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Intelligence in divine things, comes through the conscience, not the intellect.


One word possibly could describe this book - "comforting". Paul had written very strongly in his first letter to this assembly. Now he has heard that it had had a good effect on them, so he writes his second letter to them.

2 Cor 1:3-4 There is no comfort like that which comes from God Himself, and Paul had himself felt the wonder of this. And now he is able to comfort others. Let us not be afraid of trials - but turn to the Lord for the lessons intended and for the comfort that comes with the trials. And then we shall be better able to encourage others who are in trial.

2 Cor 1:11 It is good to help the work of the Lord by prayer. When souls are saved, we can then feel that we're part of the work.

2 Cor 1:14-19 Paul wanted to visit them, and because he didn't get there, they accused him of changing his mind.

2 Cor 1:20 God always keeps His promises! Paul is saying that when he said "yes", he meant "yes", "yea" (certainly) and "amen" means "Let it be done".

2 Cor 1:21-22 The Holy Spirit of God is given to every believer for 3 special purposes: (1) "anointed", so that we may be able to understand the truth. (2) "sealed", so that we may be sure we are eternally saved. (3) "earnest", by having the Holy Spirit actually living in our body, we have the guarantee that we are a child of God.


My desire should be, not so much to know His will, but to walk with God.


2 Cor 2:1-5 Paul really exposes his great heart of love for these Corinthians. It was because he loved them that he writes so plainly to them. He felt the grief too. But joy also!

2 Cor 2:7-8 The guilty man, whom Paul had spoken about in the first epistle, chapter 5, has now repented, and so Paul tells them to show him love and to receive him back among them.

2 Cor 2:11 There are two special "devices" of Satan. One of the danger that when a believer continues to keep on in a particular sin, the assembly where he attends does not put him (her) out of fellowship with them; the other is that we fail to be forgiving when there is true repentance.

2 Cor 2:15-16 Whenever Christ is preached, it is a "sweet savour" to God. God delights to hear the gospel, and to hear His beloved Son presented as Savior. If the message is accepted, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God.


The wisdom of God conducts us in the way of God's will.


2 Cor 3:1 If a person was gathered to the Lord's precious Name in one city, he is in one fellowship with those who are also gathered to the Lord's Name in any other city. And so as these believers went from place to place, they took with them a letter that would introduce them to those believers in other cities. Each assembly was not independent of the others. We read in Eph. 4:3, "endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit", and this is one way in which they followed this instruction. The Bible never speaks of denominations, but of one body.

2 Cor 3:6 The "letter" is the law that was given by Moses, and the "spirit" is like God's wonderful message of grace, given by His Spirit.

2 Cor 3:11 The law that was given by Moses was glorious but it was "done away". But that which is God's message by His Spirit "remaineth".

2 Cor 3:18 To the extent that the Lord is controlling my life, so I am going to become more like Him. Serious thought!


So long as things in our life go unjudged and corrected, there will be uncertainty in our life.


2 Cor 4:3-4 The gospel was not hidden because it was not preached, but because people would not accept it.

2 Cor 4:7 The Spirit of God is within the believer (the treasure), but we are still with our earthly body (earthen vessels).

2 Cor 4:10 Paul wanted to be nothing, so that Christ might be seen in his life.

2 Cor 4:11 If we are not willing to be nothing, the Lord knows how to break us down. For there is nothing so important in our life as showing forth our Lord Jesus in a dark world.

2 Cor 4:17 Paul calls all his suffering for the Lord (see chapter 11:23-27) "light affliction!" He looks ahead to the "weight of glory". We may suffer for our Lord along the way, but there is an eternity of glory ahead.

2 Cor 4:18 Everything that is seen is "temporal" - it will soon be gone. But our spiritual blessings in Christ are "not seen", for they are heavenly and eternal.


Only my will hinders knowing God's will.


2 Cor 5:1 We know that when we leave this world we have a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. If the believer dies, his earthly house (body) later will be changed into a body fit for heaven. Notice 3 conditions mentioned here in these first 4 verses.

"Unclothed" - the condition of a believer who has passed away and is with Christ, but has not yet received his new glorified body.

"Naked" - the condition of a lost one who does not have the robe of righteousness, and stands guilty and naked before God.

"Clothed upon" - that glorious condition when all the Lord's redeemed ones will have their new bodies. This will take place the moment the Lord comes in the air to take us to heaven.

2 Cor 5:6-8 Paul is always perfectly confident, and not only Paul, for he says "we are..."

2 Cor 5:9 Because of this confidence (trust) we ought to love to please the Lord.

2 Cor 5:10 Every believer in our Lord Jesus, will have his life reviewed - and he shall find that everything done for our Lord in obedience to His Word will be rewarded.

2 Cor 5:20 We can be like ambassadors who represent our Lord in this guilty world (only the Apostles were really "ambassadors").


If we are walking humbly, God will guide us.


2 Cor 6:1-10 Faithful service for our Lord will not receive honor here. Paul, while he was alive and taught the Word of God, suffered greatly. And it is true to this day. If you wish to be true to the Lord Jesus - to confess His name - to be gathered to His name in heart - to follow His Word, you will not be popular. Paul gladly continued to serve the Lord; he encourages us to do the same.

2 Cor 6:14-17 We are told not to be unequally yoked (joined) together with unbelievers. Neither in marriage nor in any other way, are we to be in this unequal yoke. Many believers are becoming careless about this. God's Word can't be flaunted without cost to us later. He calls Himself the Lord Almighty, for He is greater than any who would try to persecute the believer. And He faithfully promises that He will be a Father to His own. Let us be obedient children and then we will be full of courage. When we lack courage it is because we are disobedient.


Understanding is conscious fellowship with God's thoughts on a subject.


We are told to get rid of all that would dishonor the Lord. "Filthiness of the flesh" - no doubt there are bad habits that would not be pleasing to the Lord, that we should gladly give up rather than grieve Him. And "filthiness of the spirit" would remind us of the unequal yoke that we have just been warned against.

2 Cor 7:6-7 Titus brought to Paul the good news, he had been waiting for, that the Corinthians had received and acted on the message of the first epistle.

2 Cor 7:11 The Corinthians had repented and mourned about their carelessness in allowing evil in the assembly. As a matter of fact, the assembly was to blame for the condition described in 1 Cor. 5. Read verse 2. But it took a long time for the assembly to realize this. So actually there were two evils. Moral evil in the man, religious evil in the assembly. So it is good to see (in this verse) that it all had a correcting effect on the assembly.

2 Cor 7:15 The Corinthians were not afraid of Titus, but they had a healthy respect for the Word of God through Paul. They obeyed the message sent from the Lord. Let us also tremble before the Word of God, and obey it.


The Lord is saying to me, "I know your works, your business is to know Me."


2 Cor 8:1-7 Beautiful example of Christian generosity.

2 Cor 8:2 With affliction and deep poverty they gave so generously. But it produced much joy!

2 Cor 8:5 They first gave themselves to the Lord, and then they gave their gifts. The Lord does not want your money or your gifts so much as He wants you first of all! And then it is your privilege to be generous to the needy, and He will keep a full record of it.

2 Cor 8:9 The perfect and wonderful pattern of giving. The Lord Jesus became poor - He gave up everything and then gave Himself - that we might be rich. We can never measure our riches, for they are spiritual and they are for ever. The things of this life, we shall soon leave behind.

2 Cor 8:12 God knows what we have need of material things and does not demand 10 percent (tithing) from us.

2 Cor 8:20 Paul acted in a way that would avoid any accusations of covetousness and gossip.

2 Cor 8:21 Let us always act in a way that is completely honest before the Lord and before people. Our words will fall on deaf ears if others see that we are not honest.


The soul is not fully restored before that which has given occasion to these failures is judged in the heart.
Usually it will be found to be where the soul gave up communion with God and did its own will.


2 Cor 9:1-5 These believers were very generous in their giving.

2 Cor 9:2 Their zeal had encouraged very many to be generous also.

2 Cor 9:6 We are sowing now by the faithful use of that which the Lord has given to us. And the reaping time will come when the Lord will review our life and will commend and reward that which was done or given for Him.

2 Cor 9:7 "God loveth a cheerful given". How nice to receive a gift from someone who gave cheerfully because (s)he loved you!

2 Cor 9:11-12 This generous kindness caused "thanksgiving to God" which is mentioned in the end of each verse. There were really three benefits; first the Cor who gave so generously would receive a reward; second, those who received the gift would be encouraged by it; third, the Lord received the thanks!

2 Cor 9:15 A reminder of the most wonderful and most generous gift of all. God has given His own Son. Truly an "unspeakable gift".


The presence of God gives a sense of what sin is... then the soul recognizes that self-will had replaced communion with God.


2 Cor 10:1-2 Some were saying that Paul was "base" (or lowly) when he was with them. It is true that Paul was meek and gentle, because he was a follower of the Lord Jesus. But this does not mean that he overlooked sin, or passed over disobedience.

2 Cor 10:5 The meek and gentle apostle speaking about obedience to the Word or God. He warns in strong language that we are never to allow our own thoughts or reasoning to question the Word of God. We bow gladly before the Word and walk in obedience to it, as Christ Himself did.

2 Cor 10:6 Disobedience to the Word of God is never treated lightly. It is absolutely condemned, for the Lord has given us the power to obey His word.

2 Cor 10:10 Notice the rude way that some of the believers spoke of Paul, "his bodily presence weak and his speech contemptible". And yet he loved them very much and tried to help and shepherd them.

2 Cor 10:17 If he had boasted in himself, he would have been offended by their mocking, but instead he glorified in the Lord.

2 Cor 10:18 Let us be careful that we serve and obey in quietness, and leave it to the Lord to commend.


When restored there is a great danger of another fall if the root of the evil has not been judged.


2 Cor 11:1-3 Paul loved and longed for the blessing of the Cor! He wanted these believers to be true and faithful to their Lord. But he knew that as Satan had deceived Eve, so Satan would try to deceive them.

2 Cor 11:4 False teachers had already come in, and Paul warns against them.

2 Cor 11:13-15 Warnings about these teachers, and the enemy whom they represent. "The ministers of Satan". That is strong language but it is needed. There are many today who come to our houses with bad doctrines. They act like "angels of light" and carry a Bible with them, and speak much of God, but they deny the divinity of the Lord Jesus; that He is God, the Son.

2 Cor 11:21-29 This account makes us ashamed, for we feel that we have suffered little, if any, for the Lord. If we stand for the truth of God's Word, we shall be criticized, even, sometimes by other believers.

2 Cor 11:30 And now we see that he does not glory in what he has suffered, but rather in his infirmities (weaknesses): this magnified the power and grace of God.


All recovery is based on repentance.


2 Cor 12:1-5 Paul avoids boasting about himself, so he speaks in these verses of "a man in Christ", but is referring to himself. The third heaven is God's own eternal home, where the believer will live forever. It is beyond all that has been created! Paul could not describe in human words, what he had experienced there.

2 Cor 12:7 There was a danger that Paul would be proud of this experience, and so some bodily affliction which is here called a "thorn in the flesh", was given to him.

2 Cor 12:8-9 Paul asked the Lord 3 times to take away his affliction, but then he got his answer. The Lord said that He would give Paul the grace to bear it. He does not promise to remove every trial, but He does promise to give us the ability to bear what He allows.

2 Cor 12:9 "The power of Christ". This is the only time this expression is found in the Bible. It can be a grand encouragement to each believer when he (she) has been allowed by the Lord, to go through a serious illness or trouble. Then and not till then, is this promise given, "that the power of Christ may rest upon me". Are you getting the message?

2 Cor 12:10 Paul has learned his lesson..."when I am weak, then am I strong". If we trust in our own strength we shall fail, but if, in our weakness, we lean on our Lord, He will give us the strength we need.

2 Cor 12:15 Let us desire this spirit of forgiving love... not look for love, but show love to all.


There is little power among us to restore because there is want of spirituality and of that love which cares for the members of Christ.


2 Cor 13:1-3 Some said they did not believe that he was really an apostle.

2 Cor 13:3 They asked Paul for a proof.

2 Cor 13:5 His answer. "Examine yourselves...are you saved...through whose preaching were you saved?" Of course they would have to admit that it was through the preaching of Paul, so he says, "This is your proof that Christ has been speaking through me".

2 Cor 13:11 Paul had not found it easy to write these 2 letters. He loved those believers so much, and it hurt him to have to warn and correct them. Now that it is ended, he speaks so gently, "Finally brethren farewell". If we belong to our Lord Jesus we are truly "brethren" and can happily greet one another this way. "Be perfect" - he wished nothing less for them than true and faithful following of the Lord. "Be of good comfort" - He knew what it was to be comforted in trial, and he wished them to know it too. "Be of one mind, live in peace". Do we desire this?


by Norman Berry - 1911-2001
Published by Mario Persona

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