|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
1:15-24 The apostle clears himself from the charge of levity and inconstancy, in not coming to Corinth. Good men should be careful to keep the reputation of sincerity and constancy; they should not resolve, but on careful thought; and they will not change unless for weighty reasons. Nothing can render God's promises more certain: his giving them through Christ, assures us they are his promises; as the wonders God wrought in the life, resurrection, and ascension of his Son, confirm faith. The Holy Spirit makes Christians firm in the faith of the gospel: the quickening of the Spirit is an earnest of everlasting life; and the comforts of the Spirit are an earnest of everlasting joy. The apostle desired to spare the blame he feared would be unavoidable, if he had gone to Corinth before he learned what effect his former letter produced. Our strength and ability are owing to faith; and our comfort and joy must flow from faith. The holy tempers and gracious fruits which attend faith, secure from delusion in so important a matter.
Verse 18. - But as God is true; rather, but God is faithful, whatever man may be (1 Corinthians 1:9; 1 Corinthians 10:13; 1 Thessalonians 5:24; 2 Thessalonians 3:3; 1 John 1:9). Our word towards you, etc. The verse should be rendered, But God is faithful, because (faithful herein, that) our preaching to you proved itself to be not yea and may. Whatever you may say of my plans and my conduct, there was one thing which involved an indubitable "yea," namely, my preaching to you. In that, at any rate, there was nothing capricious, nothing variable, nothing vacillating. St. Paul, in a manner characteristic to his moods of deepest emotion, "goes off at a word." The Corinthians talked of his "yea" and "nay" as though one was little better than the other, and neither could be depended on; well, at any rate, one thing, and that the most essential, was as sure as the faithfulness of God.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
But as God is true,.... It seems that the false apostles had insinuated, that as the apostle had not kept his word in coming to them as he had promised, that he was not to be depended upon in his ministry; that he might as well contradict himself, and deceive others in the one, as well as in the other: wherefore he appeals to God in a very solemn manner, calls him to witness to the truth of his doctrine; for these words may be considered as the form of an oath; or he argues from, the truth and faithfulness of God, to the certainty and invariableness of the word preached, who is so true and faithful as that he will never suffer his word to be yea and nay: for when the apostle says, that
our word towards you was not yea and nay, he does not mean his word of promise to come to Corinth; but the word of his preaching, the doctrine of the Gospel, which was not uncertain, changeable, sometimes one thing, and sometimes another, and contradictory to itself. And by this the apostle would intimate, that since he was faithful and upright, uniform, consistent, and all of a piece in preaching the Gospel to them; so they ought to believe, that he was sincere in his resolutions and promises to come and see them, though as yet he had been hindered, and had not been able to perform them.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
18. He adds this lest they might think his DOCTRINE was changeable like his purposes (the change in which he admitted in 2Co 1:17, while denying that it was due to "lightness," and at the same time implying that not to have changed, where there was good reason, would have been to imitate the fleshly-minded who at all costs obstinately hold to their purpose).
true—Greek, "faithful" (1Co 1:9).
our word—the doctrine we preach.
was not—The oldest manuscripts read "is not."
yea and nay—that is, inconsistent with itself.
2 Corinthians 1:18 Parallel Commentaries
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