What does 2 Corinthians 1:24 mean?
ESV: Not that we lord it over your faith, but we work with you for your joy, for you stand firm in your faith.
NIV: Not that we lord it over your faith, but we work with you for your joy, because it is by faith you stand firm.
NASB: Not that we domineer over your faith, but we are workers with you for your joy; for in your faith you are standing firm.
CSB: I do not mean that we lord it over your faith, but we are workers with you for your joy, because you stand firm in your faith.
NLT: But that does not mean we want to dominate you by telling you how to put your faith into practice. We want to work together with you so you will be full of joy, for it is by your own faith that you stand firm.
KJV: Not for that we have dominion over your faith, but are helpers of your joy: for by faith ye stand.
Paul has revealed why he did not return from Macedonia to Corinth, at least as quickly as he had originally planned. He wished to spare them in some way. The details are revealed in the following chapter, but Paul was sparing them from discipline he would need to enforce because of their potential sinfulness.
It is not Paul's desire, nor that of his co-workers, to lord their authority over the Corinthians. It would be within Paul's rights to do so, as Christ's apostle. He was the one who established their congregation in the first place. Paul simply did not want it to come to that. Instead, these leaders would rather work with the Corinthians, for their joy, as they stand firm in their faith. The following chapter will show what changed in Corinth, making it possible for Paul to return without needing to bring Christian discipline over one specific issue.
Second Corinthians 1:12–24 contains a defense against accusations. Apparently, some claimed Paul had acted without integrity, openness, or commitment to his stated plans to visit the Corinthians. Those were referenced near the end of his letter of 1 Corinthians. Paul insists that, especially with them, he and his co-workers have behaved with simple integrity and transparency, as well as sincerity. His change in plans has not been a case of frivolously saying ''yes and no'' to them at the same time. He has responded to the leading of the Holy Spirit and delayed his most recent visit for their own good.
Paul begins another letter to the Corinthians following a series of tumultuous events with them. He begins by praising God for His comfort to those who are in affliction, connecting Christian suffering to the sufferings of Christ. Paul insists that his suffering and the comfort he has received from God have been for the Corinthians' benefit. He defends both his integrity and sincerity in dealing with them and explains that he delayed his planned trip to visit them again for their sake.
Second Corinthians 1 follows about a year after the end of 1 Corinthians, and much has happened between the two letters. Paul has had a painful visit with the Corinthians before traveling to Macedonia, where he wrote a painful letter. The text of which has not been kept. He writes this new letter from Macedonia, as well, after learning about a positive change of heart on their behalf. Paul begins by praising God for His comfort for those who are afflicted and defending himself against several complaints from some in the church.
Second Corinthians returns to similar themes as those Paul mentioned in his first letter to this church. Paul is glad to hear that the church in Corinth has heeded his advice. At the same time, it is necessary for Paul to counter criticisms about his personality and legitimacy. Most of this text involves that subject. The fifth chapter, in contrast, contains comforting words which Christians have quoted often in times of hardship. Paul also details his expectations that the church in Corinth will make good on their promise to contribute to the needs of suffering believers in Jerusalem.
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