2 Corinthians 1:12

Paul's Change of Plans

12 For our boast is this, 1the testimony of our conscience, that we behaved in the world with simplicity[a] and 2godly sincerity, 3not by earthly wisdom but by the grace of God, and supremely so toward you.

2 Corinthians 1:12 Meaning and Commentary

2 Corinthians 1:12

For our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience,
&c.] This rejoicing or glorying of the apostle's in the testimony of their consciences, to the goodness of their hearts, actions, conduct, and behaviour, was not before God, and in his sight, but before men, who were ready to accuse their good conversation in Christ: nor are these words to be considered as they generally are by interpreters, as if it was the testimony of a good conscience, which was the ground of their faith and confidence, that God would deliver them, and was an helping cause, together with the prayers of the saints, of their present deliverance. They refer to the charge exhibited against the apostle, that he had falsified his word in not coming to Corinth according to his promise; under which charge he could sit easy, having a witness within him, which was better than a thousand others, that

we have had our conversation in the world, and more abundantly to
the Corinthians, of which they themselves must be conscious:

in simplicity;
in opposition to double mindedness; they did not say one thing, and mean another, and act contrary to both; their heart and mouth went together, and their conduct agreed with both; what they promised they meant to perform; and where there was a want of performance, it was owing to intervening providences, which hindered, and not to any deceitfulness in them: the conscience of the apostle bore him witness, that he behaved in the simplicity and singleness of his heart; and also in

godly sincerity,
or "in the sincerity of God"; that is, such as God requires, gives, and approves of, and which will stand in his sight, will bear his examination, and to which he gives his testimony; and that his conduct was

influenced with fleshly wisdom:
he used no artful sophistical methods to impose upon, and delude persons, for any sinister ends, or worldly advantage:

but by the grace of God;
which was bestowed upon him, implanted in him, and which taught him to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts, and to live soberly, righteously, and godly in this world.

2 Corinthians 1:12 In-Context

10 He delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will deliver us again.
11 You also must help us by prayer, so that many will give thanks on our behalf for the blessing granted us through the prayers of many.
12 For our boast is this, the testimony of our conscience, that we behaved in the world with simplicity and godly sincerity, not by earthly wisdom but by the grace of God, and supremely so toward you.
13 For we are not writing to you anything other than what you read and acknowledge and I hope you will fully acknowledge--
14 just as you did partially acknowledge us--that on the day of our Lord Jesus you will boast of us as we will boast of you.

Cross References 3

  • 1. [1 Thessalonians 2:10]; See Acts 23:1
  • 2. 2 Corinthians 2:17; 2 Corinthians 4:2
  • 3. 1 Corinthians 2:4, 13

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. Some manuscripts holiness
The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.