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  • In his first letter to Corinth, Paul was trying to get the attention of the new Christians by pointing out flaws in their practices. The language got a bit harsh, but toward the end, he ended on a positive note, telling the Corinthians if they followed the example of Christ, they would succeed in building a church worthy to be called Christian.

    In this second letter, Paul talks about both his authority as an apostle and the ministry he is conducting. He has not returned to Corinth, as he wanted, but has run into great resistance while performing his ministry in Macedonia. Part of the reason he is writing is to assure the Corinthians of his desire to visit them again. But the more compelling reason is to assure them of his ministry and his authority.

    To all the brethren in Corinth and Achaia,

    Timothy and I send you grace and peace from our Lord, Jesus Christ, and from God the Father.

    Blessed be our God, the Father of our Lord who is the Father of all mercy and comfort. He comforts us in our tribulations so we are able to comfort those in trouble, and by His gift and mercy we are blessed.

    We do suffer for Christ, yet by that suffering we are consoled by the love of God.

    You know this already, for our afflictions are accepted for your consolation and salvation. So we suffer for the Word, and are comforted by your salvation and witness to the glory of our Lord.

    Our faith in your salvation is without ceasing, for we know you have suffered as well and that your consolation is of the Spirit, as is ours.

    We want you to know of our sufferings, how we were harassed and even assaulted in Asia. Our bodies were racked in pain, and a few times we were in fear of for our lives.

    But that did not matter, for we are already dead to the world, so instead we trusted in the promises of God, who is able to resurrect us. God delivered us from mortal death to His glory, and he continues to do so.

    Your prayers for us were heard by God, and they were of great importance, for with your constant support and faithfulness we were able to minister to many others.

    We rejoice that our faith was strong enough to give our testimony and witness for our Lord in simple, honest terms, not in the wisdom of men, but by the grace of God. Our ministry is heard and accepted by many, and most of all by you.

    For I have sworn to write only the truth to you, and I pray you will remember my commitment. I remember yours, and we rejoice constantly to know that you are our brethren in Christ Jesus.

    Because of this I was determined to come to you once again, to preach the Word once more among you. My plan was to stop by on the way to Macedonia, then return to you when I was on my way back to collect your tithes and offerings for the ministry in Judea.

    I wasn't being evasive or making empty promises when I said I wanted to see you. Don't think I was just saying what you wanted to hear.

    I am happy I did not make promises I could not keep, for as our Lord said, my word is always either yes or no, without equivocation.

    The Son of God, our Lord, Jesus Christ, who was preached to you by myself, and Silvanus, and Timothy, did not waver in His words, but was honest and truthful. He was the example I look to when I speak.

    For all of God's promises were fulfilled in Christ Jesus, to the glory of our God. Amen.

    He who has established you with the Savior and with us, He is God. He has sealed us to Him, and anointed us with the Holy Spirit.

    I call upon God to set the record straight, that I did not come to you to complain or discipline, but to rejoice with you, for I have no control over your faith, but it is by your faith you stand.

    God had other plans

    As we will see in the ensuing chapters, Paul's ministry did take him in a different direction than a return to Corinth.

    I hope you are having a blessed and wonderful day.

    Fred
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