Faithlife Sermons

Paul's Defense

2 Corinthians  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
0 ratings

Paul’s Confidence Was In His Conscience

The Church at Corinth was in such bad shape that they cast blame on their condition on Paul. They accused him of having ulterior motives for coming, double meanings in his writings, not able to keep his promises, and even questioned the gospel he preached. These are very serious accusations. Paul defends himself in this passage of scripture.

He lived in holiness, godly sincerity, and in grace.

Paul knew that God set him apart to preach to the city of Corinth.
Paul, called as an apostle of Jesus Christ [a]by the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother,
To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, [b]saints by calling, with all who in every place call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours:
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Cor. 1:1-3
God sent Paul to the corrupt city of Corinth because of the absence of the gospel and the depravity of the city. God has a heart for lost people to be saved so he sent Paul to the city to preach a message of salvation to the Corinthians.
We see this character of God throughout the Bible. We see it when God sent Jonah to the wicked city of Nineveh. God has a heart for people to be saved.
The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:9
Paul was set apart to reach the lost at Corinth with the gospel of Jesus Christ. He lived a life set apart (holiness) with the same heart as God (godly sincerity).
Paul came to Corinth with a message of salvation. He did not come to judge them for their gross immoralities. He wanted them to be delivered from their immoralities and sin, not judged for them. Their is a big difference between the two. If a person is coming to judge then their is no opportunity for grace. You are coming to exercise punishment. A person that is seeking for grace reveals the way to avoid being judged. This was Paul’s message to the Corinthians.

Paul Wrote What He Meant

Paul had written a “severe” letter to the Corinthians between first and second Corinthians. We do not have a copy of this letter. This letter was written in response to the moral decline and false teaching in the church that happened after Paul left. Obviously it was severe enough to turn people against Paul.
They tried to soften the letter by saying that he did not mean what he wrote. Paul was very sincere in what he wrote. He wanted them to not stray from his teachings and continue to live as Christians. He did not want them to go back to the life they use to live.
13 For we write nothing else to you than what you read and understand, and I hope you will understand until the end; 14 just as you also partially did understand us, that we are your reason to be proud as you also are ours, in the day of our Lord Jesus. 2 Cor. 1:13-14
The Corinthians read and understood the letter, but they did not like what Paul wrote. In an effort to ease the pain of the letter they began to tell people in the church that Paul did not mean what he wrote. There was no hidden meanings. It was straight forward and to the point.
He further emphasizes his point by saying that they are to be proud of him because hen lived what he taught and wrote. He also wrote with expectation that they would live in a similar fashion and be proud of themselves in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Paul had reason for not visiting the Corinthians

The Letters to the Corinthians God’s Yes in Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 1:15–22)

Paul had said that he would visit the Corinthians, but the situation had become so bitter that he postponed his visit in order not to give them pain (verse 23). His enemies had promptly accused him of being the kind of man who made frivolous promises with a fickle intention and who could not be pinned down to a definite yes or no. That was bad enough; but they went on to argue: ‘If we cannot trust Paul’s everyday promises, how can we trust the things he told us about God?’ Paul’s answer is that we can rely on God and that there is no wavering in Jesus between yes and no.

Paul wanted to see how they responded to his severe letter. They did not respond well, so if he came he would have to come as a vehicle of judgment because they did not respond favorable to his letter of grace.
This would have caused him too much pain and them as well.
23 But I call God as witness [g]to my soul, that to spare you I did not come again to Corinth. 24 Not that we lord it over your faith, but are workers with you for your joy; for in your faith you are standing firm. 1 Cor. 1:23-24
Paul wanted to give them time to repent and respond favorably to his letter.

Paul’s Gospel Was True

The people were trying to discredit Paul’s character so that they could discredit his message. It is kind of like how some people refuse to go to church because they know people in the church that live in sin. They are justifying their actions by discrediting the church. The truth is they want to live their lives the way they want to and make excuses by discrediting the church by the people in the church.
Paul refutes their attack on his character and points to the fact of the truth of the gospel.
18 But as God is faithful, our word to you is not yes and no. 19 For the Son of God, Christ Jesus, who was preached among you by us—by me and Silvanus and Timothy—was not yes and no, but is yes in Him. 20 For as many as are the promises of God, in Him they are yes; therefore also through Him is our Amen to the glory of God through us. 21 Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and anointed us is God, 22 who also sealed us and gave us the Spirit in our hearts as a [f]pledge. 2 Cor. 1:18-22

God is Faithful

Paul reminds them that God is faithful. He will not turn his back on people. His promises of salvation are true. He has prepared a way of salvation from sin by sending his Son to die a substitutionary death for our sin. God will never change His mind about what Jesus has done. There will never be a point where God says that Jesus sacrifice is not enough. God is faithful to His son and to us.

Jesus is the fulfillment of God’s promises

The entirety of the old testament points and foreshadows Jesus Christ. The Old testament shows the creation of God, the fall of man, the way of salvation, and the promise of eternal life.
Because all have sinned we deserve eternal punishment. God sent Jesus Christ his only begotten Son to die for our sins and redeem us to the Father.
16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His [a]only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. John 3:16
A person can be saved from their sin when they repent of their sin place their faith in Jesus Christ.

The Holy Spirit Seals our salvation

Paul reminds the Corinthians that they are established and sealed by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. A true believer has the Holy Spirit dwelling within them. He is their way of life. He convicts of sin and guides into paths of righteousness.
Related Media
Related Sermons