Copr. 1998, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D.  All Scripture references are to

the New International Version (NIV), copr. 1973, 1978, 1984

International Bible Society,  unless otherwise noted. Quotations

from the NIV are used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers.

Suggested answers are found within parentheses. The lesson assumes

the teacher uses a blackboard or some other visual aid.

INTRODUCTION: This week we review some of the highlights of 2

Corinthians.  Specifically, we look at some of the promises which

we can claim for our ministry.


     A. Read 2 Corinthians 1:16-20. Have you known
someone who only
kept his promises when it was to his advantage?

          1. How did that
affect your relationship?

          2. How did you
plan for the future when you were dealing
with a person
like this?

          3.In v.20 Paul
tells us that all of God’s promises are
answered “Yes,”
in Christ. How is Jesus the “Yes” to
God’s promises?

a. Was it to the advantage of God the Father to send
Jesus to earth?

b. If God the Father was willing to send Jesus, and
Jesus was willing to go, what advantage will God
withhold from you because it is inconvenient for

c. What does God the Father and God the Son’s
willingness to suffer torture and death for your
benefit tell you about God’s attitude towards you?

d. A popular saying speaks of the “fear of the
unknown.”  Uncertainty can be frightening. What
does God’s attitude towards you, as demonstrated in
His Son, do to uncertainty when it comes to God?

          4. Verse 20 says
that we say “Amen” as a result of Jesus
being the “Yes”
to God’s promises. In what ways do we say
“Amen?” In what
ways can we say “Amen?”

a. What does “Amen” mean? (Thayer reports that
“Amen” has been called the “best-known word in
human speech” because it exists in so many
languages. The word is an expression of trust.It
means “sure,” “truly,” “I agree” and “that’s
right!” When we see what Jesus had done to fulfill
God’s promises we can only stand up and say “That’s


     A. Read 2 Corinthians 3:12-18.Paul writes
in these verses
about an “old covenant and a veil over the
heart. What is the
“old covenant?” (Read Exodus 24:3. A “covenant”
is an
agreement. When God told Israel, through Moses,
what He wanted
of His people and the people promised to do
everything God
asked they had a covenant.)

     B. What is the “new covenant?” (Read Jeremiah
Compare Hebrews 8:7-10.)

          1. How is the
new covenant different than the old

a. What do Jeremiah and the writer of Hebrews mean
when they say, quoting God on the new covenant,  “I
will put My laws in their minds and write them on
their hearts?”

b. In 2 Corinthians 3:16-17, the Spirit part of the
Trinity of God is invoked as part of taking away
the “veil” of the old covenant.  What role does the
Spirit have in writing God’s laws on our hearts and
minds under the new covenant?

c. Does this “heart-writing” bring liberty?

(1) Why? How?


     A. Let’s skip down and read 2 Cor. 5:14-17.

          1. We know the
phrase, “one died for all,” (v.14) is a
common reference
to Jesus’ death.  What does v.14 mean
when Paul continues
and says “therefore all die?”

a. Should not the text say instead, “therefore all
live?” (This refers to an attitude that we need.
Since Jesus died for us, we need to be willing to
sacrifice for the benefit of others.)

b. “All died” is a pretty extreme term. Does the
fact that Paul uses death as his point of
reference, instead of saying, “all were slightly
bothered” teach us that radical self-sacrifice is
the goal?

          2. Verse 16 says
that we will no longer “regard” someone
from a worldly
point of view.  First, how would you
regard someone
from a “worldly point of view?” (Money,
power, education,
position, and beauty would all raise
your opinion
of someone.)

a. How should we view people? What “view” does Paul
recommend? (The view of self-sacrifice. That would
mean that our heroes would be missionaries and
gospel workers who earn little while giving their
lives to the gospel. Our heroes would not be movie
stars, sports stars and corporate leaders.)

b. Verse 16 tells us that we once regarded Christ
“from a worldly point of view.” How could we do
that? What does this mean? (If we are looking to
Jesus for what we can get, as His disciples did at
first, we look at him “from a worldly point of

(1) Have we regarded Christ from a worldly     
point of view?

(2) Are we looking at Him like that today?

c. Verse 17 says we are a “new creation.”  Will a
new creature have a “new view?”

(1) What is that “new view?”


     A. Read 2 Corinthians 9:6-11. In verse 6 Paul
reminds the
Corinthians of Proverbs 11:24-25 that links
generosity to
greater wealth and stinginess to greater poverty.

          1. Have you seen
this principle operate in life? Is
“giving” really
“getting?” When you give something away,
is it like planting
seed or making an investment?

a. If you really believed that you could get more by
giving, would you be more generous than you are

b. Is it possible that our actions show that we do
not really believe this principle?

(1) And if we do not believe the principle,     
does that account for our relative lack of     

          2. What attitude
is God looking for in those who support
His program?
(Cheerful giver)

a. What does that say about God? (He is not a
tyrant, He is a lover. He is looking for people who
want to serve Him, who love to serve Him — not
those who obey Him out of fear.)

          3. When we are
talking about “reaping” or “getting,”  are
we necessarily
talking about money?

          4. How do you
understand the statement in v.10 that God
will “enlarge
the harvest of your righteousness?” (Verse
11 says that
we “will be made rich in every way.” This
has to mean
that we are not simply talking about money.
This is a promise
of increased ministry.  That God is
anxious to expand
our ministry for Him!)


     A. Read 2 Corinthians 12:7-10.

     B. We just studied this last week. let’s focus
on this idea of
strength in weakness and the “thorn” in Paul’s

     C. Paul writes that having a “thorn in the
flesh” was supposed
to keep him from being conceited based on
the private
revelations God gave him about heaven. Would
some pain or
annoyance help you to guard against pride?

          1. Answer this
from the perspective of a parent. Read
Matthew 7:9-11.

a. If you did something very special for your child,
would you then “give him a thorn” to “make up” for
being so nice before?

(1) Would you (2 Corinthians 12:7) torment your

(2) Is a thorn a good gift?

b. Who does Paul say gave him the thorn? (2
Corinthians 12:7 tells us Satan’s messenger gave
him the thorn.)

c. Does the fact that Satan gave Paul the thorn take
God “off the hook” for it?

          2. 2 Corinthians
12:9 gives us the key to these answers
about the thorn.
Paul specifically gives us God’s
thinking on
the subject. Let’s read it again.

a. God makes two points, what are they?

(1) My grace is sufficient for you.

(2) My power is made perfect in weakness.

b. What does God mean when He says, “My grace is
sufficient for you?” (When I think of “grace,” I
think of the cross. The answer to all pain,
sickness and sorrow caused by Satan is the eternal
life made possible by the cross.)

c. In the meantime, how is God’s power made perfect
in our weakness or suffering?

(1) Do you remember God’s conversation with
Gideon about the number of Gideon’s troops
when they were planning the attack on the
Midianites? (In Judges 7:2 God tells Gideon he
is not weak enough, he has too many soldiers.
Why? Because at the end of the victory God
wants everyone to know that it was God and not
“the troops” who won the victory!)

     D. In light of this “power in weakness” idea,
are we ever
justified in saying that we cannot do some
task for God
because we are not properly equipped to do

     E. How many times did Paul ask to have the
thorn taken away?

          1. How many times
would you ask?

a. How many times have you asked?

          2. Did Paul only
ask three times because he understood
God’s “power
in weakness” philosophy?

VI. NEXT WEEK: We begin a new study on knowing God.

a. How many times have you asked?

          2. Did Paul only
ask three times because he understood
God’s “power
in weakness” philosophy?

VI. NEXT WEEK: We begin a new study on knowing God.