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the Week of Proper 10 / Ordinary 15
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Bible Commentaries
2 Corinthians 1

Garner-Howes Baptist CommentaryGarner-Howes

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Verse 1

INTRODUCTION TO 2ND CORINTHIANS

(Verse by verse commentary begins at end of this introduction)

WHO WRITES? Paul and Timothy, 1:1.

TO WHOM? The church at Corinth, and Sister churches, 1:1.

ABOUT WHAT? Three things: a) the motivation of all His Actions - ch. 1-7. b) Charitable gifts - alms for needy saints in Judea - ch. 8, 9. c) Defence of His ministry against slanders of false prophets who impugned his motives in all that he did ch. 10-13.

WHEN? About A. D. 60, from somewhere in Macedonia, ch. 9:4.

ON WHAT OCCASION?

a) The repentance of the excluded fornicator, 2 Corinthians 2:2-11.

b) The famine, need among poor Christians in Judea, 1 Corinthians 16:3; 2 Corinthians 8, 9.

c) Vindication of Paul’s ministry against accusers, vicious rumors about his financial integrity and weakness and instability.

BASIS OF INTERPRETATIONS

The writers of this Commentary believe that the Bible is the Word of God as affirmed in Psalms 119:160; 2 Timothy 3:16-17. As the Word of God they seek to interpret every word and phrase of its contents, based on three things:

1) The root meanings of original words

2) The subject being considered

3) The contextual setting of persons, time, place, circumstance, and occasion for matters considered.

OUTLINE OF THE BOOK

I. Chapters 1-7

1. Principles, motivations of actions, 1:1 to 2:13.

2. Triumph of the. ministry, 2:14-17.

3. Accreditation of .the ministry, 3:1-5.

4. The ministry -spiritual, not legal, 3:6-18.

5. A ministry of honesty, integrity, 4:1,2.

6. Not self, but christ is preached, 4:3-7.

7. Suffering in the ministry, 4:8-18.

8. Why death holds no terror to the saved, 5:1-13.

9. Right motive and object of the ministry, 5:14-21.

10. A summary of the ministry, 6:1-10.

11. The call to separation and purity, 6:11 - 7:1.

12. The heart (affections) of Paul, 7:2-16.

II. Chapters 8-9 (Charitable Alms Gifts for Needy)

1. Benevolence, (example of Macedonians), 8:1-6.

2. The exhortation, 8:7-15.

3. The messengers of the churches, 8:16 - 9:5. (three elected, deacon-like messengers)

4. Encouragement to give, 9:6-15. (liberality is blessed of God)

III. Chapters 10-13

1. Vindication of Paul’s ministry, 10:1-3., (of divine authenticity)

2. Christian weapons and victories, 10:4-18.

3. The godly jealousy, 11:1-12.

4. Warnings against lying prophets, 11:13-15.

5. The enforced boasting, 11:16-33; 12:1-6. (of his apostolic labors and trials)

6. The thorn in the flesh, 12:6-18.

7. The warning of the brethren, 12:18-21; 13:1-10.

8. Final exhortations, 13:11-14.

PRINCIPLES OF ACTION

1) "Paul an apostle of Jesus Christ," (Paulos apostolos lesou Christou) "Paul, an apostle (a commissioned one) of Jesus Christ", belonging to, in allegiance to, or sent by Jesus Christ.

2) "By the Will of God", (dia theematos theou) "Through (media of) the Divine Will of God," not-of his own first choice or initiative-will; Galatians 1:11-12; 1 Timothy 1:12; 2 Timothy 2:1.

3) "And Timothy our brother," (kai Timotheos ho adelphos) "and Timothy the brother (of us)," in the Lord, and in the ministry, and co-laborer in missions, Acts 19:22; 1 Corinthians 4:17; 1 Corinthians 16:10-11.

4) "Unto the church of God which is at Corinth," (te ekklesia tou theou) "to the church of God", (te ouse en Korintho) "to the one being, or located in Corinth;" 1 Corinthians 1:2, The church located in Corinth, belonging to God, purchased by Jesus Christ, Ephesians 5:25.

5) "With all the saints," (sun tois hagiois pasin) "in close association with all the saints," or "in affinity with all the saints," or "In colleague with all the saints," 1 Corinthians 1:2. See comments. The Gk. preposition "sun", is here used to indicate a close tie of fellowship with other saints in other localities in Achaia, not to all the saved in Achaia.

6) "Which are in all Achaia," (tois ousin en hole te Achaia) "To all those which are in Achaia"; though this is a “particular letter," with primary application to the Corinth congregation, it was also to be made available to other congregations of like saints in all the State of Achaia or Greece.

Verse 2

1) "Grace be to you and peace," (charis humin kai eirene) "May Grace and peace be to you all;" "be shown to or come upon you all." Romans 1:7; Galatians 1:3.

2) "From God our Father," (apo theou patros hemon) "From God our Father," the origin, source, or fountainhead from which Grace comes and peace is shown, Ephesians 1:2; Colossians 1:2.

3) "And the Lord Jesus Christ," (kai kuriou -lesou Christou) "and our Lord (master) Jesus Christ"; John 14:27; 2 Corinthians 13:14.

Verse 3

1) "Blessed be God," (eutogetos ho (theos) "Blessed be or is the God (triune);" He is the object of His creatures’ praise or blessing. This is a thankful and adoring statement for God’s goodness, 1 Peter 4:11.

2) "Even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ," (kai pater tou kuriou hemon lesou Christou) "Even (who is) Father of the Lord Jesus Christ;" this certifies the deity of Jesus Christ as the Son of God-the-Father, Holy Spirit begotten, of the Father, Galatians 4:4-5; 1 Timothy 3:16; John 1:14.

3) "The Father of mercies," (ho pater ton oiktirmon) "The father of compassions (mercies)," from whom acts of mercy and compassion proceed. Mercy, pity, and compassion are fruits or characteristics of the Divine and Holy nature of God, the Father, Psalms 103:13; Malachi 3:17.

4) "And the God of all comfort," (kai theos pases parakleseos) "and God of all comfort," from whom all comfort and consolation flow; the Gk. term “parakleseos" means to come alongside, to stand by, to help and give assurance and dispel fear in times of trial or need. This is the nature of God - The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, Luke 2:25; Acts 9:31; John 14:16; John 15:26; John 16:7; 1 John 2:1.

DUTY OF COMPASSION

Licinius, one of the Roman tribunes, when Christians were put to the torture, forbade all the lookers-on to show the least pity towards them; threatening the same pains to them that did show it which the martyrs then suffered. His malice was greater than his power. And this is the way Christians are to walk: if they cannot relieve others with their goods, yet what can hinder their comfortable words, or their prayers and tears, or their pity and sympathy?

-Spencer

POWER OF LOVE

A young woman in Scotland left her home, and became a companion of the street-girls of Glasgow. Her mother sought her far and wide, but in vain. At last, she caused her picture to be hung upon the walls of the Midnight-Mission rooms, where abandoned women resorted. Many gave the picture a passing glance. One lingered by the picture. It is the same dear face that looked down upon her in her childhood. She has not forgotten her, not cast off her sinning child, or her picture would never have been hung upon those walls. The lips seemed to open, and whisper. "Come home: I forgive you, and love you still." The poor girl sat down overwhelmed with her feelings. She was the prodigal daughter. The sight of her mother’s face had broken her heart. She became truly penitent for her sins, and with a heart full of sorrow and shame, returned to her forsaken home; and a mother and daughter were once more united.

OCEAN OF MERCY

0 this mercy of God! I am told it is an ocean. Then I place on it four swift sailing craft, with compass, and charts, and choice rigging, and skillful navigators; and I tell them to launch away, and discover for me the extent of this ocean. That craft puts out in one direction, and sails to the north; this to the south; this to the east; this to the west. They crowd on all their canvass, and sail ten thousand years, and one day come up the harbor of heaven; and I shout to them from the beach, "Have you found the shore?" and they answer, "No shore to God’s mercy!" Swift angels, dispatched from the throne, attempt to go across it. For a million years they fly and fly; but then they come back and fold their wings at the foot of the throne, and cry, "No shore; no shore to God’s mercy!" Mercy! Mercy! Mercy! I sing it) I preach it. I pray it. Here I find a man bound hand and foot to the devil; but with one stroke of the hammer of God’s truth the chains fall off, and he is free forever. Mercy! Mercy! Mercy! There is no depth it cannot fathom. There is no height it cannot scale. There is no infinity it cannot compass.

-Talmage

Verse 4

1) "Who comforteth us in all our tribulation," (ho parakalon kemas epi pase te thlipsei hemon) "The one comforting us (continually) in all our affliction," or (in all the trials actually existing). The term "parakalein" is used in three ways in the N.T., rendered "to beseech" 18 times by Paul; "to exhort" 17 times, and to "comfort" 13 times: 2 Corinthians 2:6-8; 2 Corinthians 5:20; 2 Corinthians 6:1; 2 Corinthians 7:6-7; 2 Corinthians 7:13; 2 Corinthians 8:6; 2 Corinthians 9:5; 2 Corinthians 10:1; 2 Corinthians 12:8; 2 Corinthians 12:18; 2 Corinthians 13:11.

2) "That we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble," (eis to dunasthai hemas parakalein tous en pase thlipsei) "With a view to our being able to comfort those (about us) in every affliction," (any’ affliction, trial, or testing that might arise). This is the main design, intent or purpose of God’s comfort to each believer, that (each) believer may reach out to share comfort to others, Matthew 25:34-40.

3) "By the comfort wherewith," (dia tes parakleseos hes) "Through the comfort (of) or with which;" our comfort from God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, as believers, enables us to be instruments through which God comforts others. We are His vessels, agents, or instruments to dispense needed comfort to men, 1 Corinthians 6:19; 1 Corinthians 10:13; Ephesians 2:10.

4) "We ourselves are comforted of God," (parakaloumetha autoi hupo tou theou) -We are ourselves comforted from (of) God;" the source of all comfort, 2 Corinthians 1:3.

GREATEST COMFORT

Believe me, I speak it deliberately, and with full conviction, I have enjoyed many of the comforts of life, none of which I wish to esteem lightly. Often have I been charmed with the beauties of nature, and refreshed with her bountiful gifts. I have spent many an hour in sweet meditation, and in reading the most valuable productions of the wisest men. I have often been delighted with the conversation of ingenious, sensible, and exalted characters: my eyes have been powerfully attracted by the finest productions of human art, and my ears by enchanting melodies. I have found pleasure when calling into activity the powers of my own mind; when residing in my own native land, or traveling through foreign parts; when surrounded by large, and splendid companies - still more, when moving in the small endearing circle of my own family; yet, to speak the truth before God, who is my judge, I must confess I know not any joy that is so dear to me; that so fully satisfies the inmost desires of my mind; that so enlivens, refines, and elevates my whole nature, as that which I derive from religion, from faith in God" As one who not only is the parent of men, but has condescended, as a brother, to clothe himself with our nature. Nothing affords me greater delight than a solid hope that I partake of his favors, and rely on his never failing support and protection. He, who has been so often my hope, my refuge, my confidence, when I stood upon the brink of an abyss, where I could not move one step forward; he who, in answer to my prayer, has helped me when every prospect of help vanished; that God who has safely conducted me, not merely through flowery paths, but likewise across precipitous and burning sands. May this God be thy God, thy refuge, thy comfort, as he has been mine.

-Lavater

Verse 5

1) "For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us," (hoti kathos perisseuei ta Pathemata tou christou eis humas) "Because as the sufferings of Christ abound in us;" the 11 us" refers first to Paul and his missionary companions and second to the Corinthians and believers in general, Acts 9:4; 2 Corinthians 4:8-10; Colossians 1:24; 2 Timothy 3:12. The latter passage asserts that all who "live Godly in Christ Jesus," shall suffer.

2) "So our consolation also aboundeth by Christ," (houtos dia tou christou perisseuei kai he paraklesis) "Thus also our comfort abounds through Christ," who has promised, "I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee," Hebrews 4:15-16; Hebrews 13:5; Genesis 28:15; Deuteronomy 31:6; Deuteronomy 31:8; Joshua 1:5; as we suffer for Christ we are assured (consoled) as His children that we shall share in His joy and glory, 1 Peter 4:13.

Verse 6

1) "And whether we be afflicted," (eite de thlibometha) "now whether we are afflicted," and we are, as children of God, with many trials, testings and temptations, John 15:18.

2) "It is for your consolation and salvation," (huper tes humon parakleseos kai soterias) "(It is) on behalf of your comfort and salvation;" for your welfare, for your concern in spiritual matters, 2 Corinthians 4:16.

3) "Which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings," (tes energournenes en hupomone ton auton pathematon) "Which is operating in endurance of the same sufferings," or is wrought, effected - consolation and deliverance were experienced even in and thru all their trials and sufferings, 2 Corinthians 1:10; John 16:33.

4) "Which we also suffer," (hon kai hemeis postmen) "which also we suffer," which afflictions or trials they endured, Acts 18:12-17.

5) "Or whether we be comforted," (eite parakeloumentha) "or whether we are comforted," Ephesians 2:14. The comfort and consolation one finds in the Spirit of Christ must be shared with others. John 20:21; Acts 1:8; Matthew 5:15-16.

6) "It is for your consolation and salvation," (huper tes humon parakleseos) "it is on behalf of your comfort (and salvation)", The comfort and salvation of the lives, testimonies, and influence of the Corinthian brethren were the first care or concern of Paul and Timothy, Romans 15:1-3.

Verse 7

1) "And our hope of you is stedfast," (kai he elpis hemon bebaia huper humon) "and our hope is firm on behalf of you;" continuing, expectant, in Christ, Hebrews 6:17-19.

2) "Knowing, that as ye are partakers of the sufferings," (eidotes hoti hos koinonoi este ton pathematon) "Perceiving that you all are partakers of the sufferings;" sharing in sufferings endured for the testimony of Jesus Christ and His church truth, which brings certain rewards, Romans 8:17.

3) "So shall ye be also of the consolation," (hautos kai tes parakleseos) "Thus or so also of the comfort," you shall share or have a common help from the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, while being steadfast to the hour of rewarding, 1 Corinthians 3:8; 1 Corinthians 15:58.

Verse 8

1) "For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant," (ou gar thelomen humas agnolin, adelphoi) "Because we will not you all to be ignorant, brethren," to be "in the dark," or not knowledgeable - Paul often used the testimonies and lives and sufferings of saints gone before to encourage living ones to keep battling, Hebrews 11:1-4; Hebrews 12:1-4.

2) "Of our trouble," (huper tes thlipseos hemon) "as regards our affliction or trouble," Acts 19:23, trouble, opposition and persecution that came upon the missionaries with Paul as they labored for the Lord in Ephesus, headquarters of the production - center of the Goddess Diana images.

3) "Which came to us in Asia." (tes genomenes en te Asia) came (upon) in Asia," Particularly in Ephesus where Paul tarried teaching, preaching, and disputing with religious enemies of Christ for more than two years, Acts 19:8-22; 1 Corinthians 15:32; 1 Corinthians 16:9.

4) "That we were pressed out of measure, above strength " (hoti kath’ hyperbole huper dunamin ebarethemen) "That we were burdened excessively, beyond power," or above strength; Paul, like his Lord, was hounded, harassed, derided and tormented in mind and body by persecutors at Iconium, Acts 14:2; Acts 14:5; at Lystra where he was stoned, Acts 14:19, where he was left for dead.

5) "Inasmuch as we despaired even of life," (hoste eksaporethenai hemas kai tou zen) "So that we despaired even to live," 2 Corinthians 4:8; then there was the added uprising against Paul at Ephesus, his third major point of persecution in Asia Minor, he despaired of life, about which he later wrote as a door of God’s blessings to carry him back into Eastern Europe to witness, Philippians 4:13; 2 Corinthians 11:23-30.

Verse 9

1) "But we had the sentence of death in ourselves," (alla autoi en heautois to apokrima tou thanatou eschekamen) "But we have held the sentence of death in ourselves;" so near was Paul brought to physical death, death’s door by the persecution - induced affliction, that he was resigned to die there, and in that hour of near death, he found his peace, satisfaction, and sufficiency in Christ, Colossians 2:10.

2) "That we should not trust in ourselves," (hina me pepoithotas omen eph’ heautois) "in order that we might not have trusted in ourselves," but like Abraham in Him who was able "to raise him from the dead," 2 Corinthians 4:14, Hebrews 11:19.

3) "But in God which raiseth the dead," (all’ epi to theo to egeironti tous nekrous), "But on God, the one raising the dead;" The God who can raise from the dead may also be asked and trusted to bring men back from the gates of death, from great afflictions, when such afflictions are acts of divine chastisement upon his disobedient children. He did this for Hezekiah and for Nebuchadnezzar; 2 Kings 20:1-19; Daniel 5:18-22; Romans 8:11.

Verse 10

1) "Who delivered us from so great a death," (hos ek telikoutou thanatou errusato hemas) “who delivered us out of so great a death;" penalty of eternal destruction, when He was "delivered for our offences and raised for our justification," who "bare our sins in His body on the tree," Romans 4:24-25; 1 Peter 2:24; 1 Peter 3:18.

2) "And doth deliver," (kai hresetai) "and delivers," of His own accord, willingly, daily, caring, guarding, keeping His own sheep, His children, making intercession, advocacy before the throne in our behalf; He protects and delivers His own from the power of sin, John 10:28-29; Hebrews 7:25; 1 John 2:1-2.

3) "In whom we trust," (eis hon elpikamen) "in whom (also) we have hoped, held," or trusted and do trust, even if we doubt "He remains faithful who has promised" because His holiness of nature is such that" he cannot deny himself," 2 Timothy 2:13; John 10:10-14; John 10:27-28; 1 John 5:13.

4) "That he will yet deliver us," (hoti kai heti hrusetai) "That indeed he will also yet deliver (us)," from the presence of sin, Ephesians 1:13; Ephesians 4:30-32; Judges 1:1. This is the "Blessed Assurance" of the Believers faith, hope, and charity, anchored in Jesus Christ who has "never broken any promise spoken," Hebrews 6:18-19. The final deliverance of all believers will be effected in the resurrection, the Spiritual body in the ages to come, Romans 8:11; Philippians 3:19-21.

RESURRECTION VICTORY

That is a beautiful thought of the Israelites of our days; when they enter their cemetery to deposit one of their number, it is said, they bow together three times to the ground; then seizing the grass of the tomb which they are about to enter, and casting it behind them, they utter in chorus these words of the prophet: "Thy bones shall flourish like the grass: 0 my brother, thy bones shall flourish like the grass!" My brethren, I come here to do something of a similar kind to-day. I take, as it were, handfuls of the grass and flowers with which the spring has covered our fields, and amidst the concerts of gratitude and joy heard everywhere around us at this season of miracles, I exclaim, "Resurrection! Resurrection!" I declare to you that your bones, though laid in the very dust, shall flourish like the grass, with the whole of nature, which lives again. I preach to you the resurrection of the just.

-Gaussen

RESURRECTION DELIVERANCE

Look at the unattractive insect that lies upon the blade of grass or upon the cabbage-leaf; and, in a few short days, you find that insect floating in the air in all the beauteous colors of the rainbow. Look at the dry root in the gloomy season of winter; and, when spring comes forth, you find that root bloom into a beauteous rose. Look at the egg-shell: in that there is the eagle, that is to wing its flight above all other birds, and rivet its eye upon the analogies of Nature or the experience of our common history.

-Dr. Cumming

Verse 11

1) "Ye also helping together," (sunkupourgauton Kai humon) "While ye also cooperate"; Paul asserts that the sympathy of the Corinthian brethren with him will be shown by their personal prayers for him. It is a prominent Bible principle that earnest prayer avails before God, James 5:16.

2) "By prayer for us," (huper hemon te deesi) "on behalf of us in petition," for a particular need, Matthew 21:22; 1 John 5:14-15.

3) "That for the gift bestowed upon us by the means of many persons," "In order that the gift bestowed upon us by means of many persons;" The term (Gk. prosopon) used here indicates upturned faces in thanksgiving to God by many believers, Ephesians 6:18; Philippians 4:6.

4) "Thanks may be given by many on our behalf," (dia pollon eucharistethe huper hemon) "Thanks may be given through many on behalf of us;" as the Jerusalem church cared and prayed for Peter, without ceasing, thru his imprisonment so Paul desired the care and prayers of those whom he had served in Corinth, during all his trials, Acts 12:5-17.

Verse 12

1) "For our rejoicing is this," (he gar kauchesis hemon aute estin) "For this is our boasting," or "our glorying is this," Galatians 6:14.

2) "The testimony of our conscience," (to marturion tes suneideseos hemon) "The witness of our conscience, "that is "the thing testified to by our conscience;" This "Conscience" represents the self sitting in judgment on self, Acts 24:16; Romans 9:1.

3) "That in simplicity and godly sincerity," (hoti in hagioteti kai eilikrineia tou theou) "Because in godly holiness and sincerity," or "in sanctity and sincerity," 2 Corinthians 2:17; 2 Corinthians 4:2. The holiness and sincerity that characterized Paul’s conduct were Divine qualities that reflected Christ.

4) "Not with fleshly wisdom," (ouk ensophia sarkike) not in fleshly wisdom;" depraved, unregenerated, wisdom of the world order, 1 Corinthians 2:4-7; 1 Corinthians 2:13, "not in the words that man’s wisdom teacheth."

5) "But by the grace of God," (all’ en chariti theou) "But in (the) grace of God;" Grace imparted as daily needs required, 2 Corinthians 4:15; 2 Corinthians 12:9; Galatians 2:9; 2 Peter 3:18.

6) "We had our conversation in the world," (anestrapemen en to kosmo) "we behaved or conducted (ourselves) in the world," while among the Corinthian brethren in a manner becoming wisdom from above.

7) "And more abundantly to you-ward," (perissoteros de pros humas) "and more especially toward you;" Philippians 2:14-15.

Verse 13

1) "For we write none other things unto you, ou gar alla graphomen humin) "For other things we write not to you;" There is no hidden, covert, or concealed meaning in Paul’s message.

2) "Than what ye read," (alle ha anaginoskete)

other than what ye read;" He meant what he said and what he wrote, though there seemed to be some doubt circulated in the Corinth area about this, 2 Corinthians 10:10-12.

3) "Or acknowledge," (he kai epiginoskete) "or even perceive, comprehend;" The Corinth brethren understood what Paul wrote. They were not left guessing what he said or meant regarding his testimony regarding truth in Jesus Christ.

4) "And I trust," (elpizo de) "and I (do) hope;" This hope was based on their expressed faith in Jesus Christ. True hope and charity are gifts that follow faith, 1 Corinthians 13:13.

5) "Ye shall acknowledge even to the end," (hoti heos telous epignosesthe) "that to (the) end you will all perceive or understand," that is until the end of life or coming of the Lord Jesus Christ, which faith he had expressed in them, 1 Corinthians 1:18. For it is at His coming true secrets of all hearts shall be revealed, Romans 14:11-12; 2 Corinthians 5:10-12.

Verse 14

1) "And also ye have acknowledged us in part," (kathos kai epegnote hemas apo merous) "as you all also recognized us in part;" The idea is part of them acknowledged Paul and his missionary helpers as true ministers of God, devoted wholly to his will, but not all did, 1 Corinthians 3:4.

2) "That we are your rejoicing," (hoti kauchema humon esmen) "Because we are your boasting;" 2 Corinthians 5:12.

3) "Even as ye also are ours," (kathaper kai humeis hemon) "Even as ye are also our (object of) boasting;" The Corinth brethren, won, and or confirmed in the faith of Christ constituted an occasion for Paul’s rejoicing, Philippians 2:16; Philippians 4:1; 1 Thessalonians 2:19-20.

4) "In the day of the Lord Jesus," (en te hemera tou kuriou hemon lesou) "in the day of our Lord Jesus;" Paul was always hasty to remind the brethren that as surely as he was an occasion for their glory or rejoicing, even so they were on occasion for his rejoicing for them in the Lord, in the light of their coming reunion with Jesus Christ, John 4:36; Matthew 24:42; Philippians 4:1; 1 Corinthians 1:8.

PLAN CHANGES NOT FICKLENESS

Verse 15

1) "And in this confidence," (kai taute te pepoithesei) and (it was) in this persuasion," confidence that they would acknowledge his sincerity before he went into Macedonia.

2) "I was minded to come unto you before," (eboulomen proteron pros humas elthein) "I formerly intended to come to you," of his own accord, or because he wanted to do it. He considered crossing the Aegean sea from Ephesus to Corinth, then visiting them again on his return from a tour of Macedonia later, Acts 19:1-41.

3) "That ye might have a second benefit," (hina deuteran chasin schete) "In order that you all might have a second benefit, or good blessing," by two visits from him on this tour instead of one. He appears to have communicated this to them in a former letter, 1 Corinthians 5:9. But he received a bad letter revealing quarrels, wranglings, contentions, and moral and doctrinal error among them. That report led him to write 1Corinthians in reply, 1 Corinthians 1:11, in which letter he indicated his change of former plans to visit them only on his return from Macedonia, 1 Corinthians 16:5.

Verse 16

1) "And to pass by you into Macedonia," (kai di’ humon dielthein eis makedonian) "and through you all to pass into Macedonia," through their midst and their hospitality, aid, and financial assistance;" a considered stop-off on a mission itinerary of confirming brethren in the churches.

2) "And to come again out of Macedonia unto you," (kai palin apo makedonias elthein pros humas) "and again (on return) to come (as I intend) to you from Macedonia;" which route he adopted, Acts 20:1; 1 Corinthians 16:5; 2 Corinthians 7:5-10.

3) "And of you to be brought on my way," (kai huph humon propemphthenai) "and by you all to be sent (helped) on my way;" The phrase "Brought on my way" means to be endorsed, assisted, and encouraged, by them in and on his continuing missionary journey, 1 Corinthians 16:3-7. Entertaining both brethren and strangers on godly missions is to be desired, Hebrews 13:1-2.

4) "Toward Judea," (eis ten loudaion) "Into the (land of) Judea," by much prayer and financial aid, Acts 21:5; Galatians 6:6. The practice of "seeing them off," in safety, was a practice commended among fellow brethren.

PROMISE KEEPING

Queen Elizabeth promised a sea-captain, who had distinguished himself in battle, that he should have the first vacancy that offered. The see of Cork becoming vacant, the captain went up to London, and acclaimed the literal fulfillment of the royal promise, and, although destitute of qualifications for the office, was made a bishop in honor of the queen’s word. Sir William Napier one day met a poor child who was crying bitterly because she had broken her bowl. Having no money with him, he promised to meet her in the same place at the same hour next day, and give her money to buy another. Reaching home, he found an invitation to dine out with a gentleman whom he particularly wished to see; but he declined it on account of his pre-engagement with the child. "I could not disappoint her, she trusted me so implicitly," he said.

Verse 17

1) "When I therefore was thus minded," (touto oun boulamenos) "This therefore intended or determined;" disposed, inclined, or purposed, with honest intent.

2) "Did I use lightness?" (meti ara te elaphria echresamen;) "Fickleness I did not resort to, did I?" indicating that he was not fickle or unstable in his plans and purposes; Rhetorically he asks "are my plans like a worldly man’s, fickle, unthought, a mere wish of the flesh?"

3) "Or the things that I purpose," (e ha bouleuomai)

or the things which I personally intended, planned, purposed," of his own voluntary committed choice.

4) "Do I purpose according to the flesh," (kata sarka bouleuomai), "Do I make such according to (the will of) the flesh;" Simply because circumstances, details, and conditions altered or changed, Paul’s original intent and desire to visit and help the brethren did not. Because he changed his time schedule did not mean he was fickle or unstable, 2 Corinthians 5:16.

5) "That with me there should be yea, yea and nay, nay?" (hina e par’ hemoi to nai nai kai to ou ou); "in order that alongside me (to please me) may be the yes, yes and the no, no;" Paul had promised to go to Corinth and he would go. His principles and actions to help the Corinthian brethren by a later visit was as unalterable as the gospel he preached, but natural and physical circumstances did become occasions for his altering mission service schedules. Such only reflected Divine Wisdom in conflict with frequent worldly circumstances. A wise man changes or alters his plans, a fool never.

Verse 18

1) "But as God is true," (pistos de ho theos) "But (as) God is faithful (true);" or "as the Lord liveth," signifying a testimony heard and presided over by the living God, as true and trustworthy, in all honesty, 1 Samuel 20:3; 2 Corinthians 11:10.

2) "Our word toward you," (hoti ho logos hemon ho pros hemas) "that (certain) our word to you all;" the promise to visit them, the personal communications about their journey, as well as the message of the gospel.

3) "Was not yea and nay," (oukestin nai kai ou), "was or (is) not yes and no," a flip-flop, unstable, uncertain testimony or service. I, and we, do not vacillate in purpose or intent, 2 Corinthians 2:17.

Verse 19

1) "For the Son of God, Jesus Christ," (ho tou theou gar huios Christos lesous) "For the Son of God;" This certifies who JESUS IS - THE SON OF GOD, not merely a Son. John 3:16; Acts 8:37; Galatians 4:4-6. As such He is the unchangeable Savior, Hebrews 13:8.

2) "Who was preached among you by us," (ho en humin di’ hemon keruchtheis) "the one among you (Jesus) proclaimed through us;" Jesus Christ and Him crucified was the theme of Paul, Silas, and Timothy to the Corinth brethren, 1 Corinthians 1:17-18; 1 Corinthians 1:23; 1 Corinthians 2:1-8; Galatians 6:14.

3) "Even by me and Silvanus and Timotheus," (di’ emou kai Silouanou kai Timotheou) through (1) Me, (2) Silvanus, and (3) Timothy;" These three carried the gospel story to Corinth, Acts 18:5. Silvanus is the longer name for Silas who was a prophet closely laboring with Paul. Perhaps he was also a Roman citizen, Acts 15:32; Acts 16:37. He also shared Paul’s perils thru his second missionary journey, Acts 15:40; Acts 18:18; 1 Peter 5:12.

4) "Was not yea and nay," (ouk egeneto nai kai ou) was not yes and no," in uncertainty, nor should there be in his saints, Matthew 7:29; John 12:50.

5) "But in him was yea," (alla nai en auto gegonen) "But has been yes in him;" This emphasizes the positive, certain character of the character of Jesus Christ who frequently used the double positive term (amen, amen) or truly, truly, verily, verily, etc. - Jesus Christ, the Son of God is preached to be unchangeable, Hebrews 13:8; True, and the truth, John 14:6; Gk. "ho amen," the amen, Revelation 3:14. He is the eternal "yea," positive, optimist - one of true hope in every believer, who anchors the Soul thru every storm – Hebrews 6:18-19.

Verse 20

1) "For all the promises of God in him are yea, (hosai gar epanggeliai theou, en auto) "For as many promises (as are) of God, in him (is) the yes;" They shall come to pass! "They shall not fail" is the affirmation strongly expressed by Paul. For "He has never broken any promise spoken," 1 Kings 8:56.

2) "And in Him Amen," (dio kai di’ autou to amen) wherefore also through him the Amen;" Because the character of our Lord is holy, His testimony is holy, free from lies, deceptions, and weakness of even good intentions and promises that men have, make, and break, but not He, Hebrews 13:5.

3) "Unto the glory of God by us," (to theo pros doksan di emon) "to the glory of God through us;" It is because of the surety of the fulfillment of every Divine promise of Christ to men that we appropriately sing the doxology of praise and conclude so many hymns of public worship with (Gk. amen), meaning, "yea, it shall be, so may it be, or so shall it be!" (1 Corinthians 15:16; Romans 15:8-9).

Verse 21

1) "Now he which stablisheth us," (ho de bebaion hemas) "But the one stabilizing or making us firm;" is the triune God, thru His Son, the Holy Spirit, and the teaching program of His church in this age Ephesians 3:21.

2) "With you in Christ," (Sun humin eis Christon) "In close association with you all with reference to Christ;" Paul alludes to the idea of unity between himself and the Corinthian converts thru the anchor of faith in Christ, Hebrews 6:18-19.

3) "And hath anointed us, is God;" (kai Chrisas hemas theos) "and having anointed us (is) God!" The “anointing" alluded to here refers to the anointing, not of separate individuals, but to the anointing or empowering that came to the church on Pentecost, to last thru the church age, John 14:16-17; John 16:13-14; 1 John 2:20; 1 John 2:27. The anointing of the Holy Spirit came to the church on Pentecost and has been with, in, and upon, every true church since that day. He did guide the first church into "all truth" and empowered her in launching her world-wide and age long mission at Pentecost, Acts 2:1-4. The apostles and Paul were guided by the Spirit, thru that Jerusalem church, to complete the Bible, since which time the world and the church have, had, the Word of truth, and the church has had the anointed power of the Holy Spirit as she bears the Word, Proverbs 1:23-24; Ephesians 5:18.

Verse 22

1) "Who hath also sealed us," (ho kai sphragisamenos humas) "The one both having sealed us;" In regeneration or the new birth one is saved and sealed unto the day of the resurrection redemption of the body, Ephesians 1:13; Ephesians 4:30, Romans 8:23. It is no less certain that the Holy Spirit has anointed and sealed the church to bear the message of Jesus thru the church, till He comes again, Matthew 28:20.

2) "And given the earnest of the spirit in our hearts," (kai dous ton arrabona tou pneumatos entais kardiais hemon) "and having given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts;" It is this spirit in the believer’s heart that gives hope and courage to every believer and seeks to guide each to full service thru the church, Romans 8:14; Romans 8:16. The earnest" of the Spirit means the "guarantee" or assurance of the Spirit, Ephesians 1:14; Romans 8:11; 2 Corinthians 3:3; 2 Corinthians 3:6.

Verse 23

1) "Moreover I call God as a record," (ego de martura ton theon epikaloumai) "now I call upon God as a witness;" as he often did to emphasize the honesty of his testimony in this matter, Romans 1:9; Galatians 1:20.

2) "Upon my soul," (epi ten emen psuchen) “on my life," or ”against my soul"; if he spoke falsely; See Philippians 1:8; 1 Thessalonians 2:5; 1 Thessalonians 2:10.

3) "That to spare you," (hoti pheidomenos humon) "That sparing or to spare you;" sharp reproof such as he had written them in 1 Corinthians 4:21.

4) "I came not as yet unto Corinth," (ouketi ethon eis Korinthon) "not yet I came (of my own accord) to Corinth;" Paul wanted the brethren to know that he had their interest at heart in delaying his visit with them. He did not wish his next visit to be as painful in rebuking them as on a previous occasion, 2 Corinthians 13:1-2.

Verse 24

1) "Not that we have dominion over your faith," (ouch hoti jurieuomen humon tes pisteos), "not that we (hold) lordship or jurisdiction over your faith;" apostolic authority did not embrace despotic rule or lordship, dictatorship, or jurisdiction over ones faith, individually, or over the church’s faith, in the sense of system of teaching. The idea is that neither an apostle, bishop, or pastor has despotic lordship over God’s heritage.

2) "But are helpers of your joy," (alla sunergoi esmen tes charas humon) "But we are fellow-workers (helpers) of your joy," in producing joy, thru Jesus Christ. To be a fellow-worker is to be a fellow-helper, not a despot or a preacher-boss. This was the Spirit of Christ, Matthew 20:25-26.

3) "For by faith ye stand." (te gar pistei estekate) "For (it is) by faith you all stand," or by your faith. If it were by dogmatic lordship of apostles one stood, it would not have been by the instrumentality of the Corinth brethren’s steadfastness, 1 Corinthians 15:58; 1 Peter 5:9.

Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 1". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/2-corinthians-1.html. 1985.
 
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