These small group study notes on the book of 2nd Corinthians contain outlines, cross-references, Bible study discussion questions, lessons to learn, and applications. Feel free to print them, copy them, or share them. I only ask that you remember these are are personal study notes and are only meant as a supplement to your own study, not a replacement. May God be glorified! Visit our inductive Bible study main page for more studies on this and other books of the Bible. See the bottom of the page for the rest of the study on 2 Corinthians 2.

2 Corinthians 2:9-17 Inductive Bible Study - Outline, Key Words, Cross References, and Discussion Questions


Ministry Priorities

Chapter 2:9-17

2 Cor 2:9-17

9 For to this end also I wrote, so that I might put you to the test, whether you are obedient in all things. 10 But one whom you forgive anything, I forgive also; for indeed what I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, I did it for your sakes in the presence of Christ, 11 so that no advantage would be taken of us by Satan, for we are not ignorant of his schemes.


12 Now when I came to Troas for the gospel of Christ and when a door was opened for me in the Lord, 13 I had no rest for my spirit, not finding Titus my brother; but taking my leave of them, I went on to Macedonia.


14 But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place. 15 For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing; 16 to the one an aroma from death to death, to the other an aroma from life to life. And who is adequate for these things? 17 For we are not like many, peddling the word of God, but as from sincerity, but as from God, we speak in Christ in the sight of God.


Alternate Titles

·         More Important than Troas

·         The Best Smelling People

·         Who is Adequate

·         Following in Triumph



Key Words

·         Forgive                    4

·         Aroma                      3

·         Life                           2

·         Death                       2



        I.  Testing is the purpose  9-11      (Granting Forgiveness)

      II.  Titus is the priority          12-13    (Individual Worth)

    III.  Testimony in all places 14-17    (Effective Witness)


1.      What was Paul doing to test them?

2.      How could Satan take advantage of us?

3.      What are some practical benefits of forgiveness?

4.      Why would Paul ignore an “open door” to preach the gospel in Troas?

5.      What is the proper balance between an individual’s worth and ministry objectives?

6.      What conclusion can you draw if you are living a defeated life style?

7.      How does a Christian have fragrance?

8.      Describe the aroma of death.

9.      Describe the aroma of life.

10. How do some people peddle the word of God?

11. Why must we be tested since God already knows our heart?

12. How is it that Christians forgiving one another eliminates an opportunity for Satan to gain an advantage?

13. What can we do so that we will not be ignorant of Satan’s schemes?

Observations /Comments

1.      Competence and faithfulness must be tested, not assumed.

2.      Titus was more important than Troas.

3.      Satan is scheming to bring us to ruin.

4.      Faithfully following the Lord’s leading always leads to triumph.

5.      We can only fully follow Christ if we recognize our own inadequacy.

6.      Walking with Christ produces a sweet aroma in our lives.

7.      Ministry must be from a sincere heart, never for selfish gain.

8.      Thankfulness is should always be a characteristic of walking with the Lord.

9.      Lack of true forgiveness provides Satan with an opportunity to cause strife, division and other problems between believers.

10. The Gospel is a stench of death to those who are perishing.

11. The Gospel is an aroma of life to those who embrace it.

Cross References

9.        Ex 16:4 Then the LORD said to Moses, "Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a day's portion every day, that I may test them, whether or not they will walk in My instruction.

Deut 8:2 " You shall remember all the way which the LORD your God has led you in the wilderness these forty years, that He might humble you, testing you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not.

Deut 13:3 you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams; for the LORD your God is testing you to find out if you love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.

Phil 2:22

22 But you know of his proven worth, that he served with me in the furtherance of the gospel like a child serving his father.

10.   Eph 4:32 Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.

Col 3:13 bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you.

11.   1 Peter 5:8 Be of sober spirit,  be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.

Luke 22:31 "Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded permission to sift you like wheat;

12.   Acts 14:27 When they had arrived and gathered the church together, they began to report all things that God had done with them and how He had opened a door of faith to the Gentiles.

1 Cor 16:9 for a wide door for effective service has opened to me, and there are many adversaries.

13.   2 Cor 8:22 As for Titus, he is my partner and fellow worker among you; as for our brethren, they are messengers of the churches, a glory to Christ.

Titus 1:4 To Titus, my true child in a common faith: Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior.

14.   Rev 7:12 saying, "Amen, blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might, be to our God forever and ever. Amen."

1 Thess 5:18 in everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.

Rom 8:37 But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.

1 Cor 15:57 but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

15.   Phil 4:18 But I have received everything in full and have an abundance; I am amply supplied, having received from Epaphroditus what you have sent, a fragrant aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well-pleasing to God.

2 Cor 5:20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.

Ex 29:18

18 "You shall offer up in smoke the whole ram on the altar; it is a burnt offering to the LORD: it is a soothing aroma, an offering by fire to the LORD.

16.   John 9:39 And Jesus said, "For judgment I came into this world, so that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may become blind."

1 Peter 2:7 This precious value, then, is for you who believe; but for those who disbelieve, "THE STONE WHICH THE BUILDERS REJECTED,

THIS BECAME THE VERY CORNER stone," 8 and, " A STONE OF STUMBLING AND A ROCK OF OFFENSE";  for they stumble because they are disobedient to the word, and to this doom they were also appointed.

John 3:36 "He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him."

1 Cor 15:10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me did not prove vain; but I labored even more than all of them, yet not I, but the grace of God with me.

2 Cor 3:5 Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God, 6 who also made us adequate as  servants of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

17.   Ps 19:8 The precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart;

The commandment of the LORD is pure , enlightening the eyes.

Ps 12:6 The words of the LORD are pure words;

As silver tried in a furnace on the earth, refined seven times.

2 Cor 4:2 but we have renounced the things hidden because of shame, not walking in craftiness or adulterating the word of God, but by the manifestation of truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God.

Key Verse

14 But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place.

Central Teaching

The Christian Life is others centered by granting forgiveness, seeking out close fellowship, and being an effective witness.

Application - You Make Your Own

While in America, email folks in the ministry here regularly to encourage them.

Click Links Below For Passage by Passage Studies of 2 Corinthians -  Cross-References, Outlines, Key Words, and Discussion Questions.

2 Corinthians 1:1-11 2 Corinthians 1:12-24 2 Corinthians 2:1-8 2 Corinthians 2:9-17 2 Corinthians3:1-11 2 Corinthians 3:12-18
2 Corinthians 4:1-12 2 Corinthians 4:13-18 2 Corinthians 5:1-10 2 Corinthians 5:11-21 2 Corinthians 6:1-5 2 Corinthians 6:6-13
2 Corinthians 7:1-8 2 Corinthians 7:9-16 2 Corinthians 8:1-6 2 Corinthians 8:7-15 2 Corinthians 8:16-24 2 Corinthians 9:1-7
2 Corinthians 9:8-15 2 Corinthians 10:1-6 2 Corinthians 10:7-11 2 Corinthians 10:12-18 2 Corinthians 11:1-6 2 Corinthians 11:7-15
2 Corinthians 11:16-21 2 Corinthians 11:22-27 2 Corinthians 11:28-33 2 Corinthians 12:1-6 2 Corinthians 12:7-13 2 Corinthians 12:14-21
2 Corinthians 13:1-6 2 Corinthians 13:7-14


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