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2 Corinthians
Chapter 1


Theme: God's comfort for life's plans

The first two verses are an introduction to the epistle. Then the rest of chapter 1 is about God's comfort for life's plans. Paul really begins this epistle on a very high note.

Introduction (2 Cor.1:1-2)

2 Cor.1:1  Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, unto the church of God which is at Corinth, with all the saints which are in all Achaia: (KJV)
Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God . . . (Rom.1:1; 1 Cor.1:1)
And Timothy our brother . . . Paul usually associated some other person or persons with him in writing his Letters. In the First Letter to the Corinthians, Sosthenes was associated with him. The name of Timothy is associated with his in the Letters to the Philippians and Colossians. From the First Letter to the Corinthians (1 Cor.16:10), we learn that Paul had sent Timothy to the church at Corinth, or that he expected that he would visit them. Paul had sent him into Macedonia in company with Erastus (Acts 19:21-22), intending himself to follow them, and expecting that they would visit Achaia. From this Passage, it seems that Timothy had returned from this journey, and was now with Paul.
Unto the church of God . . . (1 Cor.1:2)
With all the saints which are in all Achaia . . . Achaia, in the largest sense, included all of Greece, but Achaia Proper was the district of which Corinth was the capital. It is likely that there were a lot of Christians scattered in Achaia, and probably some small churches that had been established by the work of Paul or of others.

2 Cor.1:2  Grace be to you and peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. (KJV)

Grace be to you and peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ . . . this is the usual Christian salutation of Paul (Rom.1:7; 1 Cor.1:3).

Praising God for all the Comforts (2 Cor.1:3-7)

2 Cor.1:3  Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; (KJV)

Blessed be God . . . (Eph.1:3; 1 Pet.1:3), this is how Paul starts this Letter; and the language is from a heart that is full of joy, bursting with gratitude because of God’s mercy. Do you have a heart like this?
Even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ . . . God the Father is mentioned here in the relation of the "Father of the Lord Jesus," no doubt because it was through the Lord Jesus, and Him alone, that He had conveyed the comfort that Paul had experienced (verse 5). Paul knew no other God than the "Father of the Lord Jesus;" he knew no other source of comfort than the Gospel of Jesus Christ; and he knew of no other way that God imparts comfort EXCEPT through His Son. Genuine Christian consolation acknowledges the Lord Jesus Christ is the ONLY One by whom God the Father imparts comfort. Proper thanksgiving to God can be offered ONLY through the Redeemer . . .  and the ONLY proper acknowledgment of God recognizes God as the "Father of the Lord Jesus."
The Father of mercies . . . this is a Hebrew expression, where a noun takes the place of an adjective, and the phrase is like "merciful Father" (Lk.6:36); but the Father of mercies has more energy and spirit "merciful Father." God is the Fatherhood of all true joy. It is one of His many wonderful and glorious attributes, that God produces comfort and mercy.
And the God of all comfort . . . what a beautiful and truthful Name for our God! God is the Source of ALL consolation. Paul delights, as all TRUE Christians should do, to trace ALL his comforts to God! Paul had sufficient reason to regard God as the Source of true consolation, as we all do! There is NO other real source of happiness EXCEPT God; and ONLY He is abundantly able and perfectly willing to impart consolation to His people. Do you thank Him when He comforts you?

Our Awesome God is called: 
#1. The Father of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Cor.1:3; 11:31; Eph.1:3; 3:14; Col.1:3)
#2. The Father of Mercies (2 Cor.1:3)
#3. The God of all Comfort (2 Cor.1:3)
#4. The Father of Glory (Eph.1:17)
#5. The Father of All (Eph.4:6)
#6. The Father of Spirits (Heb.12:9)
#7. The Father of Lights (Jam.1:17)
#8. The God of Peace (Rom.15:33; 16:20; 1 Cor.14:33; Phil.4:9; 1 Thes.5:23; Heb.13:20)
#9. The God of Peace and Love (2 Cor.13:11; 1 Jn.4:8)

2 Cor.1:4  Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. (KJV)

Who comforteth us in all our tribulation . . . Paul here no doubt refers mainly to himself and his fellow-workers as having been filled with comfort in their trials. The wonderful support which the Promises of God give; plus the effects of the Holy Spirit, the Comforter (Jn.14:16,26; 15:26), and the hope of eternal life (Tit.1:2), through the Gospel of Jesus Christ, was indeed a tremendous comfort to Paul and his helpers (and to us).
That we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble . . . an object that God seeks is that His people in their afflictions should be supported and comforted.
By the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God . . . by the same consolation; by the same source of joy which have sustained us. They would have experienced God’s comfort; and by that comfort they would be able to comfort those who were in any manner afflicted. It is only by a personal experience that we are able to impart consolation to others. Paul refers here no doubt to the consolations which are produced by the evidence of the pardon of sin, and of acceptance with God, and the hope of eternal life. These comforts abounded in Paul and his fellow-workers in a rich way, and were sustained by them so they were able to impart like consolation to others who were in similar circumstances of trial.
This is a beautiful verse! Paul tells us that God comforts us, that we might be able to comfort others, somewhere down the line, when someone may have the same tribulation that they had. And this, as above, this also means the pardon of sin, acceptance by God and the hope of eternal life. This comfort too, we must pass on, so others might be comforted too. Do NOT be ashamed of Jesus, or He will be ashamed of you (Mk.8:38; Lk.9:26).

2 Cor.1:5 For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ. (KJV)

For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us . . . the sufferings which Paul and his helpers endured were for the cause of Christ and His Gospel. Their sufferings were endured in trying to advance the Kingdom of God, just as Christ sought to promote it. Their sufferings were largely of the same nature. They arose from opposition, contempt, persecution, trial and want, and were the same as the Lord Jesus was Himself subjected to during the whole of His public life (Col.1:24; 1 Pet.4:13). All Christians will in some way be called to experience some kind of suffering for the cause of Christ, and be partakers of Christ's sufferings.
So our consolation also aboundeth by Christ . . . our comfort abounds only by means of Christ, or through Him. Comfort is abundantly imparted to us by Jesus! Paul regarded the Lord Jesus as the ONLY Source of consolation, and felt that the comfort which he imparted, or which was imparted through Him, was more than sufficient to overtake all the trials which he endured for His cause. The comforts which Paul derived from Christ were those, no doubt, which arose from His Presence, His supporting grace, from His love shed abroad in the heart (Rom.5:5), from the success which he gave to His Gospel, and from the hope of reward which was held out to him by the Redeemer, as the result of all his sufferings. It may be observed as a universal truth, that if we suffer in the cause of Christ, if we are persecuted, oppressed, lied about and have falsehoods spread on His account, He will take care that our hearts shall be filled with comfort.  (Mat.5:1-12).

2 Cor.1:6  And whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer: or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation. (KJV)

And whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation . . . if we are afflicted, if our affliction is for the cause of Christ. This verse is intended to show one of the reasons of the sufferings which the apostle had endured; and it is a joyful example of Paul's skill in his Letters. He shows that all his trials were for their welfare, and would benefit them. Paul suffered that they might be comforted; he was afflicted for their benefit. This assurance would tend to pacify and strengthen their affection for him, as it would show them that he was interested in their good. We are under the deepest obligations of gratitude to one who suffers for us; and there is nothing that will bind us more tenderly to any one than the fact that he has been subjected to great calamity and trial on our account. This is one of the reasons why the Christian feels so tenderly about his obligation to the Lord Jesus Christ.
Which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer . . .  effectual means that their salvation would be effected, or secured by the patient endurance of such sufferings. A patient endurance of those sufferings would tend to promote their salvation. The doctrine that the patient endurance of affliction tends to promote salvation, is elsewhere taught in the Bible (Rom.5:3-5; 15:4; 2 Cor.1:4-6,22; 3:18; 4:6,8-12; 6:9-10; Gal.4:6; 5:22; Eph.1:13; 3:16-19; 4:30; Tit.3:5; Jam.1:12; 1 Pet.1:6-7; 5:10).
In the enduring . . . by your patient enduring of such sufferings. All Christians are called to endure similar sufferings.
Or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation . . . Paul says that one plan of their being comforted is, that they may be able to impart comfort to them in times of similar trial and calamity (verse 4). The feeling of the whole Passage is, that the Corinthian’s eternal welfare would be promoted by the example of Paul in their trials, and by the comfort which they would be able to impart as the result of their afflictions.

2 Cor.1:7  And our hope of you is stedfast, knowing, that as ye are partakers of the sufferings, so shall ye be also of the consolation. (KJV)

And our hope of you is stedfast, knowing, that as ye are partakers of the sufferings, so shall ye be also of the consolation . . . Paul says, we have no doubt that you will continue in the Truth of the Gospel; because we see that you have such a full, experimental knowledge of it, that no sufferings or persecutions can turn you aside. And we are sure that, as ye suffer, so shall ye rejoice. It is clear from this, that the Corinthians had been subjected to trials similar to those which Paul had endured. It is not known to what afflictions they were subjected; but it is clear that they were exposed to some kind of persecution and opposition. Such trials were common in all the early churches; and they served to unite all the believers of the Redeemer in common bonds, and to make them feel that they were one. United sorrows and united consolations tend more than anything else to bind people together. We always have a brotherly feeling for one who suffers as we do; or who has the same kind of joy which we have.

2 Cor.1:8  For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life: (KJV)

For we would not have you ignorant . . . we wish you to be fully informed (1 Cor.10:1; 12:1). The object of Paul here is to give a full explanation of the nature of his trials, to which he had referred in verse 4. He thought that the Corinthians would feel a deep interest in him and in his trials; that they would sympathize with him, and would pray that those sufferings and that this deliverance might be attended with a blessing (verse 11), and maybe he wished also to reconcile their kindness towards himself by giving a more detailed description of the trials which he had been called to endure because of the Christian religion, of which they were reaping material benefits.
Of our trouble which came to us in Asia . . . Asia is often used to mean that part of Asia Minor of which Ephesus was the capital (Acts 2:9). There has been much difference of opinion as to the troubles to which Paul here refers. Some say he refers to the persecutions at Lystra (Acts 14:6,19-20), from which he had been recovered as it were by miracle; but as that happened so long before this, it seems improbable that he should here refer to it. Paul clearly referred to some danger from which he had been lately delivered, and which made a deep impression on his mind when he wrote this Letter. Some say that he refers to the lying in wait of the Jews for him when he was about to go to Macedonia (Acts 20:3). Some commentators have supposed that he refers to the disturbances which were made at Ephesus by Demetrius and his friends (Acts 19), and by reason of which he was compelled to leave the city. Some say that he refers to the danger to which he was exposed in Ephesus on another occasion, when he was compelled to fight there with wild beasts (1 Cor.15:32). Maybe these opinions can be reconciled, by supposing that Paul refers to the whole group of calamities to which he had been exposed in Asia, and from which he had just escaped by going to Macedonia.
There was the riot excited by Demetrius (Acts 19), in which his life had been endangered, and from which he had just escaped; and there had been the conflict with the wild beasts at Ephesus (1 Cor.15:32), which perhaps had occurred just before; and there were the plots of the Jews against him (Acts 20:3), from which, also, he had just been delivered. By these trials, his life had been endangered, more than once, and he had been called to look death square in the face, and to foresee the possibility that he might soon die. Of these trials . . . of all these trials . . . he would not have the Corinthians be ignorant; but desired that they should be fully explained to them, that they might sympathize with him, and that through their prayers they might be turned to, his benefit.
That we were pressed out of measure . . . (Acts 19), the troubles were weighed down by calamity. Pressed out of measure means excessiveness or intensity. It is one of Paul's common and very strong expressions to mean anything that is intensive or great (Rom.7:13; Gal.1:13; 2 Cor.4:17).
Above strength . . . beyond our strength; much more we were able to bear.
Insomuch that we despaired even of life . . .  expecting to be destroyed by the wild beasts with which he had to contend, or to be destroyed by the people. This was one of the instances no doubt to which he refers in 2 Cor.11:23, where he says he had been "in deaths oft." And this was one of the many cases in which Paul was called on to consider death as near. Paul was faithful to the Lord Jesus and the Gospel and was a great success in his work. Because of his faithfulness in trusting God (Jesus) that he could regard death as near at hand. This kind of faith is reserved only for the few mentioned by Jesus. Mat.7:14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. (KJV) . . . Even though that gate is strait (difficult), and the way is narrow . . . it is wide enough for the whole world . . . IF they are so inclined to go that route!

Things we should not be ignorant of: 
#1. God's faithfulness (2 Cor.1:8-10)
#2. Gospel responsibility (Rom.1:11-18)
#3. Spiritual gifts (1 Cor.12)
#4. God's purpose, and love for Israel (Rom.11:25-32)
#5. The resurrection and future life (1 Cor.15; 1 Thes.4:13-18)
#6. God's judgments on backsliders (1 Cor.10:1-13)
#7. God’s Promises to TRUE believers (Mat.25:32-34,46; Jn.3:15-16; 5:24; 14:2-3; 1 Pet.1:3-5)
#8. God’s Promises to unbelievers (Mat.25:32-33, 41-46; Mk.16:16; Jn.3:18,36; Heb.2:3; 12:25; 1 Jn.5:10; Rev.20:15)
#9. IF a person takes the strait gate and narrow way, Jesus will light the path and be constantly with them (Jn.1:4,9; 8:12; 12:46; Eph.5:14; Heb.13:5-6)
#10. Jesus is your Friend, IF you obey Him (Jn.14:15,21-24; 15:10-14; Jam.2:23)

God's Comfort in Life's Plans (2 Cor.1:3-24)
His merciful deliverance from those trials (2 Cor.1:8-12)

2 Cor.1:9 But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead: (KJV)

But we had the sentence of death in ourselves . . . sentence properly means an answer, judicial response, the same as verdict. Paul often felt that he was under sentence of death, with no hope of acquittal. He had to consider that the hour of death was just before him. In ourselves means we expect to die. This seems as if Paul had been condemned to die; and may refer to some case when the widespread fury was so great that he felt he would die, or maybe to a judicial sentence that he should be cast to the wild beasts, with the certainty that he would be destroyed, as was always the case with those who were subjected to the execution of such a sentence.
That we should not trust in ourselves . . . (Jer.17:5,7), a beautiful and important sentiment. It teaches that, in the time to which Paul refers, he was in such great danger, and was certain of a prospect of death, that he could not rely on himself. According to every probability, he would die; and all that he could do was to throw himself on the merciful protection of Almighty God, who alone had power to save him, if He so chose to do. The prospect of near death, would lead Paul to place increased confidence in God. Paul knew that only God alone could save him; or that only God alone could sustain him if he should die. Paul’s faith amazes me!  
But in God which raiseth the dead . . . Paul is indicating that a rescue in such circumstances would be like raising the dead. It is very likely that on this occasion Paul was near dying; that he had given up all hope of life, perhaps, as at Lystra (Acts 14:19), where he was supposed to be dead. Paul truly felt, that he was raised up by the immediate power of God, and regarded it as an exertion of the same power by which the dead are raised. It seems that Paul may mean that so far as depending on any power of his own, he was dead. He had absolutely no power to recover himself; and but for the gracious intercession of Almighty God, Paul would have died.

2 Cor.1:10 Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us; (KJV)

Who delivered us from so great a death . . . (        2 Pet.2:9), from a death so terrible, possibly a death by wild beasts (verse 8). Paul was very close to death; he had no hope of rescue; and the manner of the death which he was threatened was especially frightful. Paul regarded rescue from such a death as a kind of resurrection; and felt that he owed his life to God as if he had raised him from the dead. All deliverance from imminent peril, and from dangerous sickness, whether of ourselves or our friends, should be regarded as a kind of resurrection from the dead. God could very easily take away our breath, and it is only by his merciful interception that we live.
And doth deliver . . . God continues to deliver or preserve us, suggesting that danger continued to follow Paul, after the deliverance to which he especially refers, and that he had continued to be in similar perils of his life. Paul was daily exposed to danger; and was constantly preserved by the gracious providence of God. In what way Paul was rescued from the peril, is not told us. 
In whom we trust that he will yet deliver us . . . that he will continue to preserve us.

2 Cor.1:11 Ye also helping together by prayer for us, that for the gift bestowed upon us by the means of many persons thanks may be given by many on our behalf. (KJV)

Ye also helping together by prayer for us . . . helping together means co-operating, aiding, assisting. Paul thought that his trials might give occasion for thanksgiving, which would lead to the prayers of his fellow Christians. He felt that Christians should sympathize with one another. He showed deep humility and tender regard for the Corinthians when he called on them to aid him by their prayers.
That for the gift bestowed upon us . . . the gift referred to here means the favor shown to him in his rescue from so imminent a peril. Paul felt that this was owing to the prayers of many persons on his behalf. He believed that he had been remembered in the petitions of his friends and fellow Christians, and that his deliverance was owing to their prayers.
By the means of many persons . . . may mean that the favor referred to had been imparted by means of the prayers of many individuals who had taken a deep interest in Paul’s welfare. But it may also imply that he had been directly assisted, and had been rescued from the impending danger by the help of many friends who had come to his relief. I think that it was by the prayers of many in his behalf.
Thanks may be given by many on our behalf . . . Paul had been delivered from great peril by the prayers of many persons. God had mercifully intervened in answer the prayers of His people, as He so often does. Paul really wanted that God should not be forgotten. All those who had sought Paul’s deliverance should render praise to God, maybe suggesting that those who had obtained mercies by prayer, were so often prone to forget their obligation to return thanks to God for His gracious and merciful intercession. Do you fall into this category?  I must admit, I am guilty. There have been times when God answered my prayers, and I forget all about thanking Him. When I finally come to my senses, I feel as low as a worm!

2 Cor.1:12 For our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our conversation in the world, and more abundantly to you-ward. (KJV)

For our rejoicing is this . . . Paul had a just cause of rejoicing, for he had tried to live a life of simplicity and godly sincerity, and had not been motivated by the principles of worldly wisdom. Paul had been exposed to death, where he had no hope of life. He had not been motivated by fleshly wisdom, but had been guided by the grace of God.
The testimony of our conscience . . . an approving conscience does not condemn Paul, even though others might accuse him, though his name might be belittled, he had comfort in the fact that his own conscience gave comfort. Whatever others might charge him with, he knew what had been the aim and purpose of his life; and the consciousness of upright aims, and of such plans as the grace of God would sustained him. An approving conscience is of enormous value when we are put down, and when we draw near to death.
That in simplicity . . . simplicity means without double-mindedness, it means sincerity, honesty, integrity, frankness, integrity (2 Cor.11:3). It is opposite of double-dealing, deceitfulness and crafty plans. A man under the grace of God is straightforward, candid, open and honest; and he expects to accomplish his purpose by integrity and fair dealing, and not by tricks and being sneaky. Crafty artful plans, and deep-laid schemes of deceit belong to the world; simplicity, honesty and integrity are the characteristics of a TRUE Christian.
And godly sincerity . . . godly sincerity is being sincere, genuine and honest about God, it means a genuineness of God, of which He approves. This sincerity come by His grace, which produces in the heart devotion, reverence, love and faith. Godly sincerity boldly and willingly accepts and totally agrees with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Not with fleshly wisdom . . . not with the wisdom of the world (Rom.1:22; 1 Cor.1:19-21; 2:6; 3:19-20; Jam.3:14-15), which is displayed by the men of this world. This phrase stands opposed to simplicity and sincerity, to openness and straightforwardness. Carnal strategy distinguishes the men of the world. IF Paul thought such policy improper for him, we should consider it improper for us! IF Paul had no plans which he wished to advance by it, we should have none! IF Paul would not use worldly wisdom in the promotion of plans, neither should we. True wisdom: (1 Cor.2:13; Jam.1:5; 3:13,17).        
But by the grace God . . . this stands directly opposed to fleshly wisdom. Paul had been partial by such sentiments and principles as would be suggested or prompted by the influence of God’s grace. It is only by God’s favor that He directs us. God had directed Paul, God had kept him from the crooked and devious ways of worldly wisdom. Paul not only had pursued a correct and upright course of life, but he was indebted to the grace and favor of God. Paul never omitted an opportunity of acknowledging the amazing grace of God. Neither should we!  
We have had our conversation . . . conversation is lifestyle. Paul says they had conducted themselves, in all that they did, said and intended. The end he has in view, and in reference to which he speaks, acts and thinks, is a continual coming back again to the point from which he set out; beginning, continuing and ending everything to the glory of God!
In the world . . . everywhere, wherever I have been. This means the world at large, or wherever he had been, as separate from the church at Corinth. 
And more abundantly to you-ward . . . Paul tells them that they had given the fullest proof of this in their conduct towards them. The Corinthians saw the holy manner in which they had always acted; and God was witness of the purity of the motives by which they had been moved.
Paul affirms that in all things he had acted in the manner to which the grace of God prompted, and that his conduct, in all respects, had been that of total simplicity and sincerity.

Godly Sincerity 
#1. Does not exempt us from guilt (Ge,20).
#2. Must accompany forgiveness (Mat.18:35).
#3. Is a command (Josh.24:14; 1 Cor.5:8).
#4. Must portray our service (Eph.6:5-7; 1 Cor.10:31; Tit.2:7)
#5. Must portray our love for God (2 Cor.8:8,24)
#6. Must portray our love to Jesus (Eph.6:24)
#7. Must portray our faith (1 Tim.5)
#8. Must portray our love to others (Rom.12:9)
#9. Must portray our preaching and teaching (2 Cor.2:17; 1 Thes.2:3-5)
#10. Must depict our whole lifestyle (2 Cor.1:12)
#11. Godly sincerity is a characteristic of truth and honesty (1 Pet.2:2)

3 Godly things in 2 Corinthians:  
#1. Godly sincerity (2 Cor.1:12)
#2. Godly sorrow (2 Cor.7:10)
#3. Godly jealousy (2 Cor.11:2)

Their Witness to the Sincerity of his Preaching (2 Cor.1:12-14)

2 Cor.1:13  For we write none other things unto you, than what ye read or acknowledge; and I trust ye shall acknowledge even to the end; (KJV)

For we write none other things unto you . . . there are many interpretations of this Passage. It seems to me to be this: Paul had just declared that he had been motivated by simplicity and godly sincerity, and had in all things been influenced by the grace of God (1 Cor.3:10; 15:10; 2 Cor.1:12; Eph.3:7). This he had shown everywhere, but especially to those at Corinth. In making this affirmation they had full evidence, from what they had known of him before that such had been his course of life; and he hoped that they would never have any reason to form a different opinion of him. It is likely that some at Corinth had charged him with insincerity; and some had accused him of inconsistency in having promised to come to Corinth and then changing his mind, or had accused him with never having intended to come at all. It seems he wanted to refute such insults; and that all that he affirmed in his writings about the sincerity and simplicity of his aims, was such as they knew from their past acquaintance with him, that he was honest; and that they knew that he was a man who would keep his promises.
Than what ye read or acknowledge . . . read seems to meanknow, to know accurately. We know by reading. Or acknowledge . . . means to know fully; to receive full knowledge of; to know well; or to recognize truth, to know it totally to their satisfaction.
And I trust ye shall acknowledge even to the end . . . I trust that my conduct will be such as to convince you always that I am motivated by such principles. We trust that you will never have occasion to think dishonorably of us; or to reflect on any inconsistency in our behavior.
 
In today’s times, we must never depart from simplicity and godly sincerity nor of fixed goals and honesty of life.

2 Cor.1:14  As also ye have acknowledged us in part, that we are your rejoicing, even as ye also are ours in the day of the Lord Jesus. (KJV)

As also ye have acknowledged us in part, that we are your rejoicing, even as ye also are ours in the day of the Lord Jesus . . . in part . . . part of you have owned and acknowledged us, although other Corinthians have abused us. It is clear, from the distracted state of the Corinthians, and the opposition raised there against Paul, that it was only a part of them that did acknowledge him, and receive and profit by his Letters and advice. We are your rejoicing . . . you boast of us as the ministers of Christ through whom you have believed; and we boast of you as sincere converts to the Christian faith, and worthy members of the Body of Christ (church). If you do not understand us now, on the day when the Lord Jesus returns, you will be proud of us in the same way we are proud of you.
Some of the newer Bible versions omit this verse.

Paul Gives His Reason for Failing to Visit Them (2 Cor.1:15-24)

2 Cor.1:15 And in this confidence I was minded to come unto you before, that ye might have a second benefit; (KJV)

And in this confidence I was minded to come unto you before, that ye might have a second benefit . . . Paul was confident that his presence with them would be matter of rejoicing both to them and also to him, that he planned to come to them before he went into Macedonia, visiting them shortly after my journey there, that so you might have, a second longer visit in kindness to you. We see in (Acts 16:9), that Paul received his first call to Macedonia in a vision; and we read again of his passing through Macedonia to go to Jerusalem (Acts 19:21), Paul seems to speak here of the later one. A second benefit . . . Paul had been with them once, and they had received a special blessing in having the seed of life sown among them by the preaching of the Gospel; and he had planned to visit them again that they might have a second blessing, in having that seed watered so it could grow.

2 Cor.1:16 And to pass by you into Macedonia, and to come again out of Macedonia unto you, and of you to be brought on my way toward Judaea. (KJV)

And to pass by you into Macedonia, and to come again out of Macedonia unto you, and of you to be brought on my way toward Judaea . . . Paul had planned to go to Macedonia first, and then from Macedonia return to them, and possibly winter in Corinth (1 Cor.16:6), but it seems that although he had planned, God had other plans, and changed Paul’s plans to God’s plans.

2 Cor.1:17 When I therefore was thus minded, did I use lightness? or the things that I purpose, do I purpose according to the flesh, that with me there should be yea yea, and nay nay? (KJV)

When I therefore was thus minded, did I use lightness? or the things that I purpose, do I purpose according to the flesh . . . Paul asks: when I formed this plan, was it without due consideration or and did I abandon it through an inconsistent mind?
That with me there should be yea yea, and nay nay? . . . do you think that I would act like worldly men, who change their minds, and falsify their schedules, according to what may seem best to their worldly interest? Do you think I make plans carelessly? Do you think I am like people of the world who say yes when they really mean no?

2 Cor.1:18 But as God is true, our word toward you was not yea and nay. (KJV)

But as God is true, our word toward you was not yea and nay . . . Paul had set the God of truth before him, and he could not act in a deceitful of untrue way; and just as sure as God is true, so too were Paul’s plans honest and sincere. It was only Paul’s uncertainty about their state that prompted him to postpone his visit (verse 23). God of Truth: (Deut.32:4; Ps.31:5; 86:15; Isa.25:1; 65:16). God is true: (Jn.3:33; 17:3; Rom.3:4; 4:18-21; 2 Cor.1:18; Tit.1:1-2; Heb.6:17;  1 Jn.5:9-10,20)
We too, must always set the God of Truth before us in ALL that we do or say.       We too must always be honest and sincere.

2 Cor.1:19 For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us, even by me and Silvanus and Timotheus, was not yea and nay, but in him was yea. (KJV)

For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us, even by me and Silvanus and Timotheus . . . Paul says that if I have changed my plan through carnal or worldly interests, then I must have had the same interest in view when I first preached the Gospel of Jesus Christ to you, with Silvanus and Timotheus. Paul gives a reason why he had made truth and sincerity so much his business (which same reason forces us also, who are as much bound as was Paul, to stand firm in our faith in Christ). Silvanus and Timotheus (1 Thes.1:1; 2 Thes.1:1; 1 Pet.5:12), were both ministers who (as well as Apollos) had labored in the Gospel among the Corinthians.
Timothy alone, is mentioned more often: (Rom.16:21; 1 Cor.4:17; 16:10; Phil.1:1; 2:19; Col.1:1; 1 Thes.3:2,6).
Was not yea and nay, but in him was yea . . . Jesus Christ, whom both I, and other ministers of the Gospel, have preached to you, is NEVER uncertain and inconstant . . . He is NEVER one thing at one time, and another thing at another time, for He is One and the same ALL the time! His doctrine, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, is always certain and uniform, and consistent with itself. Paul’s lifestyle was suitable to Christ and His doctrine, and so too should ours be.

2 Cor.1:20 For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us. (KJV)

For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us . . .
Paul asks them: Had we been light, fickle, worldly-minded persons, comforted with worldly interest . . . would God have confirmed our testimony among you? Did we not lay before you the Promises of God? And did not God fulfill those Promises by us, by our being instrumental in your salvation and His own glory? God is true; therefore every Promise of God is true; and as a result each Promise must have its due fulfillment. God will NOT make use of trifling, worldly men, as the instruments by which He will fulfill His Promises . . . but He has fulfilled those Promises by us; therefore we are just, righteous and spiritual men, or else God would not have used us. In him are yea, and in him amen . . . all the Promises which God has made to mankind are yea . . . true in themselves, and amen . . . faithfully fulfilled to them who believe in Christ Jesus. The Promises are all made in reference to Christ; for it is ONLY in the Gospel of Jesus Christ that we can have Promises of grace . . . for it is ONLY there that we can have God’s mercy bestowed on us. Therefore, the Promises of God comes by Christ, and it has its fulfillment in and through Christ, and this is to the glory of God, and is brought by the preaching of Paul and his helpers.

2 Cor.1:21 Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God; (KJV)

Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God . . . it is God that has brought both us and you to this sure state of salvation through Christ; and he has anointed us, giving us the extraordinary influences of the Holy Ghost, that we might be able to effectually administer this Gospel to your salvation. Through this Gospel, we know and preach the truth, and are preserved by it from dishonesty and falsehood of every kind.

2 Cor.1:22 Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts. (KJV)

Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts . . . the Holy Spirit deeply impresses His truth and image on our hearts; and by the miraculous gifts of the Holy Spirit, confirms the truth of our extraordinary calling to the ministry.
And given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts . . . fromthis sealing we have a clear testimony in our souls, that the Holy Spirit dwells constantly in us (Rom.8:9), and that our acceptance with God, and our ways please Him. Holy Spirit abiding in Believers: (Jn.14:17,23; Rom.5:5; 8:9; 1 Cor.2:12; 3:16; 6:19; 12:7; 14:25; 2 Cor.6:16; Gal.4:6; Eph.2:22; Phil.2:13; 2 Tim.1:14; 1 Pet.1:11; 1 Jn.2:27; 4:12).

I have brought an excerpt from our commentary of Ephesians that may help with our being sealed by the Holy Spirit:
Ephesians 1:13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, (KJV)
In whom ye also trusted . . . after they embraced the Gospel, they trusted Christ Jesus to save them. Ye is the Ephesians and other Gentiles.
After that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation . . . the Gospel is so called because it contains the most excellent and necessary of all truths, the doctrine of righteousness and life by Jesus Christ. The gospel of your salvation . . . as being the means whereby God works faith, and brings to salvation (Rom.1:12; Heb.2:3).
In whom also after that ye believed . . . is referring to believers, and then it shows by virtue of whom this benefit of sealing is bestowed . . . by benefit of Christ.
Ye were sealed with that holy Spirit . . . ye were secured and established of your right to the heavenly inheritance, which is done by the Holy Spirit's affecting on the soul the work of regeneration. Sealed and confirmed as God's children, by the Holy Spirit as the seal (Acts 19:1-6; Rom.8:16,23; 2 Cor.1:22; 1 Jn3:24). A seal stamped on a document gives absolute validity to the contract (Jn.3:33; 6:27; 2 Cor.3:3). The sense here is that "the love of God shed abroad in the heart by the Holy Ghost" (Rom.5:5), and the adoption established through the Spirit at regeneration (Jn.1:12-13; 3:3-8; Rom.8:15-16), assures believers of God's good will to them. The Spirit, like a seal, stamps on the soul at regeneration, the image of our Father. The "sealing" by the Holy Spirit is spoken of as past once for all. It witnesses to our hearts that we are the children of God, and heirs (verse 11), and is the Holy Spirit's present testimony, the "earnest of the (coming) inheritance" (Rom.8:16-18). 
The Holy Spirit of Promise: (Joel 2:28; Zec.12:10; Jn.7:38-39). Those who "believed the word of truth" are sealed by the Spirit accordingly.
This is a marvelous Truth. God gives us an eternal inheritance! He rewards us for something we have not done. It is the overall purpose and plan of God that believers should be joint heirs with Christ (Rom.8:17).
Jesus has done three marvelous things for us: #1. He's redeemed us with His blood; #2. He's revealed the mystery of His will; and #3. He rewards us with an eternal inheritance. How wonderful this is. We can't lose! We belong to Him because He paid a price to redeem us.
Ephesians 1:14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory. (KJV)
Which is the earnest of our inheritance . . . earnest is a down payment. The Holy Spirit, given to and indwelling believers by His gifts and graces, is the earnest or pledge whereby their inheritance is secured to them; as men are secured by the payment of a promised sum, by a part given beforehand in earnest for the rest. Our inheritance: (Jn.14:2-3; 1 Pet:1:2-5).
Until the redemption of the purchased possession . . . the redemption is full and final redemption from sin, death, Hell and Satan; which redemption although perfectly created by Christ, is just in part applied in this life, for it is to be fully enjoyed in the other. The full and final redemption in the end of the world, of all God's people, who are here called His purchased possession (Acts 20:29; 1 Pet.2:9).
Unto the praise of his glory . . . the final step of salvation

2 Cor.1:23 Moreover I call God for a record upon my soul, that to spare you I came not as yet unto Corinth. (KJV)

Moreover I call God for a record upon my soul, that to spare you I came not as yet unto Corinth . . . Paul here resumes the subject that he left in verse 16, and in the most solemn manner calls God to witness and to punish, if he declared anything false, that it was through tenderness to them that he did not visit Corinth at the time planned. As there were so many scandals among them, Paul had reason to believe that he would be forced to use the severe and forceful part of his job in excommunicating those who had sinned, and delivering them over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh. See excerpt below from 1 Corinthians:
1 Cor. 5:5  To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. (KJV)
To deliver such a one unto Satan . . . there is no evidence that delivering one to Satan was any form of excommunication known either among the Jews or the Christians. This was a kind of punishment administered in extraordinary cases, in which the body and the mind of an incorrigible transgressor were delivered by the authority of God unto the power of Satan, to be tortured with diseases and terrors as a warning to all people. While the body and mind were in this way tormented, the immortal spirit was under the influence of the God’s mercy; and the affliction, in all probability, was in general only for a season (a certain time period); although it seems that sometimes it meant death, as the destruction of the flesh seems to imply.
Since the soul found mercy at God’s Hand; while the flesh was destroyed, the spirit was saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. I am a firm believer that NO such power as this remains in the Church today. This was one of those Divine judgments that existed only in the baby church.
Any pretenses to it today are as wicked as they are vain. The power mentioned here is the same power by which Ananias and Sapphira were struck dead (Acts 5:1-11), and Elymas the sorcerer struck blind (Acts 13:8-11). ONLY the apostles alone were entrusted with that power! This power does NOT exist today! There are no apostles today, only disciples!

It is plain:
#1. That Paul's doctrine had been opposed by some Corinthians (1 Cor.15:12).
#2. Paul’s apostleship was questioned (1 Cor.9:1-2; 2 Cor.12:13).
#3. Paul was despised, and treated as a person who, because he was so aware of his own worthlessness, dared not to come (1 Cor.4:18).

2 Cor.1:24 Not for that we have dominion over your faith, but are helpers of your joy: for by faith ye stand. (KJV)

Not for that we have dominion over your faith, but are helpers of your joy . . . Paul is saying: I am not the bishop of your souls. I am not trying to lord it over you. You have complete freedom in Christ. Paul just wanted to help in their joy.
For by faith ye stand . . . Paul tells them that they must stand firm in their faith. Paul stayed away so that their faith might be strengthened and that they might grow in the Lord. He had hoped to come to promote their joy, and increase their spiritual happiness, by watering the seed which he had already planted. This is one of the reasons why God allows many of us to undergo certain hardships and difficulties in our lives.

Comment:
I think that we should pay close attention to what Paul says here. The saints of God (TRUE believers) are indeed by grace, and established in family of God. Grace is an extremely important doctrine of Scripture (Acts 15:11; Rom.3:24; 4:16; 5:15; 11:6; Gal.2:16; Eph.2:5,8; 2 Tim.1:0; Tit.2:11; 3:7; Heb.13:9).
And here Paul, by the Holy Ghost declares, that God's people, when they are regenerated, are brought into unity with Christ, and our interest in Him is established and anointed. And He, the Holy Spirit, that does this mighty act, and has sealed, as well as anointed the Church, is God! God who has also given us an earnest of His work by His Spirit in our hearts. Regeneration is said to establish the child of God in grace. It should be understood, that all the Persons of the Godhead agree to it. By the electing grace God the Father, He establishes them in Christ (Jn.15:16; Eph.1:4; 1 Pet.1:2). They are given to Him (Jn.10:29), accepted in Him (Jn.3:3-8; Jn.5:24; 1 Cor.6:9; 1 Thes.2:12; Tit.2:11-14),  justified in Him (Rom.3:22,28; 4:5,11; 5:1,9,18; 8:30,33), sanctified in Him (Jn.17:17; Rom.15:16; 1 Cor.1:2,30; Eph.5:26); and given eternal life in Him (Jn.1:4,12; 3:15-16,36; 5:24; 6:47-54; 10:10,28; 14:6,19; 17:2).
Because Christ lives, they shall live also. And they are anointed and sealed, as the Scripture says, by the earnest of the Spirit in their hearts. A regenerated soul has unified testimony of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost.
What about that person whose mind is flooded with doubts, fears and misgivings? My friend, as long as there is any doubt remaining in the mind; whether Christ has or has not accomplished deliverance for His people; and as long as the child of God doubts and fears of his interest in Christ, there can be NO solid, substantial joy and comfort in the soul. BUT . . . how sweet is it when the soul is regenerated, anointed in Christ and sealed with the earnest of the Spirit in their heart, and all doubts and fears disappear!

Sad to say, there is endless uncertainty in some precious, but weak saints that doubt their salvation, but that does by no means weaken, or make void, the doctrine of the Gospel. Every TRUE child of God wants to know for sure, on something so important, and the Bible tells us we can know if we have eternal life!
John 20:31 But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name. (KJV)  . . . What John records in his Gospel, is to give full proof that Jesus Christ is God; that He is the promised Messiah; and that He really suffered and rose again from the dead; and that through Him every believer might have eternal life (Jn.3:15-16; 17:2-3; Rom.5:21; 6:22-23; 1 Jn.2:25; 5:13,20). John wrote this Gospel, the biography of our Lord Jesus Christ, to encourage and persuade his readers to believe that Jesus Christ was the Son of God; a thing which was of great concern to them, and that eternal life depended on it; for it is ONLY through Jesus’ Name alone, that eternal life can be obtained (Jn.14:6; Acts 4:12).
1 John 5:13 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God. (KJV)  . . . John is writing to those who believe in the Son of God, so that they may KNOW they have eternal life. John says the same thing in his Gospel. John 20:31 But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name. (KJV)
1 John 5:20 And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life. (KJV)
We know that Christ Jesus, God’s Son, has come to help us understand the TRUE God. And now we are in God because we are in Jesus Christ His Son, who is the only true God and eternal Life (Jn.17:2). The third “(we know”) certainty is ‘we have fellowship with the true God’.
We have knowledge that Christ is who He said He is (1 John 1:2; 3:5, 8; 5:10-12; John 1:1, 18; 14:21; 17:3, 21-23). Christ Jesus is our Redeemer, and our Revealer. He is a divine Person! We not only ‘know’ Him, but we ‘abide’ in Him, and He in us! He is our Life, both here on Earth, and in the future, for eternity! If you ‘know’ and ‘have’ Him, you HAVE eternal Life, (John 5:24; 14:6), for He IS Eternal Life! Without Christ Jesus, there is everlasting destruction in Hell (eternal death). If you have not accepted Christ as your Saviour and Lord, it is NOT too late! God is speaking to your heart, right now! Do NOT reject His precious love, that He so graciously and willingly offers to you. The ‘Gift’ He holds in His Hands is yours for the taking . . . NO charge; eternal life in Heaven. Just reach out and grab hold of it, and it’s yours! God loves you!
The reason John states here is that we may ‘KNOW’ we have eternal life. In my years of teaching, it saddens me when I ask the question: “Are you going to Heaven?” or, "Do you have eternal life?" The answer I receive most often is: “I hope so.” It is extremely rare to hear, Yes, I am going to Heaven. Eternal life is NOT based on feelings (whether or not we feel close to God); but instead it is based on facts! It is a FACT that all who believe on the Name of Jesus have possession of eternal life now! 1 John 5:11-12 And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. [KJV] . . . Do you have the Son of God in your heart? If you do, you HAVE eternal life, NOW!
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (KJV) . . . ‘Perish’ means everlasting destruction in Hell. (2 Thes.1:9).
John 5:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. [KJV] . . . Please notice one word in this verse: “HATH” or has. If you believe in Jesus as your Lord and Saviour, you HAVE eternal life . . . NOW! You will face physical death (unless Jesus comes at the Rapture 1 Thes.4:13-18), BUT ‘eternal death’ (Hell), you shall NEVER see!
John 3:36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him. [KJV] . . . Again, the word “HATH”. You have it now, IF you believe on the Son!
John 6:40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day. [KJV] . . . If we ‘see’ Jesus with our heart, and believe on Him, we HAVE eternal life . . . and . . . we will be resurrected one day, so that we shall be ‘bodily’ in Heaven one day!
John 6:47 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life. [KJV] . . . Again!!! “HATH.” Any time Jesus uses the words “Verily, verily,” what He is about to say is extremely important. I think it is so very important that we KNOW in our hearts (for sure), that we have eternal life. We simply cannot have peace and joy in our lives if we are not sure! If you have Jesus, you HAVE eternal life; because Jesus IS eternal life! You have no need to worry. God has promised it to all those who accept His Son. God cannot lie (Tit.1:2), so it is guaranteed! Believe on the Name of the Son of God, and eternal life is yours!

Our Awesome God is called: 
#1. The Father of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Cor.1:3; 11:31; Eph.1:3; 3:14; Col.1:3)
#2. The Father of Mercies (2 Cor.1:3)
#3. The God of all Comfort (2 Cor.1:3)
#4. The Father of Glory (Eph.1:17)
#5. The Father of All (Eph.4:6)
#6. The Father of Spirits (Heb.12:9)
#7. The Father of Lights (Jam.1:17)
#8. The God of Peace (Rom.15:33; 16:20; 1 Cor.14:33; Phil.4:9; 1 Thes.5:23; Heb.13:20)
#9. The God of Peace and Love (2 Cor.13:11)
#10. The God of truth (Deut.32:4; Ps.31:5; 86:15; Isa.25:1; 65:16)

Things we should not be ignorant of: 
#1. God's faithfulness (2 Cor.1:8-10)
#2. Gospel responsibility (Rom.1:11-18)
#3. Spiritual gifts (1 Cor.12)
#4. God's purpose, and love for Israel (Rom.11:25-32)
#5. The resurrection and future life (1 Cor.15; 1 Thes.4:13-18)
#6. God's judgments on backsliders (1 Cor.10:1-13)
#7. God’s Promises to TRUE believers (Mat.25:32-34,46; Jn.3:15-16; 5:24; 14:2-3; 1 Pet.1:3-5)
#8. God’s Promises to unbelievers (Mat.25:32-33, 41-46; Mk.16:16; Jn.3:18,36; Heb.2:3; 12:25; 1 Jn.5:10; Rev.20:15)
#9. IF a person takes the strait gate and narrow way, Jesus will light the path and be constantly with them (Jn.1:4,9; 8:12; 12:46; Eph.5:14; Heb.13:5-6)
#10. Jesus is your Friend, IF you obey Him (Jn.14:15,21-24; 15:10-14; Jam.2:23)

Godly Sincerity 
#1. Does not exempt us from guilt (Ge,20).
#2. Must accompany forgiveness (Mat.18:35).
#3. Is a command (Josh.24:14; 1 Cor.5:8).
#4. Must portray our service (Eph.6:5-7; 1 Cor.10:31; Tit.2:7)
#5. Must portray our love for God (2 Cor.8:8,24)
#6. Must portray our love to Jesus (Eph.6:24)
#7. Must portray our faith (1 Tim.5)
#8. Must portray our love to others (Rom.12:9)
#9. Must portray our preaching and teaching (2 Cor.2:17; 1 Thes.2:3-5)
#10. Must depict our whole lifestyle (2 Cor.1:12)
#11. Godly sincerity is a characteristic of truth and honesty (1 Pet.2:2)

3 Godly things in 2 Corinthians:  
#1. Godly sincerity (2 Cor.1:12)
#2. Godly sorrow (2 Cor.7:10)
#3. Godly jealousy (2 Cor.11:2)

2 Corinthians

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