No, no, no, yes!
Paul’s ministry was characterised by three things in Corinth:
- Simplicity/Purity – with holiness.
- Sincerity. I looked up the Greek word (as you do) and see that literally it means “judged in the light of the sun”. He wouldn’t be shown up when you shine strong light on him. The old English of the word sincere means without wax. It was used when talking about bells that hadn’t had wax filler covering imperfections so they couldn’t be seen, but would actually affect the tone.
- The grace of God rather than human wisdom. Paul relied on God at work in him, not earthly strategies to get the mission done.
He knew God was pleased with that approach which will be vindicated when Jesus returns with a reward for what we have done in God’s power.
Paul had planned to visit Corinth after his first combative letter, but couldn’t, and was being criticised for that. He will defend himself further tomorrow, but he is not a ‘no, no, no, yes’ man like Jim in the Vicar of Dibley. God knows he wanted to visit, but he didn’t for good reasons.
That leads Paul to assure us that God’s promises are ‘yes’ in Christ. What God says He will do, He will do. That’s why our strongest prayers take God’s promises and remind Him if they still need fulfilling. What promises are you asking God to fulfil in your life, your family, the church?
Then we get wonderful assurance of God’s work in ensuring our eternal security.
- It is God who established us in Christ v.21
- It is God who anoints us v.21
- It is God who guarantees us with the Spirit. v.22.