Paul’s Change of Plans
We can say with confidence and a clear conscience that we have lived with a God-given holiness and sincerity in all
our dealings. We have depended on God’s grace, not on our own human wisdom. That is how we have conducted ourselves
before the world, and especially toward you. Our letters have been straightforward, and there is nothing written
between the lines and nothing you can’t understand. I hope someday you will fully understand us, even if you don’t
understand us now. Then on the day when the Lord Jesus returns, you will be proud of us in the same way we are proud of you.
Since I was so sure of your understanding and trust, I wanted to give you a double blessing by visiting you twice— first
on my way to Macedonia and again when I returned from Macedonia. Then you could send me on my way to Judea.
You may be asking why I changed my plan. Do you think I make my plans carelessly? Do you think I am like people of the
world who say “Yes” when they really mean “No”? As surely as God is faithful, our word to you does not waver between “Yes”
and “No.” For Jesus Christ, the Son of God, does not waver between “Yes” and “No.” He is the one whom Silas, Timothy,
and I preached to you, and as God’s ultimate “Yes,” he always does what he says. 20 For all of God’s promises have been
fulfilled in Christ with a resounding “Yes!” And through Christ, our “Amen” (which means “Yes”) ascends to God for his glory.
It is God who enables us, along with you, to stand firm for Christ. He has commissioned us, and he has identified us
as his own by placing the Holy Spirit in our hearts as the first installment that guarantees everything he has promised us.
Now I call upon God as my witness that I am telling the truth. The reason I didn’t return to Corinth was to spare you
from a severe rebuke. But that does not mean we want to dominate you by telling you how to put your faith into practice.
We want to work together with you so you will be full of joy, for it is by your own faith that you stand firm.