2 Cor 2:14-3:6
Suffering and affliction in Asia.
Corinth – sorrowful visit
Difficult letter instead of a second visit. (2Cor 2 : 4 )
Troas – Titus was not there.
v14 Paul thanks God that we are led in triumph in Christ. Aroma is because of a personal relationship with Christ. (c/f Gen 8:20 Aroma arising to God from Noah’s sacrifice ).
v16 Aroma of death to death and aroma of life to life.
v16 Who is adequate for this?
v17 Sincerity – speaking from God, in Christ, in the sight of God. False teachers had arrived since the previous visit.
3:1 Letter of commendation? The church at Corinth IS that letter.
3:2-3 Letter from Christ written on the hearts of believers by the Holy Spirit.
3:4 Confidence through Christ towards God.
3:5 Adequacy from God.
3:6 The letter of the law kills because we cannot keep it. The Holy Spirit gives life. New Covenant (Jer 31:33)
Ezekiel 11:19-20 – New spirit – Heart of flesh instead of stone.
The fragrance of Christ carried by us everywhere we go.
Feelings of inadequacy?
1. Keep on being filled with the Holy Spirit – (Eph 5:18 )
2. Study the Word diligently (2 Tim2:15)
3. Pray a) alone, b) with others, c) on assignment.
4. Always listen for God’s message to us.
5. Focus on God. Circumstances are the backdrop. " I have set the Lord continually before me" ( Ps 16:8)
Our responsibility is to be obedient to God. The response of others is not our responsibility.
Illustration from the Old Testament – (2 Chron 20)
Illustration from the present day Don Moen – family tragedy. He read Isaiah 43:10 – 21 and God gave him a beautiful song. "God will make a way".