This is Paul’s second letter to the Corinthian church. Let’s step through his introduction to see what it can teach us:
- Paul is an apostle “by the will of God” (1:1). Remember the Damascus Road experience (Acts 9)? Paul was definitely called by God!
- God is the God of all comfort (1:3).
- Which is important, because we have difficulty in life.
- God comforts us so that we can, in turn, comfort others (1:4).
- The sufferings of Paul and his companions were severe (1:8).
- In fact, it was beyond their ability to cope. They had to trust in God (1:9). After all, he has the power to raise the dead!
- Their hope and trust were vindicated in the past because God delivered them, and they trust he will deliver them again (1:10).
- The prayers of the saints helped them to make it through (1:11).
- Paul wanted to come to them, but had to change his plans (1:16).
- But his change of plans was done with the insight and wisdom that comes from God (1:12). He was acting honorably, not just changing his plans for no reason!
- They should be proud of his actions, just as his pride for them will be displayed at the return of Christ (1:14).
- All of Paul’s plans are dictated by the will of God in his life. Whatever happens, happens as a result of God’s work. What happens is a “Yes” in Christ (1:19)! Nothing is by accident! Nothing is a surprise!
- In fact, everything in the Old Testament pointed to Jesus. Everything is fulfilled through Him. He is both the “Yes” and the “Amen” that gives all the glory to God (1:21)!
- God establishes all of them through Christ. They are anointed for ministry, sealed forever as God’s, and given the Spirit as a down payment of the glory that is yet to come (1:22)!
What a section of Scripture! We are reminded that God comforts us in the midst of trouble and turmoil. We are reminded that God has a purpose and a plan for all things. We are reminded that whatever happens is a part of God’s purpose and plan. And we are reminded that we called by God for ministry, kept through his grace, and given the Spirit as a down payment of more that is yet to come. Hallelujah!