2 Corinthians Overview

Paul writes a second letter to Corinth.  His purpose is

  1. To encourage them. He will also encourage to forgive and restore a sinning brother (from the ist letter)
  2. To explain to them why he has not returned
  3. To enlist their help.  He needs to give to build the church in Jerusalem
  4. To establish his apostleship (many leaders were talking bad about Paul)

Paul had been in Corinth for 18 months. He stayed with Priscilla and Aquilla.  He then started the church in Corinth. He left and received the note from Cloe with many concerns.  He writes a letter (1 Corinthians).  He leaves Timothy there to be the leader.  Timothy writes a letter to Paul to update him.  Timothy basically says “The leaders are talking smack about you and undermining you”.  So Paul writes another letter (2 Corinthians)

There are 5 sections (besides the introduction and the conclusion)

  1. Corrections- things happening in the church and his own plan to come back unraveled
  2. Explanations-the message of the Gospel
  3. Exhortations- don’t listen to these guys!  Separate yourself from them.
  4. Solicitations- he is going to explain why he needs to take up an offering
  5. Vindications- he is going to defend his apostleship and his mission.

Dec 4: 2Cor 1-4
Dec 5: 2Cor 5-9
Dec 6: 2Cor 10-13

1 Corinthians 15-16

Why is Paul talking about Resurrection?   Some of the church believed in the resurrection of Jesus but most did not believe that believers would participate in a resurrection of the body.  There was mass confusion on the topic since Greeks and Jews living in Greek communities were being taught “Greek Philosophies” that contradicted the Gospel.

By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.

During this time,  and centered in the area of Corinth began a movement called Gnosticism The word Gnosticism comes from the Greek word gnosis, meaning “knowledge.” The Gnostics believed there was a secret knowledge reserved for those with true understanding, leading to the salvation of the soul. Spiritual salvation was of preeminence to the Gnostics because they thought the human spirit was naturally good and was trapped in the body, which was naturally evil. Their goal, therefore, was to free the spirit from its embodied prison, and the only key to unlock the prison doors was the mysterious knowledge they possessed.

Christians came to the false conclusion that they must literally beat their bodies into submission and live such lives that they never allowed themselves the enjoyment of bodily pleasures. Others went to the opposite extreme and permitted their physical passions to run whatever course they chose. Those in this second group justified their liberal lifestyles with the idea that their evil bodies were destined for destruction anyway, while their spirits, which they believed were good, would remain unharmed  (live any way you want, everyone goes to heaven?).  BUT it all centered around a lack of belief in a human resurrection that WILL occur.

Paul says:

  •  if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?
  • If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 
  • if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.
  • if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. 
  • if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins.

Christianity is based on the Resurrection.

33 Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.” 34 Come back to your senses as you ought, and stop sinning; for there are some who are ignorant of God—I say this to your shame. 😳

I know this is a lot to read but it is worth reading again!!!

50 I declare to you, brothers and sisters, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51 Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— 52 in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 53 For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. 54 When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”

55 “Where, O death, is your victory?
    Where, O death, is your sting?”

56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

58 Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firmLet nothing move you.

Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.


Chapter 16 Paul closes the letter with his upcoming plans to return.After I go through Macedonia, I will come to you—for I will be going through Macedonia. Perhaps I will stay with you for a while, or even spend the winter, so that you can help me on my journey, wherever I go. For I do not want to see you now and make only a passing visit; I hope to spend some time with you, if the Lord permits.

He promises to send Timothy and hopes Appolos will come one day too. He praises a few people and says in other words “take care of each other”. He sends his love from Aquilla and Priscilla.  It really is a sweet conclusion to a hard book!!

Finally, he says:13 Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. 14 Do everything in love. ❤️ (I have a friend in mind when I read that today, I call him Randall)