At the end of 2 Corinthians 2:16, Paul asks a very important question. He has just described the powerful effects when someone declares Godís good news in a new region. Godís message changes the lives of people completely*. It saves those people who accept it. They receive a right relationship with God, and life that never ends. However, for the people who refuse it, it is a message of death. Godís judgement is against them.
Then Paul asks his question: who is sufficient for these things? He means: who is capable to have such a great effect on the lives of people? It seems too great a responsibility for any person to accept.
After that, Paul described how God had worked by means of him at Corinth. It was as if God had written a letter to recommend Paulís work. By that Ďletterí, Paul meant the lives of the people that God had saved at Corinth*. In other words, God had changed their lives; he made them into his own people*.
Paul has answered his own question, and that fact seems to astonish him. Perhaps he could hardly believe that God would do such great things by means of people like him. He was doing this work as a mere servant of God, but God was actually recommending Paulís work.
Paul was very careful to emphasise what God had done. Godís servants are capable to declare Godís message only because God has sent them to do that. Paul could only speak with confidence about his own work because God had approved of it. Godís servants are weak in themselves; they must depend completely upon him*.
Next part: Godís new covenant (3:6)
* See complete article for these Bible references.
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© 2016, Keith Simons.