4 Great is my boldness of speech toward you, great is my boasting on your behalf. I am filled with comfort. I am exceedingly joyful in all our tribulation.
4 Great is my boldness of speech toward you,
Paul was bold in correcting the Corinthian church. His communication with them was open and frank. This was his pattern of relating to Christians (Ac 20:20, 27). It is crucial to speak honestly about issues within the church.
great is my boasting on your behalf.
The team spoke highly of the Corinthian church to others.
I am filled with comfort.
Paul’s team was encouraged that the church responded well to their rebuke (2 Co 1:4, 7:6, 7, 9, 13).
I am exceedingly joyful in all our tribulation [affliction].
Paul’s team was confident in God’s sovereign hand upon them. They had endured many accusations but, in the end, they were vindicated. This gave them joy (2 Co 7:7, 9, 16).
Frank relationships bring open fellowship.
It is important to maintain our confidence in people, not because of them but because of what God can do in them. Confidence in God brings courage to do things we would not do otherwise.
We need to possess the caliber of soul that Paul possessed. Despite all his reversals, persecution, and suffering both from non-Christians and Christians, he was able to rejoice. The Corinthians said many horrible things about him, which we will find in chapters 11 and 12. The church attacked his methods and message, and badmouthed his person. Paul had stayed in Corinth for two years, longer than at any other church in the New Testament. Yet, the church there turned against him in favor of false teachers for a period.