STUDY II Corinthians
1:1-11 (click here for notes)
Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother,
To the church of God in Corinth, together with all the saints throughout Achaia:
Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.
We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about the hardships we suffered in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life. Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many. (NIV)
1.Who is with Paul as he writes this letter, and what do we know of Paul's relationship with this person? (see 2 Timothy 1:6-7; 2:1)
2. In light of the background information regarding the church at Corinth, what is significant about Paul's salutation, "Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God"? (see Acts 9:1-19; 1 Corinthians 12:27-31; 9:1-3; 2 Corinthians 10:17-18; 11:3-6)
3. Who are "the saints" Paul addresses? (see Romans 1:6-7; 15:31; Acts 9:13, 32; 8:3; Ephesians 1:1; Philippians 1:1)
4. Given the Corinthians' history of immaturity and worldly behavior, what is significant about the fact that Paul addresses them as "saints"?
The God of Comfort
5. Paul begins the body of this letter by praising God, the Father of Jesus, "the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles" What is the essence of God's comfort to us? (see Isaiah 49:8, 13; 51:12-16; 66:12-13)
6. How does God administer comfort to us? (see 2 Corinthians 7:6, 7, 13)
7. Paul gives significance and meaning to suffering beyond simply the experiencing of hard times. What is the point of suffering in a Christ-follower's life, and what does he mean when he says, "The sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives"? (see Romans 6:6; 8:17; 2 Corinthians 4:10; Galatians 6:17; Philippians 3:10; Colossians 1:24; 1 Peter 4:13)
8. How does our comfort overflow through Christ?
9. What does Paul mean when he says, "If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation"? (see 2 Corinthians 4:15)
10. What role does endurance play in a Christ-follower's life? (see Romans 15:4-5; 2 Corinthians 6:4-10; Colossians 1:10-11; 1 Thessalonians 1:3; 1 Timothy 6:11-12; 2 Timothy 3:10-11; Titus 2:1-2; Revelation 1:9; 13:10; 14:9-12)
God's Resurrection Power
11. Paul's sufferings in Asia (v.8) are not defined nor is the exact place he suffered. What can we conclude, however, from his contrasting the "sentence of death" he felt in his heart with relying on God "who raises the dead"?
12. What point about God is Paul making? (see also 2 Corinthians 12:9-10; 1 Timothy 4:10)
13. Paul makes it clear that his readers helped him by their prayers (v.11). What can we deduce about the importance of our prayers for one another? (see Romans 15:30-31; Ephesians 6:18-20; Philippians 1:18-19; James 5:13-16)
14. What is our spiritual obligation when we pray? (see James 1:6-8; Mark 11:22-26)
15. How/when have you received God's comfort, either directly or through another person?
16. How/when have you been able to minister to someone as a result of what you have endured?
17. What has your experience with intercessory prayer been, either as the one praying or as the one receiving prayer?
18. What suffering or potential suffering in your life are you trying to avoid?
19. What pain or loss are you facing that is unresolved and leaves you in physical or emotional trauma?
20. What is God asking you to submit to him in trust, not knowing the outcome, yet accepting his comfort and promises by faith?
21. What in your life is God nudging you to talk about with someone who could pray for you?
22. For whom is God asking you to pray?
23. Ask God to show you what he wants you to learn from the suffering
you face. Ask him to teach you to trust him and to help you let go of what
you fear losing. Ask him to glorify himself through the situations in your
life and to be more real to you than the suffering you face. Ask him to
teach you how to pray about your situation, and let his love put your heart
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