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By W. Larry Richards

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Not on "tablets" (papyrus or parchment), but upon the Corinthians' hearts (3:2, 3). b. Not with ink, but by the Spirit of God (3:3)! Thus, it is the so-called "letters of recommendation" his opponents are flaunting, while pointing out with vigor that Paul does not have such recommendations, that introduce the rather developed subject that follows. An overview of the comparison of ministries (3:3-18) Before we proceed, it would be helpful to review an important observation about the identity of Paul's opponents.

In this letter to the Corinthians, though, Paul is not only telling us that he has a clear conscience; he is telling us that this clear conscience specifically relates to his dealings with them. Contrary to the attacks made against him, Paul writes that his conscience "testifies that we have conducted ourselves in the world, and especially in our relations with you, in the holiness and sincerity that are from God" (2 Cor. 1: 12). He then makes a swipe at the "worldly wisdom" he attacked at length in 1 Corinthians 1-3: "not according to worldly wisdom but according to God's grace" (2 Cor.

Thus, at this moment in his letter, as Paul recalls the good news from Titus, he cannot contain himself, and the coherence of verses 12, 13 is made even more obvious when we note Paul's joyful expression in his letter at this point. He tells us here (although he will expand on the news later) that the news that finally reached him from Titus was everything he wanted it to be: 78 BIBLE AMPLIFIER-2 CORINTHIANS • The Corinthians had responded positively to his "severe" letter. What delightfully wonderful news: "Thanks be to God" (vs.

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