Paul’s long, complicated history with the Corinthian church culminates in this ardent defense of Christian ministry in general and of his own ministry in particular. Colin G. Kruse provides an insightful analysis that illuminates Paul’s contrast of the old and new and covenants and his eloquent exposition of the ministry of reconciliation. He also charts a clear, plausible course through the maze of the literary history of Paul’s correspondence with the Corinthian Christians. This second edition has been thoroughly revised, expanded, and updated by Kruse in the light of more recent scholarship.
“At a minimum, to be in Christ means to belong to him through faith, and to belong to him means living in the sphere of his power, being united with him through the Spirit, and to have become a part of the Christian community by baptism.” (Page 168)
“Paul understood comfort in the sense of encouragement and strengthening in the midst of troubles. This is evident when in this verse he explains to his audience one of the positive aspects of Christian suffering. It is allowed so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. One human being cannot effect divine deliverance from troubles for another, but it is possible to share with another sufferer the encouragement received in the midst of one’s own troubles. The testimony of God’s grace in one’s life is a forceful reminder to others of God’s ability and willingness to provide the grace and strength they need.” (Page 88)
“Nevertheless, it is vital to stress that the death of Christ is sufficient to atone for the sins of the whole world (cf. 1 John 2:2) and make reconciliation possible for everyone, but this becomes effective only in those who respond positively to the message of reconciliation.” (Page 171)
“However, before doing that he indicates with the words and gave us the ministry of reconciliation that the reconciling process is in another sense still incomplete. The preaching of reconciliation has to be carried out and people must hear the call to be reconciled to God. Unless they respond to that call, they cannot actually experience reconciliation.” (Pages 169–170)