THE LESSON BACKGROUND. The Apostle Paul wrote this Second Letter to the believers in Corinth while in Macedonia within a year of the first letter. Paul’s spiritual burden for the Corinthian believers was great. In addition to the problems he had to deal with in his first letter (see I Corinthians 1:10-13; 3:1-4; 5:1, 9-13; 6:1-8; 7:1-16), great distrust regarding Paul invaded the church. Some said that he was not sincere and others questioned his apostolic authority (see I Corinthians 9:1-6). So, the book of Second Corinthians deals mostly with Paul’s defense of his apostolic authority making the book very personal (see II Corinthians 3:1-5; 4:1-7; 5:11-21; 6:3-10; 7:2-7). In II Corinthians chapter 8, Paul turns his attention from defending his apostolic authority to requesting financial help, asking the Corinthian believers for money to help the poor saints in Jerusalem (see I Corinthians 16:1; II Corinthians 8:1-15). The Corinthian believers had started collecting money to send to the poor Christians in Jerusalem (see Acts 11:27-29), but for some reason they didn’t finish taking up the collection (see II Corinthians 8:10-12). In order to encourage the Corinthians to finish the offering they had promised to send to the needy saints in Jerusalem, Paul spoke of how the churches in Macedonia, even though they were poor themselves, willingly and generously sent a collection to the poor saints in Jerusalem (see Romans 15:25-28; II Corinthians 8:1-6). In chapter 10 from which our lesson text comes, Paul returns to defending his apostolic authority and continues to do so through II Corinthians 10:1-13:10. In those four chapters, Paul deals with the problem of false apostles (see II Corinthians 11:13) who had come to Corinth and who were opposing his authority as an apostle. Our printed text comes from chapter 10 verses 1-12, 17 -18.
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