2 Corinthians 1:15-16 And in this confidence I was minded to come unto you before, that ye might have a second benefit; 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
Paul did not want to come to them again except in the complete trust that they understood that his boast was purely and simply in them and the fact that they were made new by the Power of God the Holy Spirit. Paul was not seeking things but them and their seeing him in truth and not according to the lies spoken against him by enemies of the Cross of Christ. Paul’s desire was to come to them as he journeyed into Macedonia and to receive help or aid or assistance from them as he continued on into Judea, as Paul wrote to them as he ended his first letter with these words, “But I will come to you after I go through Macedonia, for I am going through Macedonia; and perhaps I will stay with you, or even spend the winter, so that you may send me on my way wherever I may go. For I do not wish to see you now just in passing; for I hope to remain with you for some time, if the Lord permits” (1 Corinthians 16:5-7). Back then they were not privy to quick modes of transportation as we are today, therefore, Paul wanted to spend as long a time with them in person or in the flesh as possible and yet still meet his other responsibilities he had to the other churches as well. Paul knew that to be able to impart spiritual blessings to these believers would require time spent teaching them the truth of the Word of God, even going over and over many truths because it is exactly the way our Lord Jesus Himself taught when He walked the earth as the God-Man.
2 Corinthians 1:17-20 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? But as God is true, our word toward you was not yea and nay. 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. For all the promises of God in Him are yea, and in Him Amen, unto the glory of God by us. KJV
Paul wanted them to understand that when he purposes to do something it is always done in accordance to the will of God and not from his own fleshly desires. Paul has already written in 2 Corinthians 1:12 that he conducted himself in their presence with “godly sincerity” and he is not being unreliable when he declares that he will come to them at a certain time or by a certain way. Paul wants them to be fully confident that he means what he says every time when he affirms something in the positive or the negative. Paul declares his word to be reliable and not false or faithless to them. The fact that he had to change his travel plan was not because of him wanting to gratify some selfish fleshly desire, but because his circumstances changed and it required him to change along with them. Paul wants them to believe that he never says yes to something while in his heart he really means no or not to do what he said yes to do, this would be totally inconsistent with his love for our Lord Jesus Christ and for them. Paul declares to them that just as our Lord Jesus commanded us to be in our communications with one another when He said, “Again, you have heard that the ancients were told, ‘You shall not make false vows, but shall fulfill your vows to the Lord.’ But I say to you, make no oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, or by the earth, for it is the footstool of His feet, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. Nor shall you make an oath by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black. But let your statement be, ‘Yes, yes’ or ‘No, no’; anything beyond these is of evil” (Matthew 5:33-37). Paul’s desire is to honor what our Lord Jesus commanded and taught always in his communication.
2 Corinthians 1:21-22 Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God; Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts. KJV
Paul declares that it is God the Father who has established or babeioo them and him and us today in Christ, meaning to make us firm and sure and confirmed “in Christ” being steadfast and enduring “in Him” and being free from change, fluctuation, or variation. Paul declares that He has anointed or chrio us “in Christ” meaning we are furnished with what we need which implies that we are consecrated or set apart or ordained and devoted and blessed and sanctified for a high purpose. Paul also declares that we are sealed or sphragizo meaning to set a seal upon, mark with a seal, to seal for security from satan since things sealed up are concealed (as the contents of a letter); to mark a person or a thing; to set a mark upon by the impress of a seal or a stamp; as angels are said to be sealed by God in order to prove, confirm, or attest a thing; to confirm and authenticate; to prove or affirm one’s testimony beyond doubt to a person that he is what he professes to be. Paul affirms these Corinthians and him and us to be authentic by the earnest or down payment or security of the Holy Spirit in our hearts always convicting us of sin or affirming us in our walk with our Lord Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit “in us” is the foretaste of the complete glory that will be revealed “in us” when we see Christ in heaven (Romans 8:30), for we are yet to see our glorification (though it is already done) we are aware of the Holy Spirit living in us. It is the presence of God the Holy Spirit living in us that makes us different or the “new creations” we are keeping us from ever being able again to live “in sin” and take pleasure in it or enjoy it or rejoice in a lifestyle of pleasing our old sinful nature, for when we sin He convicts us and we cannot rest or have peace until we turn and repent of that sin in our heart and life.
2 Corinthians 1:23-24 & 2 Corinthians 2:1-2 Moreover I call God for a record upon my soul, that to spare you I came not as yet unto Corinth. Not for that we have dominion over your faith, but are helpers of your joy: for by faith ye stand. But I determined this with myself, that I would not come again to you in heaviness. For if I make you sorry, who is he then that maketh me glad, but the same which is made sorry by me? KJV
Paul now finally gets to his solemn, sincere, and sober primary declaration and that is that he had not come again yet to the Corinthian believers in person to spare or pheidomai them, meaning to exercise great caution and wariness being lenient or tolerant toward them. Paul knew that he was going to have to use severity in his speech to them in person because of all the envy, strife, lawsuits, sexual immorality, jealousy, irreverence to the Lord’s Supper, chaotic corporate worship, etc. that was constantly being expressed amongst them in their fellowship and in order that he would not make them sorrowful he determined and purposed to put off his coming to them to give them more time to repent so that he would not be filled with sorrow himself on account of making them sorrowful. Paul longed to come to them in gentleness and not with a rod as he warned them early on in the first letter with these words, “But I will come to you soon, if the Lord wills, and I shall find out, not the words of those who are arrogant but their power. For the kingdom of God does not consist in words but in power. What do you desire? Shall I come to you with a rod, or with love and a spirit of gentleness?” (1 Corinthians 4:19-21) and with this fresh on his mind, he declares to them that this is the reason he has not come to them yet, wanting desperately to spare or pheidomai them his indignation at their folly and to spare or pheidomai himself heaviness or lupe meaning sadness, grief, sorrow, pain or mourning over their unchanged condition and his mandate to speak the truth to them in love, even the harsh truth.
“Christ is God’s attestation to His promises. All these have received their seal in the words, sufferings and resurrection of our Lord. In Jesus God says Yea to the yearnings and prayers of human hearts, and Amen (verily) to all the ten thousand promises of Scripture. He who rests on Christ stands in the focal point of certainty and assurance. Not one good thing shall fail him of all that has been promised. 2 Corinthians 1:21 is full of comfort. God alone can give us a settled and established position. He anoints us for service; seals us with His Spirit for safety, likeness, and authentication; and in this way gives us the earnest and foretaste of heaven, as the grapes of Eschol were the pledge and foretaste of Canaan.” F. B. Meyer
“The apostle gives a good reason why he did not come to Corinth, as was expected, 2 Corinthians 1:23. It was that he might spare them. They ought therefore to own his kindness and tenderness. He knew there were things amiss among them, and such as deserved censure, but was desirous to show tenderness. He assures them that this is the true reason, after this very solemn manner: I call God for a record upon my soul - a way of speaking not justifiable where used in trivial matters; but this was very justifiable in the apostle, for his necessary vindication, and for the credit and usefulness of his ministry, which was struck at by his opposers.” Matthew Henry
“Paul was so distraught at the task of severely rebuking these Corinthian believers for their sin, rebellion, and disobedience, that he did not come to them right away but gave them more time to repent of their sin and rebellion so that he would not have to make them sorrowful with his rod of rebuke which would have brought great heaviness or lupe or sorrow and sadness to his own heart.” 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…