After greeting the believers in the church at Corinth and explaining why he had not visited them as originally planned, Paul explains the nature of his ministry. Triumph through Christ and sincerity in the sight of God were the hallmarks of his ministry to the churches. He compares the glorious ministry of the righteousness of Christ to the "ministry of condemnation" which is the Law and declares his faith in the validity of his ministry in spite of intense persecution. Chapter 5 outlines the basis of the Christian faith - the new nature and the exchange of our sin for the righteousness of Christ.
Chapters 6 and 7 find Paul defending himself and his ministry, assuring the Corinthians yet again of his sincere love for them and exhorting them to repentance and holy living. In chapters 8 and 9, Paul exhorts the believers at Corinth to follow the examples of the brothers in Macedonia and extend generosity to the saints in need. He teaches them the principles and rewards of gracious giving.
Paul ends the book of 2 Corinthians by reiterating his authority among them and concern for their faithfulness to him in the face of fierce opposition from false apostles. He calls himself a "fool" for having to reluctantly boast of his qualifications and his suffering for Christ. He ends his epistle by describing the vision of heaven he was allowed to experience and the "thorn in the flesh" he was given by God to ensure his humility. The last chapter contains his exhortation to the Corinthians to examine themselves to see whether what they profess is reality, and ends with a benediction of love and peace.