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LESSON 1 SECOND CORINTHIANS BIBLE STUDY

Welcome to our Mailbox Bible Study Course. We trust you will enjoy these lessons as much as we did composing them. We are glad to be able to serve the Lord and you in this way. Many are being saved and helped through these simple Bible lessons. We suggest that you try to do one lesson each week; this will keep your interest in them active. This particular course contains thirteen lessons on Christian Living Bible Study, Second Corinthians. Read through this lesson carefully and complete the answers to the lesson by clicking on this word here "LESSON AND TEST IN MICROSOFT WORD FORMAT" and then save it to your computer. Once you have answered all the questions in the test, attach the test questions or copy and paste them into an email addressed to email.bible.lessons@gmail.com with your name and email address and send it to us. We will then evaluate and return any corrections to you with your next lesson. On completion of the full course you will receive a beautifully presented certificate. Should you have difficulty opening these files or sending the email please let us know by return email. We suggest that you print these lessons and put them in a binder for future studies.

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Harold Smith

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LESSON 1: - SECOND CORINTHIANS

INTRODUCTION TO THE BOOK OF SECOND CORINTHIANS

OUTLINE OF 2 CORINTHIANS

 

  1. Nature of the Apostles Ministry chapters 1-7
  2. Gift to believers in Jerusalem  chapters 8,9
  3. Paul's authority as an Apostle  chapters 10-13

 

In early days, Greece or Achaia was a small country but the Greeks had a great influence over many men in other lands. The Greek language was used by millions of people of different nations and was one of the major languages of that time, Luke 23:38. In the New Testament the word Greek was often used for anyone who was not a Jew, but sometimes for educated people in general, Romans 1:14 and Romans 1:16. There were two main cities in Achaia or Greece: Athens and Corinth. Paul preached the Gospel in Athens but only a few believed, Acts 17:15 and Acts 17:34. From there he went to Corinth and many turned to the Lord, Acts 18:1 and Acts 18:8. The people of the city tried to stop Paul from preaching but he continued on there for one and a half years teaching the Word of God, Acts 18:11 and Acts 18:18. The people of Athens were very religious and thought they were wise, Acts 17:16, Acts 17:18 and Acts 17:22 and the Corinthians were much the same. Paul taught the believers that we should not seek the wisdom of this world, 1 Corinthians 1:26-29. Corinth was also a religious city with many temples for idols, 1 Corinthians 10:7, and 1 Corinthians 10:20. Immoral sexual customs were part of the idol worship and Corinth was a very immoral city, 1 Corinthians 6.9-11. Who was Paul? The apostle Paul was born about the same time as our Lord Jesus Christ and the Lord Jesus was about 33 when He died. Paul was called a young man soon after that, Acts 7:58. About 25 years later, he called himself Paul the aged, Philemon 9. Therefore, we think Paul was about 35 years old when he was converted on the Damascus Road and served the Lord until he was about 65. Paul's parents were Jews living in Tarsus, the most important city of Cilicia. This country was a part of the Roman Empire, in what is called Turkey today. When Paul was converted, he at once began to preach Christ but soon went to the desert of Arabia to be alone with the Lord. Later he travelled to Jerusalem and met the apostle Peter, Galatians 1:17-18. Barnabas helped Paul at Jerusalem and Antioch, Acts 9:26, Acts 11:25, and Acts 11:30. Barnabas and Paul carried a gift of money to the Christians at Jerusalem, and then returned to Antioch. From Antioch began three great missionary journeys:

  1. Paul and Barnabas, Acts 13:1 - 14:28
  2. Paul and Silas, with Timothy, Acts 15:40 - 18:22
  3. Paul, Acts 18:23- 21:17

 

After the third journey, we never read that Paul returned to Antioch. His main work, preaching the Gospel and teaching the believers, ended for a while when he reached Jerusalem, in fact, he was in prison, in Judea and in Rome, for four years, Acts 24:27 and Acts 28:30. This was called his first imprisonment. Later he was again in prison in Rome and apparently died there, 2 Timothy 4:6 and 2 Timothy 4:16. Paul started many churches and wrote many letters. We cannot be sure just where he was when he wrote his epistles, but many Bible teachers think this is the probable order:

 

1st Journey                                          Galatians

2nd Journey                                         1 and 2 Thessalonians

3rd journey                                          1 and 2 CorinthiansRomans

1st Imprisonment                                 ColossiansPhilemon, EphesiansPhilippians

After he was set, free from prison        1 Timothy, Titus

2nd Imprisonment                                2 Timothy


Paul may also have written the letter to the Hebrews but we do not know when it was. It is important to know what Paul did when he first went to Corinth, which was on his second missionary journey. Read Acts 18:1-18. First he worked as a tentmaker to support himself but he went to the Jewish synagogue every Saturday to teach people about the Lord Jesus Christ. Some believed but many refused. The Lord told him to stay on because many more would be saved, Acts 18:9. After that, Apollos went to Corinth and later Paul went back to Greece for three months, no doubt visiting Corinth, Acts 20:2-3. The church in Corinth had a great deal of trouble and the believers wrote to Paul asking him to answer their questions, for example, 1 Corinthians 7:1 and 1 Corinthians 8:1. There were other things, which Paul had to write about, wrong teaching and wrong behaviour in the assembly. These are taken up in 1 Corinthians and you might get help from another book called " 1 Corinthians, the Imperfect Church.” Second Corinthians is the fifth of Paul's inspired letters kept for us by the Holy Spirit through all these years. However, he may have written many other letters, which have not been preserved. We can be sure that God has given us all we need at this time to know and do His will and to build up our churches according to the pattern of the New Testament.

 

NATURE OF THE APOSTLE'S MINISTRY, 1:1 -7.16

The Corinthians thought they were wise and some of them did not love Paul or accept him as a true apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ, 1 Corinthians 9:12; 2 Corinthians 3:1; 6:4; 11:22. In this whole epistle, Paul tells us what a true apostle or any servant of Christ should be like: in the first main section, we learn about the nature of Paul's ministry, and in the third part, his authority as a true apostle of our Lord Jesus Christ. After a short introduction, Paul wrote about God's leading in his life, and how the Lord commended him. We will read about Paul's methods and his reasons for serving the Lord. He proved that he was a true apostle and that he had a real care for the believers.



INTRODUCTION, 1.1-11

As usual, Paul states first who was writing the letter and to whom it was sent, verses 1 and 2. Then he gives thanks to the God of all comfort, the God, and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, verses 3 to l1.

 

Greetings, verses 1 and 2.

  1. Paul called himself an apostle in the first verse of nine of his 13 letters, all except 1 and 2 Thessalonians, Philippians and Philemon; and in five of them he said he was an apostle by the will of God: 1 and 2 Corinthians, Ephesians, Colossians and 2 Timothy. This was important, because some in Corinth tried to deny that Paul was a true apostle. Paul added that this letter was from Timothy also, as he did in 1 and 2 Thessalonians, Colossians, Philemon, and Philippians. Paul called Timothy not an apostle, but a brother, as in Colossians and Philemon also. This letter was for the church of God in Corinth and for all other believers in Achaia or Greece. There were some believers in Athens, and an assembly at Cenchrea, Romans 16:1, which was near Corinth. In the New Testament nine times we read of the 'church of God and three times of the churches of God. It is good to remember that the true church belongs to God and Satan cannot destroy it. On the other hand, we must build up the local church according to the will of God, because it is His. God loves every little church, even if there are only a few believers who meet together in a house.

 

  1. Paul prayed that the Christians might have both grace and peace, which come from God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ. He did the same in all his letters, but writing to Timothy he also prayed for mercy. God shows great grace to each of us when we first accept Christ as Saviour and from that time, we are justified and have peace with God, Romans 5:1. Still we need to believe these truths and enjoy them more and more day by day. We need grace in time of trouble and the peace of God to keep our hearts and minds, Hebrews 4:16; Philippians 4:7. God is able to give us all the grace we need, 9:8. In verse 2, we have the peace of God and in the end of the book, the God of peace, 13:11. In this letter, we will read about the grace of God in 1:12; 6:1; 8:1; 9:14; and the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ in 8:9 and 13:14.

 

The God of all comfort, verses 3-11

The apostle gives praise to the God of all comfort, verses 3 and 4; then tells of the comfort he had received, verses 5 to 7; and the troubles he had seen, verses 8 to 11.

 

Praise to God, verses 3-4

  1. God's called here: the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ the Father of mercies the God of all comfort In 2 Corinthians God is said to be our Father in 1:2 and 6:18. He is the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ in 1:3 and 11:31. We become sons of God when we are born from above and receive God's nature, 1 Peter 1:23 and this will last forever. The Lord Jesus Christ always was the Son of God and always will be. The Lord is mentioned 29 times in this letter; Jesus, 19 times; and Christ, 47 times. The full title, Lord Jesus Christ, is found in 1:2-3; 8:9; and 13:14, four times in all. It is good for us to give Him His full title when we speak about Him or pray to Him. God is the God of mercy and He shows mercy according to His own will, Romans 9:15; James 5:11. Therefore, we should give ourselves entirely to God, Romans 12.1; and show mercy to others, Luke 6:36. God is the God of all comfort. This word comfort is found 29 times in 2 Corinthians, ten of them in this first chapter. The Holy Spirit is called the Comforter in John 14:16, 26; 15:26; 16:7. The same word is used of our Lord Jesus Christ in 1 John 2:1. Also, see Isaiah 9:6. The word comfort also means to exhort or request strongly, 8:4, 17; Acts 13:15; Hebrews 12:5; 13:22.
  2. God allows trouble to come into our lives, indeed, He may send us trouble. In Romans 5:3, we see that His purpose is to give us the gift of patience and make us more like Himself. He is the God of patience and comfort, Romans 15:5. In this chapter, His purpose is to comfort us so we can comfort others also.

 

The comfort, which Paul received, verses 5-7

The word trouble is seen twice in verse 4 and again in verse 8. In verses 5 to 7 we have the word sufferings four times and in verses 3 to 7 we find the words comfort or to comfort eleven times.

 

  1. Our Lord Jesus Christ suffered on the cross for our sins all alone, no one could share in that. But the world rejected Christ and it will reject us also because we belong to Him. Paul suffered for Christ's sake and so did the Corinthians, verse 7. But God comforted Paul through Christ. The more he suffered the more comfort he received.

 

  1. For Paul everything in life was for the Lord and His people. Sometimes he had to face deep trouble, but soon the Lord gave him great comfort. Both the trouble and the comfort were for the blessing of the Corinthian believers. Of course, Paul's sufferings would not bring them salvation from the guilt of their sins, only Christ's sufferings can do that. But we need salvation every day from the power of sin, 1 Peter 1:9. They could see Paul's patience in times of trouble and this would encourage them to accept their own troubles and learn patience also. They might well have to face the same kind of trouble, which Paul endured. God's comfort through the Lord Jesus Christ was for them just as much as for Paul and Timothy.

 

  1. Paul believed that the Corinthians were really learning these lessons. They shared in Paul's troubles because they too preached Christ. Paul was sure that they would also share in the same comfort, which he was receiving from God.

 

Paul's suffering, verses 8-11

Now Paul explained more about the trouble he had been having just a short time before he wrote this letter.

 

  1. We know that he had a great deal of trouble in Ephesus, the chief city of the province of Asia, Acts 19:23-28. The burden and the pressure were so great that he was afraid he would die.

 

  1. But he received comfort when he remembered that he was a guilty sinner and under the judgment of God. And so are all of us. Guilty sinners are as good as dead already because God's anger remains on them, John 3:36. Again, we are dead with Christ, Romans 6:6; Colossians 2:20. So we should not have confidence in ourselves, but only in the living God who alone has power to raise dead persons to life again.

 

  1. Paul could say that God had delivered him from death in the past and he was certain that He would continue to do so. On the first missionary journey the wicked men of Lystra thought they had killed Paul with stones, but he lived, Acts 14:19-20. He was often close to death, 11:23-25, and after this, he nearly drowned when the ship went down, Acts 27:44.

 

  1. He believed that the Corinthians would keep on praying for him because all travel is dangerous. Many were praying and many could give thanks to God when the prayers were answered. God does answer prayer and He likes to hear us give thanks also.

TEST 1: LESSON 1: SECOND CORINTHIANS



PLEASE DELETE THE WRONG ANSWER (TRUE OR FALSE)

1. At Corinth just a few responded to the gospel that was preached by Paul - True: ......False: ............
2. The people of Athens were not a bit religious - True: .................. False: ...................
3. Paul started preaching immediately when he was saved - True: .................. False: ...................
4. The church at Corinth didn't have any problems - True: .................. False: ...................
5. Some of the Corinthians didn't believe Paul was an apostle. - True: .................. False: ...................

FILL IN THE MSSING WORD

6. Paul .................... that the .................... would have both .................... and peace.
7. God is .................... the .................... of .................... mercies.
8. We become .................... of .................... when we are born ....................
9. For Paul .................... in life was for the .................... and His ....................
10. God .................... answer .................... and He .................... for us to ....................; ....................


PLEASE FILL IN YOUR DETAILS  FOR YOUR CERTIFICATE

Your name: .......................................................................................................................................
Email Address: .......................................................................................................................................
Country: .......................................................................................................................................
Birthday: .......................................................................................................................................

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