2 Corinthians: Discipleship Lessons


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Circle of Lucas van Leyden, San Pablo (c. 1525), oil on panel, 44 x 21 cm, Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid
Circle of Dutch painter and engraver Lucas van Leyden, "Saint Paul" (c. 1525), oil on panel, 44 x 21 cm, Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid. The painter was also known as Lucas Hugensz or Lucas Jacobsz.

Paul was under considerable stress when he wrote 2 Corinthians about 56 AD from Macedonia.

"We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life.... But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead." (2 Corinthians 1:8-9)

He was writing to a church where his reputation had been trashed by his opponents, but that desperately needed the balance and correction that only he could give. In this letter we can see the strength in this man of God as he endured great hardship to serve Christ faithfully.

The letter contains many nuggets of spiritual gold, such as:

  • The anointing and sealing of the Spirit (1:21-22)
  • Living letters written on human hearts (3:2-3)
  • Unveiled faces reflecting the Lord's glory (3:18)
  • A treasure in jars of clay (4:7)
  • Away from the body but at home with the Lord (5:6-8)
  • The new creation, behold the new has come (5:16-17)
  • A ministry of reconciliation, ambassadors for Christ (5:18-20)
  • Christ was made to be sin for us (5:21)
  • Perfecting holiness in the fear of the Lord (6:14-7:2)
  • Sowing generously, reaping generously and the cheerful giver (9:6-7)
  • Rejoicing in weakness despite a thorn in the flesh (12:7-10)

... and many more

To do it justice we are covering 2 Corinthians in 12 lessons. Yes, it's a long study, but the letter is of such value that it deserves full treatment. This study is presented as free, e-mail-delivered Bible study.

2 Corinthians: Discipleship Lessons, by Dr. Ralph F. Wilson
Also available in paperback and e-book formats

Here's the outline. Pray for me as I study, write, and complete the lessons this summer.

  • Preface
  • References and Abbreviation
  • Introduction to 2 Corinthians
  1. The God of All Comfort (1:1-11)
  2. Tension with the Corinthians (1:12-2:11)
  3. The Fragrance of Christ's Ministering People (2:12-3:6)
  4. Being Changed by God's Glory (3:7-18)
  5. Treasures in Clay Pots (4:1-18)
  6. Walking by Faith, Not by Sight (5:1-16)
  7. The Ministry of Reconciliation (5:17-6:2)
  8. Hardships, Holiness, and Joy (6:3-7:16)
  9. Generosity Modeled and Encouraged (8:1-9:5)
  10. Sowing Generously (9:6-15)
  11. Paul's Defense of His Ministry (10-11)
  12. Paul's Vision, Thorn, and Final Words (12-13)

 Here's how we'll study together.

  • Dr. Ralph F. Wilson
    This is our 35th online Bible study since 1996. If you've participated in one before, you know how God can use them in your life. If not, then you have a treat in store for you. This is an cross-denominational study designed to help you grow as a disciple of Christ. -- Dr. Ralph F. Wilson. About the leader.
    Each Saturday I'll e-mail you the lesson for the week
    . Then you'll read the Bible passage and use my notes to help you understand it better.
  • If you sign up for the daily questions version, on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday you'll receive a question from that week's lesson to think about and answer. This is designed as a "total immersion" approach to Bible study, since I believe God wants to use these lessons to work real and permanent change in your life. (You can opt out of the daily questions if you like, however, and just receive the weekly lessons.) You'll be thinking about these passages constantly over these weeks -- long enough for God to work his Word into your life and lifestyle.
  • You can respond to the questions and exercises using the Joyful Heart Bible Study Forum -- and read others' answers to reinforce your own understanding.
  • With each lesson you'll receive a link to a 20- to 30-minute audio teaching that sums up the passage you've been studying that week. Some who learn better from hearing than from reading really appreciate this.
  • Then on Saturday, I'll send you the next week's lesson.

Sign up now!

To sign up, start by clicking on your e-mail frequency preference:

You'll receive your first lesson the Friday after you sign up. There is no cost to participate in the study, though donations are encouraged so we can create more studies and reach more people.

We respect your privacy and never sell, rent, or loan our lists. Please don't subscribe your friends; let them decide for themselves.

Please don't sign up for more than one of my Bible studies at one time. There's no penalty, but each of them is pretty intensive. If you try to do too many studies at the same time without adequate reflection, you'll miss out on God speaking to you.


Copyright © 1985-2014, Ralph F. Wilson. <pastor@joyfulheart.com> All rights reserved. A single copy of this article is free. Do not put this on a website. See legal, copyright, and reprint information.

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