In the history of any church, there are a few special occasions that its members can use to make their church stronger. Such events are rare; it is important to use them well.
One such event is the return of a former church leader to a church that is achieving much. It is an event that should bring great joy, to the members and to their former leader alike. He will declare Godís message as previously, but with the benefit of years of experience. The older members will hear again the messages that had such a powerful effect on their lives. Newer members, children and visitors will at last hear the actual words of that leader, about whom they have heard so much.
That was what Paul wanted to happen at Corinth. He was not just the former leader of the church; he was its first leader. God had changed completely the lives of many people while he was there*. His return, therefore, should be an opportunity for great joy.
That was especially true because, in many ways, the church at Corinth (in Achaia) had done very well*. The church had become stronger* and the Holy Spirit was very active there.
The problem was that Paul knew about serious problems in the church at Corinth. Groups of people in the church were opposing each other. Some members were having sex in a manner that is against Godís law. Other members were going to the temple (house) of a false god to eat. The church meetings were sometimes wild; members were behaving foolishly.
If Paul visited, then of course he would have to deal with these things. They would miss that very special occasion that would make their church stronger. So Paul saw that it was not yet the right time for him to return to Corinth. He would deal with their problems by letter and he would send people to help them. Then, he would return to Corinth when his visit would bring joy to them.
* See complete article for these Bible references.
To download all our articles, including our 700+ page book in PDF format, please go to our download page.
© 2016, Keith Simons.