Paul's Second Letter to the Corinthians
2 Corinthians 1:12-2:4
22 November 2015
When Paul was hindered from visiting the Corinthian church, false teachers maligned his character, claiming he said one thing and did another. But instead of retorting, Paul examines himself and graciously answers by proving his innocence in three areas; a model example for Christians to follow.
Paul pursued the priority of a transparent conscience (v. 12 - 14).
Whilst imperfect, the conscience is still an excellent warning system that alerts us to our sin. Examining his conscience, Paul reminds the Corinthians that "in the grace of God we behaved ourselves in the world, and more abundantly toward you" (v. 12). Having looked within, and finding himself clean, he reminds the Corinthians of his sincerity toward them also.
Paul pursued the priority of a transparent character (v. 15 - 22).
He was loyal (v. 15 - 16), and "was determined to come first" (v. 15) to the Corinthians. Paul was honest (v. 17 - 18), and rejected the claim he said both yes and no in regards to his promises. Paul was reliable (v. 19 - 20), having preached the same word of God as Silvanus and Timothy, in contrast to the false teachers. Paul was genuine (v. 21 - 22), reminding the Corinthians that Christian integrity is a work of God, not man. It is God who establishes in the faith, anoints for service, seals as His own, and gives the Holy Spirit to guide.
Paul pursued the priority of transparent conduct (v. 23 - 2:4).
Having already written a letter of rebuke, he wants his next visit to be joyful, seeing the church reformed. Opening his heart to them, Paul shows his sensitive and loving intent to them, that he "would not come to you again in sorrow" (2:1).
Despite the slander of the Corinthian church, Paul loved them, and responded with grace. May we follow his Christlike example.