Paul concludes his eulogy with the statement Our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort (v. 7). Suffering is not incidental or even accidental to the Christian life. Paul does not say that the Corinthians may share in his apostolic sufferings—they will share in them. This, however, results not in despair but rather in hope—a hope not in the Corinthians' ability to weather hardship but in God's ability to sustain and strengthen them (compare v. 3). This is why Paul can refer to this hope as firm, a term that has the sense of a legally guaranteed security. There is a note of warning here as well—a warning against placing confidence in our own spirituality. For it is those who consider themselves particularly spiritual who are most prone to fall when faced with hardship. But for those who trust in God, Paul expresses the certainty that they who share Christ's sufferings will also share God's comfort.
So this eulogy carries forward the theme of apostleship introduced in the opening greeting, an apostleship that is essentially characterized by hardship and affliction. Paul also seeks to strengthen his relationship to the Corinthians by showing how their lives are inseparably bound to his. For the church, this means recognition that the lot of those who proclaim the gospel includes suffering. Yet, there is in this the promise of God's comfort.
IVP New Testament Commentaries are made available by the generosity of InterVarsity Press.
Step 1 - Create an account or log in to start your free trial.
Starting your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus is easy. You’re already logged in with your Bible Gateway account. The next step is to enter your payment information. Your credit card won’t be charged until the trial period is over. You can cancel anytime during the trial period.
Click the button below to continue.
Step 1 - Create an account or log in to start your subscription.
You’ve already claimed your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus. To subscribe at our regular subscription rate of $3.99/month, click the button below.
Upgrade to remove banner ads and unlock new features!
You've successfully created your account! For the ultimate Bible Gateway experience, consider upgrading Bible Gateway Plus to get the most out of your new account. For just a few dollars each month, a Bible Gateway Plus upgrade gives you:
• A complete digital Bible study library integrated with your Bible Gateway account, with no expensive software to install.
• Access to 40+ study & reference books including the NIV Study Bible, the Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary, and the MacArthur Study Bible.
• Special during April only: full access to the NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible
• An ad-free Bible Gateway experience.
• A risk-free, 30-day trial—you can cancel any time.