2 Corinthians 1:5
For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds by Christ.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(5) Abound in us.—Better, overflow to us. The sufferings of Christ, as in 1Peter 4:13; 1Peter 5:1 (the Greek in 1Peter 1:11 expresses a different thought), are those which He endured on earth; those which, in His mysterious union with His Church, are thought as passing from Him to every member of His body, that they too may drink of the cup that He drank of. For the thought that in our sufferings, of whatever nature, we share Christ’s sufferings, comp. 2Corinthians 4:10; Philippians 3:10; Colossians 1:24; 1Peter 4:13. The use of the plural, “our tribulations,” “overflow to us,” is dependent partly on the fact that St. Paul has joined Timotheus with himself in his salutation, and partly on the fact that it is his usual way of speaking of himself unless he has distinctly to assert his own individuality.

So our consolation also aboundeth.—Better, as before, overflows. The consolation which has come to him through Christ, as the channel through whom it flows down from the Father, has, like the suffering, an expansive power, and pours itself out on others.

1:1-11 We are encouraged to come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. The Lord is able to give peace to the troubled conscience, and to calm the raging passions of the soul. These blessings are given by him, as the Father of his redeemed family. It is our Saviour who says, Let not your heart be troubled. All comforts come from God, and our sweetest comforts are in him. He speaks peace to souls by granting the free remission of sins; and he comforts them by the enlivening influences of the Holy Spirit, and by the rich mercies of his grace. He is able to bind up the broken-hearted, to heal the most painful wounds, and also to give hope and joy under the heaviest sorrows. The favours God bestows on us, are not only to make us cheerful, but also that we may be useful to others. He sends comforts enough to support such as simply trust in and serve him. If we should be brought so low as to despair even of life, yet we may then trust God, who can bring back even from death. Their hope and trust were not in vain; nor shall any be ashamed who trust in the Lord. Past experiences encourage faith and hope, and lay us under obligation to trust in God for time to come. And it is our duty, not only to help one another with prayer, but in praise and thanksgiving, and thereby to make suitable returns for benefits received. Thus both trials and mercies will end in good to ourselves and others.For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us - As we are called to experience the same sufferings which Christ endured; as we are called to suffer in his cause, and in the promotion of the same object. The sufferings which they endured were in the cause of Christ and his gospel; were endured in endeavoring to advance the same object which Christ sought to promote; and were substantially of the same nature. They arose from opposition, contempt, persecution, trial, and want, and were the same as the Lord Jesus was himself subjected to during the whole of his public life; compare Colossians 1:24. Thus, Peter says 1 Peter 4:13 of Christians that they were "partakers of Christ's sufferings."

So our consolation also aboundeth by Christ - By means of Christ, or through Christ, consolation is abundantly imparted to us. Paul regarded the Lord Jesus as the source of consolation, and felt that the comfort which he imparted, or which was imparted through him, was more than sufficient to overbalance all the trials which he endured in this cause. The comforts which he derived from Christ were those, doubtless, which arose from his presence, his supporting grace, from his love shed abroad in the heart; from the success which he gave to his gospel, and from the hope of reward which was held out to him by the Redeemer, as the result of all his sufferings. And it may he observed as an universal truth, that if we suffer in the cause of Christ, if we are persecuted, oppressed, and calumniated on his account, he will take care that cur hearts shall be filled with consolation.

5. sufferings—standing in contrast with "salvation" (2Co 1:6); as "tribulation" (distress of mind), with comfort or "consolation."

of Christ—Compare Col 1:24. The sufferings endured, whether by Himself, or by His Church, with which He considers Himself identified (Mt 25:40, 45; Ac 9:4; 1Jo 4:17-21). Christ calls His people's sufferings His own suffering: (1) because of the sympathy and mystical union between Him and us (Ro 8:17; 1Co 4:10); (2) They are borne for His sake; (3) They tend to His glory (Eph 4:1; 1Pe 4:14, 16).

abound in us—Greek, "abound unto us." The order of the Greek following words is more forcible than in English Version, "Even so through Christ aboundeth also our comfort." The sufferings (plural) are many; but the consolation (though singular) swallows up them all. Comfort preponderates in this Epistle above that in the first Epistle, as now by the effect of the latter most of the Corinthians had been much impressed.

He calleth his and the other apostles’ sufferings, the sufferings of Christ, either because they were sufferings for Christ, that is, for doing the work which Christ had given them to do; or his and their personal sufferings, as members of that body of which Christ is the Head. Christ calleth Saul’s persecuting the saints, a persecuting of himself, Acts 9:4. Thus we read of Paul’s filling up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ, Colossians 1:24.

So our consolation also aboundeth by Christ; but, saith the apostle, blessed be God, as we have many sufferings for Christ, so also we have many consolations by Christ. Christ, as God, is the efficient cause of the saints’ consolation; as Mediator, dying for us, he is the meritorious cause; and it is by his Spirit (who is called the Comforter) that they are applied to us. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us,.... By "the sufferings of Christ" are not meant those which he suffered in his own person for the sake, and in the room and stead of his people, the fruits and effects of which abound to them, and in them; but those which he suffers in his members, or which they suffer for his sake; and which are said to "abound in" them, because of the variety and greatness of them; though not as if they were more or greater than what Christ suffered in his soul and body, when he was made sin and a curse for his people: yet notwithstanding the abundance of them, such is the goodness and grace of God, that he proportions comforts to them; as their afflictions increase, so do their comforts; as their sufferings for the sake of Christ, and his Gospel, are more and greater,

so, says he,

our consolation aboundeth by Christ: meaning, either that consolation which they felt and enjoyed in their own souls, under all their tribulations, which abundantly answered to them, and which they ascribe to Christ, from and by whom it comes to them; or else that consolation, which, by preaching Christ, abounded to the relief of others who were in distress and trouble.

For as the {c} sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ.

(c) The miseries which we suffer for Christ, or which Christ suffers in us.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
2 Corinthians 1:5. Ground assigned for the ἧς παρακαλούμεθα αὐτοὶ ὑπὸ τ. Θεοῦ.

περισσεύει εἰς ἡμᾶς] is abundant in relation to us, i.e. it is imparted to us above measure, in a very high degree. Comp. Romans 5:15.

τὰ παθήματα τοῦ Χριστοῦ] are not the sufferings for Christ’s sake (so Pelagius and most), which cannot be expressed by the simple genitive, but the sufferings of Christ (Winer, Billroth, Olshausen, Neander, Ewald, Hofmann), in so far as every one who suffers for the gospel suffers the same in category as Christ suffered. Comp. Matthew 20:22; Php 3:10; Colossians 1:24; Hebrews 13:13; 1 Peter 4:13. See also on Romans 8:17. Hence Cornelius a Lapide, Leun, and Rückert render correctly in substance: “quales passus est Christus.” But Chrysostom, Theophylact, Oecumenius, Beza, Calovius, and others are wrong, who render: “the sufferings, which Christ endures in His members;” comp. de Wette and Osiander. For the conception of a Christ continuing to suffer in His members is nowhere found in the N. T., not even in Acts 9:4, and is contrary to the idea of His exaltation. See on Colossians 1:24.

διὰ τοῦ Χ.] through His indwelling by means of the Spirit. See Romans 8:9-10; Ephesians 3:17; Colossians 1:29, al.2 Corinthians 1:5. ὅτι καθὼς περισσύει κ.τ.λ.: for as Christ’s sufferings flow over abundantly to us, even so our comfort also aboundeth through Christ. That the Christian is a fellow-sufferer with Christ is frequently urged by St. Paul (Romans 8:17, Php 3:10, Colossians 1:24; see esp. chap. 2 Corinthians 4:10-11 below, and cf. Mat_20:22). Here he dwells on the thought that this fellowship in suffering implies also the consolation and strength which flow from union with Christ; cf. 1 Peter 4:13.5. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us] Rather super-abound unto us. All the principal English versions render in us, and thus many commentators have been misled. The word translated abound means to exceed, be over and above (Matthew 5:20; Matthew 14:20). Thus the meaning of the passage is that the sufferings of Christ overflow to us and that thus we are made partakers of them. See Matthew 20:22; Mark 10:38; Galatians 2:20; Hebrews 13:13. For (see notes on ch. 2 Corinthians 4:11-12) our sufferings for Christ’s sake arise from the same cause as His, namely the opposition of darkness to light, of death to the life that is imparted by Him to His members. Such passages as ch. 2 Corinthians 4:10; Colossians 1:24, carry the idea a step further, and represent Christ as suffering in His members, by virtue of His union with them. So also Matthew 25:40; Matthew 25:45; Acts 9:4; Galatians 6:17; Php 3:10.2 Corinthians 1:5. Τοῦ Χριστοῦ, εἰς ἠμᾶς· διὰ Χριστοῦ, ἡμῶν, of Christ towards (in) us; ours by Christ) The words and their order are sweetly interchanged.—παθήματα· παράκλησις, adversities (sufferings); consolation) The former are numerous; the latter is but one, and yet exceeds the former.—οὕτως, so) There shines forth brightly from this very epistle, as compared with the former, a greater amount of consolation to the Corinthians, who had been deeply impressed with the first epistle, consolation being extremely well suited to their circumstances, after the distresses which had intervened; and so there shines forth brightly in it the newness of the whole inner man, increasing more and more day by day.Verse 5. - As the sufferings of Christ abound in us; rather, unto us. "The sufferings of Christ" are the sufferings which he endured in the days of his flesh, and they were not exhausted by him, but overflow to us who have to suffer as he suffered, bearing about with us his dying, that we may share his life (2 Corinthians 4:10). The idea is, not that he is suffering in us and with us (though the truth of his intense sympathy with his suffering Church may be shadowed forth in some such terms, Matthew 25:40-45; Acts 9:4), but that we have "a fellowship in his sufferings" (Philippians 3:17); Galatians 2:20, "I have been crucified with Christ;" Hebrews 13:13, "Bearing his reproach." Our sufferings are the sufferings of Christ because we suffer as he suffered (1 Peter 4:13) and in the same cause. Aboundeth by Christ. If his sufferings, as it were, overflow to us, so too is he the Source of our comfort, in that he sendeth us the Comforter (John 14:16-18). Sufferings of Christ

Not things suffered for Christ's sake, but Christ's own sufferings as they are shared by His disciples. See Matthew 20:22; Philippians 3:10; Colossians 1:24; 1 Peter 4:13. Note the peculiar phrase abound (περισσεύει) in us, by which Christ's sufferings are represented as overflowing upon His followers. See on Colossians 1:24.

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