Jan 22 - Study Guide

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 “Intro to 2 Corinthians” (2 Cor 1:1-2) - Brent Smith
 LIFE GROUP LEADERS: Remember, these questions are just guides. Feel free to use some of them in your discussion, but don’t feel you have to ask all of them.

STUDY QUESTIONS. 1. Was there anything that stood out to you on Sunday as interesting, impactful, or difficult to understand? 
 2. What do you hope to learn, or how do you hope to change, through our study of 2 Corinthians?
 3. Read the story of Paul in Corinth from Acts 18. Why do you think Paul found so little success preaching in Athens (with the philosophers) compared to the many converts (v.8) in a city like Corinth? What encouragement or direction does that give to our own mission today?
 4. The main theme in 2 Corinthians that Paul wants to drive home is that weakness is the source of power for the Christian (2 Cor 12:9). Considering the city of Corinth…considering the painful history between Paul and the church… why do you think this was his emphasis? 
 5. Throughout the letter Paul shows us that suffering, far from showing God’s absence in our lives, is actually the vehicle with which God demonstrates His power and glory through us. How can suffering and hardship in the life of a Christian show the world God’s power and glory more than health, comfort and ease?
 6. On the following page are the key verses from 2 Corinthians that Brent highlighted on Sunday. Read through them and discuss which ones impact you the most and why.

 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 1:3 We are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing 2:15 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 3:17 God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. 4:6
 But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. 4:7 This light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison 4:17 we walk by faith, not by sight. 5:7 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 5:17 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. 5:21 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich. 8:9
 The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 9:6-7 For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. 10:4 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 12:9