Paul asked whether he needed letters of recommendation. He said that the Corinthians themselves were his letters of recommendation that was written on their human hearts. They are a letter from Christ written with the Holy Spirit. Paul had confidence in Christ, not from himself, but because of the competence from God. The written code kills, but the Holy Spirit gives life.
Paul then thanked God. The aroma of Christ was there helping those who were perishing. They had to choose between the fragrance and aroma of life and death. Paul was sincere, not like a peddler. He spoke in the name of Christ.
Paul then explained that a new open door came about in Troas. However, he did not stay there, since Titus was not there. Instead, he moved on to Macedonia.
Paul said that someone caused these Corinthians to suffer pain. That person should be punished. However, they were to forgive and comfort him. They were to love this person who had caused so much pain. This writing was a test to see how they had reacted. If they forgive him, Paul was willing to forgive also. Paul then told them to watch out for Satan!
Paul said that he did not go to Corinth in order to spare them. He wanted to work with them. They stood firm in their faith. He did not want to have another painful visit. This last painful visit experience was bad for everybody. He wanted to be joyful around them in Corinth. He did want to cause any pain or suffer any more pain. He really loved the Corinthians, but there had been a painful visit for all involved.
Paul wanted to come to Corinth with a double blessing. He wanted to visit them on his way to and from Macedonia. Did he vacillate? His word has always been straight up, yes or no, not yes and no at the same time. Paul always preached “Yes”. The promises of God always end with and an agreeable “Amen”. God has established them and anointed them in their ways. They were the anointed ones with the seal of the Spirit.
Paul had a bond with the Corinthians. The grace of God had worked among the Corinthians. He hoped that they would understand this letter that he was writing to them. They should be proud as they await the day of our Lord.
Paul quickly turned to a problem in Asia. He thought that he had received the death sentence. However, he relied on God, who rescued him and his companions. God delivered them once, and he would do it again. Paul wanted the Corinthians to pray for him.
Paul began with this cry to the blessed God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God comforts us in all our afflictions, so that we can comfort others. We share in Christ’s suffering as well as his comfort. Paul was sharing in the sufferings and comforts of the Corinthians, just as they would share the same sufferings and comforts with Paul.
Paul began this epistle like all his epistles with a greeting. He explained who he was, an apostle of Jesus Christ, and who he was writing to, the Christians in Corinth. He wanted to send them grace and peace.