2Co 1:12-14 “For our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our conversation in the world, and more abundantly to you-ward. For we write none other things unto you, than what ye read or acknowledge; and I trust ye shall acknowledge even to the end; As also ye have acknowledged us in part, that we are your rejoicing, even as ye also are ours in the day of the Lord Jesus.”
Based on the tone of his several letters, Paul was not a man given to boasting about himself. However, he was not above boasting (see Strong’s definition for the Greek word translated as rejoicing) about certain things. He lays out some of those things in verse twelve along with the reason he is able to boast.
Paul was able to boast that he and his companions had lived (had their conversation) a life of single-minded purpose (simplicity). He further boasted that they had lived this way with purity of heart and mind (godly sincerity). He gloried that they had lived this life before all men (the world), but that it was especially true of the way that had lived among the Corinthian brethren.
Paul had a clear conscience in his boasting. His conscience was clear because this boast was not made with a focus on what they had done or how they had lived, but rather on the reason they were able to live this life. It was by the grace of God that Paul’s conscience was clear. By this same grace, they had lived a life with pure purpose to the edifying of the church. Regardless of their accomplishments, Paul knew and declared that it was by the grace of God and not by their strength.
He assures the church that they are not going to find anything in this letter that is beyond their ability to read and understand (acknowledge). He then charges them to become fully acquainted with what has been written. They (and we) are not free to pick and choose which parts of the scripture they like and ignore those they do not.
Paul also tells the church at Corinth that they already come to some understanding of his instruction (acknowledged us in part). Perhaps he is alluding here to his previous letter and some improvements concerning the things he had previously written to them. In their partial understanding, they had been made to rejoice before the Lord in the care that Paul, Timothy, Apollos, and others had shown for them.
As they rejoiced in Paul and his companions, so also Paul and his companions rejoiced in the understanding of those who were faithful to God’s word. Again, he turns their attention to the source of their rejoicing together. It was not in Paul and his companions or of the church at Corinth, but in the visitation (day) of the Lord Jesus who comforts and instructs.
May we always give God the glory for faithful servants, for lives well lived in His service and for our rejoicing so that when we glory, we glory in the Lord!