We go on to 2 Cor 1:15-24
Note: Paul now begins to reveal to us, teach us, about how he approaches life.
v15: Confidence: Assurance. A word of security. Paul is sure. He is certain. G-d does not reveal things to us so that we are left in doubt about anything. He reveals things to us that leave us with no doubt. We can have absolute assurance regarding what He has said.
- Intended: Wanted. Purposed. Planned.
- (literally)To you to come: The word order is unique in the Greek. The emphasis is not the journey, but the purpose of the journey is emphasised – Paul wanted to be with the Corinthian people.
- Before: Previously
- Second benefit: Double (grace). This is a word that is often related to the word grace. Paul wanted to go to them and speak more about the grace of G-d to them (G-d’s plans and purposes for their lives).
v16: Pass by way of you to Macedonia: Paul had planned to firstly visit the Corinthian congregation, and from there he intended to go into Macedonia.
- Come again from Macedonia to you: Paul intended to visit them a second time – on his way back from Macedonia.
- Judea: The capital of Judea was Jerusalem. Paul’s intent was to do ministry and then he was going to complete this time of ministry by going to Jerusalem to worship G-d. Paul recognized that any good work that he did was through G-d in him. When good things happen in our lives, and in the lives of other people, G-d needs to get all the praise.
v17: Lightly: With frivolity. A word which means to give little thought to. To make a decision without considering everything that would be involved with it. This is not how Paul made his decisions. He did not make this decision lightly but gave it careful consideration.
- Yes would be yes or the no, no: It is popular even today (especially in politics) to answer a question by saying “yes and no”. “Yes and no” is an answer that tries to please everybody, it tries to accomplish everything while doing nothing. Paul was not this kind of person: a “yes and no” man. He did not want to leave people uncertain about his intentions, but he wanted everything to be clear. Paul did not make his decisions according to his flesh, but he made them in order that his ‘yes’ was actually ‘yes’ and his ‘no’ was indeed ‘no’.
v18: G-d is faithful: G-d was faithful to reveal His plans to Paul and based on those plans Paul was able to make the correct decision.
- Our word to you was not yes and no: Paul’s word was not uncertain. Paul was very dogmatic. What he said and did was with clarity and assurance because it came from G-d – who was faithful to lead him and give him wisdom and insight.
v19: Messiah Yeshua … among you: Yeshua was among them even in this very wicked city.
- Preached: Proclaimed. First and foremost, Paul went to Corinth to proclaim that Yeshua was the Messiah.
- Our word …was not yes and no: There was nothing uncertain about their preaching of Messiah.
- ‘Yes’ in Him: Certainty and clarity are found in Messiah (as we shall see in 2 Cor 1:20 this ‘yes’ is referring to the promises of G-d).
Note: (YES in Him) It was, is, and will be: This is a unique Greek word and is written in the perfect tense. It is a word that usually speaks about something (an event or a happening etc) taking place or coming into being. By using this word here Paul is revealing to us that this ‘Yes’ has been accomplished in the past, it is still relevant right now and will continue to be relevant into the future.
v20: All: As many. To the degree or extent of.
- Promises of G-d: These are not like the ordinary promises that we would make. Often, even with the best intentions, we cannot fulfil our promises. This never happens to G-d. He is always able to fulfil His promises. His promises give us assurance. He has promised us eternal life and He can deliver eternal life. His promises are true.
- In Him (Yeshua): If we do not have a covenantal relationship with Messiah these promises, although G-d’s able to deliver them, are not going to be received by us as G-d does not reward our disobedience. Disobedience can cancel out, delay or hinder the promises of G-d being a reality in our lives.
- Amen: True. This is a word that means we can believe what is being said, we can trust it as it is related to truth.
- Glory: When we behave according to the mindset that what we are doing is for the glory of G-d then we can be assured that G-d’s promises are going to be experienced by us. If we are not behaving for G-d’s glory, then we will not be in a place to take hold of His promises. They are still there, they are still available, but we would not be able to access them if we were in disobedience.
v21: He (G-d) who establishes us: It is G-d who makes us steadfast. When we walk in truth, with our goal being His glory, the Holy Spirit works in our lives to make us steadfast, to edify us, to build us up, to establish us.
- Establishes us with you: Being made steadfast is not unique to Paul or a handful of leaders. G-d wants to make the Corinthian congregation steadfast; He wants to make us steadfast.
- For Messiah: Many Bibles will translate this ‘in Messiah’ but here we have a different word. This tells us that we have been made steadfast for Messiah. How we behave should not be out of selfish motivation, it is not about us, but it is all FOR Him. We need to behave in a way to bring Him glory.
- Anointed us: G-d anointed us. When we are for Messiah, we experience G-d’s anointing. Paul is not speaking here about the indwelling of the Holy Spirit or about being filled with the Spirit. This is speaking about an anointing that comes in order to equip us to do G-d’s will.
v22: Sealed us: Not only did G-d anoint us and establish us steadfastly but he has also sealed us and given us His Holy Spirit.
- The Spirit in our hearts: Every believer has the indwelling Holy Spirit.
- Hearts: We should always see ‘heart’ as being related to our mind, our thoughts etc.
- Deposit: A guarantee. A down payment. The deposit of the Holy Spirit in our lives shows that G-d is sincere. It is evidence or proof that He will finish the work that He began in us.
v23: I call G-d as witness against my soul: Paul is letting us know that this is very serious.
- G-d as witness: The testimony of G-d. Some people interpret this to be that Paul is calling upon himself as a witness for G-d. Others interpret it to mean that G-d bears witness with Paul in what he is going to tell the Corinthian congregation.
- I came no more to Corinth: Earlier on we were told that Paul had made a decision and had purposed to visit Corinth twice. He did not make this decision based on fleshly wisdom and he did not make that decision lightly. He made the decision thinking about the promises of G-d. He did it under the anointing of the Holy Spirit. Now he is telling them that this was not yet the right time to come to them.
V24: We: Paul, Timothy, Silas and other leaders.
- Have dominion over your faith: The Corinthian congregation were believers, and they had the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. G-d could work in their lives to the same extent, even if Paul and his companions were not there. Paul was someone who believed greatly in the ministry of the Holy Spirit in the life of believers to bring about change and to mature them – with or without great human leaders being present.
- Your joy: Paul’s motivation was that they would have the joy of the L-rd. It is very important to note that the joy of the L-rd comes through working together with other believers for the purposes and glory of G-d to be realized.
- Faith: Faith is foundational. Faith is related to truth. It is by the truth of G-d that we stand. When we are walking in faith, when we are embracing the truth of G-d, we will stand.
- Stand: Written in the perfect tense which reveals to us that they stood in the past, they are standing now and into the future they will continue to stand. As opposition to our faith becomes more regular, we have been called to stand.