"THE SECOND EPISTLE TO THE CORINTHIANS" Chapter Two OBJECTIVES IN STUDYING THIS CHAPTER 1) To appreciate the attitudes Paul had in writing his first epistle 2) To understand the need for proper follow-up toward one who has reacted favorably to church discipline 3) To see the different effects the gospel can have on people SUMMARY Paul continues to defend his integrity by explaining that his change of plans was an effort to prevent his coming to them in sorrow. Indeed, his previous letter was written for the same reason, and with much anguish of heart (1-4). Speaking of grief, he reminds them that the one who caused most of it had properly repented after their disciplinary actions, and they should be careful to forgive and comfort the person. Paul himself was willing to forgive the penitent offender, because he knew how Satan could easily take advantage of their situation (5-11). He then reveals the anxiety of trying to find Titus, which prompted his leaving an "open door" in Troas to go on to Macedonia (12-13). He will return to the subject of finding Titus and the comfort he received upon doing so (7:5-7), but at this point Paul begins vindicating his ministry as an apostle of Christ. With thanks to God, Paul describes the "triumphant" nature of his ministry, in which God leads him as in a victory procession. Carrying the imagery of a victory procession a little further (in which it was common to have incense as part of the parade), Paul views himself and his work as the "fragrance of Christ," which to those being saved is an "aroma of life," but to those who are perishing it is an "aroma of death" (14-16b). Realizing his own insufficiency for such things, he speaks not as those who "peddle" the Word of God, but with sincerity and with an awareness that it comes from God, and is in the sight of God (16c-17). OUTLINE I. PAUL'S DEFENSE OF HIS INTEGRITY CONTINUES (1-13) A. THE REASON FOR HIS DELAY (1-4) 1. He was determined not to come to them in sorrow (1-2) 2. His previous letter he wrote in sorrow, lest when he came there would be sorrow and not joy for both him and them (3-4) B. FORGIVENESS FOR THE OFFENDER (5-11) 1. Speaking of sorrow, much of their grief was caused by one man (5) 2. However, their discipline was effective and the penitent offender should be forgiven and reassured of their love for him (6-8) 3. His previous letter was a test of their obedience, and he is willing to forgive those they have forgiven, lest Satan take advantage of their situation (9-11) C. HIS CONCERN FOR THEM (12-13) 1. In Troas, the Lord had given him an "open door" to preach the gospel (12) 2. But with no word from Titus, anxiety for their situation prompted him to leave for Macedonia (13) II. THE "TRIUMPHANT" NATURE OF PAUL'S MINISTRY (14-17) A. ALWAYS LED IN TRIUMPH BY GOD IN CHRIST (14a) 1. Paul expresses thanksgiving to God 2. The reason: for leading them in a triumphal procession similar to that enjoyed by a military leader after a victory B. THROUGH THEM "FRAGRANCE" IS DIFFUSED (14b-16) 1. God diffuses the "fragrance of His knowledge" in every place (14b) 2. To God, they are the "fragrance of Christ" (15) a. To those who are perishing, they are an "aroma of death" (16a) b. To those who are being saved, they are an "aroma of life" (16b) 3. He realizes his dependency upon God for sufficiency to be such things (16c-17) a. Unlike many, who "peddle" the Word of God (17a) b. In contrast, he speaks sincerely, as from God, and in the sight of God (17b)
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 was Paul determined not to do? (1) 3) Why did he write his previous letter? (3) 4) How did Paul write as he penned his letter? (4) 5) What did Paul want them to do with the man who had sinned, yet repented after their disciplinary action toward him? (7-8) 6) What was one purpose in writing to them as Paul had done? (9) 7) Why was Paul so willing to forgive the offender once the Corinthians had forgiven him? (10-11) 8) When Paul came to Troas to preach the gospel, what did he find? (12) 9) Who did he not find that troubled him greatly? Where did he then go? (13) 10) Why does Paul give God thanks? (14) 11) How does Paul describe God working through him? (14) 12) In what two ways, and to what two groups of people, does Paul describe himself as "the fragrance of Christ"? (15-16) 13) How do many misuse the Word of God? How did Paul speak the Word? (17)