Relations between Paul and the Corinthian Church had deteriorated, and having made a painful visit to the Church (2:1), he refrained from making a second trip, knowing that it too would be painful, for which cause he had written to that Church a severe and sorrowful letter out of much affliction and anguish of heart and with many tears (2:4) now lost to us sending it to Corinth by means of Titus, one of his fellow workers. Not able to wait for Titus’ return, so anxious was he about the effects of this painful letter, Paul left Ephesus and went to Troas, hoping to meet Titus there. Disappointed there, he went on to Macedonia (2:12-13), where Titus rejoined him, bringing the good news that the Church in Corinth had repented of its rebelliousness against Paul (7:13-16). In relief and gratitude, Paul wrote this letter.
In the letter Paul speaks about the above problems and takes the opportunity to speak at length about the offering for the Church at Jerusalem (8:1-9:15), which was now almost complete. Chapters 10-13 contain a vigorous defense of Paul and his work and throughout the letter we are given many personal and autobiographical glimpses into Paul’s life (4:8-18; 11:22-33).