3 since you seek a proof of Christ speaking in me, who is not weak toward you, but mighty in you. 4 For though He was crucified in weakness, yet He lives by the power of God. For we also are weak in Him, but we shall live with Him by the power of God toward you.
since you seek a proof of Christ speaking in me,
Paul was one through whom Christ spoke. The Corinthians needed evidence of this. Someone challenged the apostle to prove it.
who is not weak toward you,
Christ was not weak toward the Corinthians, because He used Paul and his team to move them in the right direction.
but mighty in you.
The Lord proved Himself “mighty” among the Corinthians by saving them and working in their lives. The Corinthian church failed to see this. If they did not grasp this, then their faith had a severe flaw. Their actual quarrel was with Christ Himself.
For though He was crucified in weakness,
Paul now gave evidence that God worked in him by showing the parallel between his ministry and Christ’s. Jesus died in His humanity. His “weakness” was similar to the apostle’s.
yet He lives by the power of God [the Father].
Our Lord set the paradigm of true weakness, yet exercised the power of God. The resurrection clearly demonstrated His power.
For we also are weak in Him,
The apostle acknowledged that he was weak, but his weakness was “in Him.”
but we shall live with Him
Not only in the hereafter but presently with Paul’s infirmities.
by the power of God toward you.
The apostle lived with the power of God toward the Corinthians. God’s power clearly demonstrated itself in winning many pagans to Christ in such a degenerate city as Corinth (2 Co 10:14). The Corinthians did not fully understand how the power of God worked in their salvation. They perceived power in a faulty way (2 Co 4:18).
The paradox of Christ is the paradox of believers.
Every Christian has weaknesses. Christ and Paul followed the path of weakness. Weakness was not impotence. The apostle overcame his human weakness with the power of God. For Christ, that power was in His resurrection from the dead. Paul wanted his weakness to be used constructively so that the Corinthian church would mature in Christ (2 Co 10:2-6, 10). He wanted them to see the power of God in His life and theirs (1 Co 1:25, 27). Christians today need the proper perspective on what is powerful (2 Co 4:18). We need to keep eternal values in view.