The teeming first-centry city of Corinth has a remarkably contemporary feel to it. The first readers of 2 Corinthians would have faced a challenge that is all too familiar to modern Christians: how are we to make our lives count for Christ in a multicultural society with no fixed moral boundaries? Paul told his friends in Corinth that they were "an epistle of Christ,' which could be known and read by everyone. In much of the Western world, the church has been in retreat for a century or more. The need to bring the gospel to a growing number of people who are increasingly pagan becomes ever more pressing. In this epistle Paul reminds us that the lesson that we most need to learn is not to do with methods or techniques, but with motivation.
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