Useful Bible Studies > 2 Corinthians Commentary > chapter 3

Speak boldly!

2 Corinthians 3:12

‘We are very bold’, writes Paul. His word for ‘bold’ refers particularly to bold speech. So, his meaning is that he used bold words - or rather, plain words. He explained God’s message in a clear and simple manner.

In Paul’s letters to Corinth, he often showed how important that principle was for him. Although many people considered it foolish, Paul declared the simple message of Christ’s cross*. Paul actually refused to use clever or impressive words*.

In 2 Corinthians, Paul again reminds the church about this. He wrote nothing that they could not understand*. He showed them clearly his true intentions*. He insisted that he would only speak in an honest and sincere manner*.

It was very bold for Paul to speak in such a way. He was an intelligent man who had studied much*. It was usual for teachers to try to impress people with their great knowledge*. Paul really did have great knowledge*, but he refused to use it to impress people. The result was that many people did not respect Paul*. However, Paul did not care about that. He did not want to speak bold words about himself, but only about Christ and his cross*.

Paul mentions his ‘hope’ here. That is a reference to the wonderful things that God is doing in the lives of his people*. Like all the first Christians, Paul did not use the word ’hope’ to mean something uncertain. They believed strongly that God’s promises are certain.

God’s promises of heaven and the New Jerusalem are certain*. Therefore, Paul could speak boldly about what God is doing.

Next part: Why people do not believe God (3:13-15)


* See complete article for these Bible references.

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© 2016, Keith Simons.