When Paul went to Corinth, he preached in the synagogue for about 18 months (50-51 AD). The new fledgling church was birthed from the synagogue ministry and corrupt and sinful people were receiving the free gift of eternal life. “With its cultural diversity, wealth, paganism and infamous debauchery, Corinth was perhaps not the place onlookers would have expected the church to flourish. Yet it was precisely here that Paul enjoyed one of his most successful ministries—and also here that he experienced some of his greatest challenges with early converts to Christianity.” (Archaeological Study Bible, p. 1887.)
As one reads Paul’s letters to the church at Corinth, we quickly recognize his love for these people and his passion to see them walking in right relationship with the Lord. He wrote several letters to the believers of Corinth, including this fourth letter that we know as 2nd Corinthians around 56 AD, nearly a year after he wrote the book of 1st Corinthians. While on his third missionary journey in Macedonia, Paul met Titus who had just come from Corinth. He was both encouraged and troubled by the news from Titus and thus he wrote an emotional letter to the people of Corinth.
The main themes found in 2nd Corinthians include: the power of the gospel to transform individuals; the relationship between suffering and the power of the Holy Spirit in Paul’s own life and ministry; encouragement toward habits of holy living including repentance and giving; and warnings to truly examine one’s own faith in relation to Christ. Paul’s emotional letter expresses his sincere desire for all to come to repentance and to not “lose heart” in the ups and downs every person will face in daily living. Even though 2nd Corinthians was written hundreds of years ago, Paul’s words offer encouragement to believers today.
“But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” ~2 Corinthians 12:9
We invite you to follow the Bible Reading Schedule for this month and read the corresponding blog posts each week.
Below are some ideas for your personal study time with the Lord – take time to pray and read His Word each day.
General Suggestions & Tips
- Schedule an appointment each day to read God’s Word.
- Begin with prayer and ask the Lord to speak to you through His Word.
- Follow the schedule and read the scripture passage listed.
- Read the day’s passage and ask yourself, “What do these verses say?”
- Look for points of personal application.
- How is God speaking to me (instruction, call to obey, warning)?
- What does this passage teach me about God?
- Are there specific truths God wants me to apply to my life?