Sermon Discussion: Unpacking Forgiveness: A Purpose
2 Corinthians 1:3–11
By: Chris Brauns
Main Idea: We who, amid suffering and unpacking forgiveness, have been emboldened by our heavenly Father to continue forward, — we are especially qualified to encourage others.
I. Our merciful Father is the source of all comfort. The combination of “father” and mercy is beautiful:
II. The word translated “comfort” might be better translated as “encourage” or “embolden” (cf. 2 Cor 9:5, 10:1).
III. Those who have been emboldened amid pain are especially qualified to encourage others.
1. Read through Acts 18:1–17. What do we learn about Corinth from this passage?
2. How did Chris describe the difference between a philosophical and a pastoral explanation of suffering?
3. How should believers respond to suffering? Take time to identify specific passages.
4. Do we automatically and always turn to God in times of suffering? What happens when we don’t turn to God? Share an example of a time that you turned to God in a time of suffering.
5. According to Chris, what does activity does the english word “comfort” unintentionally obscure (Cf. 2 For 9:5; 10:1; 12:8)?
6. Should we feel sorry for Paul that he suffered so much for the gospel? How does Paul think about his suffering according to 2 Cor 1:3–11?
7. How has God used suffering in your own life?
8. What would you be like if you never suffered?
9. If you are in a period of suffering right now, what is this passage calling you to do? Who can you invite into your suffering to “embolden you to continue forward in Christ?”
9. Is there someone in your circle of influence that you can “embolden to continue forward for Christ”?
10. According to this text, how does God use suffering as a gift to our spiritual leaders and the people they minister to?
11. How were you personally impacted by this message?
12. What do you sense God calling you to do as a result of this message?