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2 Corinthians 3:12

Spoken Out of Hope

12 Seeing then that we have such hope, we use great plainness of speech:


In the fourth verse of this chapter, Paul had declared that he had such trust, or confidence both in the gospel that he preached and in his sufficiency to minister it, because Christ had given him both the word and the ability to preach it. Then, he went on to compare the ministry of the Old Testament, the Law of Moses, which he called the ministration of death, to his ministry of the New Testament gospel, which he called the ministration of the Spirit and said that it leads to life.

"Seeing then that we have such hope..." Albert Barnes took the time in his comments on this verse to explain the difference between hope and expectation. He explained that hope consists of both a desire for a thing and the expectation that you will receive it. On the other hand, a person might expect something, such as an approaching storm, but not desire it. Paul had hope.

What was this hope of which he spoke? It was the hope that is found in the gospel itself, the hope that God's grace has granted us the forgiveness of sins, a reconciliation with Him and eternal life. It was the ministration not of men, not of law, but of the Holy Spirit. (2 Corinthians 3:8) Paul's hope was founded in the fact that the gospel he preached was one that assured the believer of his justification and acceptance before God as one who is righteous. (2 Corinthians 3:9). Finally, it was the hope that this new covenant was an everlasting one. It would not be done away as was the old covenant. (2 Corinthians 3:11)

"...we use great plainness of speech." The Greek word παρῥησία parrhesia (par-rhay-see'-ah) means, "1. all outspokenness, i.e. frankness, bluntness, publicity; 2. (by implication) assurance." Confidence in his calling and the source of his ability combined with the hope that is the gospel of Christ gave Paul the boldness to speak out both in preaching or in reproving the Corinthian Christians.

It was true that he spoke plainly, "And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:" (1 Corinthians 2:4) He did not use words that would appeal to their logic or that were designed to excite their emotions. He spoke plainly and, in doing so, the power of the Holy Spirit was demonstrated as his words impacted the audience.

However, Paul was also bold and blunt in his speech. The word of God is powerful. It is the power of God unto salvation, and we should never be timid when we have the opportunity to proclaim it. "Great is my boldness of speech toward you, great is my glorying of you: I am filled with comfort, I am exceeding joyful in all our tribulation." (2 Corinthians 7:4)

Before The Throne:

Pray for God to give you confidence in your ministry. Ask Him to help you stand on the hope that is contained in the gospel to be bold in its proclamation. Pray for Him to go before you and to open the hearts and understanding of those with whom you share the message of His love. Ask Him to make you an example for others to see what Christ can do.

For Further Study:

(v.12)
we use. 2Cor 4:2-3, 13; John 10:24; John 16:25, 29; 1Cor 14:19; Col 4:4; plainness. or, boldness. 2Cor 7:4; 2Cor 10:1; Acts 4:13, 29-31; Acts 9:27, 29; Acts 14:3; Eph 6:19-20; Phil 1:20; 1Thess 2:2; 1Tim 3:13;

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