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 2 Corinthians Chapter 1 – Part Two

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PostSubject: 2 Corinthians Chapter 1 – Part Two   Wed Dec 17, 2014 4:43 am

2 Corinthians 1:17

But Paul changed his mind about this itinerary (cf. 2Co_2:1), and his opponents said his vacillating was a sign of a fundamental unreliability, affecting not only where he went but what he said. Paul fervently denied this. He did not make plans in a worldly (i.e., self-serving; cf. “worldly” in 2Co_1:12) manner altering them for reasons of self-interest. Nor did he talk out of both sides of his mouth to further his own ends. He would explain the reason for his change in plans (1:23-2:2), but for the moment he was more concerned with the accusation that his message was equivocal or unreliable. It seems that, in the flesh, Paul had wanted to come to Corinth, but Paul had not followed the wishes of the flesh. He had been led by the Holy Spirit to go to other places. Paul was not his own man. He went where God sent him. When the Lord sent Paul somewhere, Paul just said, Yea Lord.
The Greek words that introduce this question call for an indignant, negative answer. Paul declared that he was in no way operating as a vacillating, fickle, unstable person who could not be trusted.
There is no nay when speaking to the Lord. We just say nay to the flesh. Some of the people in Corinth highly criticized Paul for not coming by to see them and answer personally some of their complaints.
He affirmed that his “yes” and “no” words to them really meant what they said.

2 Corinthians 1:18-20

The source of stability for Paul in his ministry was God Himself, who is faithful, and the message Paul preached was no less certain than God. Since Paul did not vacillate in his message (Yes and No, 2Co_1:18), he did not vacillate in his plans either (Yes, yes and No, no, 2Co_1:17). Paul is saying, that he preached the same thing to them all the time. He was not preaching to itching ears, but to the best of his ability bringing them the true message of God. Paul was not wishy washy with his message. He gave the same message every time to them.
Paul said what he meant and did what he said, unless there was a compelling reason to change his plans.
The only time he appeared to be giving another message, was because he was trying to get them to listen to the gospel message. He did honor their customs as much as he could to get himself in to preach to them.
At the heart of that message was the person of Jesus Christ who completely affirms all God’s promises to people. The only proper response to God’s message is Amen (lit., “let it be so”). It was this response of obedience to God that brought Paul and Silas and Timothy to Corinth in the first place and caused them to exalt Christ among the Corinthians in the synagogue (Act_18:5). The message of salvation is the same every time. It does not matter if Paul brings it, or Silvanus, or Timothy. The only thing that varies at all is the observance of their customs.
The firmness of Paul’s statement and his use of Jesus’ full title, indicates that the person and work of Christ were under attack from the false teachers at Corinth. The proof of his truthfulness with them was the truthful gospel which he faithfully preached.
In Christ the promises to Abraham and David are fulfilled (Rom_1:3; Rom_11:5; Gal_3:16) and the Law was brought to an end (Rom_10:4), a truth apparently contested by Paul’s opponents (cf. 2Co_3:1-18). God is unchangeable. Whatever God has promised in His Word will definitely be.
All God’s Old Testament and New Testament promises of peace, joy, love, goodness, forgiveness, salvation, sanctification, fellowship, hope, glorification and heaven are made possible and fulfilled in Jesus Christ.
“Amen" means so be it. There are no promises of God that will be changed. Paul reminded them that they had said a collective “yes” to the truth of his preaching and teaching.
Nevertheless this message proclaimed by Paul and his associates resulted in the Corinthians’ salvation and in turn brought glory to God.

2 Corinthians 1:21-22

Those who speak the “Amen” in response to the gospel message experience firmness and security in Christ. At the moment of belief God anoints each believer with the Holy Spirit so that like Christ (Christos means “the Anointed One”), he may glorify God by his life (cf. Mat_5:16). Paul is reminding them, again, that it was God who called him. It was God who anointed Paul to preach. Notice that they, like Paul, had been established in the Lord Jesus. Christians are in Christ, and He in us.
Romans 3:24 "Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:"
Jesus is our Redemption. He is our life. Christ’s saving work of grace stabilizes believers and places them on a firm foundation in Him.
Romans 8:2 "For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death." Paul says that his ministry is not in his own power, but in the anointing of God.
John wrote that believers receive this anointing from God (1Jn_2:20, 1Jn_2:27). It is a pouring out of the Holy Spirit on the believer, reminiscent of the anointing of priests with oil.
A further consequence of the Spirit’s presence is the seal of ownership (cf. Eph_1:13-14) which also is accomplished at the moment of faith. A seal on a document in New Testament times identified it and indicated its owner, who would “protect” it. So too, in salvation, the Holy Spirit, like a seal, confirms that Christians are identified with Christ and are God’s property, protected by Him (cf. 1Co_6:19-20). It was probably this thought that caused Paul to describe himself as a slave of Christ (Rom_1:1; Php_1:1).
A third work of the Spirit at salvation is His confirmation that what God has begun He will complete. Present redemption is only a foretaste of what eternity holds (cf. Rom_8:23), and the presence of His Spirit in our hearts (cf. Rom_5:5; 2Co_5:5) is like a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come. Romans 8:23 "And not only [they], but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, [to wit], the redemption of our body."
11 Corinthians 5:5: "Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing [is] God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit."
We Christians are actually citizens of heaven. We are waiting for that day, when we will go there to live. In the meantime, Jesus sent the Holy Spirit of God as an earnest on that promise to us. The Holy Spirit of God is the seal of promise to the believer in Christ. It just assures us of our adoption into the family of God.
1 John 4:13: "Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit."
1 John 2:27: But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him.
For Paul’s critics to attack his authenticity was equal to tearing down God’s work as well as the church’s unity.
These last seven words are a translation of one Greek word arrabōna, a down payment which obligates the payer to make further payments. The same Greek word is used again in 2Co_5:5 and Eph_1:14 (cf. “the firstfruits of the Spirit,” Rom_8:23).

2 Corinthians 1:23-24

Paul had earlier begun to explain his change of plans (2Co_1:15). There he had mentioned his “message” (2Co_1:18) in connection with his own integrity, which led to his digression in 2Co_1:19-22. He now returned to explain his altered plans.
He understood that his changed plans had caused a problem in Corinth. This is evident from the strength of his declaration, I call God as my witness (cf. Rom_1:9; Php_1:8; 1Th_2:5, 1Th_2:10). With a solemn oath (with God as the Judge) Paul staked his life on the truthfulness of his explanation which followed. It was out of consideration for the Corinthians, a desire to avoid disciplinary action (to spare you) that Paul had deferred his visit. Paul did not want to come to Corinth while they were doing so many things in the church that was displeasing to God. Paul, perhaps, would have reprimanded them so harshly, had he been there in person, that it might have made it difficult for him to minister there and have the best results.
Paul did not come earlier because he wanted them to have time to repent of and correct their sinful behavior. He waited instead for a report from Titus before taking further action, hoping he would not have to come again, as he had earlier, to face their rebellion.
Paul, in this entire letter, is trying to clear his own name of false accusations placed against him. Had Paul come and been terribly upset by what he saw, he might have caused some to leave the church. He did not want that to happen.
Even though he had great authority as an apostle (2Co_10:2-8; cf. 1Co_5:4-5; 1Ti_1:20) Paul was reluctant to wield it. He did not lord it over their faith, that is, domineeringly take advantage of the fact that they came to faith in Christ through him. Dictatorial means can produce compliance but not the obedience that comes from faith which he sought. Authoritarian domination is often the manner of false apostles and the kingdom they serve (cf. 2Co_11:13-15), but it was not the way of Christ (Luk_22:25-27) nor of those who stand in His stead (1Pe_5:3). Paul assured the Corinthians, We work with you (lit., “we are fellow workers”; cf. 1Co_3:9); he did not work against them or over them. Paul is explaining, in this, that it is not like it was in the Jewish temple where the high priest had so much power. Christianity is an individual thing. When a person receives the Lord Jesus Christ as his Savior, it is very personal. The relationship is between the Lord and that person.
It is not for Paul, or any other minister, to decide whether you are in good standing with God, or not. That is between you and God. He can, however, instruct you on good sound principles of Christianity. You are saved, or lost, by the amount of faith you, as an individual, have. Paul will rejoice with you at your salvation, but it is your salvation and no one else's. There is only one Judge as to whether we are saved or not.
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2 Corinthians Chapter 1 – Part Two
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