Some Christians in Corinth were urging Paul to return there. Their church had many problems; they considered Paul the right person to deal with those problems.
Paul could see that a brief visit would not be long enough. He would need to stay there for a few months, perhaps during the winter. But it was not clear to him whether God wanted him to do that. He was hoping to spend some time in Corinth, but only if God permitted that. Godís people Ė and especially church leaders Ė should allow the Holy Spirit to guide them.
Paul explained that he would not be travelling to Corinth immediately. He wrote his letter from Ephesus, where it was important for him to remain at the present time (16:8-9). Then he intended to go to Macedonia. It seemed clear to him that he should work there next. However, he did not think that God wanted him to remain there permanently. When God wanted him to travel to Corinth, Paul would do that.
Paul explains in his next letter to Corinth what actually happened. He actually tried to travel to Corinth on two occasions (2 Corinthians 1:15-16). However, it became clear that this was not the right time for him to go there (2 Corinthians 1:23; 2 Corinthians 2:1). He very much wanted to go to Corinth and to see the Christians there again. However, he could see that to visit at that time would only cause troubles and arguments. Paul loved the Christians in Corinth; he did not want to cause trouble for them.
At the time when Paul wrote the Book of 2 Corinthians, he was again ready to visit Corinth (2 Corinthians 12:14; 2 Corinthians 13:1). He wrote that letter to prepare them for his visit.
Next part: Paul in Ephesus (1 Corinthians 16:8-9)
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© 2014, Keith Simons.