In 2 Corinthians 2, Paul gives three reasons why he wrote the previous letter of 1 Corinthians:
- To prepare for his return (2:3): Paul wanted the Corinthians to be spiritually ready for his next visit. He wanted them to consider and apply the instructions he had given before his return.
- To express his love for them (2:4): There are several difficult passages in the first letter, and some would be especially difficult for the Christians at Corinth. Paul wanted the brethren to know that he loved them.
- To test their obedience (2:9): Whether obedience is easy, difficult, routine, or life-changing, Paul expected and required the Corinthians to be “obedient in all things.”
Nearly two thousand years have passed, and although we do not live in the ancient city of Corinth, we have been given the word of God for the same three reasons. The purpose of God’s word is to prepare each of us for Christ’s return (1 Thessalonians 5:6), to express to us how much God loves us (John 3:16), and to test our obedience in all things (Hebrews 4:12).