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

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 FRAMEWORKS: 2 Corinthians 2

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 2: Aspects of Ministry


v.1-4 Explanation of Disciplinary Words
v.5-11 Forgiveness for the Offender
v.12-17 Ministers of the New Covenant


[Chapter Synopsis: Being a godly leader means sometimes having to bring correction and that is never easy, and that was why he had written as he had in the previous letter, rather than come back with face to face confrontation, but all of his words came with anguish for them. He had had to confront the sinner and that always causes grief in the body, but where repentance comes, forgiveness and affirmation of love should always follow. Their ministry of sharing the gospel is often hard, especially when some reject it.]



v.1-4 Explanation of Disciplinary Words


v.1 (he didn't want his second visit to be painful) So I made up my mind that I would not make another painful visit to you.

v.2 (he didn't want to damage their relationship) For if I grieve you, who is left to make me glad but you whom I have grieved?

v.3 (he had written so wrongs could be put right before he came again) I wrote as I did, so that when I came I would not be distressed by those who should have made me rejoice. I had confidence in all of you, that you would all share my joy.

v.4 (and every word had been written in anguish for them) For I wrote you out of great distress and anguish of heart and with many tears, not to grieve you but to let you know the depth of my love for you.


[Passage Synopsis: There had been cause for correction as the ‘first' letter shows. The first year and a half visit had been good and so he didn't want to spoil the memory of that by having to come with strong words of face to face rebuke. So he had written as he did, perhaps to give them time to absorb what he wrote and respond in repentance, but he actually wrote in anguish that they had fallen to all those sorts of errors.]



v.5-11 Forgiveness for the Offender


v.5 (when one man sins it causes grief for the whole congregation) If anyone has caused grief, he has not so much grieved me as he has grieved all of you to some extent—not to put it too severely.

v.6 (having to discipline adds to that grief) The punishment inflicted on him by the majority is sufficient.

v.7 (but once repentance has come if must be followed by forgiveness) Now instead, you ought to forgive and comfort him, so that he will not be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow.

v.8 (and with that a reaffirmation of their love) I urge you, therefore, to reaffirm your love for him.

v.9 (he wrote so they could rise to the occasion) Another reason I wrote you was to see if you would stand the test and be obedient in everything.

v.10,11 (when they forgive, he forgives) Anyone you forgive, I also forgive. And what I have forgiven—if there was anything to forgive—I have forgiven in the sight of Christ for your sake, in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes.


[Passage Synopsis: Indirectly referring to the man who had been sinning with his father's wife [1 Cor 5:1] he suggests that such sin within the congregation is a course of grief for the whole church, especially as they had to discipline him, which is always difficult and painful. But now repentance has come he is to be forgiven.]



v.12-17 Ministers of the New Covenant


v.12 (he had moved on to Troas with the gospel) Now when I went to Troas to preach the gospel of Christ and found that the Lord had opened a door for me,

v.13 (but Titus wasn't there so he moved on to Macedonia) I still had no peace of mind, because I did not find my brother Titus there. So I said goodbye to them and went on to Macedonia.

v.14 (but the Lord, as always, blessed them, enabling them to share Him there) But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ's triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere.

v.15 (we're like a scent of God for those being saved as well as a reminder of Him to those who refuse the word and are perishing) For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing.

v.16 (we act on them in different ways, and that's a tough task) To the one we are an aroma that brings death; to the other, an aroma that brings life. And who is equal to such a task?

v.17 (and we don't do it for profit but by calling) Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, as those sent from God.


[Passage Synopsis: He had travelled on to Macedonia where God opened the way for His word to be shared. When they brought the gospel it came like an aroma, a scent, an expression of the presence of God and for those who would receive it, it brought life, but those who rejected it, it brought death and, especially when it was rejected, that made it a tough ministry.]


Chapter Brief Summary/Recap:

Ch. 2: Aspects of Ministry

•  he had written to them before out of anguish of heart

•  he refers to the sinner who has now repented

•  the ministry of the gospel is like sharing a life-bringing scent

•  yet sometimes it is a hard ministry when it is rejected



Continue to Chapter 3