Vs. 10, “This is why I write these things when I am absent, that when I come I may not have to be harsh in my use of authority—the authority the Lord gave me for building you up, not for tearing you down.” It was Paul’s intention not to have to exercise his authority over rebellious acts of those who spoke slander against him. Paul quotes the Old Testament law (Deuteronomy 19:15) regarding the legal matters in bringing witnesses to testify the truth (vs. 1). The Judaizers accused Paul of being a weak leader, but they mistook his humility as a sign of weakness (vs. 2-4). The Corinthian’s were exhorted to examine themselves to ensure they were testing the truth with God’s standard (vs. 5-8). All of us in the church today would do well to examine ourselves. It’s important for us to see that church discipline was and is a very important part of ensuring godliness and accountability. Paul ends his letter with some wonderful exhortations and benedictions (vs. 11-14).
Regarding application…Seeking Restoration. Vs. 11, “Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.” After it’s all said and done, Paul sought restoration above all. I appreciate how Paul was very real with what was transpiring in Corinth. Instead of trying to sweep everything under the rug, Paul made sure to encourage everyone by letting them know he was going to help deal with the situation. While it was about bringing justice, the end goal was restoration. The church is not going to be immune to sinful ways, but we must solve it with having the mindset of God. Take time to consider if there are things you can pray for and do to help bring restoration to your church.