2 Corinthians: The Ministry of God’s Children

In this lesson we have outlined the book of 2 Corinthians for two reasons.  The first is to give you a better appreciation for your Bible in understanding what you’re reading.  The second is that the book of 2 Corinthians is a book of ministry.  It is written to the Corinthian church so this is not exclusively a letter written to pastors; it is the expectation and work of God through all believers in the Lord Jesus Christ.  Ministry is not just for pastors, it is for all Christians.

I speak as unto my children (2 Corinthians 6:13).  This verse comes in the context of Paul speaking to the Corinthians about their responsibilities as God’s children, but it is this relationship as a parent that most closely relates to that of ministry.

Chapter 1 – God Ministers Comfort to His Children

  • John 14:16-17, Comfort: com (with) fort (strength, as in fortify and fortitude)
  • God’s comfort to you and then through you (2 Corinthians 1:4, 6)
  • Three things about God’s comfort to and through you:
    • This doctrine provides context and meaning to painful circumstances in your life.
    • You must receive His comfort instead of numbing, ignoring, distracting yourself from God’s ministry to you
    • What God provides you is meant to be passed on through you.  The right attitude of a parent for their child is that you will use your life to their advantage (2 Corinthians 12:14)
  • God wants His children to help each other
    • 2 Corinthians 1:11, 24 helping
    • Two are better than one (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12).  Complementary, not competitive, leading us into the next chapter.

Chapter 2 – God’s Children Minister Comfort to Each Other

  • God’s people take the comfort they have received from God and minister that comfort to another brother or sister in need. 2 Corinthians 2:3
  • 1 Thessalonians 2:19-20 – It fills my heart with joy to see your heart filled with joy.  (Sounds just like a parent.)  This is God’s attitude of forgiveness and reconciliation in Jesus Christ. You want to justify the party just like a mom justifies her child.
    • Get bitter or get better.  The opposite of forgiveness is bitterness.
    • First place Satan shows up in 2 Corinthians 2:10-11
    • Forgiveness destroys the accusatory power of Satan.
    • 2 Corinthians 2:15-16, God has one view and if you’re not careful your view of certain brothers and sisters in Christ can be more like the world’s perspective.  The perspective you have of your brother or sister has more to do with where your heart is standing.

Chapter 3 – God’s Children are Ministers of the New Testament

  • 2 Corinthians 3:2
  • Paul compares the old testament tables of stone to the new testament believers.
  • Holy Spirit ministers comfort to His own, but reproves the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment (John 16:7-11) because they will be judged by the law which will hold them guilty.  Believers in Jesus Christ have the promise of Romans 10:4 and have fulfilled the law in Jesus Christ.
  • The Holy Spirit is forming you into the glorious image of the son of God, 2 Corinthians 3:18.

Chapter 4 – God’s Children are Being Conformed to the Image of Jesus Christ, Not the Old Image of the Law

  • 2 Corinthians 4:1 Therefore seeing we have this ministry..  Politicians go on politicking, sinners go on sinning, but we have THIS ministry.  In other words this is what God is doing.
  • The only product this present world will produce is a people for God.  God is preparing that people for Himself. (Trieth the hearts, Exodus 16:4)
  • 2 Corinthians 4:10 Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus that the life also of Jesus  might be made manifest in our body.  For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.  Your life, if it is conforming to Jesus Christ, will mirror Jesus Christ’s life.  He has set the model for this present life.  (John 15:18, Galatians 2:20)  How is that for “Your Best Day Now” and prosperity preaching?!  Your best days are in the future!
  • Holy Spirit is conforming believers to the image of Jesus Christ according to Romans 8:16-19, 28-29.

Chapter 5 – New Identity in Jesus Christ’s Image Gives Us a New Perspective

  • We have a new identity – ambassadors of Jesus Christ
  • 2 Corinthians 5:16 what I can see is not what I’m looking at

Chapter 6 – New Identity in Jesus Christ’s Image Gives Us New Responsibilities

  • Don’t receive God’s grace in vain.  Avoid these things that will keep you from being a vessel of the grace of God

Chapter 7 – God’s Children Live Lives of Repentance Toward God

  • For a child of God this present life is a life of repentance toward God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ
  • This chapter covers true repentance

Chapter 8 – God’s Children Prove Their Sincerity by What They’re Willing to Give

  • 8:7-8 this grace also is talking about giving
  • Giving is proof of the sincerity of your love 2 Corinthians 8:9 and Matthew 6:21

Chapter 9 – God’s Children Should be Giving Charitably

  • 2 Corinthians 9:13 experiment, what is it?  Trial, test 2 Corinthians 9:7

Chapter 10 – God’s Children do God’s Work

  • Don’t miss the work of the Lord because you have a problem with the personality.
  • When the enemies of Paul couldn’t out reason him, they attacked him as a person.  Paul reminds them that he’s not stealing sheep or laboring where someone else did the work.  They are the converts that the Lord gave him, 2 Corinthians 10:14

Chapter 11 – Paul’s Hesitantly Defends His Ministry 

  • Paul comforts the Corinthians before defending himself
  • Enemies who can’t attack the doctrine or sneak in and corrupt from the inside out will attack the man.  Evidently some Corinthians were becoming skeptical of Paul, so though he is clearly uncomfortable talking this way he does so for the Corinthians sakes.

Chapter 12 – Paul’s Humbling and Proof of God’s Work

  • 2 Corinthians 12:6 Paul is normal in that he desires glory like everyone else. the difference is that desire is tempered and called foolish by him.
  • 2 Corinthians 12:13, 19

Chapter 13 – Paul Tells the Corinthians to Now Prove Themselves

  • On the heels of chapter 12, Paul now turns it to the Corinthians and says quit looking for ways to accuse me and prove yourselves.
  • 2 Corinthians 13:3-5
  • 2 Corinthians 13:7 what benefit is it to you to come away judgmental?