What does 2 Corinthians 3:4 mean?
ESV: Such is the confidence that we have through Christ toward God.
NIV: Such confidence we have through Christ before God.
NASB: Such is the confidence we have toward God through Christ.
CSB: Such is the confidence we have through Christ before God.
NLT: We are confident of all this because of our great trust in God through Christ.
KJV: And such trust have we through Christ to God-ward:
NKJV: And we have such trust through Christ toward God.
Verse Commentary:
Paul has described the believers in Corinth as the only letter of recommendation he needs. Their transformation and growth is enough to establish himself as a legitimate apostle, sent by God to represent Christ to the world. Some in Corinth may have been challenging his authority in that position. Paul has pointed to the Corinthians themselves as the evidence that his ministry is genuine and established by God. After all, they have experienced God's forgiveness through faith in Christ and have witnessed the power of the Holy Spirit. All that they now believe to be true has come from Paul's delivery of the gospel to them.

Where does Paul's confidence in God's working among the Corinthians come from? How is he so sure he has truly been sent by God? It is not a confidence that comes from belief in himself. Instead, he is confident in God through Christ. When God is the one at work, confidence in what He is doing is the only rational response.
Verse Context:
Second Corinthians 3:1–6 poetically describes the only letter of recommendation Paul needs for his legitimacy as an apostle: the Christians in Corinth. Paul and his friends delivered Christ to them. The Corinthians are a letter written by Christ not with ink but with the Holy Spirit, not on tablets of stone but on human hearts. God is the one who has empowered Paul for the ministry and who sent him and his friends into the world to do it.
Chapter Summary:
Second Corinthians 3 begins with Paul's insistence that Christ's presence in the hearts of the Corinthians should be all the evidence they need that his ministry is true. He compares the limited glory revealed by the Old Covenant between God and Israel with the far greater glory revealed by Christ to all who come to Him by faith. That glory is revealed only when the veil of unbelief is removed through Christ by the Holy Spirit's power. Those who see God's glory in Christ begin to be changed to become like Him.
Chapter Context:
Earlier chapters described the Corinthians' response to Paul's earlier instructions. Here, Paul once again defends the legitimacy of his role as an apostle of Christ. He then compares the old covenant of the law of Moses with the new covenant of faith in Christ. The old covenant revealed human sinfulness, God's condemnation, and the death required to pay for sin. The new covenant brings God's forgiveness for sin to all who trust in Christ, making it possible to look on His glory and to begin to be changed by it into the image of Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit. This launches Paul into a description of the value of the gospel, in contrast to the struggles of earthly life.
Book Summary:
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.
Accessed 7/17/2024 1:14:35 PM
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