We begin Paul’s second letter to the church in Corinth. Keep in mind that this is Paul writing to a community that he knows very well, and to a community that we saw in I Corinthians that needed a little encouragement and even a little bit of correcting. We see Paul a few times almost needing to prove who he was in light of being sent by God to provide the community at Corinth correctives that would send them along their way in a much more faithful path than the one on which they are currently embarking.
He clearly claims the community as his own since he was the one that founded it. You hear him say ini 3:3 – “You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry.” We also read Paul reminding them that the Gospel of Jesus is something that we contain but that we need to proclaim it. He states in 4:7 – “But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.”
A phrase that he states which has created a lot of debate is found in 6:14 – “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers.” This has often been taken to mean that we are not to marry those who do not believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and who are not His disciples. I didn’t always feel strongly about this, but the more I am in ministry the more I see people who were of strong faith led astray in relationships where their partner or spouse is not a believer. I’m going to have to go with Paul on this one.