Sound Teaching

This is the teaching site of the West Side church of Christ in Fort Worth, TX. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials were written and prepared by Stan Cox

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Mining the Scriptures: 2 Corinthians 1:12-14

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Paul’s words in this text consist of a defense of himself to the church at Corinth. He protests his honesty, that “we conducted ourselves in the world in simplicity and godly sincerity.” The word “simplicity” indicates purity and integrity. Paul was not attempting to manipulate or “double deal” the Corinthians. In his dealings with that church, he always conducted himself with proper actions and motives.

Paul’s teaching was not by “fleshly wisdom”, but by the “grace of God.” As such, he treated the Corinthians justly, and could with confidence and a clean conscience proclaim that he had done what was right. A truly honest person can legitimately claim to be a friend because of the way he treats others. Motivated by love, he will always seek what is best for them. It is upon this basis that the apostle made his “boast” with regard to his relationship with the Christians in Corinth.

Mining the Scriptures: 2 Corinthians 1:8-11

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The apostle Paul suffered through many dangerous and difficult circumstances in Asia. He was persecuted in Lystra (Acts 14); there was a plot against his life in Macedonia (Acts 20:3); he fought against wild beasts in Ephesus (1 Cor. 15:32). Here he refers to one, or perhaps all of those troubles, stating that the “sentence of death” was in him, and that he “despaired even of life.” A more complete list of what Paul suffered is given in 2 Cor. 11:22-29.

Paul wished to share the information regarding his struggles with the Corinthians, that they might know of his trust in God, as the one “who raises the dead.” Paul knew that his life had been spared many times by providence, God having a further purpose for him. Even on the occasion where he was left for dead (cf. Acts 14:19), his life was spared.

Paul also attributed his rescue from peril to the petitions made for him by others (11). In thanking them for their prayers, he shows us the power of prayer too, and encourages us to pray for others.

Mining the Scriptures: 2 Corinthians 1:7-11

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In the first verse of our text, Paul establishes a wonderful promise of God as a steadfast principle. If we suffer for the cause of Christ, we are guaranteed the consolation that comes with that relationship. In other words, the suffering is worth it because of the hope we enjoy.

Paul illustrates the principle by noting the “trouble” he had suffered in Asia. This seems to be a reference to the mob scene in Ephesus recorded in Acts 19. Paul and his companions were in mortal peril on that occasion, and it seems that Paul left the area in fear (cf. Acts 20:1).

That fear of persecution remained, as such suffering is inevitable for the faithful child of God (cf. 2 Timothy 3:12). However, Paul took comfort in the trust he placed in God. God is able to raise men from the dead, and so surely would be able to deliver Paul, if it be in accord with His will. So Paul believed, “He will still deliver us” (vs. 10). As such, he coveted the prayers of the Corinthians in his behalf, that their prayers for him and his companions would effect God’s protection in their ministry.

Mining the Scriptures: 2 Corinthians 1:1-2

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A few short truths to take from Paul’s introduction in his second letter to Corinth:

First, Paul’s apostleship was genuine. Here he states as fact what he argued strongly in other places, his apostleship was from God (cf. Galatians 1:1).

Second, the church at Corinth is described as “the church of God.” This is not a denominational name, but a description. It affirms that the church at Corinth belongs to God. It is in this same way (and only in this way) that congregations may identify themselves as churches of Christ (cf. Romans 16:16). The phrase indicates ownership.

Third, the designation “saints” applies to all Christians. It is not limited to a few. All of us, when separated from the world, are called to a holy life. We are sanctified, hence, we are saints. Our lives should demonstrate that calling (cf. Titus 2:11-12).

Fourth, true grace and peace comes from “God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” We have a peace “which surpasses all understanding” (Philippians 4:7).

Great things can be learned from every verse in God’s wonderful word.

Mining The Scriptures: 2 Corinthians 1:3-6

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2 Corinthians 1:3-6

In the beginning of his second epistle to the church in Corinth, Paul begins by praising God the Father. Specifically, he praises God for the comfort He supplies, calling Him the Father of mercies.

Paul was comforted by God throughout all the trials of his life. He gives a list of these in chapter 11 of the letter. It must be noted that the consolation is supplied “through Christ” (vs. 5).

This is the wonderful promise we receive, if we suffer with Christ, we will also receive comfort through Him. As always, our standing with God and the privileges therein enjoyed are tied to our relationship with His Son, and the Grace that God delivered through Him.

It is equally wonderful that our consolation in Christ equips us to comfort each other during tribulation or difficulty. We can raise the focus of the downtrodden above the present distress to the eternal hope that we together enjoy as brethren and children of God.

Mining The Scriptures: 2 Corinthians 7:8-12

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2 Corinthians 7:8-12

The apostle’s words here give us a wonderful example of the attitude that should be present in a Christian when convicted of sin.

Paul wrote concerning the various failings of the Corinthians, documenting many in his first epistle to that church. Verse 12 seems to indicate that Paul had specifically in mind their treatment of the immoral man in 1 Corinthians 5. They had tolerated his sin rather than withdrawing their fellowship from him, as Paul had commanded them.

But, at Paul’s instruction they had repented. Godly sorrow, as they were convicted of their sin, led them to repent. Such sorrow was strong, and led to indignation (toward themselves), and zeal (to prove their repentance). As a result of this profound change of heart regarding their sin, Paul stated, “In all things you proved yourselves to be clear in this matter” (vs. 11). May we all show the same sorrow at our own transgressions.