Second Corinthians plunges the modern reader back to the real, tumultuous of early Christianity. The simple ideals of sharing and goodwill described in Acts 2:42-47 seem to have little place among the diverse converts from this boomtown of Corinth where Paul chooses to anchor his Greek mission.
Second Corinthians is in part a letter of joy, for a report came to Paul that the Corinthians had rejected the troublemakers and wished to rejoin themselves to him.
Heart and passion rise to the surface in this letter. Not wanting to boast about himself, Paul indicates that the Corinthians themselves were his letter of recommendation. He appealed to their firsthand knowledge and experience. Paul also recounted the tribulations he endured to keep spreading the gospel.
“So, Paul’s confident assertion that he and his message can come out a winner under the scrutiny of ‘every man’s conscience’ boldly pushes this word well beyond its normal borders. The reason Paul can do so is clear enough when he adds ‘in God’s sight.’ He believes that true conscience is not simply based on subjective feelings or learned social norms. Rather, it is the voice of God’s own objective judgment based on his character, which each person has been equipped to draw upon.9 If this is so, then, Paul certainly has no problem leaving all humanity to serve as jury over his behavior as an apostle in representing the gospel.10 God, in effect, will acquit him.” (Page 175)
“The command negates a present tense verb in Greek (γίνεσθε, ginesthe), which means that Paul is demanding that the Corinthians stop behavior that is currently in full force.” (Page 258)
“Paul views God as watching over his children, totally aware of their suffering, embracing them and delivering them through it all.” (Page 64)
“If it involves a person’s mission or purpose, as here, it means to complete it. The paradox in this passage is that two missions are involved, Paul’s and Christ’s, which are in a symbiotic relationship. Perfection, or 100% completion only occurs when one party, Paul, supplies ‘weakness,’ and the other party, Christ, supplies ‘power.’” (Page 435)
“When Paul says that a believer is a ‘new creation’ he means that the transformation of the believer initiated at baptism is part of a general transformation of all creation which is part and parcel of the new age to come.” (Page 232)