A Short Study of 2nd Corinthians 1:12
“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.”
(2nd Corinthians 1:12)
Religion usually lays heavy burdens upon men, encumbering them with laws to obey in order to live what they call “the Christian life,” but Paul declared that his rule for proper conduct was not complicated or burdensome. He told the Corinthians that he lived with a clear conscience “…in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our conversation (daily walk, conduct) in the world, and more abundantly to you-ward” (2nd Corinthians 1:12).
“Simplicity” means singleness of heart. The apostle endeavoured to live each day with a heart-mindfulness only of the person and work of Christ and that kept everything else in its rightful place. His daily life consisted of living upon the Saviour which is the correct example of the Christian walk; it is the rule of conduct for a child of God. What is “godly sincerity”? It is to live with an unsullied and pure motive which is the glory of the LORD in all things, and he who has that motivation will, consequently, treat those around him in a proper way. Notice that Paul makes certain it is understood that he could only live this way “by the grace of God.” It was not by self-power or “fleshly wisdom,” for everything that is of the flesh is opposed to right behaviour.
“That which is born of the flesh is flesh” (John 3:6). It is only “by the grace of God” that we can walk daily with the eyes of the soul focused on the Son of God. Christ is our Life and Salvation; He is “THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS” (Jeremiah 23:6) Whose sacrifice satisfied divine justice and put away our sins. He governs the world to fulfill the eternal purpose of God. Since the sovereign Saviour orders all our steps, let us live our lives “in simplicity,” following one rule of conduct each day: “looking unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of the faith” (Hebrews 12:2)