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  • Writer's pictureMarshal Ausberry

Keys to Teaching Christ in 2 Corinthians

Updated: Jul 13, 2023


2nd Corinthians is Apostle Paul’s pastoral follow-up with his beloved in the Church of Corinth. Paul’s pastoral instruction and admonishment is with love and sometimes with tough love. Paul deals with the issues at Corinth in a Christ-like manner the principles of which are essential to the modern church.

Paul’s Christ-likeness includes addressing sin, utilizing church discipline, seeking reconciliation and restoration for the sinner. This reminds us of the love that Christ has for the world as He offers Himself to provide a remedy for sin.

2nd Corinthians deals with the practice of ministry in the church. We are most like Christ when we love and forgive like Christ.

Key Texts:

  • 2 Corinthians 1:2-4—God is our comforter in our times of trouble.

  • 2 Corinthians 2:5-11—The Christ-like administration of Church disciple should include love, forgiveness, and restoration for the repentant brother or sister.

  • 2 Corinthians 6:1—The new covenant surpasses the old covenant.

  • 2 Corinthians 8-9—Paul addresses financial stewardship in the body of Christ.

  • 2 Corinthians 10-13—Paul defends his calling and ministry.

  • 2 Corinthians 11:16-33—Paul’s life, as the believer’s life is not exempt from suffering.

  • 2 Corinthians 12:9—Paul boasts in his weakness as he is sustained by Christ’s grace in times of weakness.

  • 2 Corinthians 13:9-10—Paul expresses that their prayers are for restoration of the sinning believer to avoid Paul having to confront the unrepentant believer.

Key Themes:

  • Reconciliation—Christ reconciles the world to Himself and the church mimics reconciliation and restoration in the body of Christ.

  • Forgiveness—As Christ offers forgiveness, the church models this by forging the repentant sinner.

  • Generosity—God is generous to us in that we are saved through the priceless gift of Jesus Christ; likewise, our generosity expresses our appreciation of God’s greatest gift.

  • Joy—There is much joy in heaven when one sinner repents; every new believer brings us joy of the ministry of Christ working through us.

  • Atonement—Christ is the substitutionary atoning sacrifice for the sins of humanity (5:21; Isaiah 53)

Key Resources:

  • Introduction to 2 Corinthians, Expositor's Bible Commentary, Murray J. Harris; the Expositor's Bible Commentary is consistently reliable in Bible interpretation and presentation.

  • 2 Corinthians—Power in Weakness, R. Kent Hughes. Hughes is insightful and devotionally rewarding to the reader.

  • Evangelical Commentary of the Bible, Walter A. Elwell. This commentary provides a basic level and easy to understand interpretation of the text.

  • 2 Corinthians Bible Commentary, Linda L. Belleville. This commentary provides good introduction and background information alongside a verse-by-verse explanation of the text.

  • The Bible Speaks Today—The Message of 2 Corinthians—Paul Barnett, General Editor, John Stott. IVP Academic—Provides a good overview and applications.


A study of 2 Corinthians covers a myriad of subjects and themes as Paul presses the Corinthian believers to hold fast to Christ. 2 Corinthians encourages the believer to live out the Christ-like life from forgiveness to finances and relationships. The reader is reminded to be guided in a Christ-like manner as a follower of Christ.

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