Topic: AM Service Passage: 2 Corinthians 1:23–2:4
Authority is necessary in life – in fact, authority is God instituted. From the very first day that Adam and Eve were created, God established authority in society. But authority does not mean tyranny. As a result of sin, authority has been misused over the centuries to harm others. The Apostle Paul understood authority, specifically that which was given to him by the Lord Jesus Christ as an apostle. It was an authority to build others up and to establish the gospel. So when some in Corinth accused Paul of abusing his authority, he was quick to defend himself. He told the Corinthians that he sought their good and joy. He could not imagine being joyful when they were sorrowful. For Paul it was a “Painful Joy” to bring accountability and growth to the church at Corinth (2 Cor. 1:22-2:4).
I. Love in Authority
II. Pain in Authority
III. Joy in Authority
Questions for consideration: (1) How does love affect the authority you have over others? The authority they have over you? (2) When is it right to avoid pain and painful situations? When should we accept that pain is necessary to do the right thing? (3) Paul lists encouragements in the gospel at the end of this passage. Where do you see those encouragements in your life?