Second Corinthians is a deeply personal and arousing letter–a response to the complex history between the Apostle Paul and the church he had established in Corinth. The circumstances behind this letter reveal the difficult, often painful realities of life in the ministry. More than any of his letters, this one shows us the heart of Paul as a pastor.
This epistle is actually Paul’s fourth letter to the church in Corinth. Paul mentions his first letter in 1 Corinthians 5:9. His second letter is the book of 1 Corinthians. Three times in 2 Corinthians Paul references a third and painful letter: “For I wrote to you out of much affliction and anguish of heart and with many tears …” (2 Corinthians 2:4, ESV). And finally, we have Paul’s fourth letter, the book of 2 Corinthians.
As we learned in 1 Corinthians, the church in Corinth was weak, struggling with division and spiritual immaturity. Paul’s authority had been undermined by an opposing teacher who was misleading and dividing with false teachings.
In an attempt to solve the turmoil, Paul traveled to Corinth, but the distressing visit only fueled the church’s resistance. When Paul returned to Ephesus he wrote again to the church, pleading with them to repent and avoid God’s judgement. Later Paul received good news through Titus that many in Corinthian had indeed repented, but a small and fractious group continued to cause problems there.
In 2 Corinthians, Paul laid out his defense, refuting and condemning the false teachers. He also encouraged the faithful to stay committed to the truth and reaffirmed his deep love for them.
Pastor Scott Collins leads us though a critical explanation of the Book of 2 CORINTHIANS – TRUE WORDS OF HOPE.
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