Paul loves the church in Corinth, but at the writing of this letter, the feeling wasn’t entirely mutual. The Corinthian church had received a severe letter from Paul that contained instructions about disciplining a church member. This could be the man mentioned in 1 Corinthians 5 or it could be some other person within the church. In either case, it pained the church. Paul writes this opening section to bring comfort to the church, to reaffirm his love for them, and to encourage the Corinthians to continue to love him, too. His confidence comes, not from letters of recommendation written by men, but from the Spirit who gives life and opens the eyes of men to see the light of the gospel.