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The Scriptorium

The Power of Grace

It makes us one. 2 Corinthians 1

2 Corinthians 1 (7)

Pray Psalm 71.14, 15.

But I will hope continually,
And will praise You yet more and more.
My mouth shall tell of Your righteousness
And Your salvation all the day,
For I do not know their limits.

Sing Psalm 71.14-16.
Solid Rock: My Hope Is Built on Nothing Less)
But as for me my voice I raise to sing in hope and constant praise!
With saving grace my voice will swell Your never-ending grace to tell.
Refrain v. 3
A Rock of habitation be; command Your Word to rescue me;
my Rock and Fortress ever be!

Review 2 Corinthians 1.1-24; meditate on verses 21, 22.

1. What does Paul say about “us”?

2. What is the believer’s seal and guarantee?


Throughout 1 Corinthians, Paul insisted the believers there must recover their unity and work together for mutual edification. The focus was on them overcoming their schismatic and self-centered ways to rediscover the unity they have in Christ. The report from Titus about how Paul’s letter was received and what was beginning to happen in Corinth must have been very encouraging.

For in 2 Corinthians the focus changes subtly but truly. While 1 Corinthians’ focus was on the believers in Corinth, here Paul emphatically identified himself with the Corinthians and drew them back into the orbit of his ministry. Put succinctly, his focus has changed from “you” to “us”.

He began by praying grace and peace to prevail among them (v. 2). Then he invited them to join him in blessing God for the comfort, consolation, and encouragement they enjoyed together in the Lord (“our Lord”, “comforts us”, “the same sufferings which we also suffer”, vv. 3-7). From there he thanked them for their prayers during his time of affliction—“you also helping together in prayer for us” (vv. 8-11)—and invited them to mutual boasting about God’s work in him and them (v. 14).

Then he reminded them of their common foundation in the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, and that they shared together joyfully in the saving work of the Triune God (vv. 15-24). In 1 Corinthians, Paul was pointing the finger: “you”, “you Corinthians”. Here he spreads wide his arms and draws them back into himself and his ministry, for they were no longer babes in Christ but “fellow workers” in the Lord (v. 24).

The rest of 2 Corinthians will travel this high road of thanksgiving, congratulations, and pointing forward to greater Christlikeness. From the exasperation and admonitions of 1 Corinthians, Paul, acknowledging the abounding grace of God, was encouraged and encouraging as he took up his pen again.

Treasures Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162
“Now He who establishes us with you in Christ

and has anointed us is God, who also has sealed us

and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee” (2 Cor. 1.21, 22).

With is defined as accompanied by; accompanying; in some particular relation to (especially implying interaction, company, association, conjunction, or connection). Its synonyms being: alongside, amidst, among, beside, by, for, including, and near.

“Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, one will lift up his companion” (Eccl. 4.9, 10).

With connotes mutual togetherness, with helpfulness, denoting camaraderie, and singular focus.

Jesus had this kind of relationship with His disciples. In fact, He had just answered the people who were nagging Him about His mom and brothers trying to see Him, by saying, “My mother and brothers are these who hear the word of God and do it” (Lk. 8.21).

But hear the words of our Savior about togetherness, camaraderie, and singular focus: “Now it happened, on a certain day, that He got into a boat with His disciples. And He said to them, ‘Let us cross over to the other side of the lake.’ And they launched out. With. Us. They.

Our Christian friends, fellow-workers in the Kingdom, mutual church participants, those established with us in Christ, those sealed by God and given the Holy Spirit, those with whom we are one in the faith, are prayed for by Jesus. “I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for those whom You have given Me, for they are Yours. And all Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine, and I am glorified in them” (Jn. 17.9, 10).

And here is what He wants for us: “…that they may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me” (Jn. 17.21).

There is a grand purpose to all of this, which has everything to do with His glory, and that others will believe in Him and offer Him glory as well.

We have, together with the saints of God, a mutual song of glory and praise to sing:

Could we with ink the ocean fill,
and were the skies of parchment made;
were every stalk on earth a quill,
and everyone a scribe by trade;

to write the love of God above
would drain the ocean dry;
nor could the scroll contain the whole,
though stretched from sky to sky.

O love of God, how rich and pure!
How measureless and strong!
It shall forevermore endure—
the saints’ and angels’ song.

(Frederick M. Lehman, 1917)

Together, let’s sing this song, accompanied by our guaranteed fellow-believers and mutual Kingdom workers, proclaiming amidst the world the glory of God, with a singular focus on the power of His grace.

For reflection
1. How do you contribute to the unity in Christ in your church?

2. Today, whom will you encourage to work for the unity of the Body of Christ?

3. Meditate on Jesus’ prayer in John 17.21. Make this part of your daily prayers.

The Holy Spirit makes Christians firm in the faith of the gospel: the quickening of the Spirit is an earnest of everlasting life; and the comforts of the Spirit are an earnest of everlasting joy. Matthew Henry (1662-1714), Commentary on 2 Corinthians 1.15-24

Pray Psalm 71.1, 2, 7, 8, 12-13.
Give thanks to God for His salvation and strength. Look to Him for mercy and grace for all your times of need today.

Sing Psalm 71.1, 2, 7, 8, 12, 13.
Solid Rock: My Hope Is Built on Nothing Less)
In You, O LORD, I refuge claim; O let me never be ashamed.
in righteousness deliver me; incline Your ear and hear my plea.
Refrain v. 3
A Rock of habitation be; command Your Word to rescue me;
my Rock and Fortress ever be!

While many see in me a sign, I shelter in Your strength will find.
LORD, fill my mouth with endless praise and with Your glory all my days.

O God be not too far from me; my ever-present Helper be!
Consume and shame my enemies; let them reproached and humbled be.

T. M. and Susie Moore 

The Church in Corinth was in need of revival. But there was much to be done before that would happen. The Church today is in need of revival, and the same is true for us. Our book, Revived!, can help us to discern our need for revival and lead us in getting there. Order your copy by clicking

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Except as indicated, all Scriptures are taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. For sources of all quotations, see the weekly PDF of this study. All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalteravailable by 
clicking here.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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