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The 3rd Missionary Journey:
2 Corinthians

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2 Corinthians (Part 1)

Paul is ready to leave Ephesus, and that’s good because they are ready to kick him out. There’s a huge riot because Paul is converting so many idol-worshippers that it’s impacting the sales of paraphernalia and trinkets feeding off the worship at the temple of Artemis.

 

Paul heads out towards Macedonia and on the way meets back up with Titus, who is carrying news from the Corinth. You can imagine Paul’s immense relief when he hears the Corinthians have finally repented and are back on track. 

 

Paul immediately sits down to write a joyful letter to them. In the part we read today he tells them the veil has dropped from their faces and they are gazing at the Lord. The view is still not perfectly clear--it’s more like a reflection in a mirror--but it’s enough to transform them. We talk about that in our breakout groups.

We cover 2 Corinthians 1-3.

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2 Corinthians (Part 2)

Paul is in the middle of his letter to the Corinthians. He wants to make sure they understand that he and the other apostles are just men--jars of clay--and subject to all the hardships that go with that.

 

And yet, Paul regards these hardships as nothing. He sees his body as nothing more than a tent. Transient. Impermanent. He wants the Corinthians to see themselves as being “in” Christ’s death, and as ambassadors of the Good News that God is not holding anyone’s sins against them.

 

We take a look at what this means and at what might shift if we take Paul’s advice.

We cover 2 Corinthians 4:1-7:4.

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2 Corinthians (Part 3)

We finish our series on 2 Corinthians today. Paul spends some time talking to the Corinthians about what it means to be a cheerful giver. The idea that he might get to Corinth and they won’t have gathered a collection for the poor in Jerusalem, or even worse, that he’ll find some of them unchanged and unrepentant gives him pause.

 

There’s a sort of break in thought after Chapter 9. Perhaps he was interrupted and wasn’t able to get back to the letter for a bit. In the meantime, it’s pretty clear that someone has brought news of so-called “super apostles” showing up in Corinth and bad-mouthing Paul. 

 

You can imagine Paul’s reaction! It’s here that he talks about his “thorn in the flesh.”

We cover 2 Corinthians 7:5-13:14.

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