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2 Corinthians 1:3-4

Author: Scott David Foutz

Text: 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

Title: The Ministry of Encouragement
Proposition: In the midst of troubles, we learn to receive God's Encouragment, and then 
		minister that encouragement to others.

Intro: Names and Titles
	human names (no meaning/meaning; relational meaning)
	divine names (relational: Father, Creator, Redeemer)

I. God of All Comfort/Encouragement 
	A. Encouragement (10 times in vv.3-7)
	B. Relation of Source of Encouragement to Those needing Encouragement
	C. We are in constant need of Encouragement due to a constatnt variety of troubles. (CBC)

II. God Comforts/Encourages Us in All Our Troubles
	A. ALL Our Troubles (Trials, Afflictions)
	B. How Does God Comfort/Encourage Us?
		1. Through Promises
			Matthew 18:20 "Wherever 2 or 3 are gathered in my name, there I am..."
			Hebrew 13:5 "I will never leave you, nor will I forsake you"
			John 4:14 "Whoever drinks the [living] water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the
			        water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life."
			John 14:2-3 "I am going to prepare a place for you. ...And I will come back and take 
			        you to be with me that you also may be where I am."
		2. Through the Holy Spirit (John 14:16-17 = Comforter/Counselor/Advocate/Paraclete) 
			- The HS teaches us all things and reminds us of God's Word to us (Jn 14:26)
			- The HS enables us to pray, endure and obey through difficult times.
			- The HS creates in us an assurance of the HOPE we have in God.
		3. Through Deliverance
			- Personal Testimonies of Deliverance (Pelley's. Kelty's)
			- Paul's Testimony of Deliverance (1:8-10)

III. We Then Can Comfort/Encourage Those in Any Trouble
	A. This gives our afflictions a Purpose: (Not merely a survival/patch-up menality)
		1. Strengthening of our personal faith
		2. Foundation for a ministry of Encouragement to Others in Need
	B. We are given a ministry of Encouragement
		1. This consists in our communicating the same comfort we have received through God
		2. This results in an increase in others' ability to steadfastly endure similar sufferings.

Conclusion: God has involved us in his ministry of Encouragement.
	1. This ministry is in constant demand due to the human condition.
	2. This ministry unites us as the Body of Christ.
	3. This ministry is a necessary element of the Church's well-being.


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