As Paul closes his second letter to the Corinthian believers, he leaves them with these instructions. “Dear brothers and sisters, I close my letter with these last words. Be joyful. Grow to maturity. Encourage each other. Live in harmony and peace. Then the God of love and peace will be with you.” 2 Corinthians 13:11 NLT
In his second letter to the church in Corinth, Paul put considerable effort into establishing his authority with them, his credentials as an apostle, the things he had suffered for the cause of Christ, and the many contrasts between himself and others who claimed to be apostles.
He had been, he told them, taken into the third heaven, where he saw things that cannot be expressed in words, and that no human being is allowed to disclose to another. And to keep Paul from becoming proud, God had also given him a “thorn in the flesh” to keep him humble.
A significant portion of Paul’s second letter to the Corinthian believers centers around the gathering of funds for relief of the believers in Jerusalem. And in these discussions we see that God is looking for our willingness as we give for Him, not the amount of the gift. We also see that God is more than willing and able to provide generously for all His people, however generous they are with what He has given.
In his second letter to the believers in Corinth, Paul described the collection of money being made by many of the Mediterranean churches for the benefit of the church in Jerusalem. He encouraged the Corinthians to give generously, holding up to them the believers in Macedonia as an example; even though the Macedonian believers were poor and suffering many troubles, they had an irrepressible joy which resulted in rich generosity.
The Call of God to separate ourselves from unbelief, idolatry, darkness, and the devil carries with it an amazing promise– that He will receive us as His own sons and daughters, and will be a Father to us. And these promises, Paul says, should motivate us to make changes in our own lives.
In his second letter to the Christians in Corinth, Paul describes his ministry– the hardships and the joys, the sustaining power and presence of God, whether he was praised or persecuted by men. “Our hearts ache,” he wrote, ” but we always have joy. We are poor, but we give spiritual riches to others. We own nothing, and yet we have everything.” 2 Corinthians 6:10 NLT
In his second letter to the believers in Corinth, Paul spent quite some time describing how God had made possible a way for mankind to come back to Himself– how God had taken the first step, removing the sin that stood between men and Himself. Indeed, Jesus Christ actually bore all of that sin on the cross–“He became sin for us”– and, as a result, we are now invited to share the very Righteousness of God in Jesus Christ.