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2nd Corinthians Series – Study 2 – 1:3-11

18/05/2013

2 Corinthians (Study 2)

Text: 2nd Corinthians 1:3-11

Paul begins by offering Praise to our Heavenly father, and in doing so:-

1. Christian Song is DEFINED!
Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort
a.    There must be NO AMBIGUITY in our worship! Paul is very specific here when he offers praise to God.  He must be!  One of the tactics of the false teachers has been to infiltrate the church with plausible language, and with pious sounding phrases.  They probably spoke about God, and about knowing God and loving God and worshipping God.  But which God?  Paul makes it very clear indeed, just who it is he is praising.  He excludes anyone, who does not believe that God is only approached by faith in the Saviour, the Lord Jesus, and through Him alone.  And there must be no misunderstandings about that!  Today, we must make it absolutely clear where we stand.  Christ and Christ alone.   He is not one of these false teachers, and his letter will bear that out.
b.    There must be THEOLOGY in our worship!  In his praise, Paul introduces some teaching about God.  We can LEARN SOMETHING from the words that he uses to worship.  We learn that there is a relationship between the first and second persons of the Trinity.  God is THE FATHER, and Jesus IS THE SON.  We learn that there is a relationship between the SON and HIS PEOPLE, his followers – for he is OUR LORD.  He is also described as the Messiah (Christ). And we learn something about the nature and attributes of God, for he is described here as the father of mercies and the God of Comfort!  Col. 3:16.  So, like Paul, our praise that we utter to God must have a didactic content.  And what it teaches us must be true!  So, we have no right to sing meaningless banal lyrics when we praise God.  Far less have we the right to sing hymns which contain false doctrine.  Then:-
c.    There must be APPLICATION in our worship! The attributes of God that Paul introduces here have a direct effect on those who love and follow and worship the Lord.  The Christian seeks comfort in the Lord!  And that is the practical application that flows out from Paul’s praise!
So, in this one little verse, we can learn how to come before the Lord to praise Him, quoting His Word, exalting His name, no ambiguity in our minds or our hearts, edifying other believers in our praise, because our worship is filled with sound teaching from the Scriptures, and practical help and encouragement for other believers!  Paul writes, Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God

2. Christian Suffering is DESCRIBED! V5 – 11
Now, what insight do we obtain from these verses regarding the suffering (persecution?) of the believer:-

1.    There is a relationship between the suffering of the church and the suffering of Christ!  V5 For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ.
a.    We are Partakers of Christ’s suffering!  The sufferings of Christ abound in us!  Christ suffered, and we must expect to suffer as he did!  That’s why we must are told to take up our CROSS AND FOLLOW THE Lord!  Paul tells us that we are to actively seek the suffering of Christ. Philip. 3:10.  I would even go so far as to say that if you are not suffering for the Lord, then there is something seriously wrong with your profession of faith!  But there is an opposite side to this:-
b.    Christ Partakes of our Suffering!  Paul would have known this.  Think of his conversion, when he fell to the ground and he heard the voice saying, “Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?”  And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest.. Acts 9:4-5.  Do you see, when Paul was persecuting the church, making the church suffer, he was inflicting injury on Christ Himself!  Jesus takes our suffering intensely personally!  The writer to the Hebrews 4:15.  We are described in 1st Corinthians as ‘the Body of Christ.’  Christ is the head of his church – his body, and he knows and feels our suffering!  Now, this is a great source of comfort to the Christian.  We are suffering for Christ, and as great as those sufferings are, so great is the consolation that we have in him!

2.    God has a purpose in our suffering!
a.    We suffer, so that we can help others! And whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer: or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation. 2 Cor. 1:6.  We are comforted by the Lord, so that we can comfort others!
b.    We suffer so that we will trust in Christ even more!  For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life Paul had been in trouble – again.  He had been in Asia Minor.  He had been PRESSED OUT OF MEASURE.  It was as if a great weight of suffering had been placed upon him, and its weight could not be measured – it was unbearable, What was the result of his suffering for the Lord?  Was it to give up?  Was it to lie down and compromise with the ungodly authorities of this world?  Was it to moderate his message or his speech?  None of those things!  It was to trust in the Lord even more!  But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead:
c.    We suffer, to learn the faithfulness of God!  When we suffer, we will draw consolation from the fact that God has personally intervened in our lives in the past, that his purpose is being worked out in our lives right now, and in the fact that our future is already predetermined!  We are his, and he will not permit us to be lost!  Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us; 2 Cor. 1:8-10.
d.    We suffer, so that our prayer life will be deepened!  The more we suffer, the more we need prayer.  Sometimes, when we are suffering, we don’t have the strength to pray.  Sometimes our minds are affected by our illness.  Sometimes, our prayer life is dulled by the effects of pain relieving drugs.  But we still need prayer, and that is where collective prayer is so important!   2 Cor. 1:11
At the beginning of this letter, Paul teaches us about praise, and encourages us to persevere – to continue to trust the Lord, and to walk with him and to pray, no matter how fierce the suffering that this world may heap upon us!

Worksheets:

Click the links below to view and download the worksheets for this study.

2nd Corinthians Study WS2

2nd Corinthians Study WS2B copy

From → 2nd Corinthians

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