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2 Corinthians 1:23

ESV But I call God to witness against me — it was to spare you that I refrained from coming again to Corinth.
NIV I call God as my witness—and I stake my life on it—that it was in order to spare you that I did not return to Corinth.
NASB But I call God as witness to my soul, that it was to spare you that I did not come again to Corinth.
CSB I call on God as a witness, on my life, that it was to spare you that I did not come to Corinth.
NLT Now I call upon God as my witness that I am telling the truth. The reason I didn’t return to Corinth was to spare you from a severe rebuke.
KJV Moreover I call God for a record upon my soul, that to spare you I came not as yet unto Corinth.
NKJV Moreover I call God as witness against my soul, that to spare you I came no more to Corinth.

What does 2 Corinthians 1:23 mean?

Prior verses made a grand, theological declaration. Paul has stated how all who affirm Christ as the "yes" to all of God's promises are established in Christ by God and anointed by God with His Holy Spirit. He has done so by way of defending himself against a charge of selfishly changing his travel plans to come and visit them. The implication is that a) his plans were changed, in part, by the leading of Christ and the Holy Spirit, and b) that he made the change in order to serve them better.

Now Paul gets to the heart of his motivation for delaying his return trip to Corinth from Macedonia. He calls on God to witness against him if he is not telling the truth—which coming from someone like Paul means he is undeniably telling the truth. He did not return from Macedonia to see them as he had apparently said that he would in order to spare them from something. The following chapter will reveal that he is sparing them from disciplinary action for potential sinfulness.
What is the Gospel?
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