Summary of Paul's Second Letter to the Church at Corinth

By H. A. (Buster) Dobbs
I.  Introduction. 
    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 
                others (1:11).
        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 
                sincerity (1:14).
            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 
            fickleness (1:15-22).
        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 
                 liberty" (3:12-18).
         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 
                 them (4:16-18).
         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 
             salvation (5:16-21).
         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 
                  things (8:7).
              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 
              past (8:10-12).
          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 
                  converted (9:12-15).
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 
             absent (10:1-3).
             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 
                 obedience (10:5).
             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 
                 interest (12:15).
             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
(281) 469-3540

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