Paul's Second Letter to the Corinthians
It's Time to Make an Appointment
2 Corinthians 12:14 – 13:4
27 November 2016
Although Paul had already visited Corinth twice, there was still a minority that wanted to live in rebellion. Paul affirms his intention to visit the Corinthians, desiring to bring about reconciliation, not to 'give them a piece of his mind.' Paul's attitude towards conflict is the benchmark for all Christians.
Plan such appointments to bring about reconciliation (12:14 - 19). Although some of the Corinthians refused to reciprocate his love, and wrongly accused him of stealing from the Jerusalem fund, Paul still desired their wellbeing. Instead of responding in type, he reminds them of all the labour he served them in, and asks, "if I love you more, am I to be loved less?" In showing forgiveness, Paul displays Christ, who, although He was hated without a cause, still cried out from the cross, "Father, forgive them."
Plan such appointments seeking genuine repentance (12:20 - 21). As a father figure, Paul was concerned that he might find the Corinthians in unholy living, and that all his efforts failed. He felt the weight of his responsibility as a parent towards them, and to serve God. Even though some of them had renounced him, Paul was never eager to be rid of them, but rather determined to seek the betterment of even a wayward child.
Plan such appointments acknowledging God's final authority (13:1 - 4). The false teachers in Corinth denigrated Paul, calling his kindness towards the church weakness, and a lack of courage. Although a last measure to confront sin, Paul would use the authority given him by God to correct vice if necessary. Like a faithful parent, he did not want his children to continue in rebellion. In this, Paul also displays Christ, who first came in weakness, and was born in human flesh to reconcile man to God. But when He comes again, it will be in in flaming fire, dealing perfect justice.
It's inevitable that there will be conflict. But when it happens, may we meet with the other party to seek reconciliation, not revenge.