Archive for October 31st, 2017

2 Corinthians 2

2 Corinthians 2 carries on Paul’s comments to the church explaining why he hadn’t come sooner as expected.  Paul is defending himself against the Corinthian Christians.  Some among them were criticizing him because he changed his travel plans, and did not come when he had planned to.  They used this change of plans to say that Paul was unreliable and untrustworthy.  They basically said we don’t need to listen to him at all.  But Paul explains there were many reasons why he did not come as planned, one of them being he was trying to spare the Corinthian Christians.

For I wrote to you out of much affliction and anguish of heart and with many tears, not to cause you pain but to let you know the abundant love that I have for you”.  Paul’s message is that he cared for them and certainly wanted to cause no pain.  It seems that Paul thought it best to give the Corinthian Christians a little room, and give them space to repent and get their act together.  He didn’t want to be on them all the time.  So instead of a visit, he wrote a letter to communicate the important things.  A letter would reveal Paul’s heart, and not give as much opportunity for their relationship to go bad even further.  It would give them room to repent and get right with God and Paul again.

Paul did not enjoy confronting the Corinthian Christians.  It was hard for him to do, and he did it with many tears.  It would take some maturity for the Corinthian Christians to receive Paul’s correction this way.  He tries to deal with them head on, but it would be easy for them to reject it completely.  That’s what the enemy is all about.  Paul focuses on the power of forgiveness.  “Anyone whom you forgive, I also forgive. Indeed, what I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, has been for your sake in the presence of Christ, so that we would not be outwitted by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his designs”. This is really a spiritual battle and together Paul asks the church to resist the enemy and recognize his attacks.

Paul makes it clear that he is unwilling to ‘water down’ the gospel so it is easier for the Corinth church to swallow. “For we are not, like so many, peddlers of God’s word, but as men of sincerity, as commissioned by God, in the sight of God we speak in Christ”.  This is one of the issues in the church today – God’s standards are diminished so people don’t feel convicted.  But sin is sin, and Paul calls it what it is.  He knows, and we should know too, that God’s Word is not to be reduced to something man is comfortable with.  It is unchanging.  Sin is always sin, no matter what we try and call it.

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