Online Bible Commentary

2 Corinthians 1:1

Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, unto the church of God which is at Corinth, with all the saints which are in all Achaia:
Note 1 at 2 Corinthians 1:1: In this letter, Paul again dealt with false teachers who questioned his apostolic authority. Here, Paul stated that his apostolic office was bestowed upon him by Jesus Christ, in accordance with God’s will (Romans 1:1, 5; 1 Corinthians 1:1; Galatians 1:1; Ephesians 1:1; Colossians 1:1; and 2 Timothy 1:1). Paul, like the original twelve apostles, received his apostleship directly from the Lord (Acts 26:15-18) and was an eyewitness of the risen Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 1:22 and 1 Corinthians 15:7-8). The Apostle Peter recognized Paul’s apostleship by ranking Paul’s letters as being equal with other Scripture (2 Peter 3:15-16). Note 2 at 2 Corinthians 1:1: Here, Paul used Timothy’s name with his very own. Timothy helped Paul establish the church at Corinth, and he was dearly loved by many there. By Paul’s own estimation, Timothy was Paul’s most faithful fellow-worker and companion (Philippians 2:19-22). Paul referred to him as “my own son in the faith” (1 Timothy 1:2) and as “my dearly beloved son” (2 Timothy 1:2). The first mention of Timothy is found in Acts 16:1-3, during Paul’s second missionary journey (see note 1 at Acts 16:1). Note 3 at 2 Corinthians 1:1: Some people would think it was unusual to have a church in such a place as Corinth. This city was known for its paganism (1 Corinthians 8:1 and 5-6), immorality (1 Corinthians 5:1), and sin (1 Corinthians 6:18-19). But where sin abounds, God’s grace abounds much more (Romans 5:20). Jesus didn’t come to heal the well, but the sick (Matthew 9:12). The Lord doesn’t shun difficult situations. He leads His soldiers into the thick of the battle. It was here that Paul was able to establish a number of believers who were sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be saints (1 Corinthians 1:2). Note 4 at 2 Corinthians 1:1: During the earthly ministry of Jesus Christ, Christians were known as “disciples” (Mark 2:16), “brethren” (Matthew 28:10), a sect called “Nazarenes” (John 18:7 and Acts 24:5), etc. Here, the more common term Paul was using for Christians was “saints.” This word does not denote perfection, as many people think, but rather a setting apart unto God by divine call (see note 5 at Acts 9:13). Note 5 at 2 Corinthians 1:1: Paul’s letters were written to more believers than just those who lived at Corinth. Achaia was a Roman province that, together with Macedonia, would be almost identical with modern Greece (see note 11 at Acts 18:12). The churches of that area probably kept copies of the apostle’s letters and read them regularly at their meetings along with the Old Testament scriptures. Now, just as then, all believers can benefit from these inspired words.

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