2 Corinthians 1:1 “…and Timothy our brother…”
Timothy is with him at this time.
4 “…that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble…”
One reason for tribulation. Trials are used to assist our growth, increase our faith, and shown here to foster fellowship with each other and help bring others closer to God.
8 “…our trouble…we were burdened beyond measure…so that we despaired even of life”
Paul encountered something in Asia, most likely some sickness, that brought him very close to death and caused him to wish he were dead. But God brought him through it.
12-14 “…our boasting is this…we are not writing any other things to you…we are your boast as you also are ours…”
Another section of Paul’s writing which is a little confusing due to his propensity to be wordy and the fact that we have divided up the letter into verses and sometimes headings. Certainly nothing wrong with dividing up the text as has been done. Makes it much easier to reference, but harder to view as a device of correspondence which can make following the context a little difficult.
Commentary suggests he is continuing with what he mentions in verse eleven, the Corinthians concern and prayer for him. He is glad for his personal relationship with them. Commentary also suggests he may have encountered reports that he was suspected of writing personal letters which contained different instructions other than those he wrote in his epistles to the churches. Paul assures them he is open to all, everything he writes is to everyone.
15-16 “…I intended to come to you before…to pass by way of you to Macedonia…”
In the last chapter, Paul mentions that he plans to come to Corinth on his way to Macedonia and to spend some time with them then. Apparently he wasn’t able to do so and is now in Macedonia without having stopped over.
17-19 “…when I was planning this, did I do it lightly?…Yes, Yes, and No, No?…as God is faithful, our word to you was not Yes and No…Jesus Christ…not Yes and No, but in Him was Yes”
Having told them he was going to stop and then not doing so, may have seemed to them as Paul being flippant about what he said. Sometimes yes and sometimes no. He may have had to change his plans for some reason, but what he preached to them of Christ is always sure, it doesn’t change.
21-22 “…He who establishes…is God, who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.”
God’s promises are true and are supported by Himself. Moreover, even the greatest promise, our salvation, is backed up by the gift and presence of the Holy Spirit within us. In salvation, God promises to renew us, body and spirit. Outwardly, it appears nothing has happened to us since we still have our earthly, sin natured bodies. But inwardly, we have been renewed by the indwelling of His Spirit. Having His Spirit is like having a down payment on the full gift which we’ll receive when we join Him or He returns for us. Had someone recently ask about when we receive the Holy Spirit. This would confirm that He is given at the point of salvation as that is when the conversion occurs, when the “deal” of exchanging our old man for a new one is struck. Much better than a regular down payment as our guarantee is not some token to be redeemed, but God Himself. Our complete redemption will simply be a continuation of what has already started.
23-24 “…to spare you I came no more to Corinth…Not that we have dominion over your faith…by faith you stand”
Paul’s last letter to them had dealt with a lot of problems in Corinth to the point it was mostly a reprimand. He decided to give them and himself some time before coming to them in person. He didn’t want to appear to always be on their case about something, and he wanted them to have time to correct the problems discussed. Their faith in Christ is from Christ, not from Paul. They needed to learn to stand on their own in their walk with Christ, not always have to rely on Paul to tell them how to live. Our relationship with God is and should always be between us and Christ. We should never allow our faith in Him to be dependent on another person.
I hope you enjoy reading and studying His word. May it accomplish what He desires. Please feel free to comment or post questions. Thanks for reading!
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.