Summary of Paul's Second Letter to the Church at Corinth
By H. A. (Buster) Dobbs
A. Exhortation and personal feeling (1:1-14).
1. Greetings (1:1-2).
a. Written by Paul an apostle of Jesus (1:1).
b. Written to the church of God at Corinth (1:1).
c. Good wishes of grace and peace (1:2).
2. Affliction and comfort (1:3-11).
a. Paul persecuted and consoled (1:3-5).
b. The Corinthian disciples encouraged by Paul's example to
also patiently endure (1:6-7).
c. The riot in Ephesis (Asia), and Paul's deliverance (1:8-10).
d. Paul was helped by the prayers of the Corinthians and
3. Paul's glorying (1:12-13).
a. His conduct in the world and in Corinth was honest. He
had not used gimmicks of worldly wisdom (1:12).
b. Paul's letter was not deceptive but could be fully
understood by the reader (1:13).
c. Most of the Corinthians accepted Paul and recognized his
d. At the last judgment they would rejoice together (1:14).
B. Paul's proposed trip to Corinth (1:15-24).
1. Paul's failure to come to Corinth was not because of
2. His reason for not coming was to avoid, if possible, having
to condemn and punish the Corinthians (1:22-24).
II. Instructions About Things Commanded in His First Letter to
A. Forgiveness of the persons guilty of incest (2:1-11).
1. Because the guilty pair was condemned and avoided by the
Corinthian saints, they changed their minds and corrected
their conduct (2:1-4).
a. It is sad to rebuke sinful saints.
b. When sinners change, the sorrow is turned to joy.
2. Correct attitude toward forgiven sinners (2:5-11).
3. Paul's anxiety as he waited in Troas for the coming of Titus
with a report from Corinth (2:12-13).
4. Paul traveled to Macedonia, received word from Corinth
and rejoiced (2:14-17).
B. Paul defends himself and the gospel he preached (3:1-6:10).
1. Paul did not need letters of recommendation because the
Corinthians knew him and the quality of his work in the
preaching of the gospel (3:1-18).
a. The gospel Paul preached was more glorious than, and
superior to, the Mosaic law (3:7-11).
b. The law of Moses was veiled (had things in it not fully
revealed), but the gospel is unveiled (nothing in it is
concealed and by it the mysteries of the Old Covenant are
disclosed)--"where the spirit of the Lord is, there is
2. Paul's attitude and conduct in the preaching of the glorious
message of freedom from sin (4:1-6).
a. Paul was honest and open (4:1-2).
b. If a person was lost it was not the fault of the unveiled
gospel, but because they allowed the god of this world to
blind them to the truth (4:3-4).
c. It was Paul's purpose to preach an understandable word
of light and glory (4:5-6).
3. To God be the glory and not to man (4:7-18).
a. The apostles of Jesus worked and suffered for the good of
the church (4:8-15).
b. The expected future reward empowered and comforted
4. Unseen things of eternity make present misery bearable and
strengthen for duty (5:1-15).
a. They had the prospect of eternal life (5:1-4).
b. They were willing to be "absent from the body" (5:5-8).
c. All must appear before the judgment seat of Christ
d. Knowing the fear (terror) of the Lord, we persuade men
to obey the gospel (5:11).
e. In all soberness of mind Paul entreated them to seriously
consider their duty to God (5:12-13).
f. Paul was motivated by love (5:14-15).
5. Paul knew it was his duty to make known the terms of
6. The attitude with which Paul did his work of preaching the
cross and salvation (6:1-10).
C. Exhortations to holiness (6:11-7:16).
1. Paul entreats with tender affection (6:11-12).
2. The sin and folly of idolatry (6:14-18).
3. Paul's plea to be heard (7:1-4).
4. Titus came to Paul in Macedonia with word from Corinth
a. Paul was worried about how the Corinthians would react
to his first letter to them (7:5).
b. Titus reassured Paul (7:6-7).
c. The sorrow Paul's letter produced brought about
repentance and the sorrow, therefore, was good (7:8-16).
III. Directions and Remarks About the Collection (8:1-9:15).
A. The good example of the Macedonian church in giving
generously to relieve the poor of Judea (8:1-5).
B. The Corinthians to complete collecting the gift for the needy
in Jerusalem and Judea (8:6-15).
1. Titus was to complete this grace in them (8:6).
2. Paul urges them to show the sincerity of their love by giving
their wealth to help others (8:7-8).
a. They were to abound in this as they excelled in other
b. Paul tells them to set an example for others (8:8).
3. He appeals to them on the basis of the gift of God's son
4. He reminds them of their intention and promise of a year
5. Paul did not want the Corinthians to be burdened while the
Judeans were eased, but that there might be equality
6. Titus and another brother were being sent to Corinth in
order to assure that the contribution would be ready when Paul
and his companions arrived (8:16-21).
7. Reasons why the Corinthians should give liberally for the
relief of the poor in Judea (9:1-15).
a. Paul has boasted of their readiness (9:1-2).
b. Their heavenly reward depended on their generosity
c. God would increase their ability for doing good (9:6-11).
d. To show affection for Jewish brethren and to cause the
Jewish Christians to be glad the Corinthians had been
IV. Paul's Defense of Himself and His Apostleship (10:1-13:14).
A. The accusations against him by his enemies (10:1-17).
1. He was accused of being weak when present and bold when
a. He expressed hope that he would not be forced by their
indifference to exercise his power to punish and show just
how strong he could be when present (10:2).
b. He did not walk nor war according to the flesh (10:2-3).
2. The sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, is mighty
to the casting down of strongholds (10:4-6).
a. He tells the Corinthians to submit to God in complete
b. When they had perfected their obedience they were to
avenge all disobedience (10:6).
3. The folly of trusting in self instead of trusting in God
B. Paul feared for their loyalty (11:1-15).
1. Paul preached to, and converted many of the Corinthians, and
now they were tempted to turn against him (11:1-6).
2. Paul had the right to receive support for his work in
ministering about spiritual things, but he also had the right to
refuse support (11:7-11).
a. The churches of Macedonia had supplied Paul's needs to
enable him to preach to the people of Corinth (11:9).
b. He took pleasure in knowing that he had taught them
about Christ and the church without receiving anything
from them (11:10).
c. He did this because he loved them (11:11).
3. Those who objected to Paul were false apostles and
deceitful workers (11:12-15).
a. Like Satan, they made themselves appear to be ministers
of righteousness (11:14)
b. They were sure to be punished (11:25).
C. Paul's conversion, preaching, and sufferings entitled him to
have their confidence and support (11:16--12:14).
1. The persecution Paul endured from the day of his
conversion to the present (11:16-33).
2. Paul's visions and revelations (12:1-10).
3. Paul's apostolic credentials (12:11-14).
a. Paul was not behind any other apostle one little bit
b. In his life and ministry, Paul had demonstrated the signs of
an apostle by wonders and mighty works (12:12).
D. Paul's aim to edify (12:14-13:10).
1. Paul's intention to come to Corinth (12:14-18).
a. He would gladly wear himself out in serving their spiritual
b. The more love he showed for them the less love they
showed for him (12:16).
c. Paul did not take advantage of them (12:17).
d. Titus did not take advantage of them (12:18).
2. Paul says that when he comes he expects to find them free
of wrong and doing right (12:19-21).
3. Paul warns that if they were not behaving as they should,
when he came he would not spare them but would use his
apostolic power to punish them (13:1-4).
4. Paul's earnest admonition (13:5-10).
a. They were to try and prove themselves whether they were
in the faith (13:5-6).
b. They were to do no evil, but do that which is honorable
c. Paul could do nothing against the truth (13:8).
d. He did not want to have to use his power to punish them
and cast them down, but to build them up (13:9-10)
E. Conclusion and blessing (13:11-14).
H. A. "Buster" Dobbs, email: [email protected]
P. O. Box 690192
Houston, Texas 77269-0192
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