Paul's 2nd Letter to the Corinthians and Paul's Letter to the Ephesians

 March 27, 2014

Tom Lowe

The Second Epistle of Paul to the Corinthians

 

               Lesson II.A.1.c: His Explanation. (1:23-2:4)

 

2nd Corinthians 1:23-2.4 (NKJV)

23 Moreover I call God as witness against my soul, that to spare you I came no more to Corinth.

24 Not that we have dominion over your faith, but are fellow workers for your joy; for by faith you stand.

 

1 But I determined this within myself, that I would not come again to you in sorrow.

2 For if I make you sorrowful, then who is he who makes me glad but the one who is made sorrowful by me?

3 And I wrote this very thing to you, lest, when I came, I should have sorrow over those from whom I ought to have joy, having confidence in you all that my joy is the joy of you all.

4 For out of much affliction and anguish of heart I wrote to you, with many tears, not that you should be grieved, but that you might know the love which I have so abundantly for you.

 

 

Introduction

From verse 23 through verse 4 of chapter 2, Paul returns to the charge of vacillation that had been made against him and gives a straightforward explanation of why he did not visit Corinth as planned. If the apostle had visited Corinth at the time planned, he would have had to deal very firmly with the situation there. He would have had to deliver a personal rebuke to the saints because of their carelessness in tolerating sin in the assembly. It was to spare them pain and sadness that Paul delayed his trip to Corinth.


Commentary

Chapter 1

 

23 Moreover I call God as witness against my soul, that to spare you I came no more to Corinth.


Paul had planned to visit the Corinthians twice (1:15-16{1]). But after experiencing the brunt of his opponents attacks on his last “painful visit” (2.1; NLT), he, instead of visiting them again, wrote them a letter because he wanted to give them ample time to change their ways (7:8-9{2]). Paul didn’t want to visit the same people just to give them the same advice for the same problems. Instead, he wanted to wait until he could visit them for the purpose of building them up in the Lord.


Moreover I call God as witness was the apostle’s declaration of his truthfulness. His conscience was clear and open to the scrutiny of the penetrating light of God’s judgment. Passing this heavenly appraisal is the only way to truly know if a man is telling the truth. Whenever a person’s conscience is not influenced by the Holy Spirit, he may say what is pleasant, or convenient, or merely what he would like to believe or would he would like others to think he believes, or what is merely a reflection of the widely held opinion in the matter.


Paul was calling upon God to be his witness, since no other person could testify to his motives. Paul saw his whole life, including his innermost thoughts, as an open book to God. Sometimes the preacher must answer the unspoken desire of his flock to be told only what they want to hear—they don’t want him to say anything that would hurt their feelings. His answer must always be the same as that of Micaiah, “As the Lord lives, whatever the Lord says to me, that I will speak" (1 Ki. 22:14).


In this case, Paul just wanted to make it clear that his cancelling his second visit to Corinth was made out of concern for what is best for them. He had not made his decision for selfish reasons, as his opponents claimed (1:17), but for consideration of their spiritual welfare. He wasn’t a fickle person. Instead, his intention had been to spare the Corinthians the sorrow that another visit, at this particular time, would cause. Apparently, Paul wanted to give them time to repent and to resolve some of the problems he had observed on his last “painful” visit. This delay in the visit to give them time to repent is mentioned in 13:2, 10{3], and was probably also listed in the “stern letter.”


24 Not that we have dominion over your faith, but are fellow workers for your joy; for by faith you stand.


In verse 24 we have another one of those parenthetical flashes of insight that could only emanate from the Holy Spirit within him. He declares his respect for their freedom as fellow believers— Not that we have dominion over your faith—and then, he continues to try to convince them that he always has their best interests in mind—[we] are fellow workers for your joy; for by faith you stand. He does not lord it over their faith, but works with them for [their] joy, because they stand fast in the faith. This is a critical statement. It reveals his view of his use of his authority as a teacher and a leader, his conception of the freedom of Christian men, and the method and aim of his work. Instead of describing his apostolic role as a master, Paul carefully describes his job as an apostle as working with the Corinthians for their ultimate joy in Christ. It could only be in Christ because it would only be by faith in Him that they could stand firm. There was no need to correct the Corinthians as far as their faith was concerned, for in that sphere they stood firm enough. The matters he sought to correct were not matters of doctrine as much as of practical behavior in the church. To stand by faith a person must be born by faith into Sonship with God. He is entitled therefore to judge whether what is preached or taught to him is truth by using his own insight. In other words, he is entitled to think things out for himself. Private judgment however is liable to error, but it is a risk that must be taken for the sake of freedom; without freedom no one can come to maturity of mind or character. In spiritual as well as in political matters, authoritarian rule is fatal to the growth of personality. Paul wasn’t their taskmaster. Instead, he was a fellow worker, pointing out how they would experience the joy God wanted to give them. This is a potent image for any spiritual leader—from a pastor to a Sunday school teacher. A spiritual leader should be less of a master and more of a friend, a person who works beside, always pointing to the path that leads to the joy that can be found only in God. Dictatorial means can produce compliance but not the obedience that comes from faith, which is what Paul sought. Authoritarian domination was not the way of Christ, nor of those who stand in His stead (1 Pe. 5:3{4]). Paul assured the Corinthians, we are fellow workers (1 Cor. 3:9{5]), and he did not work against them or over them.


In the beginning of 2nd Corinthians, Paul was very careful not to offend the Corinthians. Instead, he repeatedly emphasized their unity in Christ. Through Jesus, Paul and the Corinthians had been joined (see 1:6, 11, 14, 21){6]. Paul and the Corinthians were even working together to further the cause of the Gospel: the Corinthian’s prayers were strengthening Paul in his trials; in turn, Paul was encouraging them. He took great pains to emphasize how they were working together, in order to avoid any “us-versus-them” attitudes, and he denies any desire to lord it over his readers. The Christian life rests upon faith, which cannot be forced on anyone. The “false apostles” who came to Corinth acted arrogantly (11:20){7], but Paul respects his converts, and he and his helpers act as fellow workers with the Corinthians in order to give them joy. He has had to cause them pain in order to bring them to their senses, but his deep and ultimate purpose had always been to help them find that “joy unspeakable” that comes from a life lived wholly in the will of God.


This verse protects Paul from any misunderstanding with the Corinthians by explaining what he meant by “spare” (v. 23)—it qualifies his previous statement—but, on the surface spare sounds somewhat domineering. Paul wasn’t acting as a judge or governor over the Corinthian’s faith in Christ. Paul couldn’t give them their faith—that is, their confident belief in God and in Jesus, their Savior—much less control it. Their faith was a gift from God (Rom. 12:3{8]; Eph. 2:8{9]), not subject to anyone’s control except God’s. In the respect, the Corinthians were subject to no one except the Ultimate Judge (Rom 14:1-4){10]. As a result of this gift of faith, the Corinthians were to stand firm. This means to endure and persevere in the presence of opposition and pressure from the world (Heb 12:1{11]; 12:11-13{12])

The Christian leader, regardless of his level of leadership, cannot use his authority to impose either his will or his doctrine, however right and sound these may be. He must recognize that people have minds and consciences of their own. They can accept as true and right only that which they see to be true and right. The sole power which Jesus used in His ministry was the power of truth and love. In the Temptation He deliberately rejected all the external means commonly used to influence people—the appeal to appetite, to love of sensation, and to power. The Christian minister and even the Christian worker, cooperates with people, as Paul says, in search for truth. He must induce them to think with him. Jesus employed this method. In reply to questions He would often give no direct answer, but would Himself ask a question, or would tell a story from which His hearers would draw their own conclusions. It is the same in matters of conduct. He laid down no rules; he set down principles that required thought and forced men to choose, even at the risk of making a mistake. It is in this cooperation that we find the joy of Christian living, just as the joy of work is found when masters and men are seeking together a common objective. The deepest source of joy is found through tasks in which we are one with the creative will of God, and are in tune with His Spirit. The opposite of Joy is not sorrow; it is sin, which breaks the harmony between us and one another, and between us and God. Joy cannot be found by seeking it. It is a by-product of self-forgetful activity. It is a fruit of the Spirit, not an artificial compound of pleasurable excitements nor is it produced by stimulating the senses. The church should be the center of the highest type of joy, which is fellowship in Christ among people fully consecrated to His purposes and responding to His love.

 

 

Chapter 2


1 But I determined this within myself, that I would not come again to you in sorrow.


Paul never says exactly what happened during this “painful visit” in this letter. That would have been inappropriate since Paul had already addressed it previously (see 2:3). But this letter gives some clues to what happened. From the two letters that have been preserved—1st and 2nd Corinthians—we know that the Corinthians not only had problems with incest (1 Cor. 5:1-2) and adultery (1 Cor. 6:9) but they were also troubled by incessant arguing (1 Cor. 1:10), disruptions during the worship service (1 Cor. 11:17-22), and even lawsuits between believers (1 Cor 6:1-8). Moreover, a group of false teachers were preoccupied with criticizing Paul’s actions and authority (2 Cor. 11:1-11). Apparently, on Paul’s last visit, a member of the Corinthian church had publicly challenged Paul (2:5){13]. Paul issued a severe warning to those who were persistently sinning in the church (13:2){14}. His great desire was that the church might obey the word, discipline the offender, and bring purity and peace to the congregation.


Paul delayed his visit because he did not want to visit them again if it meant repeating the same hurtful experiences. He knew he would have to say things that would hurt him to say and them to hear. It is not true that love is blind. It has penetrating insight into moral reality. Elsewhere Paul tells us to speak the truth in love (Eph. 4:15){15]. His first visit, which is the only visit recorded in Acts (Acts 18:1-18), was not “painful.” That long stay, though not without trials, was on the whole a very fruitful period. But when, after writing 1st Corinthians, he visited Corinth again to correct conditions there, he had been contemptuously treated. This second “painful visit” is also referred to in 12:14{16] and 13:1-2{17]. During that delay he had promised to return soon, before going to Macedonia. But later he decided to delay his return; this is the change of plan for which he was criticized and which he is now defending. He sent Titus to Corinth with the “stern letter,” while he himself, waiting for conditions at Corinth to improve, took the long route to Corinth, through Macedonia.


A servant of Christ is no stranger to pain and suffering (Matt. 5:10-12; Jn. 15:18-20; 1 Pe. 2:21{18]). Paul had his share (2 Cor. 1:4-10; 11:16-32), from which he never shrank. But he was no fool. If he could avoid it and still accomplish his work he would do so.



2 For if I make you sorrowful, then who is he who makes me glad but the one who is made sorrowful by me?

 Paul’s rhetorical question reiterates his point that his ministry is to work with the Corinthians for their mutual joy (see 1:24). Many of Paul’s letters describe the joy and encouragement he had received from other Christians—from the Romans (Rom. 15:32){19], the Philippians (Phil. 1:25){20], and the Thessalonians (1 Thess. 2:19){21]. The steadfast faith of these Christians encouraged Paul to continue in his evangelistic endeavors. Later in this letter, Paul would describe how Titus’ promising report of the Corinthian’s faith encouraged him to endure persecution (see 7:4, 7){22].

 

Thus, Paul decided not to visit the Corinthians because he didn’t want to cause unnecessary sorrow. He had already rebuked the church on his last visit (13:2){3]. He couldn’t stand another painful visit. He could take no sadistic pleasure in disciplining those he loved. His joy could come only through their joy, and their growth in faith and love. Were he to grieve them by rebuke and discipline, there would be no one to gladden his heart. His life was linked with theirs in joy and sorrow. That is why he wanted to give them more direction on how to correct some of the abuses in the church, but he also wanted to give them some time to resolve the issues among themselves, for their faith would ultimately stand on God—not on Paul and his efforts to reform them (see 1:24). Furthermore, Paul would not even consider compromising his moral principles in order to flatter those who take offense instead of opening their eyes to their pride, for that is something the false prophets would do (Jer. 6:14){23]. Genuine love cannot accept superficial solutions to troubles that disturb the church.


3 And I wrote this very thing to you, lest, when I came, I should have sorrow over those from whom I ought to have joy, having confidence in you all that my joy is the joy of you all.


The identity of Paul’s lost letter has been the subject of much scholarly debate. Traditionally, the letter Paul referred to here was considered 1 Corinthians. Proponents of this theory identified the sinner who Paul forgave in the next passage (2:5-11) with the incestuous man of 1 Corinthians 5:1-5.


It has become generally accepted, however, that 1st Corinthians is not the “last letter,” primarily because 1st Corinthians as a whole does not reflect the deep sorrow described by Paul in these following verses. Furthermore, the details described in the next passage (2:5-11) do not seem to fit the situation of the incestuous man of 1st Corinthians 5:1-5 but instead someone who personally offended Paul on his last trip to Corinth (see 2:5){13]. For these reasons, many Bible commentators consider the letter referred to in this verse to be lost. Apparently, Paul wrote this “severe letter” to the Corinthians soon after his “painful visit” with them. In this “lost letter” he had exhorted the Corinthians to discipline their errant members—specifically, the ones who were publicly opposing His authority (see 2 Cor. 2:1-4, 7:8{2]). God, according to His sovereign plan preserved all the letters of Paul He wanted included in the Bible—God’s inspired Word. According to His plan this letter was not preserved for later generations to read and study.

This verse reiterates that Paul’s own joy depends on the spiritual condition of the Corinthians. The first part of 2nd Corinthians emphasizes the independence of Paul and the Corinthians—the community of the faith that existed between them (see 1:11-14){24]. Paul’s own spiritual success was intimately connected with the Corinthians spiritual success. This verse (2:3) again emphasizes that the Corinthians supplied part of Paul’s motivation. In fact, their strong faith and their happiness was one of the reasons he could courageously face the trials of an evangelist (see 7:4){22].


The independence of Christians was a truth Paul had already told the Corinthians about see 1 Cor. 12:12-29). Christians together, form one body, joined by Christ to glorify God the Father. Since all are part of one body, believers are to work together for the Gospel of Christ. Each member should do his or her part, according to the spiritual gifts God has given that person. Paul had to stress this truth again and again—surely you know my happiness depends on your happiness. In Ephesians, Paul underscores the union of Gentiles and Israelites in Christ (Eph. 3:6){25]. In Romans, Paul encourages each Christian to use his or her unique spiritual gift for the benefit of the entire church (Rom. 12:4-8){26]. In Colossians, he encourages all to pursue peace with one another since they are all part of the same body (Col.3:15){27].

In the “stern letter” he wrote this very thing, that is, in order to spare them he was delaying his visit (13:10){3]. This letter caused them pain because of the rebuke it contained. He was also pained from writing it (v. 4), but he thought that for him to visit them at this time would be even more painful for both of them. It let him avoid the grief of an unhappy meeting with those whose presence should have brought him only joy. Even as he wrote with rebuke and stern appeal, he remained confident; he had not given up hope that they would repent and come to a better understanding. He still expected them to realize, even though it had to come through rebuke and anguished appeal, that his joy was really their joy too, so that they could never find peace of soul until by their attitude they had restored to him that joy in his converts which was his deep satisfaction.


Paul’s love for the church had no self-interest in it. Love “seeketh not her own” (1 Cor. 13:5){28]. He had no mercenary motives, no love of power, and no worldly ambition. He was primarily interested in people, not in ideas or in himself. I have confidence in you all. He gives them credit for wanting to be the best they can be, and he makes them feel that he expects it. This kind of faith in people has a profound effect.


4 For out of much affliction and anguish of heart I wrote to you, with many tears, not that you should be grieved, but that you might know the love which I have so abundantly for you.


Paul passionately expressed how he felt when he wrote that letter, the “severe letter.” Although he was sorry that his letter would hurt the Corinthians, he had sent it anyway. In 2 Cor. 7:8-12{29], Paul explains his reasons in more detail. His severe reprimand in this letter was aimed at securing a change of heart in the Corinthian believers. He knew it would cause much sorrow, but was hoping that it would provoke “godly sorrow” (7:10){29], a sorrow that leads to repentance. This is why Paul claimed here that his motive was love. Sometimes the most loving action a person can do for a fellow Christian is to confront him or her with the truth. The truth often hurts. Confronting a person in the wrong with the truth, however, can be the best thing a friend can do.

 

The affliction and anguish of heart and the many tears were not expressions of despair, nor did they come from a wounded vanity, though Paul was deeply hurt.  This is the language of a broken heart, not of a wounded pride. His concern here was not to promote his reputation, but to restore them to fellowship with him through a real repentance. Paul could have exercised his apostolic authority and commanded the people to obey him and respect him; but he preferred to minister with patience and love. This is the love that shines from Calvary, and we can receive it only from Christ.


Both the sorrow and the severity of his letter expressed his love for his readers. Love must sometimes be stern, and this was such a time; but the love was in control. His abundant love for them does not mean that he loved other churches less, but that his love went out more actively and with deeper concern to meet the greater need of this immature and rebellious church. Love also gives confidence. Paul had confidence that the Corinthians would feel what he felt.


Summary

 

In this passage we have heard the echo of unhappy things. As we have seen, the sequence of events must have occurred as follows. The situation in Corinth had gone from bad to worse. The church was torn with party divisions and there were those who denied the authority of Paul. Seeking to mend matters, Paul had paid a brief visit to Corinth, So far from mending things, that visit had exacerbated them and nearly broken his heart. In consequence, he had written a very severe letter of rebuke, written with a wounded heart and through tears. It was for that very reason that he had not fulfilled his promise to visit them again, for, as things were, the visit could only have hurt them and him.


Behind this passage lies the whole heart of Paul, when he had to deal in severity with those he loved.

1.       He used severity and rebuke very unwillingly. He used them only when he was driven to use them and there was nothing else left to do. A Christian man must seek for things to praise and not for things to condemn. Very early in my career as a supervisor of drafters and engineers I decided that everyone wanted to do a good job; and therefore, I always tried to give out more complements than criticism.

2.      When Paul did rebuke he did it in love. The effective rebuke is that given with the arm of love around the other person.

3.      When Paul rebuked the last thing he wanted was to domineer the other party. Paul knew that as a teacher he must never domineer, although he must discipline and guide. The false teachers who invaded the Corinthian church were guilty of being dictators (see 2 Cor. 11), and this had turned the hearts of the people away from Paul, who had sacrificed so much for them.

4.      Finally, for all his reluctance to rebuke, for all his desire to see the best in others, for all the love that was in his heart, Paul does rebuke when rebuke becomes necessary. If we are guided by love and by consideration, not for our own pride but for the ultimate good of others, we will know the time to speak and the time to be silent.


scripture reference and special notes

{1] (2 Cor. 1:15-16) And in this confidence I intended to come to you before, that you might have a second benefit—to pass by way of you to Macedonia, to come again from Macedonia to you, and be helped by you on my way to Judea.

{2] (2 Cor. 7:8-9) For even if I made you sorry with my letter, I do not regret it; though I did regret it. For I perceive that the same epistle made you sorry, though only for a while. Now I rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that your sorrow led to repentance. For you were made sorry in a godly manner, that you might suffer loss from us in nothing.

{3] (2 Cor. 13:2, 10) I have told you before, and foretell as if I were present the second time, and now being absent I write to those who have sinned before, and to all the rest, that if I come again I will not spare. . . Therefore I write these things being absent, lest being present I should use sharpness.

{4] (1 Pe. 5:3) nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock;

{5] (1 Cor. 3:9) For we are God's fellow workers; you are God's field, you are God's building.

{6] (2 Cor. 1:6, 11, 14, 21) Now if we are afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effective for enduring the same sufferings which we also suffer. Or if we are comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation. 11 you also helping together in prayer for us, that thanks may be given by many persons on our behalf for the gift granted to us through many. 14 (as also you have understood us in part), that we are your boast as you also are ours, in the day of the Lord Jesus. 21 Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God,

{7] (2 Cor. 11:20) For you put up with it if one brings you into bondage, if one devours you, if one takes from you, if one exalts himself, if one strikes you on the face.

{8](Rom. 12:3) For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.

{9] (Eph. 2:8) For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God

{10] (Rom 14:1-4) Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved. 2 For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. 3 For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God. 4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.

{11] (Heb 12:1) Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,

{12] (Heb. 12:11-13) Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. Therefore strengthen the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be dislocated, but rather be healed.

{13] (2 Cor. 2:5) But if anyone has caused grief, he has not grieved me, but all of you to some extent—not to be too severe.

{14] (2 Cor. 13:2) I have told you before, and foretell as if I were present the second time, and now being absent I write to those who have sinned before, and to all the rest, that if I come again I will not spare—

{15] (Eph. 4:15) but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ—

{16] (2 Cor. 12:14) Now for the third time I am ready to come to you. And I will not be burdensome to you; for I do not seek yours, but you. For the children ought not to lay up for the parents, but the parents for the children.

{17] (2 Cor. 13:1-2) This will be the third time I am coming to you. "By the mouth of two or three witnesses every word shall be established." 2 I have told you before, and foretell as if I were present the second time, and now being absent I write to those who have sinned before, and to all the rest, that if I come again I will not spare—

{18] (1 Pe. 2:21) For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps:

{19] (Rom. 15:32) that I may come to you with joy by the will of God, and may be refreshed together with you.

{20] (Phil. 1:25) And being confident of this, I know that I shall remain and continue with you all for your progress and joy of faith,

{21] (1 Thess. 2:19) For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Is it not even you in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming?

{22] (2 Cor. 7:4, 7) Great is my boldness of speech toward you, great is my boasting on your behalf. I am filled with comfort. I am exceedingly joyful in all our tribulation. 7 and not only by his coming, but also by the consolation with which he was comforted in you, when he told us of your earnest desire, your mourning, your zeal for me, so that I rejoiced even more.

{23] (Jer. 6:14) They have also healed the hurt of My people slightly, Saying, 'Peace, peace!' When there is no peace.

{24] (2 Cor. 1:11-14) you also helping together in prayer for us, that thanks may be given by many persons on our behalf for the gift granted to us through many. 12 For our boasting is this: the testimony of our conscience that we conducted ourselves in the world in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom but by the grace of God, and more abundantly toward you 13 For we are not writing any other things to you than what you read or understand. Now I trust you will understand, even to the end 14 (as also you have understood us in part), that we are your boast as you also are ours, in the day of the Lord Jesus.

{25] (Eph. 3:6) that the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ through the gospel,

{26] (Rom. 12:4-8) For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, 5 so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. 6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; 7 or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; 8 he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.

{27] (Col.3:15) And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.

{28] (1 Cor. 13:5) does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil;

{29] (2 Cor. 7:8-12) For even if I made you sorry with my letter, I do not regret it; though I did regret it. For I perceive that the same epistle made you sorry, though only for a while. 9 Now I rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that your sorrow led to repentance. For you were made sorry in a godly manner, that you might suffer loss from us in nothing. 10 For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death. 11 For observe this very thing, that you sorrowed in a godly manner: What diligence it produced in you, what clearing of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what vehement desire, what zeal, what vindication! In all things you proved yourselves to be clear in this matter. 12 Therefore, although I wrote to you, I did not do it for the sake of him who had done the wrong, nor for the sake of him who suffered wrong, but that our care for you in the sight of God might appear to you.

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