Letters of Commendation - Additional Notes

John Heading, Aberystwyth

Second Corinthians not only contains a direct reference to “epistles of commendation”, 3.1, but two of its major sections are in themselves examples of letters of commendation. Paul was journeying to Corinth from Ephesus by a roundabout route, through Troas, 2.12, and Macedonia, 7. 5. In this last district, Titus brought to Paul the good news of the Corinthians’ repentance after having read the first Epistle. Most of the Corinthians would now receive Paul again as an apostle, but a few in Corinth were still rebellious. To each group, the Holy Spirit pens a letter of commendation regarding Paul.

The first letter consists of chapters 3-6, and is written to the majority who would receive Paul. The plural form “we” is used throughout, and the apostolic servant is traced in detail. Far from being an automatically printed form, the letter traces the special type of ministry the apostle engaged in, ch. 3, the vessel through which this ministry was accomplished, ch. 4, the hope and evangelistic zeal of the minister, ch. 5, and the enlarged character of the minister though always separated from darkness and unbelief, ch. 6. In the light of such an example, how can brethren remain in doubt as to what to write when confronted with such a pleasant task for a brother or sister?

The second letter consists of chapters 10-13, and is written essentially to the minority who would still not receive Paul. The singular form “I” is used throughout, the Holy Spirit stressing the apostolic service. Here we find the motives and policy of the apostle, ch. 10, his sufferings and his future plans, chs. 11-12, while in chapter 13 the final approval of the apostle is shown by the very work already achieved in Corinth.

Letters of this kind are a pleasure to write for the Lord’s glory, and a pleasure to read publicly in the receiving assembly.

There are 9 articles in
ISSUE (1966, Volume 17 Issue 2)

Book Review

TheChurch of the Thessalonians (6)

Elders

Gospel Work and other Assembly Activities

Letters of Commendation

Letters of Commendation - Additional Notes

The Mount of Commission

Spiritual Desires

The Trespass Offering

This article is not part of a series

There are 66 articles by this author

The Merchants and the Children

The King and the Multitudes

Fruitfulness and Repentance

Communicating Spiritual Things by Spiritual Means

Service with Tears

Acts, A Study in New Testament Christianity

Divine Assessment and Witness

Epaphras, a Faithful Minister of Christ

Paul’s Charge to Timothy, The First Epistle to Timothy

Prophecy and the Present Age

Groupings Amongst Men

The Rapture and Subsequent Events

Summary of Daniel and Revelation

The Four Kingdom Amongst Men

Apostasy and Its End

How I was called to Salvation and Service - Introduction

Divine Involvement in Assembly Service

Types and Shadows in the Epistle to the Hebrews

Understanding 1 & 2 Chronicles - The House of God and its Service

Do You Pray for the Lord’s Servants?

Greater Than

Conversion, Baptism and Service

The Lordship of Christ in the Local Assembly

Luke’s Life of Christ

The Lordship of Christ in the Local Assembly (Part 2)

Prayer, Power, Plenitude, 1. 15 to 2. 10

Position, Privilege, Peace, 2. 11-22

Prisoner, Promise, Preaching, Prayer, Eph. 3. 1-21

Practical: Prophets, Pastors, Perfecting, 4. 1-16

Practical Conduct - Part 1: 4. 17-32

Practical Conduct - Part 2: 5. 1-20

Personal Relationships in the Family, 5. 21 to 6. 9

Power, Protection, Prayer, 6. 10-24

Parents and Children

Daily Bible Readings

The Seven - Thousand Year Miracle (Part 1)

What the Bible Teaches Vol. 6 John

The Seven - Thousand Year Miracle (Part 2)

The Maturity of Writer and Readers

Giving and Keeping

Purpose, Predestination, Pleasure, Praise, 1. 1-14

1962

As Unknown and yet Well Known

The Beauty of the Assembly

The Holy Assembly

Zion

Zion (2)

Are You a Trustee?

The Lord's Titles

Olivet

The Mount of Transfiguration

Genealogy of the Priests

Both Small and Great

Book Reviews

The Unity of the Godhead

Book Reviews

Asaph

Book Review

Letters of Commendation - Additional Notes

How Amiable Are Thy Tabernacles

Twenty-One Years Ago

They Continued Steadfastly

Book Review

Matthew 21 - The Context of the Chapter

The Vineyard and the Stone

Parable of the Wedding Feast - Matthew 22. 1-14