The Sentence of Death

 The Sentence of Death – 2 Cor. 1:3-11, (8-10), 1 Cor. 10:13

Trouble in Corinth

  • A major reason for Paul writing this letter was to defend his position as an apostle
    •     Their charges were
      • Paul had impure motives, 1:12
      • Paul was fickle, 1:15ff
      • Paul was weak, 10:10
      • Paul was physically ugly, 10:10
      • Paul was not a good orator, 10:10; 11:16
      • Paul preached for money 11:7ff; 12:13ff
      • Paul was not a true apostle, 11:5, 13; 12:4
      • Paul was not an orthodox Jew, 11:21ff
      • they had direct revelation, but Paul did not, 12:1ff.
        • Utley, R. J. (2002). Paul’s Letters to a Troubled Church: I and II Corinthians (Vol. Volume 6, p. 200). Marshall, TX: Bible Lessons International.

Trouble in Asia

  • Acts 19:23-41
  • Acts 20:19
  • 1 Cor. 15:32, 16:9

God permits trials to come. (vs. 8)

  • There are ten different types of Greek words for “suffering” and Paul uses five of those in this letter.
    • The most frequent is Thlipsis which means “constrained” narrow, or under pressure.  Often translated as tribulation, trouble, or affliction.
    • Paul felt pressured or like he was being trapped by his troubles.
  • However, Paul uses Pathema, or a word Peter used to describe the sufferings of our savior in 1 Peter 1:11, 15.  
    • There are some sufferings that we endure simply because we are human and subject to pain; but there are other sufferings that come because we are God’s people and want to serve him.
      • If our trials are the products of “fate” or “chance,” then our only recourse is to give up.
      • If we have to control everything ourselves, then the situation is equally as hopeless. 
      • But if God is in control, and we trust Him, then we can overcome circumstances with His help.

God is in control of the trials. (vs.8)

  • Paul thought he was going to die.
  • God knew what Paul could take because of his faith and He was in control of the whole situation.
  • 1 Peter. 1:6-7

God enables us to bear our trials. (vs. 9)

  • 2 Cor. 4:8-12 – our trials show us our weaknesses.
  • God wants us to “trust” Him.  Not our abilities, skills, knowledge, resources, or spirituality.
  • Sentence of Death – Verdict of execution or a feeling of doom
    • God doesn’t want us to deny our trials or emotions (2 Cor. 7:6)

God delivers us from our trials.

  • God always delivers.  But in different ways
  • James and Peter
  • God has delivered in the past and we trust he will yet deliver.  In seven of his fourteen letters, Paul asked for prayer.

God gives the Church a chance to be the church through our trials.

  • Paul was never ashamed to ask for prayer.
  • Sunupourgeo – one time in the greek, three word put together
    • -with, under, work

Difficulties can increase our faith and strengthen our prayer lives. Difficulties can draw us closer to other Christians as they share the burdens with us. Difficulties can be used to glorify God.

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