2 Corinthians 2

2 Corinthians 2

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For I made up my mind not to make another painful visit to you. For if I cause you pain, who is there to make me glad but the one whom I have pained? And I wrote as I did, so that when I came I might not suffer pain from those who should have made me rejoice, for I felt sure of all of you, that my joy would be the joy of you all. For I wrote to you out of much affliction and anguish of heart and with many tears, not to cause you pain but to let you know the abundant love that I have for you.

Forgive the Sinner

Now if anyone has caused pain, he has caused it not to me, but in some measure—not to put it too severely—to all of you. For such a one, this punishment by the majority is enough, so you should rather turn to forgive and comfort him, or he may be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. So I beg you to reaffirm your love for him. For this is why I wrote, that I might test you and know whether you are obedient in everything. Anyone whom you forgive, I also forgive. Indeed, what I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, has been for your sake in the presence of Christ, so that we would not be outwitted by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his designs.

Triumph in Christ

When I came to Troas to preach the gospel of Christ, even though a door was opened for me in the Lord, my spirit was not at rest because I did not find my brother Titus there. So I took leave of them and went on to Macedonia.

But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere. For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life. Who is sufficient for these things? For we are not, like so many, peddlers of God’s word, but as men of sincerity, as commissioned by God, in the sight of God we speak in Christ.

(ESV)


2 Corinthians 2 Commentary

by Hank Workman

“Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but deceitful are the kisses of an enemy.”

Proverbs 27:6

As Paul Harvey famously states, “And here’s the rest of the story…”

In 1 Corinthians 5, Paul addressed a scandalous issue that was happening in the church. A man was having an incestuous affair with his stepmother. He told them they had to confront, remove him from the congregation and hand him over to Satan. This discipline all sounded so harsh. But they did just what Paul advised. So here we read the man had seen his error, repented of his sin. Paul wisely instructed them now they needed to embrace him in love and welcome him back. He had paid for his decisions and no longer was payment due. He was in heavy need of forgiveness, acceptance, and comfort.

Sometimes people in our lives and yes within the church make decisions we know are wrong. If we choose to ignore these things without the proper way Jesus laid out of how to confront someone, in the end, we aren’t showing any love for them. Yes, even though the words and actions brought wounds to the man, it showed they cared for him in the end. Honesty in such situations is required but as we know, so painfully hard. But it had to be more than words. They had to stick to their guns. The discipline these showed to the man brought about godly sorrow which led to repentance. Paul’s appeal was now they must welcome him back. It really is the tangible love of Jesus shown which has been given to each of us. Healing could happen now within the schism between them and the man as well as to his own heart. They needed to reaffirm their love for the man.

As we know, there is a difference between simply stating “I’m sorry” and actually being regretful and mournful over something we’ve done. True remorse brings true change. We must seek God in such matters who knows the heart of each individual and sees if the repentance is genuine or not. But as Paul states, restoration is needed when the repentance is genuine.


2 Corinthians 2 Commentary

by Brad Boyles

As Hank has written, the man Paul is referring to in this chapter was most likely the same man who was having an incestuous affair when Paul wrote his first letter to the Corinthians. There are a few important details to consider regarding Paul’s response to this situation.

First, Paul gave the Corinthians time to address the situation. Often, we pressure and bully people into repentance when they don’t really mean it. Paul could have gone to Corinth and confronted this man face to face, but he didn’t.

“Paul wisely considered that considering all the circumstances, a letter would be better than a personal visit. A letter would lay out Paul’s heart, yet not give as much opportunity for the deterioration of their relationship. It would give them room to repent and get right with God and Paul again.”

David Guzik

Second, Paul’s intention is clear. He wants to love the people of Corinth, not cause drama in their relationship. There are many Christians today who allow their emotions to overrule their relationship. They view a heated confrontation as the only solution to such an issue. They believe it is their duty and “right” to lay that person out with the truth. We get a much different picture here in Paul’s writing. Everything that he did was guided by love. In fact, he even states that this incestuous man has “not caused sorrow to me, but in some degree to all of you.” Paul was urging the church to forgive this repentant man as he already had.

Finally, Paul knew this was a plot of the enemy to divide and destroy the church. Satan would love nothing more than for the church to tolerate such a sin. On the flip side, Satan would be equally pleased if this church cast this man from their body and never accepted him back, even after repentance. Paul understood the church needed to exercise both grace and truth.

When we look around, it seems as if the enemy is winning the majority of these battles. This should never stop us from following the instruction of Paul. Satan cannot win because he’s already been defeated. He may win the battles but he has lost the war and this is why we must cling to Jesus. His victory assures us that even in the darkest times sin and death cannot defeat those who patiently endure in the Name of Jesus Christ!

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