“September 9–15. 2 Corinthians 1–7: ‘Be Ye Reconciled to God’” Come, Follow Me—For Sunday School: New Testament 2019 (2019)
“September 9–15. 2 Corinthians 1–7,” Come, Follow Me—For Sunday School: 2019
Record Your Impressions
Provide time for class members to share ideas that make their scripture study more effective.
Maybe there’s someone in your class experiencing a difficult trial. The experiences Paul described and the counsel he gave in 2 Corinthians can help class members think about the blessings that can come from their trials. To start a discussion, you might ask a class member to come prepared to talk about how a trial blessed his or her life or what he or she learned from someone else who endured a trial. Then you could give class members a few minutes to review 2 Corinthians 1:3–7; 4:6–10, 17–18; and 7:4–7, looking for what Paul taught about the purposes and blessings of trials. (For examples of his teachings, see this week’s outline in Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families.) Ask class members to share what they find. You might suggest that they read aloud the verse in which they found a particular teaching and then share an experience or testimony related to that teaching.
Consider giving class members time to ponder how trials can bless our lives, including by reviewing Paul’s teachings found in 2 Corinthians 1:3–7; 4:6–10, 17–18; and 7:4–7. During this time they could write how Paul’s teachings might apply to afflictions they face in their own lives.
To add to your discussion, consider singing together class members’ favorite hymns that testify of the comfort and blessings Heavenly Father and the Savior offer us in times of trial—such as “How Firm a Foundation” (Hymns, no. 85). After singing together, you might invite class members to look for a phrase in 2 Corinthians 1 and 4 that they feel fits the message of the hymn.
We’ve all had experiences when someone has “caused grief” to us or our family (verse 5). Perhaps class members could search 2 Corinthians 2:5–11, looking for counsel from Paul about how to treat someone who has offended us. Consider inviting class members to review Luke 15:11–32; John 8:1–11; and the quotation by Elder Kevin R. Duncan (see “Additional Resources”) to learn more about how we should treat those who have sinned. How do we harm ourselves and others when we are unwilling to forgive?
Many people come to church with a desire to feel closer to God, and a discussion of 2 Corinthians 5:14–21 can help them. To begin, class members could explore the meaning of the word reconcile, perhaps beginning by looking up the word in a dictionary. What insights does this provide about being reconciled with God? What additional insights do we gain from the entry “Atonement” in the Bible Dictionary? How do these insights help us understand 2 Corinthians 5:14–21? You may want to invite class members to share their feelings about the Savior, whose Atonement makes it possible for us to be reunited with God.
2 Corinthians 7:8–11 gives a helpful explanation of godly sorrow and its role in repentance. What do we learn about godly sorrow from 2 Corinthians 7:8–11 and President Dieter F. Uchtdorf’s words in “Additional Resources”? Why is godly sorrow essential to repentance?
You might feel impressed to encourage a broader discussion about repentance. If so, you could try something like this: Write on the board Repentance is . Ask class members to find ways to complete this phrase, using things they learn from 2 Corinthians 7:8–11, as well as from the scriptures and other resources found in “Additional Resources.” How might they use these teachings to help someone understand how to sincerely repent?
Ask class members if they have ever prayed to have a trial or affliction removed. In 2 Corinthians 8–13, they will find out how Paul responded when he prayed for this but his prayer was not answered in the way he expected.
Elder Kevin R. Duncan taught: “One key to forgiving others is to try to see them as God sees them. At times, God may part the curtain and bless us with the gift to see into the heart, soul, and spirit of another person who has offended us. This insight may even lead to an overwhelming love for that person” (“The Healing Ointment of Forgiveness,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2016, 34).
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf explained:
“Godly sorrow inspires change and hope through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Worldly sorrow pulls us down, extinguishes hope, and persuades us to give in to further temptation.
“Godly sorrow leads to conversion and a change of heart. It causes us to hate sin and love goodness. It encourages us to stand up and walk in the light of Christ’s love. True repentance is about transformation, not torture or torment” (“You Can Do It Now!” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2013, 56).
Bible Dictionary, “Repentance”
“Repentance,” Gospel Topics, topics.lds.org
Dale G. Renlund, “Repentance: A Joyful Choice,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2016, 121–24
Elder Neil L. Andersen taught:
“When we sin, we turn away from God. When we repent, we turn back toward God.
“The invitation to repent is rarely a voice of chastisement but rather a loving appeal to turn around and to ‘re-turn’ toward God [see Helaman 7:17]. It is the beckoning of a loving Father and His Only Begotten Son to be more than we are, to reach up to a higher way of life, to change, and to feel the happiness of keeping the commandments. Being disciples of Christ, we rejoice in the blessing of repenting and the joy of being forgiven. They become part of us, shaping the way we think and feel. …
“For most, repentance is more a journey than a one-time event. It is not easy. To change is difficult. It requires running into the wind, swimming upstream. Jesus said, ‘If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me’ [Matthew 16:24]. Repentance is turning away from some things, such as dishonesty, pride, anger, and impure thoughts, and turning toward other things, such as kindness, unselfishness, patience, and spirituality. It is ‘re-turning’ toward God” (“Repent … That I May Heal You,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2009, 40–41).