Paul Greets the Corinthian Believers and Declares God’s Comfort to him in Suffering
2 Corinthians 1:1-2 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, To the church of God which is at Corinth with all the saints who are throughout Achaia: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. NKJV
Paul has physically been with these Corinthian believers on two occasions in the past and now he writes them his second letter before he comes to them for the third time (2 Corinthians 13:1) and as it is his custom he greets them by declaring himself an Apostle of Christ Jesus our Lord, not by the way of human appointment or ordination but by the “will of God” he serves in this capacity. This English word will is from the Greek word thelema which means the determination, desire, pleasure, choice, purpose and decree of Almighty God. Paul was always purposeful in beginning his letters in this manner to all the churches but most especially to this church because we will discover later on in this second letter that the authenticity of Paul’s Apostleship had been undermined by some false teachers that went to the Corinthian believers and convinced many that Paul was not a true Apostle of Christ because he was not impressive in his appearance or his speech. Paul sends them greetings from Brother Timothy who had visited them on a few occasions by the command of Paul. Paul bids them grace and peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ, for it is always in that order as we receive the grace (Divine influence upon our hearts or inner man) of God we immediately are blessed again with the conscience presence of His Peace that passes all understanding.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. NKJV
Paul now begins his show of praise and adoration for our Father in Heaven for all His great supply (from His endless treasury) of mercy and comfort to him, even in all of the trials, troubles, and test he has had to endure for the sake of the truth of the gospel of Christ Jesus our Lord. Paul refers to God the Father as the “Father of Mercies or Oiktirmos” meaning pity, compassion, mercy bowels in which compassion resides, a heart of compassion, emotions, longings, and manifestations or expressions of pity, as when Paul was in prison in Rome and wrote these words to Brother Timothy in his letter to Him and said, “Alexander the coppersmith did me much harm; the Lord will repay him according to his deeds. Be on guard against him yourself, for he vigorously opposed our teaching. At my first defense no one supported me, but all deserted me; may it not be counted against them. But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me, so that through me the proclamation might be fully accomplished, and that all the Gentiles might hear; and I was rescued out of the lion’s mouth. The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed, and will bring me safely to His heavenly kingdom; to Him be the glory forever and ever. Amen” (2 Timothy 4:14-18).
Paul refers here to such events that he endured above as tribulations or thlipsis which means pressure, anguish, burdens, trouble, persecutions, or afflictions. This was what Paul experienced often many times during his sojourn and pilgrimage as an alien in His walk with our Lord Jesus Christ, but he writes here also that our Father in Heaven is the God of all Comfort or Paraklesis meaning imploration and solace or the giving of relief in afflictions or supplying what is needed to those suffering disappointment and misery by refreshing the spirit, soul, and body. Paul declares that our Father in Heaven does this that we might be able or be of power to comfort or parakaleo others, meaning to encourage and strengthen by consolation. As Paul received the comfort or paraklesis from the Father, he was in turn enabled, energized, and empowered by God’s Comfort to him to encourage and strengthen others who were experiencing afflictions, betrayal, persecution for their faith, illness, etc. because Paul had experienced many afflictions and knew what to do and say to bring them relief, as he himself had experienced relief from the Father.
“Mercies are the fountain of comfort; comfort is the outward expression of mercy. God shows mercy in the affliction itself. He gives comfort both in and after the affliction. Therefore is He termed, the God of all comfort. Blessed be this God!” John Wesley
“Paul had been oppressed with anxiety concerning the reception of his first epistle by the Corinthian Church, by the delay of tidings, and by his disappointment in meeting Titus. The tidings, when at last they did arrive, aroused his gratitude for the wholesome effect of his rebuke upon the Church, and his indignation at the aggressions of the Judaizing teachers. With these feelings mingled his anxiety to hasten, in the Corinthian Church, the contribution for the poor saints in Judaea. This second letter therefore bears the marks of the high tension of feeling which finds expression in frequent personal allusions, especially to his afflictions.” Marvin R. Vincent
“Paul here is expressing deep emotional truth speaking of himself in the first person because he was never one to hide his emotions whether by way of letter or in person. Paul wanted these Corinthian believers and us to know that his ability to speak words of wisdom, solace, truth, love, care, and concern to others was purely from what he had received from the Father experientially during the many harsh painful times he endured from the Damascus Road to the present moment of the penning of this letter.” Clifford D. Tate, Sr.
If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ and His amazing healing power, pray this from your heart to the Lord Jesus Christ (you speaking directly to Him), Dear Lord Jesus, I confess to You that I am a sinner and I need Your forgiveness. I believe You shed Your Blood and died for my sins. I believe that You rose from the dead proving that You alone are God. I repent of my sins. I want to turn from my sins. I ask You Dear Lord Jesus to come into my heart and take control of my life. I want You to be my Lord, Savior, and my God. Amen...
Sincerely in Christ,
Clifford D. Tate, Sr.
Author of “Silent Assassins of the Soul - Are you Broken by Pornography and Masturbation? You can be Restored by the Lord Jesus Christ and brought into Deliverance, Freedom, and Victory! A Guide for Men and Women in the Enemy’s Crosshairs” e-book available now @ Amazon Kindle, @ Apple I Bookstore for IPod, Barnes and Noble for Nook, Reader Store for Sony Reade, Kobo, Copia, Gardners, Baker and Taylor, and eBookPie…