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II Corinthians
Paul talks of the hardships he has endured whilst doing God's work.

II Corinthians

The third of the Epistles is Paul's second letter to the Christians in Corinth, or II Corinthians. Some members of the Church in Corinth had challenged Paul's authority over them and so he had sent two of his followers, Titus and Timothy, ahead before setting off himself to Corinth. Titus returned from Corinth and reported to Paul that the Christians there had repented of their challenge to Paul's teaching. This heartened Paul, but there were still some issues which need dealing with, and so he wrote this second letter.

All quotations from the Bible are taken from the Authorised King James Version.
1.
At the beginning of his letter, Paul praises God because of the comfort He gives us in our times of difficulty. According to Paul, why does God do this?
Because we are weak
So that we do not forget God in our times of difficulty
Because God loves us
So that we can comfort others who are in difficulty
When we suffer we can remember Christ's suffering and take comfort that He died for our sakes.

II Corinthians 1:3-5
"Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ"
2.
To stop him from becoming arrogant, Paul says that God gave him a physical condition. How does Paul refer to his condition?
A worm in his ear
A thorn in his flesh
A piece of grit in his shoe
A splinter in his eye
Paul prayed three times to be made well again, but God refused.

II Corinthians 12:7-10
"And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong"
3.
Paul talks of the hardships he has endured whilst doing God's work. How many times does he say he has been shipwrecked?
Once
Twice
Three times
Four times
In addition to his shipwrecks Paul has been stoned, in danger from floods, threatened by robbers, attacked by mobs, crossed deserts, suffered from hunger and thirst and borne cold weather. Not a very easy time at all!

II Corinthians 11:25-27
"Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; in journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; in weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness"
4.
Paul berates the Corinthians for listening to false teachers. Who does he say they are tolerating?
Fools
Jesters
Idiots
Clowns
II Corinthians 11:19
"For ye suffer fools gladly, seeing ye yourselves are wise"

This line from II Corinthians has changed slightly into "he does not suffer fools gladly" in the modern phrase used to describe someone who gets angry at people he thinks are stupid
5.
Paul likens those who follow the Old Testament to men with veils over their faces. Christians, he says, have no veil and are more like what?
Men carrying torches of wisdom
Mirrors, reflecting God's glory
Men carrying lamps of knowledge
Diamonds, reflecting God's love
The Holy Spirit within Christians makes them more like God.

II Corinthians 3:15-18
"But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the vail is upon their heart. Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the vail shall be taken away. Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord"
6.
Paul uses God's weapons, he says, which can defeat imaginations and arguments against God. They can also capture what?
Rebellious thoughts
Rebellious words
Rebellious writings
Rebellious deeds
Paul can use the weapon of the Holy Spirit to turn men's minds back to obedience of Jesus.

II Corinthians 10:3-6
"For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (for the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; and having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled"
7.
When he is talking about charity Paul says that God loves what kind of giver?
A generous giver
A secretive giver
A cheerful giver
A poor giver
Paul tells us not to begrudge giving, but to do it happily because God will give us all that we need.

II Corinthians 9:6-8
"But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work"
8.
The Old Testament says that if two or three people have seen a wrong then it must be punished. Because of this, Paul is angry with the Corinthians because he has visited them how many times before?
Once
Twice
Three times
Four times
Paul's next visit will be his third, yet still the people need guidance.

II Corinthians 13:1-4
"This is the third time I am coming to you. In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established. I told you before, and foretell you, as if I were present, the second time; and being absent now I write to them which heretofore have sinned, and to all other, that, if I come again, I will not spare: since ye seek a proof of Christ speaking in me, which to you-ward is not weak, but is mighty in you. For though he was crucified through weakness, yet he liveth by the power of God. For we also are weak in him, but we shall live with him by the power of God toward you"
9.
Paul ends his letter with a salutation from who?
From the saints
From the angels
From Jesus
From God
II Corinthians 13:11-13
"Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you. Greet one another with an holy kiss. All the saints salute you."

At the time Paul wrote this letter the term "saint" meant any Christian
10.
Paul talks in the third person about a vision he had when he was taken up to Heaven. Whilst there he was told things which he... what?
He has written down
He cannot remember
He was commanded to share
He is not allowed to repeat
II Corinthians 12:1-4
"It is not expedient for me doubtless to glory. I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord. I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven. And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) how that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter"

 

Author:  Graeme Haw

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