Christian Basics Bible Sampler - Page 35

page 1325 • 2 Corinthians 2
the Lord J­esus* returns, you will be proud
of us in the same way we are proud of you.
Since I was so sure of your understanding and trust, I wanted to give you a
double blessing by visiting you twice—16first
on my way to Mac­e­do­nia and again when I
returned from Mac­e­do­nia.* Then you could
send me on my way to Ju­dea.
You may be asking why I changed my
plan. Do you think I make my plans carelessly? Do you think I am like people of
the world who say “Yes” when they real­ly
mean “No”? 18 As surely as God is faithful,
our word to you does not waver between
“Yes” and “No.” 19 For ­Jesus Christ, the Son
of God, does not waver between “Yes” and
“No.” He is the one whom Si­las,* Tim­o­thy,
and I preached to you, and as God’s ultimate “Yes,” he always does what he says.
For all of God’s promises have been fulfilled in Christ with a resounding “Yes!”
And through Christ, our “Amen” (which
means “Yes”) ascends to God for his glory.
It is God who enables us, along with
you, to stand firm for Christ. He has commissioned us, 22 and he has identified us as
his own by placing the Holy Spirit in our
hearts as the first installment that guarantees every­thing he has promised us.
Now I call upon God as my witness that
I am telling the truth. The reason I didn’t
return to Co­rinth was to spare you from a
severe rebuke. 24 But that does not mean we
want to dominate you by telling you how to
put your faith into practice. We want to work
together with you so you will be full of joy,
for it is by your own faith that you stand firm.
So I decided that I would not bring you
grief with another painful visit. 2 For if
I cause you grief, who will make me glad?
Certainly not someone I have grieved. 3 That
is why I wrote to you as I did, so that when
I do come, I won’t be grieved by the very
ones who ought to give me the greatest
joy. Surely you all know that my joy comes
from your being joyful. 4 I wrote that letter
in great anguish, with a troubled heart and
many tears. I didn’t want to grieve you, but
I wanted to let you know how much love
I have for you.
Forgiveness for the Sinner
I am not overstating it when I say that
the man who caused all the trouble hurt
all of you more than he hurt me. 6 Most of
you opposed him, and that was punishment enough. 7 Now, however, it is time to
forgive and comfort him. Otherwise he may
1:1 Greek Achaia, the southern region of the Greek peninsula. 
1:8 Greek brothers. 
1:12 Some manuscripts read honesty. 
1:14 Some manuscripts read our Lord Jesus. 
1:16 Macedonia
was in the northern region of Greece. 1:19 Greek Silvanus. 
No sooner has Paul begun his letter than he launches into a defense of his
integrity, for he had been accused of serious shortcomings in this area. Urged on
by the arrival of self-styled “super apostles,” the church had accused Paul, first,
of constantly changing his plans to visit them (1 Corinthians 16:5; 2 Corinthians
1:15–2:4) and, second, of mishandling the offering for the Jerusalem church
(2 Corinthians 2:17; 8:18-21). As proof of his integrity, Paul could appeal not only
to his conscience before God but also to what they knew of him (1:12). He had
always taken practical steps not only to do what was right but also to be seen
to do what is right—for example, by ensuring he was always accompanied by
others when the offering was collected or conveyed to others (8:18-24).
It takes a lifetime to build a reputation, but only a moment to lose it. Christians—
especially Christian leaders—should therefore take great pains to walk in integrity,
ensuring that our words and our deeds are true and in harmony. To fail to do so
is to open oneself to temptation and disaster. Money, position, fame, wrong
relationships, abuse of authority—such things are temptations to us all, so we
need to be both watchful and accountable, no matter who we are.
See also Becoming like Christ, page 1435; Living according to the truth, page 1439.

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