Application of 2 Corinthians
1) What is the purpose of affliction? When you need to be comforted, do you turn to people or to God?
2) Is it always wrong to feel sorrow, to be hurt, or to have a broken heart? Is it always wrong to cause sorrow, to hurt, or to break another person's heart?
3) How do you deal with those who oppose you? How do you minister to those who are caught in the middle of a conflict and don't know who to believe?
4) Paul was human just like us; he had feelings just like we do. What can we learn from him about how we are to live and respond in spite of our feeling? When is it right to give a defense of one's self, of one's ministry?
5) Are you prepared to stand before the judgment seat of Christ?
6) What place does the ministry of giving have in your life?
7) If you were to examine yourself, would you find your Christianity genuine?
2 Corinthians Themes of Application
Paul experienced great suffering, persecution, and opposition in his ministry. He even struggled with a personal weakness - a “thorn” in the flesh. Through it all, Paul affirmed God’s faithfulness.
God is faithful. His strength is sufficient for any trial. When trials come, they keep us from pride and teach us dependence on God. He comfort us so we can comfort others.
Paul defends his role in church discipline. Neither immorality nor false teaching could be ignored. The church was to be neither too lax nor too severe in administering discipline. The church was to restore the corrected person when he or she repented.
The goal of all discipline in the church should be correction, not vengeance. For churches to be effective, they must confront and solve problems, not ignore them. In everything, we must act love.
To encourage the Corinthians as they faced trials, Paul reminded them that they would receive new bodies in heaven. This would be a great victory in contrast to their present suffering.
To know we will receive new bodies offers us hope. No matter what adversity we face, we can keep going. Our faithful service will resulta triumph.
Paul organized a collection of funds for the poor in the Jerusalem church. Many of the Asian churches gave money. Paul explains and defends his beliefs about giving, and he urges the Corinthians to follow through on their previous commitment
Like the Corinthians, we should follow through on our financial commitments. Our giving must be generous, sacrificial, well planned, and based on need. Our generosity not only helps those in need but enables them to thank God.
False teacher were challenging Paul’s ministry and authority as an apostle. Paul assert his authority in order to preserve correct Christian doctrine. His sincerity, his love for Christ, and his concern for the people were his defense.
We should share Paul’s concern for correct teaching in our churches. But in so doing, we must share his motivation - love for Christ and people - and his sincerity.