3 I do not say this to condemn; for I have said before that you are in our hearts, to die together and to live together.
3 I do not say this to condemn;
The purpose of Paul’s stern letter was not to condemn but to put the Corinthian church on the right tract. Far from condemning the Corinthians, Paul’s team carried empathy in their souls for the congregation.
for I have said before that [result] you are in our hearts,
The purpose of the team was to save the church from error and the lifestyle that came with false teaching. They made this point in 2 Corinthians 6:11-12.
to die together and to live together.
This phrase is a defense of the team’s motives. They were loyal to the church to the point of death. Evidently, they anticipated a violent death. They loved the church to the point that they took their last breath.
Ministry for them was not a job or career. They were no hirelings; they were not in ministry for money. They were interested in the people to whom they ministered; they loved the congregation. The team was interested in them, not what they possessed.
It is not wise to attack people with whom we disagree personally.
When people vacillate in their convictions, it is best not to take the approach of blaming them but instead follow Paul’s example in this verse. Unabated love should be the method.
Paul’s team carried a deep loyalty to the Corinthian church. Their loyalty came out of a new order of life. This gave solid confidence as a ground for fellowship. This confidence rose out of Christian maturity. This is what distinguishes dynamic Christianity from static Christian living.