Reposted from Pr. Stout:
(24 verses, 3:11 to read)
What I am about to READ
- Paul will encourage the Corinthian church to endure suffering with patience and will defend his ministry among them.
- 1-7: Paul is called by the will of God, gives thanks for the mercies and comfort of God, calls the congregation to comfort others with the comfort they are given [namely that in Christ God was reconciling the world to Himself], encourages patient endurance, and explains a little about the role of his suffering.
- 8-11: Paul details some of his suffering and preaches to them that it was all to help them rely on God (who raises the dead), and tells us to pray, “Deliver us from evil” and promises to answer.
- 12-14: Paul’s conscience is calm because he and his fellow suffering confessors are not suffering because of immoral or disrespectful living but because of their confession. Moreover, others are speaking against Paul in their midst and Paul’s conscience is clear because of his moral conduct and confession to the Corinthians.
- 15-22: Paul desired to visit but ensures that it was for the better that he not visit. Paul assures them that he doesn’t say one thing and mean another.
LEARN & MEDITATION
- I’m overwhelmed by the comfort in this chapter. What did you especially find comfort in today? Here are some examples of what our Lutheran Confessions teach us concerning 2 Corinthians 1:
- The promise of comfort in temptation and trial – “Sixth, that He also will protect them in their great weakness against the devil, the world, and the flesh, and rule and lead them in His ways, raise them again [place His hand beneath them], when they stumble, comfort them under the cross and in temptation, and preserve them [for life eternal].” Formula of Concord, Solid Declaration, “On Election,”
- Afflictions help us rely not on ourselves, but on God who raises the dead (2 Cor. 1:9) – “Besides, saints are subject to death, and all general afflictions, as 1 Peter 4:17 says: ‘For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God; and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the Gospel of God?’ And although these afflictions are for the most part the punishments of sin, yet in the godly they have a better end, namely, to exercise them, that they may learn amidst trials to seek God’s aid, to acknowledge the distrust of their own hearts, etc., as Paul says of himself, 2 Cor. 1:9: ‘But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead.’” Apology to the Augsburg Confession, “On Confession and Satisfaction.”
- Suffering drives us to prayer and God calls us to say Amen after the Lord’s Prayer because when we pray according to the Lord’s promises, all promises of God find their “Yes,” in Christ – “Thus God has briefly placed before us all the distress which may ever come upon us, so that we might have no excuse whatever for not praying. But all depends upon this, that we learn also to say Amen, that is, that we do not doubt that our prayer is surely heard, and [what we pray] shall be done. For this is nothing else than the word of undoubting faith, which does not pray at a venture, but knows that God does not lie to him, since He has promised to grant it. 120] Therefore, where there is no such faith, there cannot be true prayer either.” Large Catechism, The Lord’s Prayer, “On the Seventh and Last Petition”
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Pastor Christopher Stout