2 Corinthians 1:12-24 Paul’s Mission vs God’s Plan

Paul shared his hope for a visit to Corinth soon, as he stated in his salutation. Under attack in Ephesus, the apostle now addresses the situation at the root of Paul’s tardiness. In this section of his letter, the apostle now describes the situation in which he and his fellow missionaries find themselves.

12 For our boasting is this: the testimony of our conscience that we conducted ourselves in the world in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom but by the grace of God, and more abundantly toward you.” (2 Corinthians 1:12)

Under accusation in Ephesus, Paul declares his conduct as “simple and sincere” according to the gospel and in tune with the character of Christ. Critics had used the apostle’s absence from Corinth as a sign of Paul’s dishonesty which he addresses and explains next.

13 For we are not writing any other things to you than what you read or understand. Now I trust you will understand, even to the end 14 (as also you have understood us in part), that we are your boast as you also are ours, in the day of the Lord Jesus.” (2 Corinthians 1:13-14)

Paul’s intention in his letters was that the Corinthians would fully and completely understand his writing and teaching so to avoid any confusion about his ministry and agenda, both driven by purpose and willingness to serve God almighty.

15 And in this confidence I intended to come to you before, that you might have a second benefit— 16 to pass by way of you to Macedonia, to come again from Macedonia to you, and be helped by you on my way to Judea.” (2 Corinthians 1:15-16)

The apostle’s plan had been to return to Corinth per his previous letter however circumstances prevented him from doing so in a timely manner. In an effort to calm the flames stoked by skeptics, Paul offers both an apology and explanation.

17 Therefore, when I was planning this, did I do it lightly? Or the things I plan, do I plan according to the flesh, that with me there should be Yes, Yes, and No, No? 18 But as God is faithful, our word to you was not Yes and No. 19 For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us—by me, Silvanus, and Timothy—was not Yes and No, but in Him was Yes. 20 For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us.” (2 Corinthians 1:17-20)

Paul describes his devotion and that of his fellow servants as complete and full in spite of the fact their expectation to return to Corinth was not met. The apostle’s desire was that the Corinthians would have no doubt about his intentions, which were to advance the gospel to the four corners of the earth, according to God’s will.

Unwavering, Paul’s faith and that of his fellow missionaries was placed in Christ for the glory of God.

21 Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God, 22 who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.” (2 Corinthians 1:21-22)

More than a mark of ownership, the seal described by Paul doubled as a sign of eternal security, promised to the saints through grace. Freely given onto those who worship and serve God, the Holy Spirit empowered Paul and his fellow ministers to push forward in spite of persecution.

23 Moreover I call God as witness against my soul, that to spare you I came no more to Corinth. 24 Not that we have dominion over your faith, but are fellow workers for your joy; for by faith you stand.” (2 Corinthians 1:23-24)

Paul’s intention in delaying his visit to Corinth was to allow his first letter to take full effect. The apostle describes his involvement as ministering servant rather than dominating force, a role he wisely left for God.

We should do the same in our lives. Acting as mediators rather than dictators, believers are called to follow in Paul’s footsteps as we advance the gospel and inspire those in darkness to seek the light, so they too can rejoice for all eternity. Let us pray!

Father God;
We thank you for your blessings in our lives and for your servant Paul,
We praise you Lord for his wisdom and for his works through this scripture,
We ask you Lord to inspire us to use these verses in our lives
As we grow in you through the teachings of your faithful apostle.

Lord we ask you to strengthen us each day as we endure through battles,
Allow us to praise and love each other through faith in you Jesus,
Shield us from evil through truth, the gospel, salvation and prayer,
Guide us to abide by your word as we spread your gospel to one and all
Becoming examples of faith through our character as we walk the narrow path.

God we pray that you will continue to bless us, to bless our lives and fill us with hope
We ask you Lord to guide our footsteps and lead us to the way everlasting,
Through faith in you Lord we seek salvation and a place with you in heaven
According to your word, your everlasting wisdom and strength.

May your will be done
In our lives, for your life.

We thank you for your love and all you bless us with each day.

Praise God,
Amen!

This message was written by Daniel St.Pierre
Email: DanielStPierre@ThriveThroughChrist.com

Posted in Bible Studies.