Paul wanted his return to Corinth to be a very joyful occasion*. He intended to remain there for 3 months*. He wanted to teach and to encourage Corinth’s Christians. Probably, he hoped that many more people would become Christians during his visit.
However, Paul was very aware of the serious problems that had existed recently in Corinth’s church. Only a few months previously, he had written to warn them about the opposing groups in the church*. There were extremely serious arguments among the Christians*. Church members were behaving wrongly towards each other, even at the church meetings*.
Since then, Corinth’s church members had worked hard to deal with those problems*. Titus had done much to help them, and he was returning to Corinth immediately, to help them more.
Because of Titus’s encouraging report, Paul had decided that he too would go back to Corinth soon. However, Paul still worried that Corinth’s Christians may not have dealt with their former problems completely. Even if they had stopped their public arguments, they might still feel jealous and angry towards each other. Perhaps they still were selfish and proud; perhaps they spoke against each other in private. Perhaps their wrong behaviour in the church meetings had not ended, but merely paused.
Paul urged Corinth’s Christians to deal with any such matters before his return. Each of them should examine the attitudes of his own heart and mind in front of God*. If anything was wrong, they must change their thoughts, attitudes and behaviour*. Otherwise Paul would have to deal strictly with them on his return*. Then that occasion, which Paul wanted to be joyful, would in fact be serious and severe.
* See complete article for these Bible references.
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© 2016, Keith Simons.