"THE SECOND EPISTLE TO THE CORINTHIANS" Chapter Five OBJECTIVES IN STUDYING THIS CHAPTER 1) To understand the basis for Paul's hope despite his suffering 2) To see what motivated Paul in his work as a minister 3) To appreciate the gospel as a "ministry of reconciliation" SUMMARY As Paul continues describing the nature of his ministry, he explains why he remains "hopeful" in spite of his suffering. He knows that should his "earthly house" be destroyed, there is a "house not made with hands" that God has prepared for him. For this he longs, being confident because God has already given the Spirit as a guarantee. So while he must walk by faith, and not by sight, he makes it his aim to be pleasing to the Lord, before Whom he knows he will one day stand to give an account (1-10). Paul then describes his "devotion" as it pertains to his ministry. Motivated by his knowledge of the terror of the Lord, he persuades men. He endeavors to serve God and his brethren in such a way that the Corinthians will be able to provide a defense to those who judge only by appearance. Throughout it all, it is the love of Christ which constrains Paul to live no longer for himself but for the Lord. Unlike his detractors, he no longer judges people based upon appearances, for he knows that if one is in Christ, he is a new creation (11-17). Finally, Paul depicts the work of God in Christ as one in which God is reconciling the world to Himself. Paul's own role is that of an "ambassador for Christ," who has been entrusted with the "ministry of reconciliation" so he might implore people on God's behalf that they be reconciled to God (18-21). OUTLINE I. THE "HOPEFUL" NATURE OF PAUL'S MINISTRY (1-10) A. THE PROMISE OF A "BUILDING" FROM GOD (1-5) 1. A house not made with hands, to replace the "earthly tent" (1) 2. In this "earthly tent" we groan (2-4) a. Earnestly desiring to be clothed with the habitation from heaven (2) b. So as not to found "naked," and that mortality may be swallowed up by life (3-4) 3. God has prepared us for this very thing, and has given the Spirit as a guarantee (5) B. WHAT THIS PROMISE PRODUCES IN PAUL (6-10) 1. Confidence... (6-8) a. Knowing that at home in the body means absence from the Lord, necessitating walking by faith and not by sight (6-7) b. Preferring to be absent from the body and present with the Lord (8) 2. An aim to be well pleasing to Christ (9-10) a. Whether present or absent (9) b. For we must all be judged by Christ (10) II. THE "DEVOTED" NATURE OF PAUL'S MINISTRY (11-17) A. MOTIVATED BY THE FEAR OF THE LORD (11-13) 1. Knowing the terror of the Lord, he persuades men (11a) 2. He is aware that both God and they know him well (11b) 3. His desire is to so live in service to God and them (no matter what some may think of him) that they may find reason to glory in him (12-13) B. MOTIVATED BY THE LOVE OF CHRIST (14-17) 1. Constrained by the love of Christ Who died for all, he now lives for Him (14-15) 2. He ceases to make superficial judgments based upon appearance, even as he had once done with Christ (16) 3. For one in Christ is a new creation, and all things have become new (17) III. THE "RECONCILING" NATURE OF PAUL'S MINISTRY (18-21) A. PAUL HAS BEEN GIVEN A MINISTRY OF RECONCILIATION (18-19) 1. He himself has been reconciled to God through Jesus Christ (18a) 2. God has given him the ministry of reconciliation (18b-19) a. The reconciliation of the world is actually God's work in Christ (19a) b. The "word of reconciliation" has been committed to Paul (19b) B. PAUL PLEADS WITH THEM TO BE RECONCILED TO GOD (20-21) 1. As ambassadors of Christ, pleading for God and on Christ's behalf (20) 2. For Christ was made sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him (21)
REVIEW QUESTIONS FOR THE CHAPTER Move your mouse pointer underneath each question to see the answer.
1) What are the main points of this chapter? 2) What did Paul know he would have if his "earthly house" were destroyed? (1) 3) What was Paul's earnest desire? (2) 4) What has God given us as a "guarantee" of the "life" to come? (5) 5) What remains our condition while we are "at home in the body"? (6) 6) What does our present condition require of us in our daily "walk"? (7) 7) What is the desire of the "confident" Christian? (8) 8) What is the aim of "confident" Christian? (9) 9) Before what must we all one day appear? (10) 10) What moved Paul to try and persuade men? (11) 11) What motivated Paul to live for Jesus Christ? (14-15) 12) What is the condition of one in Christ? (17) 13) Through Whom has God reconciled us to Himself? (18) 14) What two descriptive phrases does Paul use in reference to the gospel that was committed to him? (18-19) 15) How has God reconciled us to Himself? (19) 16) How does Paul view his role in this "ministry of reconciliation"? (20) 17) How is it possible that we can become "the righteousness of God" in Christ? (21)