II Corinthians 12:19-21, 13:1-3

Sunday, June 22nd, 2014

Text: II Corinthians 12:19-21

PAUL'S CONCERN FOR THE CORINTHIANS

INTRODUCTION:

One of the reasons the Apostle Paul wrote the Corinthian believers was that some had been making slanderous innuendoes and false charges against him as an apostle. Unfortunately, it became necessary to answer those falsely accusing him and making innuendoes against him because of the confusion it was causing in the church in Corinth and because there are always those who seemingly want to believe the worst.

An innuendo is an indirect remark or reference which usually implies something derogatory. It is an insinuation, a hint. It is not a direct accusation, but it is sometimes more damaging than a direct accusation. How did Paul answer these false charges and innuendoes? By opening up the lines of communication and telling them the truth. This would expose those that were false and that were sowing discord among the Corinthians against Paul.

In II Corinthians 12:11-21 we are looking at Paul's concern for the Corinthian believers and his handling of innuendoes which were made against him.

We have already seen the following three innuendos:

1. Paul is really not what he claims to be.

2. Paul is base in presence but bold in absence.

3. Paul lives according to the flesh.

To these three innuendos, Paul has answered -

1. In nothing am I behind the very chiefest apostles.

2. I worked the signs of an apostle among you.

3. I deliberately chose not to be burdensome to you.

We also saw a fourth innuendo.

4. All Paul is after is our money.

To this fourth innuendo, Paul has given a fourth, fifth, and sixth answer:

4. I seek not your possessions, but I seek you.

5. I will gladly spend and be spent for you.

6. The more I love you, the less I am loved.

We then saw a fifth innuendo.

5. Paul is tricky. He deceived the Corinthians.

The insinuation was that Paul was tricking them into giving money for the poor saints in Jerusalem but that he was the one who would profit from this collection.

To this fifth innuendo Paul provides a seventh answer:

7. I made no gain by any of those whom I sent.

Next, we see -

VII. A SIXTH INNUENDO - 12:19A

II Corinthians 12:19 a - Again, think ye that we excuse ourselves unto you? . . .

6. Paul excuses himself unto us, which implies that Paul must answer to the Corinthians.

In verse 19 Paul states that his motive was pure; it was to build up the believers in Corinth.

Again suggests a matter of a related nature in the sense of also, furthermore, or thereupon.

Think ye? is, Are you thinking (i.e. are you believing?, are you supposing?, or are you considering?)

That we excuse ourselves unto you?

We and ourselves refer to Paul, and you is plural and refers to the Corinthian believers comprising the church at Corinth.

We excuse ourselves unto you is, We are excusing ourselves unto you Corinthian believers, We are defending ourselves unto you Corinthian believers, or, We are speaking in our own defense unto you Corinthian believers against charges that are false.

To this sixth innuendo Paul gives an eighth answer -

VIII. PAUL'S EIGHTH ANSWER - 12:19B

8. Paul did not have to answer to the Corinthians. He answered only to God.

II Corinthians 12:19 b - . . . We speak before God in Christ. . . .

We speak is, We are speaking, We are asserting, or, We are proclaiming.

Before God in Christ indicates in the presence of God or in the sight of God.

In Christ suggests in the person of Christ and all that He is and represents. God is a witness that Paul is speaking the truth in the person of Christ as a Christian. What Paul asserts is that he has been speaking the truth.

We see a seventh innuendo -

IX. A SEVENTH INNUENDO - 12:19C

7. Paul serves his own interests, not the interests of the Corinthians.

II Corinthians 12:19 c - . . . But we do all things, dearly beloved, for your edifying.

The reason it was necessary to state this suggests that its opposite was being suggested by the false apostles.

To this seventh innuendo, Paul gives a ninth answer -

X. PAUL'S EIGHTH, NINTH, and TENTH ANSWER - 12:19c-21

8. We do all things for your edifying.

II Corinthians 12:19 c-21 - (19c) . . . But we do all things, dearly beloved, for your edifying. (20) For I fear, lest, when I come, I shall not find you such as I would, and that I shall be found unto you such as ye would not: lest there be debates, envyings, wraths, strifes, backbitings, whisperings, swellings, tumults: (21) And lest, when I come again, my God will humble me among you, and that I shall bewail many which have sinned already, and have not repented of the uncleanness and fornication and lasciviousness which they have committed.

As translated, but introduces a statement in mild contrast to what Paul has been writing. It may instead indicate a continuation of Paul's thought and be understood in the sense of now.

We do all things suggests everything Paul does in relation to the Corinthian believers. In the Greek text, the appears before all things in order to indicate that it is the sum total of all things Paul has in mind

Paul addresses the Corinthian believers as dearly beloved, i.e. loved ones or dear ones.

For your edifying is we are doing all things on behalf of your building up or for the sake of your edification.

9. We don't want to find sin in your church.

II Corinthians 12:20 For I fear, lest, when I come, I shall not find you such as I would, and that I shall be found unto you such as ye would not: lest there be debates, envyings, wraths, strifes, backbitings, whisperings, swellings, tumults.

According to verse 20, Paul does not want to come to Corinth and find the believers in a spiritual mess. He wants them to straighten things out with the Lord and with each other before he gets there.

For is used to clarify Paul's thinking and is understood in the sense of you see or now.

I fear is I am afraid.

Lest suggests a negative perspective expressing misgiving in the sense of that perhaps or lest somehow.

When I come, I shall not find you suggests I will not discover you through reflection, through observation, through examination, or through investigation.

Such as I would is, I will not find you of the sort I wish (or desire) or, I will not find you of the sort I am wishing (or desiring).

And that I shall be found unto you is, And I shall be discovered to you.

Such as ye would not is of the sort you are not wishing or of the sort you are not desiring). Paul did not want the believers in Corinth to see him having to act sternly against their sin in his exercise of his apostolic authority.

Lest suggests the sense of that perhaps there be, lest somehow there be, in order that there not be, or with the result that there not be.

As indicated by the italics, there be has been supplied by the translators.

There be debates refers to strifes, discords, or contentions.

There be envyings speaks of intense negative feelings over another's achievements or successes in the sense of jealousies.

There be wraths speaks of states or outbursts of intense displeasure in the sense of angers, rages, or indignations.

There be strifes are contentiousnesses, selfish ambitions, or selfishnesses.

There be backbitings suggests acts of speaking ill of others in the sense of evil speeches, slanders, defamations, or detractions.

There be whisperings is used in a bad sense of derogatory information about someone that is offered in a tone of confidentiality and means (secret) gossip or tale-bearings.

There be swellings is literally inflated or bloated conditions. In this verse, it is understood in the sense of swelled-headednesses, prides, or conceits.

There be tumults speaks of oppositions to established authority in the sense of disorders or unrulinesses.

10. We don't want to be disappointed in you Corinthian believers.

II Corinthians 12:21 And lest, when I come again, my God will humble me among you, and that I shall bewail many which have sinned already, and have not repented of the uncleanness and fornication and lasciviousness which they have committed.

Paul indicates in verse 21 that he has no desire to come to Corinth and be saddened to find believers involved in immorality and unrepentant regarding it. And lest shows negative purpose and is understood in the sense of and in order that . . . not, or and for the purpose that . . . not, and that perhaps, or and that somehow and is connected with will humble.

When I come again my God will humble me is when I have come again, God the Father might humiliate me.

And that I will bewail many which have sinned already suggests experiencing sadness as the result of some condition or circumstance in the sense of and that I shall be sad (i.e. grieve or mourn) over many who have sinned beforehand.

And have not repented of the uncleanness and fornication and lasciviousness which they have committed suggests that these things had occurred following their salvation. At the time of their salvation, they had to have repented about practices such as these which had been committed prior to their salvation.

Have not repented has been translated in a way which emphasizes the result of its action. It is understood in the sense of did not repent and means that they have not straightened their sins out with God.

Of the uncleanness speaks of moral corruption and suggests of the immorality or violence, especially of sexual sins.

And fornication, a general term for unlawful sexual intercourse in the sense of prostitution or unchastity. It is used of all kinds of immoral acts including adultery, pre-marital infidelity, prostitution, bestiality, incest, and homosexuality.

And lasciviousness, which involves a lack of self-restraint, involving someone in conduct which violates all bounds of what is socially acceptable and is used especially of sexual excesses and indecencies.

Which they have committed refers to the uncleanness and fornication and lasciviousness and which some of the Corinthian believers have committed.

CONCLUSION:

Innuendoes and false accusations will come. We must be careful to know the truth, and not be party to innuendos, whether they are in our families or in our church.

Text: II Corinthians 13:1-3

THE PERIL OF SELF-DECEPTION

INTRODUCTION:

As a New Testament local church we sorely need correct doctrine. And we need to know what that correct doctrine is because by this time in history Satan has perverted every Christian doctrine in some way or other. As pastors we are to preach the Word with all long-suffering and doctrine. We need to be right about God the Father, about God the Son, and about God the Holy Spirit. We need to be right in our view of the Scripture, and in our view of inspiration, inerrancy, preservation, etc. We need to have correct views about sin, salvation, man, angels, Satan, the local church, and eschatology, too.

But do you know something? We can have correct views of all the doctrines and not be personally right with the Lord.

In II Corinthians 13:1-12 , we see what Paul had to say to the Corinthians about living for the Lord, not only as individuals, but also as a local church.

Paul is preparing to visit Corinth for the third time; and when he gets there, he will deal with whatever sins he finds (13:1-2). They want a proof of Christ speaking in Paul, and they are going to get what they want (13:3-4). Therefore, the Corinthians should make certain they are really saved (13:5). They need to know that Paul is not disqualified but a genuine Christian; otherwise, there is no way they would be saved (13:6).

I. MAKE SURE YOU ARE REALLY SAVED - 13: 1-6

II Corinthians 13:1-6 - (1) This is the third time I am coming to you. In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established. (2) I told you before, and foretell you, as if I were present, the second time; and being absent now I write to them which heretofore have sinned, and to all other, that, if I come again, I will not spare: (3) Since ye seek a proof of Christ speaking in me, which to you-ward is not weak, but is mighty in you. (4) For though he was crucified through weakness, yet he liveth by the power of God. For we also are weak in him, but we shall live with him by the power of God toward you. (5) Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates? (6) But I trust that ye shall know that we are not reprobates.

Children oftentimes grow up in Bible-believing churches, knowing all the language, but not being genuinely saved. Others go through emotional experiences which they may equate with salvation, but which are not necessarily to be equated with salvation.

Psalms 139:23-24 - 23 Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: 24 And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

II Corinthians 13:1 This is the third time I am coming to you. In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established.

In verse 1 Paul announces his intention to make his third visit to Corinth and indicates that he is ready to deal with whatever problems he encounters there.

By this Paul means his planned trip to Corinth.

As indicated by the italics, is has been supplied by the translators,

The third time suggests that Paul has been to Corinth on two previous occasions. The first time was when he first proclaimed the gospel in Corinth. The second time is mentioned in II Corinthians 2:1 where Paul states that he would not come again to them in heaviness. This second visit is known as the painful or sorrowful visit.

I am coming pictures Paul as already being on his way to Corinth. At this point, however, he is still writing the letter and will be sending it before he actually departs from Philippi or wherever he is.

To you indicates that Paul is coming to Corinth, specifically to the church in Corinth.

In the mouth of two or three witnesses suggests that Paul will see to it that church trials will be conducted for those involved in sin who have not repented.

Two witnesses would be required and three would be sufficient. One witness would not be sufficient to consider the testimony against an individual.

Shall every word be established is shall each (spoken) word be caused to stand firm.

Every word speaks of every thing, every matter, or every event. This quotation comes from Deuteronomy 19:15 .

Deuteronomy 19:15 - One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin, in any sin that he sinneth: at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established.

II Corinthians 13:2 I told you before, and foretell you, as if I were present, the second time; and being absent now I write to them which heretofore have sinned, and to all other, that, if I come again, I will not spare.

In verse 2 Paul continues his warning to those who have sinned that they need to straighten out their lives before the Lord or he will deal harshly with their sin upon his arrival in Corinth.

I told you before is I have told you before, I have told you beforehand, or I have told you in advance. He told them this on his second visit to Corinth regarding which he stated in II Corinthians 2:1 that he would not come again to them in heaviness.

And foretell you is, And I am foretelling you, And I am telling you beforehand, or, And I am telling you in advance. He is again telling the Corinthian believers this by writing this verse in II Corinthians.

As if I were present the second time refers to his most recent visit to Corinth and suggests as if I were (still) present the second time.

And being absent now is understood in the sense of because (i.e. since or inasmuch as) I am absent (or away) at the present time.

I write is I am writing by which Paul is referring to his writing of II Corinthians.

Paul is writing to them which heretofore have sinned, i.e. to the ones who have sinned beforehand.

And to all other, i.e. and to all the rest or and to all the others (who are not included in the group of the ones who have sinned beforehand).

What Paul is writing is introduced by that, and its structure is that of a conditional statement. The condition is if I come again, and its conclusion is I will not spare. Although Paul is definitely planning to come, the structure of this condition indicates that no assumption is made regarding its truthfulness. As far as the condition is concerned, he may or may not come.

If I come again is if I come once more.

I will not spare suggests, I will not spare (anyone) from loss or discomfort. Paul is giving them one more chance to straighten things out with the Lord before he comes and straightens them out by using his apostolic authority.

II Corinthians 13:3 Since ye seek a proof of Christ speaking in me, which to you-ward is not weak, but is mighty in you.

Verse 3 provides the reason Paul will not spare anyone who is guilty of sin and still unrepentant when he comes. He intends to give them what they want.

Since is used to introduce a cause or reason for what Paul said in verse 2 and is understood in the sense of because. The Corinthians had demanded proof from Paul that Christ was speaking in him, he was prepared to give it.

Since ye seek is because you Corinthian believers are seeking, because you are requesting, or, because you are demanding.

A proof of Christ speaking in me suggests evidence of the Christ (or Messiah) speaking in me or of the One speaking in me, i.e. of Christ. Some of the Corinthian believers were apparently seeking evidence that Christ was the One speaking in Paul. If it is still necessary when he arrives in Corinth, Paul fully intends to give them the proof they are seeking; but they will not like it. Of Christ speaking in me is hinting that some were claiming that Christ was speaking in them also or that Christ was speaking in them instead of speaking in Paul.

Which is Who and speaks of Christ.

To you-ward is toward you, with respect to you, or with reference to you.

Is not weak suggests that Christ does not possess some personal incapacity or limitation.

Christ is further described by but is mighty in you.

But introduces a statement in strong contrast to who is not weak to you-ward.

Is mighty in you suggests that Christ displays capability among you Corinthian believers, that Christ is effective among you, or that Christ is able among you.