2 Corinthians 1: Reason for Writing

What makes the truth painful?

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2 Corinthians 2:1 I decided not to bring you grief with another painful visit.
King James
2 Corinthians 2:1 But I determined this with myself, that I would not come again to you in heaviness.

When might our sharing the truth have no value at all?

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2 Corinthians 2:2 If my rebuke saddened you, who would make me glad? Certainly not those I grieved.
King James
2 Corinthians 2:2 For if I make you sorry, who is he then that maketh me glad, but the same which is made sorry by me?

Under what circumstances might a face-to-face confrontation be better than a letter, email, or text message? When might the other be better?

Author’s Thoughts
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2 Corinthians 2:3 That is why I put my rebuke in a letter. That way, when I come, I won’t be made sad by those who should bring great joy. You should know that I expect you to grow in the Lord, and I am joyful only when you are.
King James
2 Corinthians 2:3 And I wrote this same unto you, lest, when I came, I should have sorrow from them of whom I ought to rejoice; having confidence in you all, that my joy is the joy of you all.

Why would Paul have wanted the Corinthians to know how painful it was to write harsh words, seeking to change their wrong behavior?

Author’s Thoughts
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2 Corinthians 2:4 Writing the letter was painful. With much grief of heart and many tears, I wrote to you, not to make you sad but to show how much I love you and want to see you do well.
King James
2 Corinthians 2:4 For out of much affliction and anguish of heart I wrote unto you with many tears; not that ye should be grieved, but that ye might know the love which I have more abundantly unto you.

What do you think was most distressful for Paul?

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2 Corinthians 2:5 I am not among those you may have distressed, but in part, I am, because I don’t want to be too hard on you.
King James
2 Corinthians 2:5 But if any have caused grief, he hath not grieved me, but in part: that I may not overcharge you all.

If Paul didn’t visit Corinth, how would he have known how people reacted to his previous letter?

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2 Corinthians 2:6 Most of you have already judged the offender’s wrongdoing.
King James
2 Corinthians 2:6 Sufficient to such a man is this punishment, which was inflicted of many.

Why would the church’s judgment against a person’s sin be sufficient punishment?

Author’s Thoughts
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2 Corinthians 2:6 Most of you have already judged the offender’s wrongdoing,
2:7 and that is sufficient punishment.
King James
2 Corinthians 2:6 Sufficient to such a man is this punishment, which was inflicted of many.
2:7 So that contrariwise ye ought rather to forgive him, and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one should be swallowed up with overmuch sorrow.

After an offense has been recognized and judgment has been rendered, how can love follow?

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2 Corinthians 2:8 Having judged the wrong, you can now express your love for that person.
King James
2 Corinthians 2:8 Wherefore I beseech you that ye would confirm your love toward him.

Why do people not listen to good advice?

Author’s Thoughts
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2 Corinthians 2:9 One reason I wrote you before was to see whether you would listen and follow my instruction.
King James
2 Corinthians 2:9 For to this end also did I write, that I might know the proof of you, whether ye be obedient in all things.

On what basis could Paul forgive someone he didn’t know, for an offense against someone else?

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2 Corinthians 2:10 Those whom you have forgiven, I forgive also. I say this for your benefit as one under Christ’s authority,
2:11 lest these situations work to Satan’s advantage, for we are aware of his evil schemes and you should be too.
King James
2 Corinthians 2:10 To whom ye forgive any thing, I forgive also: for if I forgave any thing, to whom I forgave it, for your sakes forgave I it in the person of Christ;
2:11 Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.

What are some of Satan’s evil schemes? Which one do you think Paul was referring to?

Author’s Thoughts
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2 Corinthians 2:10 Those whom you have forgiven, I forgive also. I say this for your benefit as one under Christ’s authority,
2:11 lest these situations work to Satan’s advantage, for we are aware of his evil schemes and you should be too.
King James
2 Corinthians 2:10 To whom ye forgive any thing, I forgive also: for if I forgave any thing, to whom I forgave it, for your sakes forgave I it in the person of Christ;
2:11 Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.

What conditions do you think had to exist before Paul could share his experience and knowledge of Jesus?

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2 Corinthians 2:12 At Troas, I had an opportunity to share my story and the good news about Jesus Christ.
King James
2 Corinthians 2:12 Furthermore, when I came to Troas to preach Christ’s gospel, and a door was opened unto me of the Lord.

Compared to today, how much more difficult was finding someone in the first century (2:13)?

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2 Corinthians 2:13 Concerned for Titus, my brother in the Lord, I left for Macedonia, wanting to find him.
King James
2 Corinthians 2:13 I had no rest in my spirit, because I found not Titus my brother: but taking my leave of them, I went from thence into Macedonia.

How could you best describe knowing Jesus, in a way that would cause others to want to know him too?

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2 Corinthians 2:14 Thank God for the victory we have in Christ Jesus. Knowing him is a sweet fragrance, precious in every situation.
King James
2 Corinthians 2:14 Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place.

What response might God have toward an appealing fragrance compared to a repulsive odor?

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2 Corinthians 2:15 And we present to God a fragrance because of Christ Jesus, both for those who are being saved and those who are rejecting him.
2:16 Those who reject Christ are the fragrance of death, but the believer is a sweet perfume that brings life. So which do you want to be?
King James
2 Corinthians 2:15 For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish:
2:16 To the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things?

If money should not be the motivation for ministry, what should it be?

Author’s Thoughts
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John 10:12 When the hired hand sees a wolf coming, he will abandon the sheep, because he is not their shepherd and the sheep do not belong to him. So the wolf will attack and scatter the flock.
10:13 The man will flee because he works for the money and cares nothing for the sheep.
2 Corinthians 2:17 We are not like others who are out to make a profit from their preaching, but as God is our witness, we speak truthfully under the direction and authority of Jesus Christ.
King James
John 10:12 But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep.
10:13 The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep.
2 Corinthians 2:17 For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ.