2nd CORINTHIANS – The Consolation of God Revealed
Up Close and Personal with the Apostle Paul Series
2 Corinthians 1:1-4 (KJB) Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, unto the church of God which is at Corinth, with all the saints which are in all Achaia: 2 Grace be to you and peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. 3 Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; 4 Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.
This letter penned by the Apostle Paul was meant for consoling sincere hearted members of this Corinthian Church. It is a second letter for following up in addressing spiritually sticky situations and doctrinal questions among its members, including the need for financial help and in defending the authority given of God for the ministry of Paul.
This letter was meant for the ears of sincere hearted believers in this church and not lost hearts at large in the city. It was to serve in reminding them that serving God was about a personal relationship with Him and not found in following the Law of God.
In this letter, Paul expounded on the comfort and consolation available for whosoever has a personal relationship with God. It is true, then and today, God can be trusted to care for our every need and desire. Paul brought the supernatural characteristics of God; His love, His grace, and His mercy; down to a level hurting hearts could better understand. Yes, Paul’s candidness would help these people better understand God, apply God’s decrees and precepts to their own lives, and have a greater appreciation for his missionary work.
Paul was driving home the point that God cared for each of them individually and collectively as a church. Not only did God care about their needs and desires, but the Apostle Paul expressed the need for each believer to be faithful ministers of truth. These professing believers needed to get busy about savoring and serving in the ministry of God! Too many lukewarm hearts were sitting idle on the sidelines of life rather than sowing seeds of the gospel message to others. Though God’s grace is free, He does have desires and expectations in the life of every child of God. Perhaps if these people were busy about serving things of God, they would not have time to worry and waffle about ungodly circumstances working about them.
Yes, it was necessary for this congregation to present the Truth of God as well as put it into practice in serving and savoring God and the needs of others. Being the hand of God to this world is necessary for sowing seeds of the gospel and in finding consolation in their own life. These Christians would find it much easier to refrain from arguing and fighting with other members by busying themselves in the work of Christ and finding their consolation in Him.
It is true, as a Christian comforts other people, he himself is comforted.
Paul exposed his softened heart for members of this church who likely he was already personally acquainted with many of them after visiting with them in person and writing two letters. This second letter is warm and intended to be expressed on a personal level as Paul cares for these Christians, who are his spiritual brothers and sisters in Christ deeply. Like churches today who send missionaries to faraway places across the world and become prayer partners and allies in Christ from across the ocean, Paul was devoted in the heart to God’s will for his life and with this body of Christ.
It is here at this church that Paul met Titus, one of his good friends and preaching associates, who also was directed of God to preach and pen a book of His Word. Due to the sinful nature of this burgeoning metropolis area, Paul was concerned with the presence of sin among the many false teachers prevalent in this city, making his association with good and godly friends such as Titus spiritually pressing and valuable.
Ultimately, Paul’s answer to both individuals, his cohorts in preaching the gospel, and this church collectively, with the writing of this letter was foremost to preserve and protect God’s message, encourage this church’s ministry, and to expel upon this congregation the expressed authority of God at work in Paul’s ministry, and that he would be visiting with them soon in person according to God’s will for his life.
The Apostle concluded this second letter with a warning for this congregation that he would pay a visit to their church soon. Upon his return, he would not spare in correction, pointing out obstinate, or pig-headed sinners choosing to sit like weeds among genuine professing Christians in this assembly. The Apostle Paul guided this church to be strong in faith, persevere in trials, and to be sure of their individual standing with Christ and to strive to live in peace with God and others as they sincerely sought the will of God in their lives and collectively in this church.
**In the next devotion in this series Up Close and Personal with the Apostle Paul will be titled
The Book of Galatians – God’s Righteousness and the Law of God\
Please read other devotions in this series: