Like his first letter, Paul wrote his second letter to the church at Corinth around 56 A.D. This time, he wrote to defend himself from personal attacks by some within the church and to warn against false teachers who were spreading heresy. In 2 Corinthians 1-3, Paul’s heart is broken over the Corinthians’ tensions, but he urged them to forgive one another and maintain unity so Satan couldn’t compromise them further. Although Paul had moved on to teach in other cities, he was still heavily invested both emotionally and practically in the Corinthians’ lives. He took responsibility for their continued discipleship and guidance.
In chapters 4-8, Paul reminded believers that lifestyle choices either reinforce or destroy the impact of God’s words. He warned believers to guard against tethering their reputations, work, or life to unbelievers because God brings all believers out of their old identities and into a new family. God doesn’t judge people based on how well they’ve lived; that’s why grace is so amazing. That said, believers’ lives validate their faith through how they live and act, according to the Spirit.
In Chapters 9-11, Paul rejected the attacks made on his and Timothy’s character and re-established his authority over opposing Corinthian voices. Paul and Timothy lived their lives according to God’s standards, and they refused to compare their lives with others. Instead, Paul offered the quality of his commitment and the sincerity of his life as proof of his God-given authority.
Paul concluded his letter by sharing how difficulties taught him to depend on God. He valued human weakness because God displays grace and provision through it. About to return for his third visit, Paul worried he and the Corinthians might be humiliated by the way in which their lifestyles dishonored God’s name. Paul was ready to confront people who refused to live God’s way. However, Paul begged the Corinthians to seek the Holy Spirit’s help and correct their behavior before he arrived so they could celebrate God’s grace and mercy together.
16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.
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