesus.

v.15,16 (he had wanted to come to them again, as he had said in his previous letter [1 Cor 16:5-7]) Because I was confident of this, I wanted to visit you first so that you might benefit twice. I wanted to visit you on my way to Macedonia and to come back to you from Macedonia, and then to have you send me on my way to Judea.

v.17,18 (he wasn't being casual in that desire [even if it hadn't come about]) Was I fickle when I intended to do this? Or do I make my plans in a worldly manner so that in the same breath I say both “Yes, yes” and “No, no”? But as surely as God is faithful, our message to you is not “Yes” and “No.”

v.19,20 (everything about the gospel and their preaching was a positive ‘yes' with all the promises of God) For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us—by me and Silas and Timothy—was not “Yes” and “No,” but in him it has always been “Yes.” For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God.

v.21,22 (everything about our lives and ministry is from Him) Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.

v.23 (part of the reason for not coming was that I held back because of the negative things I heard about you) I call God as my witness—and I stake my life on it—that it was in order to spare you that I did not return to Corinth.

v.24 (we want to bless you, not lord it over you in your faith) Not that we lord it over your faith, but we work with you for your joy, because it is by faith you stand firm.


[Passage Synopsis: Paul had previously wanted to come to them again but that hadn't happened. The delay may be partly explained by the turmoils they experienced in Macedonia, but also by his explanation that he hadn't wanted to come with heavy discipline and so held back [perhaps waiting for things to settle down]


Chapter Brief Summary/Recap:

Ch. 1: Explanations and Apologies

•  he shares the life-threatening difficulties they went through

•  also why they had not managed to come to them again



Continue to Chapter 2