Summary: An expository sermon of 2 Cor. 1:1-7, dealing with how we can benefit from suffering
1. Since Paul’s first letter, to the Corinthian church, he has been attacked and ridiculed by false teachers. One thing for sure, you can’t have daily victory without experiencing a daily intake of stupidity from those who wouldn’t know God, if they met Him in a corn field!
They accused Paul of being inconsistent, proud, more then a little weak around the gills in appearance and unqualified to be called an apostle of Jesus Christ. So Paul sent Titus to Corinth to deal with the difficulties and now he has returned with the good news that they were getting every thing straightened out.
2. We are just looking at the introduction to the book of Second Corinthians.
3. The Advantage of Suffering.
Trans: 2 Cor. 1:1-7
I. FIRST, THE APOSTLE PAUL.
Paul an apostle – an apostle was a special gift given to the Twelve and Paul in the First Century. There are no more apostle in that sense today, our authority is not some apostle but the written Word of God. What they did was foundational (Eph. 2:20) and you only lay the foundation once.
“Apostle, or sent ones, official representatives, messengers.” Jesus chose the twelve and gave them this name (Lu. 6:13). They and Paul were personally sent by Christ to the world as eyewitnesses of Christ (Ac. 1:21-22), with miraculous powers (Ac.2:43; 8:18/2 Cor. 12:12/Heb.2:4).
Other than the Twelve and Paul, this word is used of Jesus (Heb.3:1); James (Gal.1:19); Barnabas and Saul, sent by the Holy Spirit (Ac.14:14); of “missionary, delegates, representatives” sent by the churches in 2 Cor. 8:23); etc.
It is used four times of “false apostles” who claim this authority. We can say the word is used in a Specialized sense for the Twelve and Paul; and in a Generalized sense for those who were [and are today] missionaries, church planters. The word is used some 80 times in the N.T.”
II. NEXT, PAUL’S ASSOCIATE TIMOTHY.
Timothy at the time of this writing is with Paul, he had been sent to Macedonia and Corinth (Ac.19:22/1 Cor.4:17), and had written to the Corinthians about him (I Cor. 16: 10-11). He is not mentioned again in this book. Therefore we can look at Timothy in detail in other studies.
III.THIRD, THE ACHAIA SAINTS. [Southern Greece]
A. The Holy.
Saints – there are only two kinds of people in this world – saints and aints! If we are going to have daily victory we must first be a saint. Every believer in Jesus Christ is a saint! If you read I Corinthians you will find a group of believers that were experiencing daily defeat…but Paul still calls them saints.
A Saint is one who has been set apart from sin unto God positionally. When we were born the first time, we were born in Adam which meant separated from God unto sin; but when we are born-again, we are placed in Christ, thus separated from sin and unto God! That is the basis for all daily victory – it should be called Daily Jesus!
B. The Howdy.
Grace and peace – this is a typical greeting. Grace is a typical Gentile or Greek greeting; while Peace, is a typical Jewish or Hebrew greeting.
Of course for the believer it means much much more – Grace: Gods Riches At Christ’s Expense, is God releasing all His blessings through the merit of the substitutionary death of Jesus Christ. It is unmerited by us, but merited by Him.
The result is always peace – tranquility and calmness of mind.
IV. FOURTHLY, THE AUTHOR OF ALL COMFORT.
God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ – Jesus Christ Himself is God, but as the incarnate Son He was dependent upon God the Father, thus appropriately worded.
Father of mercies…God of all comfort – mercy is for the miserable! If you live long enough your gonna have the miseries – but you can also have the mercies of God. Those mercies give us comfort in our misery.
We find a beautiful picture of this in 2 Sam. 24:10-14, David’s choice reveals his understanding that God is far more merciful than man.
Chuck Swindoll, “Wise choice. If you want grace, fall into the hands of God; if you want judgment, fall into the hands of fellow human beings.” Neh. 9:29-31/Dan.9:8-9
Dr. Lee Scarbrough’s small son asked him, “Daddy do you really believe that a fish could swallow a man and keep the man alive inside for 3 days and 3 nights?”
He said, “Son, if God could make a man out of nothing to begin with, and if God could create the first sea creature from absolutely nothing, don’t you think He would have the power to make a fish, that could swallow a man and keep him alive for 3 days and nights!” The little fellow said, “Well, if you’re going to bring God into it, that’s different!”