2 Corinthians 1:12-14 For our proud confidence is this: the testimony of our conscience, that in holiness and godly sincerity, not in fleshly wisdom but in the grace of God, we have conducted ourselves in the world, and especially toward you. For we write nothing else to you than what you read and understand, and I hope you will understand until the end; just as you also partially did understand us, that we are your reason to be proud as you also are ours, in the day of our Lord Jesus. NKJV
Paul as we documented in the last study in Volume 3 came up against much resistance when he first entered into the city of Corinth. However, Paul was visited by our Lord Jesus Christ in the night by way of a vision as recorded for us by Dr. Luke in Acts 18:9-10. After this visit from our Lord Jesus, Paul knew that there would be many in this Gentile city of Corinth to turn to Christ in repentance and faith and become his brothers and sisters in Christ. Again with these facts brought to his memory, Paul announces to these Corinthian believers the testimony or maturion of his own conscience regarding how he conducted himself on the previous two occasions he was physically in their presence. This Greek word maturion means the witness or something evidential or the evidence given to his own heart/mind or inner man of the simplicity or haplotes meaning the singleness, sincerity, mental honesty, and the virtue of one who is free from pretense and hypocrisy, not self-seeking, but openness of heart manifesting itself by generosity.
Paul will declare to them later on in this same letter these words testifying to his Apostleship and his love for them, “For I consider myself not in the least inferior to the most eminent apostles. But even if I am unskilled in speech, yet I am not so in knowledge; in fact, in every way we have made this evident to you in all things. Or did I commit a sin in humbling myself so that you might be exalted, because I preached the gospel of God to you without charge? I robbed other churches by taking wages from them to serve you; and when I was present with you and was in need, I was not a burden to anyone; for when the brethren came from Macedonia they fully supplied my need, and in everything I kept myself from being a burden to you, and will continue to do so. As the truth of Christ is in me, this boasting of mine will not be stopped in the regions of Achaia. Why? Because I do not love you? God knows I do!” (2 Corinthians 11:5-11).
Paul was not going about boasting on the fact or reality of his Apostleship, but instead he wanted to boast or rejoice in the way or manner he was empowered by God the Holy Spirit to live in “godly sincerity” before them, not taking from them but giving to them spiritual nourishment that he himself received from God, as he declares in the very next chapter with these words, “For we are not like many, peddling the word of God, but as from sincerity, but as from God, we speak in Christ in the sight of God” (2 Corinthians 2:17). Paul was never using God’s Holy Word to make a profit for himself but he wanted to dispense God’s Word knowing that it was the only hope for sinful humanity. Paul as an Apostle and as their spiritual father (1 Corinthians 4:15) could have commanded them to supply all of his physical or material needs (1 Corinthians 9:11-15) but instead he did not as he declares here, “I have become foolish; you yourselves compelled me. Actually I should have been commended by you, for in no respect was I inferior to the most eminent apostles, even though I am a nobody. The signs of a true apostle were performed among you with all perseverance, by signs and wonders and miracles. For in what respect were you treated as inferior to the rest of the churches, except that I myself did not become a burden to you? Forgive me this wrong! Here for this third time I am ready to come to you, and I will not be a burden to you; for I do not seek what is yours, but you; for children are not responsible to save up for their parents, but parents for their children. I will most gladly spend and be expended for your souls. If I love you more, am I to be loved less?” (2 Corinthians 12:11-15).
Paul wants them to understand all that he has written to them, because he as a true Apostle, does not boast in outward temporal things, but his boasting and rejoicing has always been and will always be in them. The fact that God the Holy Spirit took his weak words spoken in fear and trembling (1 Corinthians 2:3) and regenerated them and they were born again of incorruptible seed by the Word of God is Paul’s boast. Paul declares to them that they should rejoice in the fact that they got to meet him and hear the gospel of grace that redeemed and rescued some of them from the most heinous and gross sins (1 Corinthians 6:11) and made them new creations in Christ Jesus our Lord (2 Corinthians 5:17). Paul knew that at that time they did not comprehend the magnitude of his ministry to them or his person among them but “in the Day of the Lord” everything that Paul ever spoke or wrote to them would become crystal clear as they stand in the Presence of Perfect Love and Glorious Compassion that is Jesus Christ our Lord. Paul’s rejoicing and boasting in that same day will be that he (the chief of sinners) was used in some capacity to turn around the eternal destiny of these Gentile Corinthians in a city dominated by idolatry and sexual immorality and occult practices, but these who heard the gospel and believed he will spend eternity with loving and worshipping Christ Jesus our Lord (1 Thessalonians 2:19).
“The last words of the text-‘the day of the Lord Jesus’-recall a very similar passage in 1 Thessalonians 2:19: ‘What is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing-is it not even ye-before our Lord Jesus at His coming?’ In both cases our minds are lifted to that great presence in which St. Paul habitually lived; and as we stand there our disagreements sink into their true proportions; our judgments of each other are seen in their true colors. No one will rejoice then that he has made evil out of good, that he has cunningly perverted simple actions, that he has discovered the infirmities of preachers, or set the saints at variance; the joy will be for those who have loved and trusted each other, who have borne each other’s faults and labored for their healing, who have believed all things, hoped all things, endured all things, rather than be parted from each other by any failure of love. The mutual confidence of Christian ministers and Christian people will then, after all its trials, have its exceeding great reward.” Expositors Bible Commentary (written by 29 eminent scholars who were also preachers 1887-1896)
“There is no greater joy here on the earth than to be aware that you were used by God to see just one sinner changed into a saint and his or her destiny of hell changed to that of heaven with our Lord Jesus Christ.” Clifford D. Tate, Sr.
If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ and His amazing healing power, pray this from your heart to the Lord Jesus Christ (you speaking directly to Him), Dear Lord Jesus, I confess to You that I am a sinner and I need Your forgiveness. I believe You shed Your Blood and died for my sins. I believe that You rose from the dead proving that You alone are God. I repent of my sins. I want to turn from my sins. I ask You Dear Lord Jesus to come into my heart and take control of my life. I want You to be my Lord, Savior, and my God. Amen...
Sincerely in Christ,
Clifford D. Tate, Sr.
Author of “Silent Assassins of the Soul - Are you Broken by Pornography and Masturbation? You can be Restored by the Lord Jesus Christ and brought into Deliverance, Freedom, and Victory! A Guide for Men and Women in the Enemy’s Crosshairs” e-book available now @ Amazon Kindle, @ Apple I Bookstore for IPod, Barnes and Noble for Nook, Reader Store for Sony Reade, Kobo, Copia, Gardners, Baker and Taylor, and eBookPie…