Book of 2 Corinthians
This letter to the Corinthian church is not similar to the first letter. This letter from Paul (with help from Timothy), written around 55-56 A.D., is more of a defensive response to the church, because Corinthians responded to his first letter to them questioning his authority. He addresses a few categories of people: first, the majority of Corinth who remained faithful to him; second, false apostles and others who spoke against him; and third, the people influenced by the slanderers, seems like Paul had aimed to also prepare the church for his future visit.
ln the introduction, Paul begins by speaking about God, and how He comforts us in all tribulation and trouble. God is recognized as the Comforter and gives us the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts. Then, Paul addresses forgiving the troublemakers in the church before talking about being triumphant in Christ. Soon, Paul begins instruction on a neu, covenant, which he calls the ministration of the Spirit. He instructs that through faith in Christ, one receives the Spirit and is born again. All of the benefits come through the Holy Spirit because of Christ's redemptive work. We get a good joy reading, where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty' (3:17). We get freedom through Christ! Being free from condemnation is a beautiful thing, and Paul expresses that. Next, he instructs that there are dishonest, deceitful, and crafty people talking to God's people, and they have been renounced. Sadly, the gospel is hid to them that are lost, and that the god of this world (that is, the devil) blinds the minds of unbelievers to the truth of God - unless God's glory shines on them.
Now, Paul begins talking about the way that ministry works and its difficulties. Believers may be troubled and persecuted, but will not be destroyed, because they are always bearing the life of Jesus in the mortal flesh. They are instructed to walk confidently, reconciling with people and being forgiving, and staying focused even in sufferings. ln addition, believers should not be unequally yoked with unbelievers, as these types of relationships can corrupt their relationships with Christ. Next, Paul begins to minister comfort by telling them that the sorrows they face - they should seek repentance and salvation.
Paul then addresses the churches of Macedonia, where he speaks of the offerings given to poor believers. They are instructed to be faithful, diligent, honest, and generous to give to the poor. By demonstrating this character in giving, they'll do it out of the right heart and intentions. Faul moves on to defend himself, as many of the Corinthian people questioned his authority. He instructs them to cast down imaginations, for believers' war in their minds, and that they should bring thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ. He then addresses the false apostles who preach another gospel, telling them they are cut off.
We learn next of Paul's sufferings, including his thorn in the flesh. Then, Paul starts having visions of the Lord, and sought Him because of suffering. The Lord ministered to Paul, telling him that, 'My grace is sufficient...my strength is made perfect in weakness" (12:9). Paul gives his last teaching bit on what makes a true apostle and what does not before telling the people to repent. Paul does his farewell finally and ends the letter. Because Paul had suffered so much, he was aware of what the believers were feeling and how to properly respond to situations of persecution.