Paul faces his communication crisis by owning his liability. The false apostles in Corinth disparaged Paul’s apostleship arguing that if he had a valid call, then his life would not be full of affliction and suffering. This false claim must have affected at least some in the Corinthian church otherwise Paul would not have opened this letter by making a b-line to address it. Instead of giving thanks for the Corinthians as he customarily did at this point in his letters, Paul moves to immediately address the topic of afflictions. In doing so, Paul offered a dual perspective: God comforts the afflicted and his purpose in it is to prepare his ministers and servants to minister that same comfort to the afflicted. By owning his liability in this moment of crisis, Paul not only refuted the false claims of the super apostles, he also used it as a teaching moment to expound upon the character of God, the nature of the Christian life in this age, and to challenge saints to endure affliction in a Biblical way in order that they may be prepared to serve other Christians in their time of need.
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