Summary of 2 Corinthians, Chapter 7
He says that since they have such great divine promises, they should cleanse themselves from everything in flesh or spirit that could defile, seeking perfect holiness in the fear of God.
Again he pleads that they may make room for him in their hearts. He says he has wronged no one, ruined no one, has defrauded no one. He is not saying this to condemn them. For he has already said that he has room for them in his heart, to live and die with them. Really, in spite of some troublemakers there, he has great freedom in speaking to them. He even boasts elsewhere about them, and is filled with consolation, and has superabundant joy in all his troubles.
When he came to Macedonia, he had no rest; he was troubled much -- fears inwardly, struggles outwardly. But God who consoles the lowly consoled him when Titus came. It was not just his arrival, but the consolation Titus could report he had from them. He told Paul of their longing for him, their weeping over him, their zeal for him. So Paul rejoiced instead of being sad.
Even if he grieved them by the tearful letter, he does not regret it -- though he did not like to do it at the time -- but that letter grieved them only for a while, but then led to repentance, and so he is happy. They had the kind of grief God wants, one that leads to repentance. Grief of this kind in God's way leads to salvation; the grief of the world leads to death.
He tells them to consider the kind of grief they had, the kind God wills -- it made them eager, led to defense, caused indignation at evil, fear, desire, zeal, punishment of the offender. They showed themselves right in everything in the matter.
He wrote not so much because of the wrongdoer, but to bring out their solicitude in the sight of God. This consoled Paul. And he had added happiness at seeing the joy of Titus, for they refreshed his spirit. Thus Paul has not had to be ashamed over the fact that he had been boasting about the Corinthians. It turned out that what he said about them was true.
The heart of Titus goes out to them abundantly, when he remembers their obedience, how respectfully they received him. So Paul is happy that he can have confidence in them in everything.
Comments on Chapter 7
The thought is too simple to need much comment. Paul shows very human emotions here: He was distressed when some at Corinth were doing wrong. He wrote them a tearful letter, which we do not have. That grieved them, but then led to their changing. He sent Titus to make peace with them. Titus brought back a fine report, and so both Paul and Titus are happy. Literally, Paul says they received Titus "with fear and trembling." But that expression is stereotyped -- overused -- and so has lost much of its force. It means merely, "with great respect." We saw it also in Philippians 2:12.
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