Six years, two visits, and two letters after planting the church at Corinth, Paul writes once more to his spiritual children with a message of reconciliation, encouragement, and challenge. As the Corinthians elevate themselves through self-protection, Paul shares the mind-bending logic of the gospel. Suffering, weakness, and humility are part of God’s paradigm for joy. In this new cruciform way of life, we can embrace the paradox of the cross and experience the transformative power of a God whose love was made known through the sacrificial death of Jesus—for only in our weakness can we find God’s strength.
WEEK 1: The God of All Comfort
August 16 2 Corinthians 1:1-11
WEEK 2: Hurt in the Church
August 23 2 Corinthians 1:12-2:13
WEEK 3: Ministers of the New Covenant
August 30 2 Corinthians 2:14-3:6
WEEK 4: A Glorious New Way
September 4 2 Corinthians 3:7-18
These daily readings will help prepare you for the upcoming teaching you will hear this weekend at Grace Church. These passages will create some context for the sermon by showing you Scriptures the author might be quoting and some passages that contain related ideas. Our hope is that as you follow this reading plan, it will help you become more defined and directed by Scripture.
Paul has a long and complex history with the church at Corinth. As their spiritual father, he has walked with them through the growing pains of rebellion and rebuke. After intense and vocal rejection of his authority following the writing of 1 Corinthians, Paul writes a “severe” and corrective letter (2 Cor. 2:3-13) to the Corinthians. This letter is now lost, but we know that the majority of the church responded with repentance and a desire for reconciliation.
In Macedonia, Paul reunites with Titus, who is able to give an encouraging report of the church at Corinth. In response, Paul writes the epistle of 2 Corinthians and sends it with Titus back to Corinth. The primary message of 2 Corinthians is a defense of both Paul’s apostolic authority and the message of the gospel. He encourages the faithful majority at Corinth to lean into suffering, rebukes the minority of those at Corinth who still question his authority, and challenges the believers to give generously as an outgrowth of their faith in Christ.
Two years later, Paul travels to Corinth once more and is reunited with the believers there. During his three-month stay, Paul writes the book of Romans.