Read 2 Cor. 1:1-2  – Greeting

 

  1. Last week in our introductory lesson we studied verse 1. What stands out to you about this verse or the background information we discussed?

 

  1. “Grace to you and peace” is Paul’s standard greeting in his letters. 

 

 

a. From whom does Paul say grace and peace come?

b. In this greeting, Paul expresses his desire that the Corinthians would experience God’s favor and know the peace that comes from a right relationship with God. Do you experience God’s grace and peace? When and how?

 

Read 2 Cor. 1:3-7  – Finding Comfort in Suffering

 

  1. “Blessed” expresses adoration and praise to God. How is God identified? (vs 3a)

 

  1. In verse 3b God is called the “Father of mercies”. 

 

a. What are mercies?

b. God’s mercies are described in many ways. In what ways do these descriptions add to your understanding of His mercies? Manifold Mercies (Neh. 9:19), Abundant mercies (Neh. 9:27), Tender mercies (Ps 145:9, Col. 3:12), Great mercies (Is. 54:7, Dan. 9:18), Sure mercies (Is. 55:3, Acts 13:34)

 

  1. The God of all comfort (vs 3b): Notice the word “all”. The place we receive comfort is from God whether it is directly from Him through the Holy Spirit or the Word, or at His leading through His people. Comfort here means exhortation, encouragement, cheer. This word, sometimes translated consolation, is used ten times in verses 3-7.

 

 

a. Besides receiving comfort for ourselves, what is the reason for this comfort according to 2 Cor. 1:4?  

b. The exercise of this is one of the primary reasons for the gathering together of the church. What do we learn from Hebrews 10:24-25.

c. God not only comforts us, but also makes us to be comforters. Verse 4 tells us that we are comforted in all our tribulations and that we comfort others in any trouble. Tribulation and trouble are the same word in the Greek. It means distress or affliction. In what ways can God use us as comforters?

 

  1. Verse 5 tells us that two things abound in us. What are they and what does this mean? 

 

  1. What does verse 6 tell us to further our understanding?

 

  1. According to the New Testament, suffering is promised to the Christian. (See Acts 14:22, 1 Thess. 3:3, Phil. 1:29, Rom. 5:3) But as we partake in the sufferings, what do these verses in  2 Corinthians promise us? As Paul states in verse 7, because of this our hope should be steadfast! Define steadfast hope.

 

Read 2 Cor. 1:8-11  – Being Delivered from Suffering

 

  1. How does Paul describe his suffering in verse 8?

 

  1. What did Paul see as God’s purpose for this suffering? (vs 9)

 

  1. We don’t know the details of Paul’s suffering, but it could have been the persecution he faced in many cities, or some believe it had to do with his health issues. Regardless, it was very serious. What does verse 10 tell us about his assurance of God’s help?

 

  1. In verse 11 we see the value of intercessory prayer. We often think of the great things God did through Paul, and we rightly admire him as a man of God. Do we think of all the people who prayed  for him? Paul credited those praying people with much of his effectiveness in ministry. – Guzik

   

a. What is intercessory prayer?

b.  We often intercede for those in need, but it is equally important that we pray for those on the front lines of ministry. It is a way we can partner with others whose calling in ministry is different than our own. Who might God have you partner with in this way?

 

Conclusion

 

Though these first verses in 2 Corinthians are full of challenging truths, how has it encouraged you and/or built up your faith?    

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