2 Corinthians 7

2 Corinthians 7

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Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God.

Paul’s Joy

Make room in your hearts for us. We have wronged no one, we have corrupted no one, we have taken advantage of no one. I do not say this to condemn you, for I said before that you are in our hearts, to die together and to live together. I am acting with great boldness toward you; I have great pride in you; I am filled with comfort. In all our affliction, I am overflowing with joy.

For even when we came into Macedonia, our bodies had no rest, but we were afflicted at every turn—fighting without and fear within. But God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus, and not only by his coming but also by the comfort with which he was comforted by you, as he told us of your longing, your mourning, your zeal for me, so that I rejoiced still more. For even if I made you grieve with my letter, I do not regret it—though I did regret it, for I see that that letter grieved you, though only for a while. As it is, I rejoice, not because you were grieved, but because you were grieved into repenting. For you felt a godly grief, so that you suffered no loss through us.

For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death. For see what earnestness this godly grief has produced in you, but also what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what longing, what zeal, what punishment! At every point you have proved yourselves innocent in the matter. So although I wrote to you, it was not for the sake of the one who did the wrong, nor for the sake of the one who suffered the wrong, but in order that your earnestness for us might be revealed to you in the sight of God. Therefore we are comforted.

And besides our own comfort, we rejoiced still more at the joy of Titus, because his spirit has been refreshed by you all. For whatever boasts I made to him about you, I was not put to shame. But just as everything we said to you was true, so also our boasting before Titus has proved true. And his affection for you is even greater, as he remembers the obedience of you all, how you received him with fear and trembling. I rejoice, because I have complete confidence in you.

(ESV)


2 Corinthians 7 Commentary

by Hank Workman

2 words. 2 words that mean nothing unless they are followed by action.

“I’m sorry” all too often slips from our lips when confronted over something. They are empty words unless change comes from that. There are people who quite readily can state these words and nothing changes from there on out. They still do the same thing. Still maintain the same stance that was potentially offensive or downright rebellious.

Confrontation is never easy. Paul reveals some of the inward struggle he had as initial regret of being so bold with the Corinthians plagued him. But he knew these words were needed and in time he saw that although his words made them sorry, what was important was accomplished: repentance. There is a difference here between one being sorry and repentant. They’re not the same thing. We can’t be sorry for our offense without repentance of it. Sorrow simply speaks of a feeling. Repentance describes a change; an about face.

Sorrow alone really does nothing. Peter was sorry he denied Jesus and repented. Judas was sorry he betrayed him and killed himself. Repentance is essential for restoration of relationships.

We all know people who are fairly quick to be sorry for something. But if they don’t begin to change their behavior; they go right back to operating in the ways that are so offensive; if they continue to justify everything they do – there is no humility and no repentance. Sorrow did nothing. Obviously this affects the greatest relationship we are called to – with God Himself. But this type of behavior affects the workings of our own relationships.

I have burdens for people in my life that line up with these thoughts. In honesty, I get frustrated because there may be a sorrow for things their decisions have brought but they have yet to own any of their behavior. They definitely haven’t been moved from sorrow to repentance. Digging their feet in, they stand firm in destructive attitudes and actions within relationships. They deflect any ownership of the outcome. Oh they’re sorry, but nothing has changed. They’re still offensive in their ways.

There will be no restoration without the genuine repentance.

This is why when my burdens are great for these, which comes in waves at times, I pray for the heavy hand of God to press in upon them. As this behavior comes from an attitude of the heart, only He can press in. Only the Holy Spirit can bring the conviction of such behavior and help change take place. Truly Paul did his part, fulfilled his role in confronting these whom he loved even though it was hard. He then allowed the Holy Spirit to take it from there. And He did.

2 Corinthians 7

We can’t force people to change. God uses our words of confrontation at times and it may bring sorrow. But true change happens when repentance of what behavior has brought is recognized and there’s a turn around. There are many standing in the wreckage of their own decisions even now that refuse to own any of their actions. May He speak conviction to their heart like never before. May the heavy hand of God press down upon that will lead them from sorrow to repentance and yes then to restoration within the relationships we have as well as the ultimate relationship with God himself.


2 Corinthians 7 Commentary

by Brad Boyles

“If one gives up easily, they can never walk in repentance, though they may perform acts of repentance.”

David Guzik

On the surface, this may sound like a works-based mentality. But consider that “giving up” often involves statements like, “This is just the way I am…” or, “I will never be able to change.” This kind of language disregards the sacrificial and resurrection power of Jesus and is why Paul makes a direct connection between repentance and diligence.

See what God did with this sadness of yours: how earnest it has made you, how eager to prove your innocence! Such indignation, such alarm, such feelings, such devotion, such readiness to punish wrongdoing! You have shown yourselves to be without fault in the whole matter.

2 Corinthians 7:11 GNB

Repentance means turning around. Conviction brings alarm and makes us zealous for truth and freedom. The diligence Paul writes of is not done in our own strength, but rather, is a response to what the Holy Spirit has already begun. It is cooperation that shows us to “be without fault” and brings freedom like never before.

When I first started preaching, I remember a sermon that I gave that lacked preparation. I did not devote enough time to the subject and it showed in the delivery. To say I felt horrible was an understatement. I felt I had let down God. I had sorrow for not taking seriously the responsibility He had divinely orchestrated to preach His Word.

That day, I was outraged that I had not given to God my best. But, that sorrow and indignation kindled a passion and desire to be more diligent than ever in my preparation. Again, it was not pride or a work-based mentality. I wasn’t ashamed because I looked incompetent and unprepared, though that was a part of the reality. My main issue was the inescapable conviction that I did not diligently follow the Spirit’s leading with the opportunity which was given to me by God.

I had to repent of this sin but I also needed to jump into action. When the Holy Spirit brings conviction into our lives, we need to be prepared to jump into action! Most western Christians are really good at attending services and programs while gathering tons of information. That’s great, but it’s not the full picture. Practical application and actions (change) should be the natural byproduct of Bible knowledge. Otherwise, it’s just information!

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