2 Corinthians Chapter 1 Continued
2 Corinthians 1:13 “For we write none other things unto you, than what ye read or acknowledge; and I trust ye shall acknowledge even to the end;”
Many ministers, even now, find themselves in the awkward position of trying to defend their selves. Paul was no different. Rumors had arisen that he was not ministering correctly. This letter, as we said before, is to dispel some of those rumors.
This broadly answers the accusation that Paul had engaged in deceptive personal relationships. His continuing flow of information to the Corinthians was always clear, straightforward and understandable, consistent and genuine.
Paul is just saying in the verse above, that he has no ulterior motive at all for what he is doing. He said in the previous verse, that his conscience was clear. He had brought the simple message of salvation. Paul is saying here, if you will examine what I have said, you will know it to be truth. He also says, I believe the very things that you have heard and accepted.
Paul wanted them to know that he was not holding back anything, nor did he have any secret agenda.
2 Corinthians 1:14 “As also ye have acknowledged us in part, that we are your rejoicing, even as ye also [are] ours in the day of the Lord Jesus.”
Paul is saying in this, that he will rejoice on judgment day, when many of those that he brought the gospel message to, will stand before the Lord and be saved.
Paul eagerly longed for the Lord’s coming when they would rejoice over each other in glory.
He is also saying that in that day, they will rejoice that he brought them to the knowledge of the Lord. It is so strange, after they were saved under his ministry, that suddenly many find fault with his ministry.
2 Corinthians 1:15 “And in this confidence I was minded to come unto you before, that ye might have a second benefit;”
Paul is feeling that it would have been good, if he could have come to them and ministered again.
Paul’s original plan was to visit the Corinthians twice so that they might receive a double blessing. His travel plans were not the result of selfishness, but of the genuine relationship he enjoyed with the Corinthians and their mutual loyalty and godly pride in each other.
Sometimes there needs to be lessons taught on how to continue in the faith. The difference in an evangelist and a pastor tell us that. An evangelist brings the message of salvation and goes on to the next place. The job of a pastor is to teach his congregation to live in the salvation they have received. The pastor is a shepherd who leads the sheep. That is the very reason it is so important for the pastor to be living a good clean life himself.
2 Corinthians 1:16 “And to pass by you into Macedonia, and to come again out of Macedonia unto you, and of you to be brought on my way toward Judea.”
Paul had planned to leave Ephesus, stop at Corinth on the way to Macedonia and return to Corinth again after his ministry in Macedonia. For some reason, Paul’s plans changed and he was unable to stop in Corinth the first time. The false apostles who had invaded the church seized upon that honest change of schedule as evidence of his untrustworthiness and tried to use it to discredit him.
2 Corinthians 1:17 “When I therefore was thus minded, did I use lightness? or the things that I purpose, do I purpose according to the flesh, that with me there should be yea, yea, and nay, nay?”
It seems that in the flesh, Paul had wanted to come to Corinth, but Paul had not followed the wishes of the flesh. He had been led by the Holy Spirit to go to other places. Paul was not his own man. He went where God sent him. When the Lord sent Paul somewhere, Paul just said, Yea Lord.
The Greek words that introduce this question call for an indignant, negative answer. Paul declared that he was in no way operating as a vacillating, fickle, unstable person who could not be trusted.
There is no nay when speaking to the Lord. We just say nay to the flesh. Some of the people in Corinth highly criticized Paul for not coming by to see them and answer personally some of their complaints.
He affirmed that his “yes” and “no” words to them really meant what they said.
2 Corinthians 1:18 “But [as] God [is] true, our word toward you was not yea and nay.”
Paul is saying, that he preached the same thing to them all the time. He was not preaching to itching ears, but to the best of his ability bringing them the true message of God. Paul was not wishy washy with his message. He gave the same message every time to them.
Paul said what he meant and did what he said, unless there was a compelling reason to change his plans.
The only time he appeared to be giving another message, was because he was trying to get them to listen to the gospel message. He did honor their customs as much as he could to get himself in to preach to them.
2 Corinthians 1:19 “For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us, [even] by me and Silvanus and Timothy, was not yea and nay, but in him was yea.”
The message of salvation is the same every time. It does not matter if Paul brings it, or Silvanus, or Timothy. The only thing that varies at all is the observance of their customs.
The firmness of Paul’s statement and his use of Jesus’ full title, indicates that the person and work of Christ were under attack from the false teachers at Corinth. The proof of his truthfulness with them was the truthful gospel which he faithfully preached.
2 Corinthians 1:20 “For all the promises of God in him [are] yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.”
God is unchangeable. Whatever God has promised in His Word will definitely be.
All God’s Old Testament and New Testament promises of peace, joy, love, goodness, forgiveness, salvation, sanctification, fellowship, hope, glorification and heaven are made possible and fulfilled in Jesus Christ.
“Amen” means so be it. There are no promises of God that will be changed. Paul reminded them that they had said a collective “yes”, to the truth of his preaching and teaching.
2 Corinthians 1:21 “Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, [is] God;”
Paul is reminding them again, that it was God who called him. It was God who anointed Paul to preach. Notice that they, like Paul, had been established in the Lord Jesus. Christians are in Christ, and He in us.
Romans 3:24 “Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:”
Jesus is our Redemption. He is our life. Christ’s saving work of grace stabilizes believers and places them on a firm foundation in Him.
Romans 8:2 “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.”
Paul says that his ministry is not in his own power, but in the anointing of God.
2 Corinthians 1:22 “Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.”
Romans 8:23 “And not only [they], but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, [to wit], the redemption of our body.”
2 Corinthians 5:5: “Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing [is] God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit.”
We Christians are citizens of heaven. We are waiting for that day, when we will go there to live. In the meantime, Jesus sent the Holy Spirit of God as an earnest on that promise to us. The Holy Spirit of God is the seal of promise to the believer in Christ. It just assures us of our adoption into the family of God.
1 John 4:13: “Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit.”
1 John 2:27: But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him.
For Paul’s critics to attack his authenticity was equal to tearing down God’s work as well as the church’s unity.
2 Corinthians 1:23 “Moreover I call God for a record upon my soul, that to spare you I came not as yet unto Corinth.”
Paul did not want to come to Corinth while they were doing so many things in the church that was displeasing to God. Paul perhaps, would have reprimanded them so harshly, had he been there in person, that it might have made it difficult for him to minister there and have the best results.
Paul did not come earlier because he wanted them to have time to repent of and correct their sinful behavior. He waited instead for a report from Titus before taking further action, hoping he would not have to come again, as he had earlier, to face their rebellion.
Paul in this entire letter, is trying to clear his own name of false accusations placed against him. Had Paul come and been terribly upset by what he saw, he might have caused some to leave the church. He did not want that to happen.
2 Corinthians 1:24 “Not for that we have dominion over your faith, but are helpers of your joy: for by faith ye stand.”
Paul is explaining in this, that it is not like it was in the Jewish temple where the high priest had so much power. Christianity is an individual thing. When a person receives the Lord Jesus Christ as his Savior, it is very personal. The relationship is between the Lord and that person.
It is not for Paul, or any other minister, to decide whether you are in good standing with God, or not. That is between you and God. He can, however, instruct you on good sound principles of Christianity. You are saved or lost, by the amount of faith you, as an individual have. Paul will rejoice with you at your salvation, but it is your salvation and no one else’s. There is only one Judge as to whether we are saved or not.
2 Corinthians Chapter 1 Continued Questions
1. What awkward position is Paul in, when he wrote this letter?
2. What is one of the main purposes of this letter?
3. What message had Paul brought to them?
4. What will cause Paul to rejoice on judgment day?
5. What is so strange about these complaints?
6. What was Paul speaking of about the second benefit?
7. What is the difference in the message of an evangelist and the message of a pastor?
8. What had Paul’s flesh wanted to do?
9. What guide did Paul follow?
10. What did some of the people highly criticize Paul for?
11. When was the only time that Paul had seemed to vary his message?
12. What 3 had preached the same message to them?
13. God is ________________.
14. What does “Amen” mean?
15. Who anointed Paul to preach?
16. _________ is our Redemption.
17. What is the “earnest of the Spirit”?
18. We Christians are actually citizens of ________.
19. What does the seal of the Spirit assure us of?
20. What reason did Paul give in verse 23, why he had not come to them?
21. How did Christianity drastically differ from worship the Jews had done in the temple?
22. Paul did want to instruct them in what?
23. Christianity is a __________ relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.