The Second Epistle of Paul to the Corinthians.
I. The Explanation of his actions. 1:3-2:13
A. Rejoicing in the blessings of God. 1:3-7
B. Rescued from danger by God. 1:8-11 (the prayers of the saints)
While some spoke evil of him, Paul knew that some of the members loved him and prayed for him. He was addressing both groups – those that loved him and those that spread lies about him. He had already told them that he rejoiced in the blessings of God and revealed that he loved and cared for them. He then began to inform them that he had been in great danger and he told them how he was rescued and was being kept safe.
We will use the simple formula that reporters follow when they are investigating a news story – What, who, and why.
1. What had happened? – 2 Corinthians 1:8,9
Paul shared with them that they had been in such danger that they thought they were as good as dead, there was no way that they would survive. He told them that the only way that they came through the danger with their lives was that God intervened and saved them. It was wholly of God that they were alive! Paul had faced death many times and he had lived. This instance he was speaking of to them was most likely the trouble he faced in Ephesus, causing him to change his plans and leave the city earlier than he had planned.
Acts 19:26-28 Moreover ye see and hear, that not alone at Ephesus, but almost throughout all Asia, this Paul hath persuaded and turned away much people, saying that they be no gods, which are made with hands: So that not only this our craft is in danger to be set at nought; but also that the temple of the great goddess Diana should be despised, and her magnificence should be destroyed, whom all Asia and the world worshippeth. And when they heard these sayings, they were full of wrath, and cried out, saying, Great is Diana of the Ephesians.
2. Who was involved? 2 Corinthians 1:10
Paul testified in his life to the mercy of God in protecting him. We will look at just three examples of God’s protection –
a. Prior to being attacked – His escape from Damascus, let down from a window in a basket.
b. In the midst of an attack – when he was stoned to death and God revived him at Lystra.
c. Following an attack – being beaten and imprisoned in Philipi.
In all of this he gave glory to God. God will keep us from danger, keep us in danger, and keep us following danger. We are the Lord’s!
3. Why was he kept safe? 2 Corinthians 1:11
a. The prayers of the people – “Ye also helping together by prayer for us…”
b. The will of God.
1 John 5:14 And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:
God’s will was being worked out through Paul and the people had a part in this work – a partnership!
1). Paul followed the Lord’s commission –
Acts 9:15 But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel:
Acts 26:18 To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.
Acts 26:22 Having therefore obtained help of God, I continue unto this day, witnessing both to small and great, saying none other things than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come:
Romans 15:24 Whensoever I take my journey into Spain, I will come to you: for I trust to see you in my journey, and to be brought on my way thitherward by you, if first I be somewhat filled with your company.
2). Paul followed the Lord’s directions. Sometimes his ministry took him into the presence of danger and at other times into times in which they enjoyed the fullness of blessings, for instance the missionaries were blessed by the reception of the gospel in Philipi and then arrested and put in prison not long after in the same city. They were blessed in Berea and then were forced to leave by an angry group that had pursued them from Thessalonica. The Lord protected Paul and those preachers that traveled with him, but we see that he understood the need for the power of the Lord in the preaching of the Gospel –
2 Thessalonians 3:1 Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you:
-and the protection of the Lord as they ministered His Word to the people.
2 Thessalonians 3:2 And that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men: for all men have not faith.
3). Paul thanked the people for their prayers brought forth by love for God and for him in the work of God –
“…that for the gift bestowed upon us by the means of many persons thanks may be given by many on our behalf.”
He sent a message of encouragement to those that cared for him – he knew that not all of the church had turned against him and he thanked them for their faithfulness.
He sent a message of exhortation to those that opposed him – they should know that God was blessing and keeping him – he was in the center of God’s will and they should repent of their deeds and support the ministry of the Word in truth!
There is no perfect person except the Lord.
There is no perfect church because it is made up of imperfect people – but we should determine in our hearts and minds to know God’s will and do it.
2 Timothy 2:15-16 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.
Do you have this testimony of God – that you know how He wants you to serve Him?
that you where He wants you to serve Him?