Useful Bible Studies > 2 Corinthians Commentary > chapter 12

Paul was not defending himself

2 Corinthians 12:19

Paul did not write the Book of 2 Corinthians in order to prove that he had authority over the church at Corinth. He did not write it to defend himself against the people there who were saying wrong things about him. Some of the church members believed that Paul was writing to them for those reasons. However, they were wrong.

In Paulís work as a church leader, Paul was responsible to God, and not to the people. It was God who had appointed Paul; it was God whom Paul served. Paulís aim was not to please people, but to please God*.

So when Paul wrote his letters, he said nothing for his own benefit or to defend himself. He thought only about his responsibility to God; he wrote only what God wanted him to write.

God gave Paul his authority so that Paul would make the Christians stronger, and not weaker*. In the same manner, God guided Paul in his letters to write those things that make Christians stronger. Godís desire is for Christians to develop and to become strong in their relationship with him*. They need to learn to trust God more; they need to learn how they can serve God better. They need to develop good qualities, for example love, patience and kindness. They need to learn how to stand firm for Christ when they suffer troubles. They need their love for other people to increase, and to show that love in all their actions.

Many people today still find Paulís letters difficult to understand, for the same reason. They imagine that Paul was writing for his own selfish purposes. However, Paul did not believe that Christians should do anything just for their own benefit. In everything, they should serve God and they should try to help other people. That was how Paul always tried to live as a Christian.

Next part: Prepare for God to work among you (12:20)


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© 2016, Keith Simons.