Bible Readings and Devotion for September 13, 2020
Here are the references for the readings. Please look these up in your print Bible, your smartphone app Bible, or your online Bible:
Devotion for September 13, 2020
By Pastor David Tinker
We have just begun reading through Paul’s second letter to the church at Corinth. As we begin this set of readings from Paul I thought it would be helpful to provide a general overview of the structure of his letters. This is an adaptation I arranged based mostly on the outline presented by Fred B. Craddock in his commentary on the book of Philippians. To see more about this book click this link to the Amazon page about it.
Outline of a Letter of Paul
Although not all letters of Paul follow this outline in precise detail, this outline does give a general idea of the format and purpose of Paul’s letters. He followed a standard format for letters of his time period: First Century AD in the Mediterranean (Greco-Roman) part of the world.
This contains the identification of the sender or senders, who is being addressed, and a greeting.
This section can often tell the mood of the letter as well.
This section occurs in all of Paul’s letters, except Galatians. Instead of a direct thanks to the people, which was common in Paul’s day, Paul gives thanks to God for the relationship he has with the people, and for the good things God has done. Often Paul will give hints to the content of his letter.
Body of Letter
This section contains three major elements:
- Theological, church and practical matters which have led to Paul writing this letter.
- Stories and messages from Paul’s own life which help the readers and hearers of the letter better understand the faith.
- Travel plans for Paul which would relate to the recipients of the letter. Often, he will note that another Christian leader will be traveling to visit on Paul’s behalf.
Moral and Ethical Instruction
This section is where Paul teaches how we are to live in response to the message of Jesus. This often includes messages about how to know what is right and what is wrong, but can also include encouragements about the friendship between Paul and the church receiving the letter.
This section includes a closing message and, often, a series of greetings to various people in the church. There will often be a statement of blessing and a doxology (a statement giving glory to God).
So, as you read through 2 Corinthians and other letters of Paul, use this outline to understand better the message of these notable sections of Holy Scripture.
We thank you, O God, for all your servants and witnesses of times past: for Abraham and Sarah, Moses and Miriam, Deborah and Gideon, Samuel and Hannah; for Isaiah and the prophets; for Mary, mother of our Lord; for Mary Magdalene, Peter, Paul, and for all the apostles, for Stephen and Phoebe, and for all the martyrs and saints in every time and in every land. In your mercy, give us, as you gave them, the hope of salvation and the promise of eternal life through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen