Paul’s ‘Second’ Letter to the Corinthians, by Rick Kelley
Having already corresponded with the Corinthian brethren repeatedly, this second inspired letter is yet another turbulent one. Paul is thankful that some of his instructions (particularly those concerning the man engaged in an incestuous lifestyle) have been received with repentance (2 Cor. 2:5-11; 7:8-10). But trouble is still afoot in the ancient City of Vice.
Paul’s wisdom and authority as an apostle are still under fire by those who remain convinced he is nothing but a blowhard: “His letters are weighty and strong, but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech of no account” (2 Cor. 10:10).
Paul’s longsuffering kindness was seen as weakness. He invites them to compare his character and ministry with those who spite him. Have any of them worked harder, suffered more, or experienced greater privilege from the Lord (2 Cor. 11:16-12:13)? Rhetorical questions, of course.
Meanwhile, more pressing matters, like a vowed lump of financial support for a struggling Jerusalem church, remained unfulfilled, and needed collected (2 Cor. 8:8-11).
Paul still intends to pay the worldly saints of Corinth a visit, but fears what he will find upon arrival. He hopes they will at last respond in full to his inspired correspondence (12:20-21). Either way, he’ll do as he must when he arrives (13:10).
Stubborn and worldly as they were, the spirit of some of the Corinthian saints is undoubtedly still alive in congregations today.