Comforting the Afflicted, Pt. 1
September 7, 2014 Speaker: Brent Small
Passage: 2 Corinthians 1:1–1:7
In this sermon podcast on 2 Corinthians 1:1-7, Pastor Brent equips us with 3 “ways” that we as believers can comfort the afflicted.
The Apostle Paul encountered much suffering and affliction in his gospel ministry. He outlines in detail the bodily and spiritual afflictions that he suffered in 2 Corinthians 11-12. The Apostle also suffered much personal anguish at the hands of the Corinthian church.
The Corinthian church was struggling with various patterns of sin that Paul had tried to correct in writing to them. But, Paul eventually made a second journey to the church to fill in what was lacking in their faith and confront them in specific areas of sin.
However, this meeting did not go well. Paul was confronted by men who had infiltrated the church and obtained positions of leadership. These men personally insulted Paul publically before the church and the church did not come to his defense nor did it confront these men for their sin.
Paul left the church broken-hearted. Paul, with much anguish and tears writes another letter to the church known as the “severe” letter. While this letter has been lost, we know that in the letter Paul wrote to confront the church in hopes of brining about repentance and helping the church stay faithful to the gospel.
Paul sent this letter with Titus, then he waited to get word concerning the church’s response. As Paul waited, he was run out of Ephesus in a riot and many conflicts continued to pursue him; and, he continued to bear the burden of the Corinthian church.
Titus finally returns to Paul. They meet in Macedonia and Titus has a good report concerning the church. This report brought much comfort to Paul and is the backdrop of Paul’s opening in 2 Corinthians.
In the opening chapter, Paul bursts forth in praise for God. The praise centered on His comforting nature. As Paul unloads his praise, he also delivers a theological lesson on afflictions and comfort in the church.
In this message, Pastor Brent seeks to unpack the meaning of this lesson and the practical implications for every believer.