Ministers of the Gospel

2 Corinthians 1:1-3:18

11Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus through the will of God, and Timothy our brother, to the assembly of God which is at Corinth, with all the saints who are in the whole of Achaia: 2Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
3Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort; 4who comforts us in all our affliction, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, through the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 5For as the sufferings of Christ abound to us, even so our comfort also abounds through Christ. 6But if we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation. If we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you the patient enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer. 7Our hope for you is steadfast, knowing that, since you are partakers of the sufferings, so also are you of the comfort. 8For we don’t desire to have you uninformed, brothers,* concerning our affliction which happened to us in Asia, that we were weighed down exceedingly, beyond our power, so much that we despaired even of life. 9Yes, we ourselves have had the sentence of death within ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God who raises the dead, 10who delivered us out of so great a death, and does deliver; on whom we have set our hope that he will also still deliver us; 11you also helping together on our behalf by your supplication; that, for the gift given to us by means of many, thanks may be given by many persons on your behalf. 12For our boasting is this: the testimony of our conscience, that in holiness and sincerity of God, not in fleshly wisdom but in the grace of God we behaved ourselves in the world, and more abundantly toward you. 13For we write no other things to you, than what you read or even acknowledge, and I hope you will acknowledge to the end; 14as also you acknowledged us in part, that we are your boasting, even as you also are ours, in the day of our Lord Jesus. 15In this confidence, I was determined to come first to you, that you might have a second benefit; 16and by you to pass into Macedonia, and again from Macedonia to come to you, and to be sent forward by you on my journey to Judea. 17When I therefore was thus determined, did I show fickleness? Or the things that I purpose, do I purpose according to the flesh, that with me there should be the “Yes, yes” and the “No, no?” 18But as God is faithful, our word toward you was not “Yes and no.” 19For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us, by me, Silvanus, and Timothy, was not “Yes and no,” but in him is “Yes.” 20For however many are the promises of God, in him is the “Yes.” Therefore also through him is the “Amen”, to the glory of God through us.
21Now he who establishes us with you in Christ, and anointed us, is God; 22who also sealed us, and gave us the down payment of the Spirit in our hearts. 23But I call God for a witness to my soul, that I didn’t come to Corinth to spare you. 24Not that we control your faith, but are fellow workers with you for your joy. For you stand firm in faith.
21But I determined this for myself, that I would not come to you again in sorrow. 2For if I make you sorry, then who will make me glad but he who is made sorry by me? 3And I wrote this very thing to you, so that, when I came, I wouldn’t have sorrow from them of whom I ought to rejoice; having confidence in you all, that my joy would be shared by all of you. 4For out of much affliction and anguish of heart I wrote to you with many tears, not that you should be made sorry, but that you might know the love that I have so abundantly for you. 5But if any has caused sorrow, he has caused sorrow, not to me, but in part (that I not press too heavily) to you all. 6This punishment which was inflicted by the many is sufficient for such a one; 7so that on the contrary you should rather forgive him and comfort him, lest by any means such a one should be swallowed up with his excessive sorrow. 8Therefore I beg you to confirm your love toward him. 9For to this end I also wrote, that I might know the proof of you, whether you are obedient in all things. 10Now I also forgive whomever you forgive anything. For if indeed I have forgiven anything, I have forgiven that one for your sakes in the presence of Christ, 11that no advantage may be gained over us by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his schemes.
12Now when I came to Troas for the Good News of Christ, and when a door was opened to me in the Lord, 13I had no relief for my spirit, because I didn’t find Titus, my brother, but taking my leave of them, I went out into Macedonia. 14Now thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and reveals through us the sweet aroma of his knowledge in every place. 15For we are a sweet aroma of Christ to God, in those who are saved, and in those who perish; 16to the one a stench from death to death; to the other a sweet aroma from life to life. Who is sufficient for these things? 17For we are not as so many, peddling the word of God. But as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God, we speak in Christ.
31Are we beginning again to commend ourselves? Or do we need, as do some, letters of commendation to you or from you? 2You are our letter, written in our hearts, known and read by all men; 3being revealed that you are a letter of Christ, served by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tablets of stone, but in tablets that are hearts of flesh. 4Such confidence we have through Christ toward God; 5not that we are sufficient of ourselves, to account anything as from ourselves; but our sufficiency is from God; 6who also made us sufficient as servants of a new covenant; not of the letter, but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. 7But if the service of death, written engraved on stones, came with glory, so that the children of Israel could not look steadfastly on the face of Moses for the glory of his face; which was passing away: 8won’t service of the Spirit be with much more glory? 9For if the service of condemnation has glory, the service of righteousness exceeds much more in glory. 10For most certainly that which has been made glorious has not been made glorious in this respect, by reason of the glory that surpasses. 11For if that which passes away was with glory, much more that which remains is in glory.
12Having therefore such a hope, we use great boldness of speech, 13and not as Moses, who put a veil on his face, that the children of Israel wouldn’t look steadfastly on the end of that which was passing away. 14But their minds were hardened, for until this very day at the reading of the old covenant the same veil remains, because in Christ it passes away. 15But to this day, when Moses is read, a veil lies on their heart. 16But whenever one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17Now the Lord is the Spirit and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 18But we all, with unveiled face seeing the glory of the Lord as in a mirror, are transformed into the same image from glory to glory, even as from the Lord, the Spirit.

*2 Corinthians 1:8 The word for “brothers” here and where context allows may also be correctly translated “brothers and sisters” or “siblings.”

FOLLOWING GODLY EXAMPLES

  • Does this portion of Scripture address a character quality you should seek to cultivate? What is it?
  • What actions can you embark on in your life to do this?
  • Does this portion of Scripture address a character flaw you should seek to uproot? What is it?
  • What actions can you embark on your life to do this?
World English Bible (WEB)
a Public Domain Modern English translation
of the Holy Bible.

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