Who recommends us? (chapter 3)

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.

Why Paul did not go to Corinth (chapters 1 and 2)

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’s plans (chapter 1)

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’s thanksgiving (chapter 1)

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.