2 Corinthians Chapter One
2 Corinthians 1
The apostle writes the second Epistle to the Corinthians under the influence of the consolations of Christ-consolations experienced when the troubles which came upon him in Asia were at their height; and renewed at the moment when he wrote his letter, by the good news which Titus had brought him from Corinth-consolations which (now that he is happy about them) he imparts to the Corinthians; who, by grace, had been their source in the last instance.
The first letter had awakened their conscience, and had re-established the fear of God in their heart, and integrity in their walk. The sorrowing heart of the apostle was revived by hearing this good news. The state of the Corinthians had cast him down and a little removed from his heart the feelings produced by the consolations with which Jesus filled it during his trials at Ephesus. How various and complicated are the exercises of him who serves Christ and cares for souls! The spiritual restoration of the Corinthians, by dissipating Paul's anguish, had renewed the joy of these consolations, which the tidings of their misconduct had interrupted. He afterwards returns to this subject of his sufferings at Ephesus; and develops, in a remarkable way, the power of the life by which he lived in Christ.
He addresses all the saints of that country, as well as those in the city of Corinth, which was its capital; and, being led by the Holy Ghost to write according to the real sentiments which that Spirit produced in him, he at once places himself in the midst of the consolations which flowed into his heart, in order to acknowledge in them the God who poured them into his tried and exercised spirit.
Nothing more touching than the work of the Spirit in the apostle's heart. The mixture of gratitude and worship towards God, of joy in the consolations of Christ, and of affection for those on whose account he now rejoiced, has a beauty entirely inimitable by the mind of man. Its simplicity and its truth do but enhance the excellence and exalted character of this divine work in a human heart. "Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort, 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. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ. 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." Blessing God for the consolations which he had received, content to suffer, because his participation in suffering encouraged the faith of the Corinthians who suffered, by shewing them the path ordained of God for the most excellent, he pours into their hearts the consolation of his own, as soon as comfort comes to him from God. His first thought (and it is always so with one who realises his dependence on God, and who abides in his presence-see Genesis 24) is to bless God, and to acknowledge Him as the source of all consolation. The Christ, whom he has found both in the sufferings and in the consolation, turns his heart immediately to the beloved members of His body.
Mark at once the perversity of man's heart and the patience of God. In the midst of sufferings for the sake of Christ, they could take part in the sin that dishonoured His name-a sin unknown among the Gentiles. In spite of this sin God would not deprive them of the testimony, which those sufferings gave them, of the truth of their Christianity-sufferings which assured the apostle that the Corinthians would enjoy the consolations of Christ, which accompanied sufferings for His sake. It is beautiful to see how grace lays hold of the good, in order to conclude that the evil will surely be corrected, instead of discrediting the good because of the evil. Paul was near Christ-the source of strength.
He continues by presenting, experimentally, the doctrine of the power of life in Christ,  which had its development and its strength in death to all that is temporal, to all that links us with the old creation, to mortal life itself. He then touches upon almost every subject that had occupied him in the first epistle, but with an unburdened heart, although with a firmness that desired their good, and the glory of God, let it cost himself what sorrow it might. Observe here the admirable connection between the personal circumstances of God's labourers, and the work to which they are called, and even the circumstances of that work. The first epistle had produced that salutary effect on the Corinthians to which the apostle, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, had destined it. Their conscience had been awakened, and they had become zealous against the evil in proportion to the depth of their fall. This is always the effect of the work of the Spirit, when the conscience of the Christian who has fallen is really touched. The apostle's heart can open with joy to their complete and sincere obedience. Meanwhile he had himself passed through terrible trials, so that he had despaired of life; and he had been able through grace to realise the power of that life in Christ which gained the victory over death, and could pour abundantly into the hearts of the Corinthians the consolations of that life, which were to raise them up again. There is a God who conducts all things in the service of His saints-the sorrow through which they pass, as all the rest.
Observe, also, that he does not need to begin by reminding the Corinthians, as he had done in the first epistle, of their calling and their privileges as sanctified in Christ. He breaks out in thanksgiving to the God of all consolation. Holiness is brought forward when it is practically wanting among the saints. If they are walking in holiness, they enjoy God, and they speak of Him. The way in which the various parts of the work of God are linked together, in and by means of the apostle, is seen in the expressions that flow from his grateful heart. God comforts him in his sufferings; and the consolation is such that it is suited to comfort others, in whatsoever affliction it may be; for it is God Himself who is the consolation, by pouring into the heart His love and His communion, as it is enjoyed in Christ.
If afflicted, it was for the comfort of others by the sight of similar afflictions in those who were honoured of God, and the consciousness of unison in the same blessed cause, and relationship with God (the heart being touched and brought back to these affections by this means). If comforted, it was to comfort others with the consolations that he himself enjoyed in affliction. And the afflictions of the Corinthians were a testimony to him that, however great their moral weakness had been, they had part in those consolations which he enjoyed himself, and which he knew to be so deep, so real, which he knew to be of God, and a token of His favour. Precious bonds of grace! And how true it is in our little measure, that the sufferings of those who labour re-animate on the one hand love towards them, and on the other re-assure the labourer as to the sincerity of the objects of his christian affection, by presenting them anew to him in the love of Christ. The affliction of the apostle had helped him in writing to the Corinthians with the grief that was suitable to their condition; but what faith was that which occupied itself with such energy and such entire forgetfulness of self about the sad state of others, amid such circumstances as then surrounded the apostle! His strength was in Christ.
His heart expands towards the Corinthians. We see that his affections flow freely-a thing of great value. He reckons on the interest they will take in the account of his sufferings; he is sure that they will rejoice in what God has given him, even as he rejoices in them as the fruit of his labours, and that they will acknowledge what he is; and he is content to be a debtor to their prayers with regard to the gifts displayed in himself, so that his success in the gospel was to them as a personal interest of their own. He could truly demand their prayers, for his course had been run in unmingled sincerity, and especially among them. This leads him to explain to them the motives of his movements, of which he had not spoken to them before, referring these movements to his own plans and motives, subject to the Lord. He is always master (under Christ) of his movements; but he can now speak freely of that which had decided him, which the Corinthians were not before in a state to know. He wishes to satisfy them, to explain things to them, so as to demonstrate his perfect love for them; and, at the same time, to maintain his entire liberty in Christ, and not make himself responsible to them for what he did. He was their servant in affliction, but free to be so, because he was amenable only to Christ, although he satisfied their conscience (because he served Christ) if their conscience was upright.
His own conscience however was clear; and he only wrote to them that which they knew and acknowledged, and, as he trusted, would acknowledge to the end; so that they should rejoice in him, as he in them.
 The beginning of this Epistle presents the experimental power of that which is doctrinally taught in Romans 5:12 to chap. 8, and is extremely instructive in this respect. It is not so much Colossians and Ephesians; the practical fruit of the doctrine there is the display of God's own character. However we have in a measure what is taught in Colossians carried out.
── John Darby《Synopsis of 2 Corinthians》
2 Corinthians 1
The apostle blesses God for comfort in, and deliverance out of troubles. (1-11) He professes his own and his fellow-labourers' integrity. (12-14) Gives reasons for his not coming to them. (15-24)
Commentary on 2 Corinthians 1:1-11
(Read 2 Corinthians 1:1-11)
We are encouraged to come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. The Lord is able to give peace to the troubled conscience, and to calm the raging passions of the soul. These blessings are given by him, as the Father of his redeemed family. It is our Saviour who says, Let not your heart be troubled. All comforts come from God, and our sweetest comforts are in him. He speaks peace to souls by granting the free remission of sins; and he comforts them by the enlivening influences of the Holy Spirit, and by the rich mercies of his grace. He is able to bind up the broken-hearted, to heal the most painful wounds, and also to give hope and joy under the heaviest sorrows. The favours God bestows on us, are not only to make us cheerful, but also that we may be useful to others. He sends comforts enough to support such as simply trust in and serve him. If we should be brought so low as to despair even of life, yet we may then trust God, who can bring back even from death. Their hope and trust were not in vain; nor shall any be ashamed who trust in the Lord. Past experiences encourage faith and hope, and lay us under obligation to trust in God for time to come. And it is our duty, not only to help one another with prayer, but in praise and thanksgiving, and thereby to make suitable returns for benefits received. Thus both trials and mercies will end in good to ourselves and others.
Commentary on 2 Corinthians 1:12-14
(Read 2 Corinthians 1:12-14)
Though, as a sinner, the apostle could only rejoice and glory in Christ Jesus, yet, as a believer, he might rejoice and glory in being really what he professed. Conscience witnesses concerning the steady course and tenor of the life. Thereby we may judge ourselves, and not by this or by that single act. Our conversation will be well ordered, when we live and act under such a gracious principle in the heart. Having this, we may leave our characters in the Lord's hands, but using proper means to clear them, when the credit of the gospel, or our usefulness, calls for it.
Commentary on 2 Corinthians 1:15-24
(Read 2 Corinthians 1:15-24)
The apostle clears himself from the charge of levity and inconstancy, in not coming to Corinth. Good men should be careful to keep the reputation of sincerity and constancy; they should not resolve, but on careful thought; and they will not change unless for weighty reasons. Nothing can render God's promises more certain: his giving them through Christ, assures us they are his promises; as the wonders God wrought in the life, resurrection, and ascension of his Son, confirm faith. The Holy Spirit makes Christians firm in the faith of the gospel: the quickening of the Spirit is an earnest of everlasting life; and the comforts of the Spirit are an earnest of everlasting joy. The apostle desired to spare the blame he feared would be unavoidable, if he had gone to Corinth before he learned what effect his former letter produced. Our strength and ability are owing to faith; and our comfort and joy must flow from faith. The holy tempers and gracious fruits which attend faith, secure from delusion in so important a matter.
── Matthew Henry《Concise Commentary on 2 Corinthians》
2 Corinthians 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:
Timotheus our brother — St. Paul writing to Timotheus styled him his son; writing of him, his brother.
 Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort;
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ — A solemn and beautiful introduction, highly suitable to the apostolical spirit.
The Father of mercies, and God of all comfort — Mercies are the fountain of comfort; comfort is the outward expression of mercy. God shows mercy in the affliction itself. He gives comfort both in and after the affliction. Therefore is he termed, the God of all comfort. Blessed be this God!
 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.
Who comforteth us in all our affliction, that we may be able to comfort them who are in any affliction — He that has experienced one kind of affliction is able to comfort others in that affliction. He that has experienced all kinds of affliction is able to comfort them in all.
 For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ.
For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us — The sufferings endured on his account.
So our comfort also aboundeth through Christ — The sufferings were many, the comfort one; and yet not only equal to, but overbalancing, them all.
 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.
And whether we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation — For your present comfort, your present and future salvation.
Or whether we are comforted, it is for your comfort — That we may be the better able to comfort you.
Which is effectual in the patient enduring the same sufferings which we also suffer — Through the efficacy of which you patiently endure the same kind of sufferings with us.
 And our hope of you is stedfast, knowing, that as ye are partakers of the sufferings, so shall ye be also of the consolation.
And our hope concerning you — Grounded on your patience in suffering for Christ's sake, is steadfast.
 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:
We would not have you ignorant, brethren, of the trouble which befell us in Asia — Probably the same which is described in the nineteenth chapter of the Acts. Acts 19:1 The Corinthians knew before that he had been in trouble: he now declares the greatness and the fruit of it.
We were exceedingly pressed, above our strength — Above the ordinary strength even of an apostle.
 But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead:
Yea, we had the sentence of death in ourselves — We ourselves expected nothing but death.
 Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us;
We trust that he will still deliver — That we may at length be able to come to you.
 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.
You likewise — As well as other churches.
Helping with us by prayer, that for the gift — Namely, my deliverance.
Bestowed upon us by means of many persons — Praying for it, thanks may be given by many.
 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.
For I am the more emboldened to look for this, because I am conscious of my integrity; seeing this is our rejoicing - Even in the deepest adversity.
The testimony of our conscience — Whatever others think of us.
That in simplicity — Having one end in view, aiming singly at the glory of God.
And godly sincerity — Without any tincture of guile, dissimulation, or disguise.
Not with carnal wisdom, but by the grace of God — Not by natural, but divine, wisdom.
We have had our conversation in the world — In the whole world; in every circumstance.
 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.
Ye have acknowledged us in part — Though not so fully as ye will do.
That we are you rejoicing — That ye rejoice in having known us.
As ye also are ours — As we also rejoice in the success of our labours among you; and we trust shall rejoice therein in the day of the Lord Jesus.
 And in this confidence I was minded to come unto you before, that ye might have a second benefit;
In this confidence — That is, being confident of this.
 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?
Did I use levity — Did I lightly change my purpose? Do I purpose according to the flesh - Are my purposes grounded on carnal or worldly considerations? So that there should be with me yea and nay - Sometimes one, sometimes the other; that is, variableness and inconstancy.
 But as God is true, our word toward you was not yea and nay.
Our word to you — The whole tenor of our doctrine.
Hath not been yea and nay — Wavering and uncertain.
 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.
For Jesus Christ, who was preached by us — That is, our preaching concerning him.
Was not yea and nay — Was not variable and inconsistent with itself.
But was yea in him — Always one and the same, centering in him.
 For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.
For all the promises of God are yea and amen in him — Are surely established in and through him. They are yea with respect to God promising; amen, with respect to men believing; yea, with respect to the apostles; amen, with respect to their hearers.
 Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God;
I say, to the glory of God - For it is God alone that is able to fulfil these promises.
That establisheth us — Apostles and teachers.
With you — All true believers. In the faith of Christ; and hath anointed us - With the oil of gladness, with joy in the Holy Ghost, thereby giving us strength both to do and suffer his will.
 Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.
Who also hath sealed us — Stamping his image on our hearts, thus marking and sealing us as his own property.
And given us the earnest of his Spirit — There is a difference between an earnest and a pledge. A pledge is to be restored when the debt is paid; but an earnest is not taken away, but completed. Such an earnest is the Spirit. The first fruits of it we have Romans 8:23; and we wait for all the fulness.
 Moreover I call God for a record upon my soul, that to spare you I came not as yet unto Corinth.
I call God for a record upon my soul — Was not St. Paul now speaking by the Spirit? And can a more solemn oath be conceived? Who then can imagine that Christ ever designed to forbid all swearing? That to spare you I came not yet to Corinth - Lest I should be obliged to use severity. He says elegantly to Corinth, not to you, when be is intimating his power to punish.
 Not for that we have dominion over your faith, but are helpers of your joy: for by faith ye stand.
Not that we have dominion over your faith — This is the prerogative of God alone.
But are helpers of your joy — And faith from which it springs.
For by faith ye have stood — To this day. We see the light in which ministers should always consider themselves, and in which they are to be considered by others. Not as having dominion over the faith of their people, and having a right to dictate by their own authority what they shall believe, or what they shall do; but as helpers of their joy, by helping them forward in faith and holiness. In this view, how amiable does their office appear! and how friendly to the happiness of mankind! How far, then, are they from true benevolence, who would expose it to ridicule and contempt!
── John Wesley《Explanatory Notes on 2 Corinthians》
Chapter 1. Benefit of Suffering
I. Comforted In Suffering
II. Paul Boasts on Account of the Lord
III. Explain the Reason for the Change of Itinerary
── Chih-Hsin Chang《An Outline of The New Testament》
Chapter One General Review
OBJECTIVES IN STUDYING THIS CHAPTER
1) To understand the source and proper use of our comfort
2) To appreciate the value of prayer in working with God, and in
producing thanksgiving in others
3) To see what are proper grounds for "boasting"
Paul is joined by Timothy as he begins this epistle with greetings to
the church in
, and to all the brethren in Achaia (1-2). A Corinth
feature common in Paul's epistles is to start with a few words of
praise and/or thanksgiving, and in this epistle he includes both. He
first praises God for the comfort offered through Christ in the midst
of tribulation, and expresses his confidence that both the sufferings
and comfort he receives because of Christ can work to the benefit of
the brethren at
(3-7). He then informs them of the wonderful Corinth
deliverance God provided in
Asia(perhaps referring to the "Diana
incident" in Acts 19:23-41), telling them their prayers were
instrumental as well, and that this will lead many people to give
Paul's first order of business after his salutation and thanksgiving is
to offer a defense of his integrity. He begins with a profession of
sincerity and simplicity, both in his conduct and his writing, and then
reminds them that they will have good reason to "boast" in each other
when Christ comes (12-14). Evidently his sincerity had come in
question because Paul had made a change of plans concerning his visit
to them. Therefore he explains that his change was not due to
fickleness, but as God and His promises in Christ are trustworthy, so
is Paul, for God has anointed and sealed him with the Holy Spirit
(15-22). With God as his witness, Paul states that his change of plans
was an effort to spare them. This is not to suggest Paul exercises
some sort of domination over them, for he considers himself as a fellow
worker for their joy (23-24)
I. SALUTATION & THANKSGIVING (1-11)
A. SALUTATION (1-2)
1. From Paul and Timothy (
2. To the
churchof Godat , with all the saints in Achaia Corinth
3. Grace and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ
B. THANKSGIVING (3-11)
1. For comfort in the midst of affliction (3-7)
a. From the Father of mercies and God of all comfort (3)
b. So that we may comfort others in their trouble (4)
c. Which like the sufferings of Christ, our comfort abounds
through Christ, and both work for our salvation (5-7)
2. For deliverance in
a. Burdened beyond measure, Paul had despaired of life, and
was left with only his trust in God (8-9)
b. But with the help of their prayers, God delivered him from
death, resulting in much thanksgiving (10-11)
II. PAUL DEFENDS HIS INTEGRITY (12-24)
A. HIS PROFESSION OF SINCERITY (12-14)
1. In good conscience he has conducted himself with simplicity
and godly sincerity toward them, and continues to do so in his
writing to them (12
2. He hopes they understand that they have reason to boast in
each other when the Lord returns (13b-14)
B. THE CHANGED PLAN (15-22)
1. His original plan was visit them on his way to
, and Macedonia
to return on his way to
2. His planning was not done lightly (17-22)
a. It was not done according to the flesh, in an unreliable
b. But as God is faithful, and the promises of God in Jesus
are reliable, so were his words to them (18-20)
c. Indeed, Paul (along with Silvanus and Timothy) has been...
1) Established with them in Christ and anointed by God (21)
2) Sealed by God, and given the Spirit in their hearts as a
C. REASON FOR THE DELAYED VISIT (23-24)
1. To spare them, as God can confirm (23)
2. This is not to suggest an attitude of domination over them,
for he views himself as one working for their joy, and he
acknowledges that they stand on the basis of their faith (24)
REVIEW QUESTIONS FOR THE CHAPTER
1) What are the main points of this chapter?
- Salutation and thanksgiving (1-11)
- Paul defends his integrity (12-24)
2) Who joins Paul in writing this epistle? (1)
3) What two groups of people does Paul address in his salutation (1)
churchof Godat Corinth
- All the saints who are in all Achaia (
4) How does Paul describe the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ?
- The Father of mercies and God of all comfort
5) What is the proper use of comfort we receive from God? (4)
- To comfort those who are in any trouble
6) What two things abound in Christ? (5)
- Consolation (comfort)
7) Where had Paul experienced some trouble? How serious was it? (8-9)
- In Asia (modern day
- Such that he despaired of life, and could only trust in God who
raises the dead
8) What had worked together with God in providing deliverance? What
other effect did it have? (11)
- Their prayers for him
- Thanksgiving to be given by many people on his behalf
9) In what could Paul "boast"? (12)
- The clear conscience that his conduct in the world was with
simplicity and godly sincerity
10) What could Paul and the brethren in
look forward to Corinth
boasting in, when Christ comes again? (14)
- Each other
11) What appears to be the reason Paul's integrity was in question?
- A change of plans in visiting them
12) Paul professes that his word is as faithful as what two things?
- The promises of God in Christ
13) What assurances does Paul offer that he is faithful? (21-22)
- That God has established and anointed him, and sealed him by
giving him the Holy Spirit in his heart as a deposit
14) Why had Paul changed his plans about coming to
? (23) Corinth
- To spare them
True Comfort (1:1-3)
1. Have you ever known people who despite tragedy were able to offer
comfort to others?
a. I know a woman who within two years lost her husband, her father,
and her two sons
b. Yet when I saw her at the funeral of the last one to die, I was
impressed by the way...
1) She graciously went around welcoming those who came to pay
2) She offered comfort to others, when you would think she would
be the one needing it
2. On the other hand, some people are devastated by personal
a. They find no peace, no consolation
b. They certainly are in no position to help others
3. What is the difference? Where do those who are able to comfort
others while enduring their tragedy receive the strength to help
a. The apostle Paul was one individual who had learned the secret
b. And he passed it along to us in his second letter to the
[It is in 2 Co 1:3-5 where we learn about "True Comfort" (read).
Note first of all regarding...]
I. THE SOURCE OF "TRUE COMFORT"
A. MANY SEEK FOR COMFORT "IN ALL THE WRONG PLACES"...
1. Some in thinking their problems are no worse than those of
2. Some in thinking that things will improve
3. Some in believing that it can't be helped
4. Some in trying to forget
5. Some in exciting and dissipating pleasures of the flesh
6. Some in complaining and repining
B. BUT TRUE COMFORT COMES FROM GOD...
1. He is called the "God of all comfort" - 2 Co 1:3
2. Why Him?
a. Because He is also the "Father of mercies" - cf. 2 Co 1:3
1) The term "father" implies "source"
2) Thus He is the source of all kinds of goodness and mercy
- cf. Ja 1:17
b. Comfort is just one of His many mercies, and so He is
1) The "God of all comfort" - 2 Co 1:3
2) "The God of patience and comfort" - Ro 15:5
3. As the God of ALL comfort, there is no limitation to the
comfort He provides
[The source of "True Comfort", then, is God. But when does it come,
II. THE BESTOWAL OF "TRUE COMFORT"
A. IT IS BESTOWED "IN ALL OUR TRIBULATION"...
1. God comforts us when it is most needed - 2 Co 1:4
2. As taught elsewhere, God does not desert us in time of need...
a. "I will never leave you nor forsake you." - He 13:5b
b. He will not allow us to be tempted beyond our ability to
bear - 1 Co 10:13
c. Yes, even in "the valley of the shadow of death", He is
there to comfort us - Ps 23:4
3. Indeed, the greater the affliction, the greater the comfort!
- 2 Co 1:5
a. As the sufferings abound...
b. ...so does the consolation!
B. IT IS BESTOWED "THROUGH CHRIST"...
1. "...so our consolation also abounds through Christ" - 2 Co 1:5
a. Just as with all other spiritual blessings, it is found
only "in Christ" - Ep 1:3
b. To receive the comfort that comes from God, then, we must
be "in Christ"!
2. Being "in Christ", there are two avenues through which comfort
a. The Word of God - cf. Ro 15:4
b. Prayer - cf. Ph 4:6-7
[Actually, there is a third avenue by which the "True Comfort" God
gives us in Christ is bestowed, but that will become apparent as we
III. THE PURPOSE OF "TRUE COMFORT"
A. TO COMFORT OTHERS...
1. "...that we may be able to comfort those who are in any
trouble" - 2 Co 1:4
2. The comfort God provides through Christ is not just for our
3. "God does not comfort us to make us comfortable, but to make
us comforters." - John Henry Jowett (1817-1893)
-- Yes, our comfort is designed to be shared!
B. A CASE IN POINT...
1. How God comforted Paul - 2 Co 7:4-7,13
a. The Corinthians comforted Titus in the way they received
b. So comforted by the Corinthians' reception, Titus' coming
then comforted Paul
c. Yet Paul saw that the source of this comfort was ultimately
2. This reveals another avenue by which God bestows His comfort
a. It may come DIRECTLY from God (e.g., through His Word - Ro
b. It may also come INDIRECTLY from God, through the
exhortations of others - cf. 1 Th 4:18
3. Sadly, many people neglect all avenues through which God
offers "true comfort"
a. They do not feed upon the Word and pray, to receive comfort
b. Nor do they develop the network of relationships with other
Christians, through which God might comfort them indirectly
-- But when all avenues are utilized, then "true comfort" is
possible, and we can then pass it along!
[Finally, let's also notice...]
IV. A CONSEQUENCE OF "TRUE COMFORT"
A. GRATITUDE, MINGLED WITH ADORATION...
1. Paul began our text with these words: "Blessed be the God and
Father..." - 2 Co 1:3
2. It was the "true comfort" he had received that moved him to
B. SUCH PRAISE IS ONLY NATURAL...
1. Not only because of the comfort we have received
2. But also because of the comfort we can now pass along to
1. Are you lacking in this "true comfort"?
a. Perhaps you have been looking in the wrong places...
1) It comes only from "the God of all comfort"
2) And it comes only "through Christ"
-- Are you in Christ? - cf. Ga 3:27
b. Perhaps you are not benefiting from the comfort God gives
1) There are those who would be happy to share their comfort with
2) But you must be willing to develop the relationships necessary
for such comfort to travel from them to you!
-- Are you working on your relationship with fellow Christians?
- cf. Ph 2:1-5
2. For those who are faithful Christians, having delighted in fullness
of "true comfort", remember these exhortations...
a. "Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you
also are doing." - 1 Th 5:11
b. "Now we exhort you, brethren, warn those who are unruly, comfort
the fainthearted, uphold the weak, be patient with all."
- 1 Th 5:14
Do these things, and we will all experience the "true comfort" by which
we will want to say:
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father
of mercies and God of all comfort..." (2 Cor 1:3)
Benefit of Suffering
I. Comforted In Suffering
1. God Comforts Us
2. We Comfort Others
3. Three Kinds of Delivering
II.Paul Boasts on Account of the Lord
1. The Testimony of Conscience
2. Rely on God’s Grace
3. Holy in Words and Deeds
III. Explain the Reason for the Change of Itinerary
1. Confirm Itinerary
2. Always “yes”
3. The Intention to Spare
－－ Chih-Hsin Chang《An Outline of The New Testament》