Paul greets the believers in Corinth. He is thankful for the comfort he receives from God the Father. He explains why he had to change his plans. [UPDATED]
VERSE 1. Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus through the will of God, and Timothy our brother, to the assembly of God which is at Corinth, with all the saints who are in the whole of Achaia:
an apostle of Christ Jesus. Paul asserts that he is a real apostle, unlike the false apostles who opposed him in Corinth
and Timothy our brother. Timothy is a co-author with Paul of this Letter.
VERSE 2. Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
VERSE 3. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort;
Blessed. The Greek word is berikah.
the Father of mercies. That is, the Father of compassion.
comfort. The Greek word is παρακλήσεως (“paraklēseōs”). It means a calling to one’s aid. That is, encouragement or comfort.
VERSE 4. who comforts us in all our affliction, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, through the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
comforts. The Greek word is παρακαλῶν (“parakalōn”). It means to call to or for, to exhort, to encourage.
us in all our affliction. We ourselves receive comfort from God the Father.
comfort those who are in any affliction. God the Father has given us comfort. And we are to give comfort to other people.
Henri J. Nouwen coined the term “wounded healers.” We are wounded, yet we help heal other people.
we ourselves are comforted by God. After we have suffered, we are much more able to sympathize with other people who suffer.
Similarly, after we have gone through difficulties, we are much more able to sympathize with other people facing difficulties.
1 Thessalonians 5:11. So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing. (NLT translation)
VERSE 5. For as the sufferings of Christ abound to us, even so our comfort also abounds through Christ.
sufferings of Christ abound to us. As Paul went about preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ, he suffered greatly at the hands of those who opposed him.
our comfort also abounds through Christ. Jesus Christ is the comfort of Israel:
Luke 2:25. Behold, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon. This man was righteous and devout, looking for the consolation [“comfort”] of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him.
VERSE 6. But if we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation. If we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you the patient enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer.
VERSE 7. Our hope for you is steadfast, knowing that, since you are partakers of the sufferings, so you are also of the comfort.
VERSE 8. For we don’t desire to have you uninformed, brothers, concerning our affliction which happened to us in Asia, that we were weighed down exceedingly, beyond our power, so much that we despaired even of life.
Asia. This was the name of a Roman province in western Asia minor.
we despaired even of life. When he was in the province of Asia, Paul was almost defeated by despair. He despaired even of life itself.
VERSE 9. Yes, we ourselves have had the sentence of death within ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God who raises the dead,
not trust in ourselves. Paul had learned to give God control.
VERSE 10. who delivered us out of so great a death, and does deliver; on whom we have set our hope that he will also still deliver us;
VERSE 11. you also helping together on our behalf by your supplication; that, for the gift given to us by means of many, thanks may be given by many persons on your behalf.
VERSE 12. For our boasting is this: the testimony of our conscience, that in holiness and sincerity of God, not in fleshly wisdom but in the grace of God we behaved ourselves in the world, and more abundantly toward you.
VERSE 13. For we write no other things to you than what you read or even acknowledge, and I hope you will acknowledge to the end,
what you read or even acknowledge. In theory, Paul’s writings are intelligible. Believers can figure out what he says. Although it is not always easy:
2 Peter 3:15-16. Regard the patience of our Lord as salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also, according to the wisdom given to him, wrote to you, 16 as also in all of his letters, speaking in them of these things. In those, there are some things that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unsettled twist, as they also do to the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.
VERSE 14. as also you acknowledged us in part, that we are your boasting, even as you also are ours, in the day of our Lord Jesus.
VERSE 15. In this confidence, I was determined to come first to you, that you might have a second benefit,
VERSE 16. and by you to pass into Macedonia, and again from Macedonia to come to you, and to be sent forward by you on my journey to Judea.
sent forward by you. This probably means “fund his trip.”
VERSE 17. When I therefore was thus determined, did I show fickleness? Or the things that I purpose, do I purpose according to the flesh, that with me there should be the “Yes, yes” and the “No, no?”
“Yes, yes” and the “No, no?” Paul did not change his plans lightly. Rather, his yes meant yes, and his no meant no.
Matthew 5:37. But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes’ and your ‘No’ be ‘No.’ Whatever is more than these is of the evil one.
VERSE 18. But as God is faithful, our word toward you was not “Yes and no.”
VERSE 19. For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us, by me, Silvanus, and Timothy, was not “Yes and no,” but in him is “Yes.”
2 Corinthians 1:19. For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us, by me, Silvanus, and Timothy, was not “Yes and no,” but in him is “Yes.”
1 Thessalonians 1:1. Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy, to the assembly of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
2 Thessalonians 1:1. Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy, to the assembly of the Thessalonians in God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ:
1 Peter 5:12. Through Silvanus, our faithful brother, as I consider him, I have written to you briefly, exhorting, and testifying that this is the true grace of God in which you stand.
VERSE 20. For however many are the promises of God, in him is the “Yes.” Therefore also through him is the “Amen”, to the glory of God through us.
in him is the “Yes.” God is the God of “yes!” He is not the God of “no.” In him, there are always possibilities.
VERSE 21. Now he who establishes us with you in Christ and anointed us is God,
who also sealed us. At the moment of our coming to faith in Jesus Christ, we are sealed with the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is like a seal on an official document, identifying it and indicating its owner.
VERSE 23. But I call God for a witness to my soul, that I didn’t come to Corinth to spare you.
VERSE 24. We don’t control your faith, but are fellow workers with you for your joy. For you stand firm in faith.
fellow workers. The Greek word is συνεργοί (“synergoi”). Think: synergy.
workers with you for your joy. The job of a Christian leader is to build joy in people.
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.