We concluded our study last week with the thought of a Christ’s return to defeat His enemies and to judge His church. That pictured is carried over into this closing chapter of the epistle. The doubting of Paul’s apostleship and his authority is one thing his visit will give proof of. In this we have a picture of the return of Christ. At His return He too will give proof of the power that some professing believers throughout the ages (particularly the closing days of this age), have called in question. As it seemed common for Paul’s disciplinary authority and powers to be doubted by the Corinthians (1 Cor 4:18-21; 2 Cor 10:9-11), so the authority of Christ and the institutions that He has established are more and more questioned and challenged.
Paul’s sparing of them, 2 Cor 1:23, had been misinterpreted as weakness so now he indicates that he will no longer spare them, verse 2. In verse 3, he reminds them of the power of Christ which had been displayed amongst them, both in the signs of an apostle wrought amongst them, 12:12 and the powerful afflictions sent amongst them because of their sins, 1 Cor 11:30-31. Paul reminds us all of the apparent weakness of Christ at His crucifixion yet he liveth by the power of God. Paul, acting in the love and mercy of Christ, might give the appearance of weakness but he would display power in his disciplinary actions, verse 5.
In the light of his coming to sit in judgment over the affairs of the church, he calls for self-examination before that visit takes place.
It ought to be noticed that they who had much to say in criticism of Paul were in fact in great need of looking to themselves. — Consider the verse 5.