God of Mercy and Comfort
2 Cor 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, unto the church of God which is at Corinth, with all the saints which are in all Achaia:
Paul begins this second epistle stating his authority as an apostle, called by Jesus and by the will of God. He is establishing his authority to speak to the church that he founded. Another strong leader had gained influence and he was undermining Paul, his authority and ministry. This will happen to each of us, we will be accused and found fault with as we serve the Lord. If we allow the Holy Spirit to be our guide and power and the word of God our message, then we may face any opposition.
Paul includes Timothy in his greeting because he helped found the church at Corinth, which is in the region of Achaia, all the members of Christ's church in this region were being addressed.
2 Cor 1:2 Grace be to you and peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
Having began the letter with who is speaking and to whom, which is a good way to start a letter, Paul gives the customary greeting, one we should give to one another, instead of, "How are you?" Grace be to you and peace; we all live in the grace of Jesus and the peace of God that passes all understanding.
Phil 4:7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
2 Cor 1:3 Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort;
Paul blesses or praises God our Father and Father of the Lord Jesus Christ for two shining virtues of his glory;
the Father of mercies
1 Pet 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
1 Pet 1:4 To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,
and the the God of all comfort;
2 Cor 1:4 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.
Isa 51:12 I, even I, am he that comforteth you: who art thou, that thou shouldest be afraid of a man that shall die, and of the son of man which shall be made as grass;
Isa 51:15 But I am the LORD thy God, that divided the sea, whose waves roared: The LORD of hosts is his name.
Paul knew tribulations and sufferings and he gives encouragment to us who may go through difficult times. There is a purpose to be fulfilled, we are to comfort others as we ourselves have been comforted.
Perhaps some reading this have suffered great sufferings; as Paul, as Jesus, remember, that God is your comfort, the Holy Spirit your comforter. We will be more able to have compassion on others who are suffering and without hope, because we have received mercy and comfort from God. Praise God, for he works all things out to his glory and life and eternal purpose.
Exo 15:11 Who is like unto thee, O LORD, among the gods? who is like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders?
I worship you, oh Lord, worthy are you of glory , honor and praise.
2 Cor 1:5 For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ.
With sufferings in Christ come comforts. I know by experience that the Holy Spirit brings peace even in the worst afflictions.
2 Cor 4:10 Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.
2 Cor 1:6 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.
Sufferings and afflictions were a part of Paul's ministry from the beginning. Jesus was there to comfort him, pain and afflictions cannot compare to the presence of the Lord.
For those who say they do not need God or Jesus, what do you do when pain comes? Do you curse God? I hope not, because without God you are accursed and will receive eternal torment, then who will you blame? Now is the time to humbly submit to God and to receive Jesus, who came to save you from your evil ways.
2 Cor 1:7 And our hope of you is stedfast, knowing, that as ye are partakers of the sufferings, so shall ye be also of the consolation.
Rom 8:17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
The greatest comfort is to know that God keeps us in His hand. We are not alone making our own way. If we are as a "Lone Ranger," it is time to get with others of faith. How can we comfort others, or receive comfort from others of faith, if we are riding alone into the sunset?
2 Cor 1:8 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:
Acts 14:19 And there came thither certain Jews from Antioch and Iconium, who persuaded the people, and, having stoned Paul, drew him out of the city, supposing he had been dead.
What kept Paul going with so much opposition? The Lord was with him, he continued to preach the gospel; and many were led to the Lord. Satan follows, trying to destroy God's workers by physical affliction and by thoughts placed in their minds. Cast down negative thoughts, wear the full armour of God, and continue.
2 Cor 1:9 But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead:
Jer 17:5 Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD.
2 Cor 1:10 Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us;
2 Pet 2:9 The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:
2 Cor 1:11 Ye also helping together by prayer for us, that for the gift bestowed upon us by the means of many persons thanks may be given by many on our behalf.
The prayers said for Paul gave him the power to reach many people. These people give thanks to the Lord for you. As a woman travailing in birth, Paul suffered to bring new births into the kingdom of God. Pray for those who are reaching out to save the lost. When others are saved, you are family to the new babes. Your prayers made the way for their delivery.
Once delivered unto Jesus, they continue to be delivered from satan's thoughts and deep seated strongholds. Each day becoming more like Jesus. Have your way Lord, cleanse us from all that offends. May your people glorify you.
2 Cor 1:12 For our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our conversation in the world, and more abundantly to you-ward.
Acts 24:16 And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offence toward God, and toward men.
Paul's troubles accomplished something in his life. He was dependent on God's grace, not with fleshly wisdom. Too many fight a personal battle of self love or self hate. Our battle is with satan. It is he that will destroy you or lead you down a crooked path, unless you completely trust in God and his grace. Be like Paul, be determined to serve God proclaiming the gospel, knowing your calling.
2 Cor 1:13 For we write none other things unto you, than what ye read or acknowledge; and I trust ye shall acknowledge even to the end;
2 Cor 1:14 As also ye have acknowledged us in part, that we are your rejoicing, even as ye also are ours in the day of the Lord Jesus.
Praise God for the love and fellowship of God's family. As Paul brought new people to the Lord and discipled them. Both he and the ones receiving rejoiced in the grace of God. All have the same hope of glory. All belong to God our father. They rejoice together in their friendship.
2 Cor 1:15 And in this confidence I was minded to come unto you before, that ye might have a second benefit;
2 Cor 1:16 And to pass by you into Macedonia, and to come again out of Macedonia unto you, and of you to be brought on my way toward Judaea.
Paul had planned to come again to Corinth, and receive the offering to be delivered to the persecuted church in Jerusalem. He was going to receive certain of the church to go with him to deliver the offering in person to the needy in the church.
Is it then the first use of an offering, not for a temple to be built, as in Solomon's temple, but rather to supply the needs of God's holy temples, the needy of the church?
Acts 7:48 Howbeit the most High dwelleth not in temples made with hands; as saith the prophet,
1 Cor 3:16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
We are to love God, and one another. We are to go out into all the world, preaching the gospel, teaching them and then follows baptism. Then we are to meet together and worship God.
Heb 10:25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
2 Cor 1:17 When I therefore was thus minded, did I use lightness? or the things that I purpose, do I purpose according to the flesh, that with me there should be yea yea, and nay nay?
2 Cor 1:18 But as God is true, our word toward you was not yea and nay.
2 Cor 1:19 For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us, even by me and Silvanus and Timotheus, was not yea and nay, but in him was yea.
Paul had purposed to come, and does not speak after the flesh, but speaks by the Spirit of God. And not only Paul, but also Timothy and Sylvanus (Silas). These where not presumptuous in their words to the church. Paul would keep his word, but first this letter, for the time is not right. He did not want to come to a church in disarray, to spare them, he did not yet come. (vs23)
In part, Christ has not yet come, because the hearts of his people are not ready. Paul seems to be thinking along these same lines. Sometimes we cannot help others, because their hearts are not ready to receive. Each must decide for themselves to surrender totally to the Lord.
God's promises are yea
2 Cor 1:20 For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.
2 Cor 1:21 Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God;
He who has put you in the church, and he who has equipped us for ministry, is God, through the Holy Spirit.
2 Cor 1:22 Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.
The Holy Spirit has come to us, the mark in us that we belong to God. The mark of God is on our hearts, renewed, transformed by the word of God and the Holy Spirit. The presence of God with us, is the Holy Spirit. This is our deposit on eternal glory which we will receive.
The presence of God with us; Emanuel, A name of Jesus, meaning God with us. When Jesus was leaving he said he would leave with us the comforter, the Holy Ghost.
John 14:16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
John 14:17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
John 14:18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.
This is our presence of God. Jesus on earth was in only one place at a time, in Spirit he is everywhere, and he indwells his own people.
1 John 2:20 But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things.
2 Cor 1:23 Moreover I call God for a record upon my soul, that to spare you I came not as yet unto Corinth.
2 Cor 1:24 Not for that we have dominion over your faith, but are helpers of your joy: for by faith ye stand.
All stand by faith; salvation through Jesus Christ. By faith we receive the promises of God. Let no man have dominion over you, but the Man-God, Jesus Christ.
Mat 20:25 But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them.
Mat 20:26 But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister;
Mat 20:27 And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant:
Mat 20:28 Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.
You are called to serve, beware of what you serve. God will not share his glory with man.
In love, Gary