Paul’s Footsteps #154

Footsteps #154

We previously noted the perverse and pagan influence in Corinth, but despite these apparent obstacles to the Gospel, the Holy Spirit enabled Paul to plant a church there on his second missionary Journey.  

Instead of being primarily doctrinal and theological, as most of Paul’s other letters are, 2Corinthians is very personal and emotional, it is theology wrapped in autobiography. There are potent truths in this book that are encased in powerful emotions that you and I need to wrestle with because every one of us will eventually face the same kinds of situations that produced those emotions in Paul. 2Corinthians is a wonderful letter that has a lot to offer us today. If 1Corinthians was practical, 2Corinthians is personal. The 1st has deliberate instruction, the 2nd impassioned testimony. The 1st warned about pagan influences the 2nd about Judaistic influences.  

A critical point throughout the book is Paul’s defence of his divine appointment because he had been consistently challenged and criticised by some of the Jewish converts. He wants to establish right from the beginning that he does not ultimately answer to them but to God! 

2Corinthians was addressed “To the church of God in Corinth.” The church belongs to God and is therefore answerable to Him, just as His apostles are. This establishes the fact that any disputes between Paul and the believers in Corinth should be settled on God’s terms. It was also a circular letter that was intended to give advice and encouragement to the larger church. In fact, his comments have relevance for all local churches of all ages, including ours, for he speaks with apostolic authority to the people of God. Paul addresses “the saints” in the church at Corinth and elsewhere. Sainthood is not something achieved by a few of the spiritually elite. In the NT every true believer is a saint; “set apart” by God to experience His saving grace through Christ. He or she may not always act very saintly, but sainthood isn’t just about behaviour; it’s about one’s position in Christ. As we saw in 1Corinthians, the members there were anything but a paragon of virtue, yet Paul calls them saints!  

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